CHICAGO -- If not for an absence of 35 days due to a flexor muscle strain in his left arm, there would be no question about Chris Sale's All-Star candidacy for the 2014 season. But even with Sale's injury-induced inactivity, the White Sox still believe Sale belongs in his third Midsummer Classic.
"You are also trying to win the game, so you are trying to take the best guys," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said regarding Sale, who threw two scoreless innings in last year's All-Star Game. "He has done it over not this just year, but the last couple of years. That stuff to me, you are looking at a guy that's at the top of his game, whether he missed a little bit of time. He's still one of the better pitchers, and his numbers prove it out."
"I really don't think there's much debate that he's one of the best pitchers in the American League," White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers said. "I would guess the majority of teams would agree, especially guys in our division."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Pitchers are selected by their peers or by AL manager John Farrell, and Sale figures to get plenty of support in either corner. Through 12 starts, Sale has posted a 2.30 ERA. He has fanned 84, walked 16 and allowed 54 hits over 78 1/3 innings. Opponents have hit .194 against him, while Josh Hamilton and Gregor Blanco are the only left-handed hitters to produce hits against Sale in 51 plate appearances.
Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez also figure to get serious All-Star consideration among the White Sox if they are not voted in by the fans.
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.