Five days after throwing 127 pitches in 7 innings against Boston, Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale is on the disabled list.
The White Sox announced Monday night that Sale would be scratched from his scheduled start today. Shortly after, they placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a strained flexor muscle in his left forearm. The news that Sale was experiencing discomfort in his forearm was alarming, since most pitchers that end up blowing out their elbow say they feel it there first. An MRI done on Sale’s arm Monday night revealed no structural damage, however. Cue the sigh of relief in the Windy City.
Chicago general manager Rick Hahn also tried to alleviate concerns, saying the DL move is a precautionary measure:
“We’re going to do everything in our power to protect him for the long term … This is about making sure we get out in front of any issues and make sure he is in the best position to have success and stay healthy for an extended career as opposed to worrying about a start or two here and there.”
Injury worries have always followed Sale, thanks to his unusual delivery that would seem to put a lot of stress on that left elbow. He’s been fairly durable since joining the rotation in 2012, though, making a total of 59 starts between 2012 and 2013 and throwing nearly 215 innings last season. But he’s also had these scares before, getting moved to the bullpen for a short time in 2012 when the elbow started to feel sore and missing the second half of May last season with shoulder tendinitis.
The White Sox have been cautious with him in the past — especially early in the season — and seem to be continuing that trend here. Still, every time an elbow or forearm issue pops up with Sale, his reputation as a ticking timebomb is going to lead to some concerns.
Chicago has Sale signed through at least 2017, with team options for 2018 and 2019 that would take him through his age-30 season.