Chris Sale figures his arm injury could have been a lot worse.
The Chicago White Sox believe Sale has a strained muscle in his throwing arm, and the ace left-hander was officially put on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. There does not appear to be any ligament damage.
”Yesterday was as good a news as we could have possibly gotten,” Sale said Tuesday. ”I think just with kind of the way spring training and the year has unfolded for a lot of pitchers, maybe I (was) a little bit more nervous, just because you don’t know.”
Matt Moore, Kris Medlen, Patrick Corbin and David Hernandez are among the pitchers who have been dealing with significant elbow problems this year, and Sale doesn’t appear to be joining that hard-luck group after undergoing an MRI.
”First words out of the doctor’s mouth was, `The UCL looks excellent,”’ Sale said. ”I heard UCL was excellent, and I walked out. It’s about all I needed to hear.”
Sale said this is similar to an issue he dealt with in 2012, and he ”absolutely” expects to be back once he’s eligible to come off the DL. The move is retroactive to last Friday. The White Sox recalled left-hander Charlie Leesman from Triple-A Charlotte to start in Sale’s place against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
Chicago also assigned right-hander Frank Francisco to Charlotte after a stint at extended spring training. He signed a minor league deal April 14.
The White Sox have already been dealing with their share of injuries this year. Outfielder Adam Eaton is day to day with a left hamstring strain, and infielder Conor Gillaspie was out of the starting lineup Tuesday with what he described as a minor issue with his left hand.
Second baseman Gordon Beckham is out with a strained left oblique, reliever Nate Jones has a strained left hip, and outfielder Avisail Garcia was lost for the season with a torn labrum.
So the White Sox can deal with Sale’s injury if it’s a relatively minor one.
”You’re always concerned when somebody says they’re feeling something different than they normally do,” manager Robin Ventura said. ”There’s just a relief that’s there, and you can tell by the way he’s walking around today and talking, he feels pretty good.”
The 25-year-old Sale is 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA on the season. He threw 127 pitches in a loss to Boston on Thursday, but he wasn’t about to put too much blame on that for his injury.
”Obviously, this early in the season, it could have something to do with it, but I don’t put too much emphasis on pitch count,” Sale said. ”Who’s to say if I’d have thrown 18 less pitches that it would have been any better?”