Chris Sale will start the season in the bullpen, White Sox general manager Ken Williams said on Thursday.
"Chris Sale is going to be in the bullpen," Williams told reporters, including the Chicago Tribune 's Mark Gonzales . "This is very important because I had to explain this to my coaching staff as well: the reason we had Chris Sale as starter is because that's what he has done his whole life. So if you tell him to prepare differently, you might not see the guy you last saw in September.
"We want him to prepare as he did so we can expect the same guy to show up. That means using all of his pitchers and building him up as a starter. He has shown he can transfer that to a relief role."
There had been a belief that Sale could start the season as a starter until Jake Peavy is ready. Now, Phil Humber, Lucas Harrell, Jeff Gray and Charlie Leesman will compete for the temporary fifth starter's spot until Peavy's ready.
Peavy threw a bullpen session on Thursday and said it was "just what I expected, because I've been on the mound before. Just nice and easy. Nothing too much. Just a side session."
Sale was drafted last season out of Florida Gulf Coast University and debuted on Aug. 6 against the Orioles. He pitched in 21 games for the White Sox, going 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA and four saves in 23 1/3 innings pitch. He struck out 32 and walked 10.
Despite making the majors as a reliever and spending this season as a reliever, the White Sox still believe he'll be a starter long-term.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans