White Sox ace Chris Sale has been 6-foot-6 and about 175 pounds for most of his career, but the rail thin 27-year-old four-time All-Star has recently been trying to bulk up and his goal is to reach 200 pounds this year.
And in a situation almost no one–including me–can relate to, Sale is having some trouble. He weighed in at 190 pounds upon arriving at White Sox camp, but his teammates and the team training staff are skeptical he’ll get to 200.
White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas told Scott Merkin of MLB.com:
Yeah, every time he comes in, he puts a couple pounds of weight in his back pocket so I can’t see. 205 some days, 179 some days. It depends on how many Philly cheese steaks.
Sale described the weight gain as “my quest” and told Merkin that he’s been eating tons of tacos, cheeseburgers, and steaks at home. But as White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton put it:
I don’t think he’ll ever see 200 … and he’s eating whatever he wants to come across his plate. I don’t know, he’s been blessed.
Or cursed, at least as far as the 200-pound goal is concerned.
Sale credited Thomas and the training staff for increasing his strength and endurance regardless of his weight and it’s worth noting that he’s thrown an average of 197 innings in four seasons as a starting pitcher. He’s been a whole lot more durable than most people expected based on his incredibly thin frame and first two seasons spent as a reliever, so perhaps looks–and the effect of tacos and cheeseburgers–can be deceiving.
Metabolism is a helluva thing.
The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.