By now, everyone knows Chris Sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball. He has been in the thick of the Cy Young race each of the last four seasons and is as much of a strikeout artist as there is right now, collecting 10 or more in eight straight starts for one stretch last season. But by now, his flaws are just as evident and probably ensure that he won't challenge Clayton Kershaw for the top spot at the position. He may never take on a typical ace workload of 220 innings, not with the perpetual (if unfounded) concerns about his elbow. He can also be vulnerable to the long ball, which is what came back to bite him in the second half last year, inflating his ERA to an unrecognizable 3.41. Still, you wouldn't complain about drafting him as your ace in Round 3.
White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (13-11) gave up one run on five hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out seven in Friday's win over Detroit. It speaks to how remarkable Sale has been that a season in which he ranks second in the league in strikeouts can be considered an off year. Sale posted the highest ERA of his career in 2015 and his highest WHIP since 2012. Sale's 2015 was three dazzling months sandwiched by three months of performances below his standard. From May through July, Sale posted a 7-5 record with a 2.80 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. In April, August and September Sale was 6-6 with a 4.16 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.
White Sox left-hander Chris Sale (12-11) made it four straight losses and six consecutive starts without a win Thursday. He allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out eight Yankees across seven innings. His one hiccup came on a Carlos Beltran three-run bomb that ultimately led to the defeat. The 12-11 record is unfair to Sale, as he is easily one of the best pitchers in baseball. His .326 BABIP and 2.61 xFIP indicate that he's been unlucky this season and he's a great candidate to bounce back next year. His 1.10 WHIP with 267 strikeouts are no slouch numbers.
White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale struggled again Friday night, allowing seven runs (one earned) on eight hits, walking three and striking out nine over seven innings of a 12-1 loss to Cleveland. Sale (12-10, 3.47 ERA) pitched very well with the exception of the third inning where he gave up six runs. Thankfully for his fantasy owners, a Carlos Sanchez error made all six of those runs unearned, but Sale has not been as dominant lately as he was earlier in the year. He needed 116 pitches (75 for strikes) to cover the seven innings, and he wasn't consistently hitting his spots. He is still piling up strikeouts because his stuff is still dazzling, but he'll have to try and recapture his command to be the true ace he can be at his best.
White Sox usually-dominant left-hander Chris Sale continued his mysterious struggles against Minnesota on Sunday. Sale has now allowed 27 runs in 33 innings to the Twins this season after they plated six against him Sunday in just three innings. The southpaw allowed nine hits along the way and whiffed three. His issues were immediate. A Miguel Sano single scored one run in the first and a Torii Hunter blast added three. Sale then retired nine in a row, but four straight singles added two more runs. He did not come out for the fourth inning. The poor performance raised his ERA to 3.55.
The White Sox made a slight change to their pitching rotation Thursday. The team announced starting pitcher Erik Johnson will start Sunday against the Royals, which will bump Chris Sale to Monday against the Indians. Johnson, who was added to the roster Tuesday, will make his season debut Sunday after a stellar season for Triple-A Charlotte. He went 11-8 with a 2.37 ERA in 23 outings (22 starts). He also had 136 strikeouts in 132 2/3 innings. Sale is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts against Cleveland this season. He is 7-1 with a 2.42 ERA in 12 starts this season with five days of rest.