Like the result from a study group formed to determine the color of the sky, or data showing how this is one of the coldest Chicago winters on record, the Chicago White Sox also went ahead Monday and stated the obvious.
Chris Sale will be the team’s Opening Day starter for the second consecutive season, manager Robin Ventura told reporters in Arizona. Sale was on the mound Monday in Phoenix against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Pitching coach Don Cooper had already suggested that Sale would get the opener, but he was reluctant to go on the record, until the manager talked about it first.
“Just what he’s done in the past and what you expect him to do, he’s the logical choice,” Ventura told reporters. “He deserves it.”
After today, Sale’s spring schedule will have him pitch Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, then March 20 in a minor league game (the White Sox don’t have a Cactus League game that day), and March 25 against the Colorado Rockies. He will then get an extra fifth day of rest before pitching on Opening Day, March 31 at home against the Minnesota Twins.
The left-hander was 11-14 last season with a 3.07 ERA that was seventh best in the American League among starting pitchers. He has a career 2.97 ERA over 139 appearances.
Sale pitched 7 2/3 innings on Opening Day last season against the Kansas City Royals, giving up seven hits and no runs with seven strikeouts. The White Sox went on to a 1-0 victory.
Prior to Sale's Opening Day start last season, John Danks started the 2012 opener. Mark Buehrle had started nine of the previous 10 openers before Danks, a run only interrupted by Jose Contreras' Opening Day start in 2007. Buehrle's nine Opening Day starts are a franchise record.