White Sox ace Chris Sale struck out 11 batters over four scoreless innings in a rehab start Friday night at Triple-A Charlotte and then threw a 20-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon. If he wakes up Wednesday with no abnormal soreness, the lefty could be activated from the disabled list during this weekend’s four-game series against the Yankees.
“He threw free and easy enough to be able to be one of those (starters in that four-game set),” White Sox manager Robin Ventura told Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago on Tuesday. “How early, it’s too early to say. Seeing how he feels going through tonight and tomorrow, and we’ll make a decision based on that.”
Sale has been on the disabled list since April 18 with a flexor muscle strain in his pitching elbow.
The 25-year-old had a 2.30 ERA in four starts before suffering the elbow injury and boasts an outstanding 2.93 ERA (146 ERA+) with 558 strikeouts through his first 528 innings at the major league level.
The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.
Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:
It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.
Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”
He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”
Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”
One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.
Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.
Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.