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Sale key piece as White Sox build for 2014

Sale key piece as White Sox build for 2014

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CHICAGO -- As the White Sox embark on their 2014 reshaping process, they already are a step ahead than most teams because they have a talented young pitching staff. That process takes another major step forward by having Chris Sale at the top of the rotation.

"Everybody is looking for that guy. We happen to have him," manager Robin Ventura said. "He's young and you continue to build around that way."

Sale became the third pitcher in franchise history under the age of 25 to record 200-plus strikeouts with his eight punchouts on Monday. He owns a 5.05 strikeout-to-walk ration, with Ed Walsh owning the single-season club record at 4.80 in 1908. Sale also has emerged as a leader for the other young pitchers on the staff.

"We have quite a few young guys we're excited about," Ventura said. "If you're reshaping, you'd like to start with pitching. So we're in a position where we have some young guys who are under control."

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.

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