CHICAGO -- The White Sox have decided to keep Chris Sale on regular rest, making his next start Sunday in Oakland, despite the left-hander throwing just three innings and 37 pitches before Tuesday's contest with the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field was postponed.
Sale had his start skipped last Wednesday due to a mild case of tendinitis, and he hadn't pitched since May 17 in Anaheim. But the hurler cruised through the first inning Tuesday on eight pitches and hit 96 mph three times on the radar gun. Sale allowed Welington Castillo's two-run homer in the second, but his 23-inning scoreless streak stayed intact when the game was canceled.
Taking care of their ace southpaw was one of the reasons why the White Sox didn't move Sale to Saturday, with the lefty pitching in Oakland either way.
"You would rather not have him pitch and it get washed out. You would rather it continue, but that's the way it goes," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Sale. "There is nothing really gained, except that he faces the same people where you would slot him in at. To give him an extra day is continuing with taking care of him and making sure he feels good when he goes out there."
Sale said that he didn't have to do any extra work to compensate for his short night on the mound Tuesday. He felt great pitching and felt just as good the day after, aside from normal stiffness.
The outing was called a "real nice test run" by White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper for Sale's first start back.
"It's more than a sideline [session]. Let's call it a real good extended sideline [session]," Cooper said. "That's a break for him, and heck, we were losing the game, 2-0, so that's a little bit of a break for us. And the bullpen guys get another day to regroup with 15 days in a row till our next off-day."
"Whether it feels good or feels great, you still have to pitch," Sale said. "You watch guys with great stuff get hit and see guys with not so great stuff not get hit. It's more location than how hard it's coming in or what it looks like."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.