Well I guess that five and a half man rotation is still technically the deal, but not exactly in the way I envisioned when the day began. Folks have been speculating about Chris Sale’s drop in velocity in his last start, and now the truth is out: dead arm. As a result, the White Sox are going to shut him down for a bit. There has not been a stated amount of time he’ll miss, but for now he’ll be skipped his next turn up in the rotation. Liriano makes this easy from a workload perspective, though one can’t expect him to be as effective as a healthy Sale would be.
It stinks to have Sale miss starts, especially considering how unstable the rotation has been this year, but this is not a big deal and the best thing for Sale and the White Sox in the long run. Dead arm happens to a lot of pitchers, particularly those that are experiencing an increasing workload above and beyond what they’re used to. Handled properly, it is not indicative of any injury down the road. A fresh Chris Sale means the Sox get to have the man that has struck out 100+ batters so far this season on the mound instead of some shell of him.