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.
MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.
Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.
Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.
Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.
The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.