White Sox ace Chris Sale has been cleared to come off the disabled list after missing the past month with a sore left flexor muscle. Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that Sale will start tomorrow night against the Yankees.
Sale struck out 11 batters in a minor-league rehab start Friday at Triple-A, although he threw only 68 pitches. There had been some talk of Sale making a second rehab start, in part to build up more arm strength, but he felt good enough to skip it.
Sale was 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA in four starts before being shut down and the 25-year-old left-hander has been one of the best starters in baseball since joining the rotation in 2012, starting 63 games with a 3.02 ERA and 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.
Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.
“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”
Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.
Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.
“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.
Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.