Chris Sale is thriving in the White Sox's bullpen three months after being drafted

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Three months ago Chris Sale was a starting pitcher for Florida Gulf Coast College and now he’s perhaps the most-trusted reliever in the White Sox’s bullpen, picking up his first career victory with 2.2 flawless innings yesterday.
Selected with the 13th overall pick in June’s draft and almost immediately signed to a $1.65 million bonus, Sale made quick work of the minors and has allowed just one run in 13.2 innings since his August 6 debut.
And while the rail-thin southpaw may not look like much at 6-foot-6 and 170 pounds–with even that weigh-in presumably coming after a large breakfast–his average fastball has clocked in at 96.2 miles per hour and Sale has also shown a devastatingly effective high-80s slider.
He’s struggled at times to throw strikes, walking nine batters in 13.2 innings, but opponents are just 6-for-45 (.133) with 19 strikeouts off Sale and the 21-year-old lefty has amazingly held right-handed hitters to a .074 batting average and zero extra-base hits in 27 at-bats.
Much like how Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox rode then-rookie Bobby Jenks to the World Series in 2005, if Chicago is going to catch Minnesota in the AL Central it looks like Sale will be a huge reason why.

Report: Mariners have interest in Reds’ Jay Bruce

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 14:  Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds waits to bat prior to hitting a three-run homer in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 14, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.

Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.

Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.

The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, tying an NL record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 16:  Adam Rosales #9 of the San Diego Padres hits an RBI single during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at PETCO Park on July 16, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.

The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.

As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.