Fresh off a five-year, $32.5 million contract extension, lefty Chris Sale has been named the White Sox's opening-day starter, reports Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. As Van Schouwen notes, the announcement came on the heels of Sale's worst outing of the spring.
The 23-year-old Sale is coming off a 2012 season -- his first as a member of the major-league rotation -- in which he posted a 3.05 ERA (142 ERA+) in 192 innings pitched. For his efforts, he finished sixth in the AL Cy Young balloting.
While giving the opening-day nod to, say, veteran Jake Peavy would have been defensible, Sale is indeed Chicago's ace according to any reasonable standard.
On April 1, the Sox will host the Royals, and Sale's opposing number will presumably be James Shields.
Random: This will be sixth straight left-handed opening-day starter for the Sox. Mark Buehrle received the nod from 2008-11, and John Danks took the first turn last season.
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