MLB

White Sox closer Sale to have MRI on elbow

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CLEVELAND (AP)

He's gone from the bullpen to the rotation and back.

Now, new White Sox closer Chris Sale is headed to the doctor.

Sale will undergo an MRI on his left elbow in Chicago on Thursday, less than a week after manager Robin Ventura named him his closer to cut down on his workload and perhaps reduce soreness he has experienced for weeks.

''It's more for a peace-of-mind thing,'' Sale said Wednesday before the White Sox concluded a four-game series with the Indians. ''We just want to make sure it isn't anything serious.''

Sale began the season in Chicago's rotation. He went 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA in five starts before Ventura moved the former reliever into the closer's role.

Sale made his debut as a closer Wednesday, entering in the eighth inning with the White Sox leading the Indians 3-0. He gave up an unearned run and blew the save before the White Sox won in 10 innings. He said his elbow felt fine during the outing and he had no trouble playing long toss before the series finale.

Ventura isn't overly concerned about Sale. The first-year manager maintains the examination is routine.

''He's not hurt,'' Ventura said. ''It's more monitoring what's going on. It's kind of precautionary stuff that happens all time. I don't really look at it as a red flag.''

A first-round draft pick in 2010, Sale went 2-2 in 58 relief appearances last season.

Rookie Addison Reed, who has not allowed a run in 13 consecutive appearances, would likely fill in for Sale if the White Sox need a short-term closer. According to STATS LLC, Reed's scoreless streak is the longest by a Chicago reliever to start the season since 1921.

Reed has two saves in two chances this season.

The team's decision to change Sale's role has been a touchy topic among Chicago fans. They worry the White Sox could be mishandling the 23-year-old.

Ventura believes Sale will keep finishing games, but said there will be continued discussion on how the White Sox use one of their prized pitchers.

Tagged: White Sox, Chris Sale

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