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.

Video: Pete Alonso hits home run no. 50

Pete Alonso
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Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.

It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.

Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.