Reading Room: Should Sale start?

Don Cooper wants the Sox to pick one role for Chris Sale, and more and more evidence suggests starting is the better course.

Chris Sale’s immediate future has been pushed to the forefront during this slow news period, starting with Don Cooper stating his prefence: Pick one or the other. Cooper doesn’t mind Sale starting or relieving, but thinks the jumping between the roles would mess with his development:

“You won’t see him coming out for just one inning,” said Cooper of Sale’s mound mindset adjustment coming over from the bullpen. “He would use the changeup more and he would use both sides of the plate with his fastball. A lot of things have to happen differently for him as a starter.”

Numerous Sox pitchers have split time between the bullpen and rotation in their early days, from Mark Buehrle to Jon Garland to Gavin Floyd. But Sale is a completely different beast because unlike that aforementioned trio, he’s a completely different guy in the bullpen. Garland and Buehrle certainly didn’t start throwing in the high-90s when only needed for one inning – they threw the same pitches the same way.
Over at South Side Sox, Colin did an outstanding job breaking down the kind of pitches Sale throws, and what those pitches might look like when he needs to throw them for six innings instead of one.
There’s no doubt that Sale has more far more value if he can develop as a starter, especially with the Buehrle and Edwin Jackson contracts expiring at the end of the season. The signing of Will Ohman seems make Sale’s presence in the bullpen less meaningful, too (if Ohman doesn’t self destruct like most White Sox LOOGYs, anyway). That being the case, and with Jake Peavy’s status almost permanently uncertain, using Sale as an OK starter might be more “all in” than having him as a third lefty in the bullpen.
Additional reading: J.J. at White Sox Examiner thinks Sale should start, and James at White Sox Observer is grudgingly convinced, too.
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*At South Side Sox, I went through reports to recap Camp Cora and thought of five questions to ask Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams at SoxFest.
*Also, WGN Radio’s Rob Hart had a nice chat with Hawk Harrelson (and here’s the mp3).
*J.J. put odds on some possible events of 2011.
*Mark Gonzales previews John Danks’ upcoming payday.
*Joe Cowley talks up Camp Cora and says the Sox are on the same page.
*Andruw Jones is being pursued by the New York Yankees.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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We need him as the closer. Thornton doesn’t have the head for it. Sale could always move to the rotation in 2012 if we need him there!!