HOUSTON -- The big league return for Chris Sale seems to get closer with each passing day.
Per Sunday comments made by manager Robin Ventura and general manager Rick Hahn, Sale was feeling good after striking out 11 over four innings in Friday's injury rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte at Durham and doing his first-day work Saturday. Sale will join the White Sox on Monday in Kansas City to have his recovery from a flexor muscle strain in his left arm evaluated in person.
"He'll be there tomorrow so I can get my hands on him," said a smiling Ventura. "He's feeling pretty good. I don't know if it's as perfect as you want to be, but he is feeling good after throwing the other day. He's going to come to Kansas City so we can evaluate him. It's part of hearing him, but we want to see him and see what happens."
"We'll be able to evaluate him in person and come up with a plan moving forward from there," said Hahn, who added Sale is experiencing nothing more than normal post-start soreness. "Again, I don't like putting time frames on guys' returns until we know for certain they are back, but certainly he's progressing very well and we are optimistic he'll be back in the near future."
Ventura didn't seem to be leaning toward Wednesday in Kansas City -- when Sale was next scheduled to pitch -- as the date for Sale's first appearance since one-hitting the Red Sox over seven innings and 127 pitches on April 17. But Sale could bypass a second injury rehab start, throw on the side in Kansas City and pitch this weekend at home against the Yankees.
"He could," said Ventura, referring to Sale doing some work in Kansas City, but not committing to his next start. "Again, we are going to make sure about all of this when we get there, that he's able to do all the things that [pitching coach Don Cooper] likes to put him through to make sure he feels good. There's no sense having him come there and not do anything. He'll probably throw a little bit."