Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Sale talks 2011 and beyond; injury updates

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chris-sale.jpgChris Sale can get used to this.
Not just life in the big leagues for the 21-year-old, but life as a White Sox reliever.
The question now facing the southpaw is what about next season and beyond? When the club drafted him out of Florida Gulf Coast University just over three months ago, they were drafting a starting pitcher that went 11-0 with a 2.01 ERA, as well as 146 strikeouts in 17 games.
But with the bullpen short a lefty to help out Matt Thornton, Sale was given a shot to help out and has not only taken off, he's dominated.
And while most starters turned relievers still have that starter itch that needs to be scratched, Sale surprisingly likes his new job description.
"Oh yeah, I'm having a blast,'' Sale said Tuesday. "When you come in ... our [bullpen coach] Juan Nieves down in the bullpen stresses to us that there is no waste in it. If you're up 12 or down 12, tied ballgame, up one, down one, at any point you throw is still important. So it's up to us to go out there and attack it like it's the most important thing you have to do. That's where my head is now and it's been working pretty well.''
The Sox do have a plan for Sale, but are yet to show their hand. With Bobby Jenks likely getting a change of address this offseason, Sale could be being groomed as the closer for 2011.
The other option is he could be the next lefty starter, especially with Mark Buehrle a free agent after 2011.
"The issue hasn't come up, we haven't talked about it,'' Sale said. "But obviously whatever they ask me to do I'm going to do. Whether they want me to transition to a starter next year, whether they want to keep me as a reliever, I'm pretty much game for whatever.
"Pitching is pitching and I'll attack it the same way, no matter how they feel about it.''

Two steps back

Freddy Garcia and Jenks each threw on Tuesday to test their injuries out and see where they were at as far as returning.
The news wasn't good for either.
Garcia, who was scheduled to start Saturday against Detroit, was still feeling some pain in the back area, and cut it short to get more treatment. The veteran pitcher has already received an epidural to help with the pain, and said he had no plans to get a second one.
"One was enough,'' Garcia said.
If Garcia can't go, the Sox will choose between the three-headed monster of Lucas Harrell, Carlos Torres or Tony Pena.
As far as Jenks, he was still feeling some tightness in his right forearm, not that manager Ozzie Guillen seemed concerned.
"He's not in my mind, that's how far away he is,'' Guillen said of Jenks. "I don't know where he is right now or how he feels. He has to throw a bullpen and then after that we have to decide what we do with him.''

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on September 14, 2010 9:00 PM.

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