Saturday, May 5, 2012
Chris Sale Needs To Move To The Disabled List, Not The Bullpen
On Friday evening the news broke that the White Sox were moving Chris Sale from the starting rotation to the closer's role. The news was shocking, both for the fact that it was unexpected, and for the way the White Sox handled it.
Following the tweets of White Sox beat reporters online, the hammer dropped from out of nowhere. It was simply "Sox moving Sale to closer."
Then after that sucker punch, the White Sox couldn't decide if they wanted to work your body, or just go for some low blows.
Sale's status went from he's not hurt to he's just tender to he's hurting a little bit, but he's not hurt, he's just tender. Like chicken. You ever have chicken tenders? They're soft and juicy, but they don't hurt when you eat them.
Well, Chris Sale's chicken tenders are soft and juicy, it's just that the Sox are worried that if they leave him in the starting rotation, all those juices will spill out, and they'll get all over your shirt and damn it, you really like that shirt. You don't have time to go and wash it or change shirts either, you have to be at that meeting in 20 minutes.
What the hell are you going to do?
How will you preserve your career?
And that was the phrase that really got me. The White Sox are making this move not because Chris Sale is hurt, but because he's tender and sore and they want to preserve his career.
How are they going to preserve his career?
By giving him the same amount of rest he'd already been working with, and then possibly have him throw an inning every day, and hopefully with more velocity.
Does that seem like the sensible decision to you? To put Sale into high-pressure situations, and tell him to let it rip?
If there's is any concern about Sale's elbow or his future -- and it's obvious that there is, no matter what kind of idiotic mixed signals this team feels like sending -- then you put him on the disabled list. That's it. It's just that easy.
If his elbow is sore, you give him two weeks off. See how the elbow responds to the rest. Then at that point, if you want to make him your closer, let him close. If he seems as good as new, then keep him in the rotation and don't let him throw 110 pitches every start before you pull him out.
I mean, that's how you're supposed to handle a pitcher whose workload you all said you'd have to monitor before the season started, right? Was I just imagining these things?
Of course, we can't control the mistakes the Sox have already made with Sale, or what is going to happen with Sale in the future. What the team can control is what they do right now, and what they should be doing is putting him on the disabled list.
Sale is one of the lone, young bright spots on this roster. You don't take chances with him. It's better to be safe than sorry, and a hundred other cliches.
You don't just continue to change his roles -- since being drafted in June 2010, Sale has gone from college starter, to reliever then to starter and now back to reliever -- and cross your fingers hoping everything in his elbow stays attached to what it's supposed to stay attached to.
You're supposed to be in some kind of rebuilding mode, aren't you? So stop going ALL IN and start APPRECIATING WHAT YOU FUCKING HAVE THAT'S WORTH HAVING.