by James Mitchell
Sox fans were not the only ones blind sided by management’s decision to move one of the league’s top starting pitchers out of their rotation and back into the bullpen.
So was Chris Sale, and he wasn’t happy about it either. Why wouldn’t he be upset?
The 23-year-old first round draft pick has been almost unhittable in his first five starts this season.
While posting a 3-1 record with a 2.81 ERA, 1.0 WHIP, and averaging eight strikeouts per nine innings. Opponents are barley batting over the Mendoza line at .208 against him.
However, due to arm tenderness, Robin Ventura, Don Cooper and Kenny Williams unanimously decided that cutting Sales work load is best for his future.
So let me get this straight, instead of shutting the kid down until he’s healthy enough to continue being an extremely productive starting pitcher, they feel putting him in late during pressure situations as a closer will keep any potential arm injury from getting worse?
The three stooges believe by Sale throwing between 60 and 70 innings as a reliever compared to 180 plus innings as a starter will prolong his career?
This might be one of the worst baseball decisions I have ever witnessed, not only are they devaluing Sale’s contributions to the team by using him out of the bullpen, but in no way are they lowering his percentage of actually getting hurt.
Even more, they have announced to both Sale and the rest of the league that they don’t believe his arm can handle the workload as an everyday starter for an entire major league season. A decision like this has to come from the top, and just five weeks into the 2012 season, the Sox have managed to take the team’s only strength and bring it back down to mediocrity with the rest of its roster.
We’ve seen some pretty early white flags raised on the south side in years past, but with the White Sox just 3 GAMES OUT OF FIRST PLACE this might be the earliest white flag the team has ever waived.
I’m not saying this squad would have made a run at a wild card spot, but with this move making it that much harder... I guess will never know.