Chris Sale throws eight shutout innings, lowers ERA to 2.05

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: White Sox starter Chris Sale needs his own video game.

The lanky left-hander threw eight innings of shutout ball on Saturday afternoon against the Astros, striking out seven and walking none as the Pale Hose rolled to a 10-1 victory. He now has a 0.92 WHIP, 76/18 K/BB ratio and an American League-best 2.05 ERA through 74 2/3 frames this season.

Adam Dunn hit a grand slam in the blowout win and Gordon Beckham contributed three runs batted in.

Sale has surrendered just three earned runs, fanned 36 batters and issued only six free passes in his last 31 1/3 innings of work. It’s crazy to think the White Sox had him in the bullpen at one point, and his success as a starter should be a message for the Reds and their own lanky southpaw (Aroldis Chapman).

For postgame reaction, including videos, check out WhiteSoxTalk at CSNChicago.com.

American draft prospect Carter Stewart signs in Japan

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The Atlanta Braves selected high school pitcher Carter Stewart with the number eight overall pick in the 2018 draft. Then, after the draft, they gave Stewart a below-slot signing bonus offer, claiming that they found problems with his wrist in his post-draft physical. Stewart ended up rejecting the offer and the MLBPA filed a grievance against the Braves on Stewart’s behalf.

The grievance sought to make Stewart a free agent it was considered a long shot at the time of its filing and, in fact, the grievance was rejected. Stewart, unable to attain free agency, enrolled at Eastern Florida State College, a two-year school that would’ve made him eligible for the 2019 draft.

Now, Ken Rosenthal reports, Stewart has pulled a crazy Ivan and is heading to Japan, having signed with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. The terms of the deal aren’t known, but Rosenthal says Stewart was looking for a $7 million guarantee.

It’s a fascinating turn of events for Stewart who, this time last year, was considered perhaps the best amateur pitcher in baseball. Being lowballed and having his health questioned by the Braves may have been a wakeup call to Stewart, however, about his chances of finding a quick path the bigs in the U.S. If the shine did come off of his prospect status in the past year here, there’s every reason to believe that $7 million and a path to the bigs in Japan is a much better deal than several million less and a path to the bigs in America.

He’ll be worth watching over the next few years, that’s for sure. Both for his own sake and to see if, in this era of Major League Baseball’s capping of amateur bonuses and teams’ habit of manipulating service time, going overseas becomes more attractive to American high schoolers and college players.