Chris Sale to throw 127 pitches on a cold night in a start against the Boston Red Sox. Now, I'm cringing even more because, four days later, Sale has been placed on the disabled list with a strained flexor muscle in his pitching arm.
I used to rip on former Cubs manager Dusty Baker for his overuse of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior back in the day, so I'm staying consistent with my argument. Allowing top-of-the-rotation pitchers to throw damn near 130 pitches is stupid. I know that's how it was done back in the old days, but the old days are over now. Pitchers aren't used to being stretched out like that in today's game, so don't ask them to do something they aren't used doing.
In the case of Baker, Prior and Wood, at least they were pushing to try to win the 2003 National League pennant. White Sox manager Robin Ventura was apparently pushing to try to win an April game against Boston, which he lost anyway even with Sale's effort.
I realize Ventura's bullpen has been a bit taxed lately, but here's the thing: If I'm gonna protect anyone on this White Sox pitching staff, it's Sale. If you're gonna push a pitcher who has a tired arm, push one of the mediocre or less-than-mediocre veterans in the bullpen. Don't screw around with Sale. He's the present and the future of the franchise. No April game is worth his prized left arm.
Even though the White Sox won a game against the Detroit Tigers tonight, I'm extremely disappointed as a fan right now. Avisail Garcia is already out for the season, and now Sale is on the DL, too. The mounting injuries cast a pall over what has actually been a pretty respectable 10-10 start to the season.