White Sox’s new closer Chris Sale has a sore elbow, still wants to be a starter

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White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper told Jim Bowden of XM Radio that Chris Sale will undergo an MRI exam on his sore left elbow.

Last week the White Sox cut short Sale’s transition to the rotation and moved him back to the bullpen as their new closer, with manager Robin Ventura saying he’d fill the ninth-inning role for the remainder of the season.

Sale made his first relief appearance of the season last night and blew his first save, although it was in the eighth inning and he entered the game with two runners on base and no outs.

Meanwhile, Cooper has indicated that Sale’s move to the bullpen is less set in stone than Ventura claims and Sale himself has repeatedly made it very clear that he’d rather be starting.

He reiterated that desire yesterday, telling Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Starting is something I hope I can get back into. We’ve been kind of talking back and forth. There’s a possibility of it. Not ruling it out is the best way to say it.

Part of the issue is that Sale has had a sore arm and there are questions about his mechanics potentially making him likely to break down as a starter, but he went 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA and 29/8 K/BB ratio in five starts before the White Sox made the switch.

Toss in the fact that rookie Addison Reed looks more than capable of becoming the White Sox’s long-term answer at closer and giving Sale the opportunity to show that he can thrive as a full-time starter makes too much sense not to happen again eventually. Assuming, of course, that he doesn’t already have a major elbow injury.

Yadier Molina responds to Willson Contreras on Instagram

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On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”

Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.

Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.

Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.