White Sox closer Sale to have MRI on elbow

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.