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.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.
Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.
While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.