When Chris Sale takes the mound Monday night against the Royals after a nine-day break, all eyes will be on the White Sox’ left-hander.
Actually, keep one eye on Sale. Keep the other eye on the right-field scoreboard at U.S. Cellular Field.
That’s where the pitch speed indicator is located, and everyone is going to want to track Sale’s velocity.
In his last start – July 27 at Texas – Sale beat the Rangers despite allowing 5 runs on 6 hits in 6.1 innings.
But the much bigger news was the lack of zip on his fastball, which topped out at 91 mph.
Give the Sox credit for acting quickly and giving Sale his third extended break of the season.
One radio reporter kept asking Sale if he “fought” the White Sox’ decision to give him added rest. Why would he?
“It's nice to be able to do it now (rest) so the last couple months we can really make a push and nothing like this will hopefully come up again,” Sale said. “We can just go through these two months every fifth day or whatever they have now for us. Make a good push these last couple months and put all this stuff behind us.”
Sale said his arm feels “really good,” but he has no idea if the fastball will be back up to 95 mph-plus against Kansas City.
“We'll see,” Sale said. “Like I said before, if it's there cool. If not, you've still got to pitch. It doesn't matter how hard it's going. Whatever it is, you've still got to make pitches and get outs. Whether it's hard, soft, slow, in, out, up, whatever. You've got to get outs somehow.”