In a not-so-surprising move, third-year White Sox manager Robin Ventura announced Monday that Chris Sale would start Opening Day for the team in 2014.
Sale was the bona-fide ace of the White Sox pitching staff last season, pitching to the tune of an 11-13 record on a team where run support was sporadic, with a 3.07 ERA. He tallied 226 strikeouts in 214 innings of work last season, when he posted a 1.07 WHIP – which ranked third in the American League. He also was named to the AL All-Star team for the second consecutive year.
According to a report from Chicago Tribune White Sox beat writer Paul Sullivan, the media broke the news to the 24-year-old regarding Opening Day.
“As much as you sit here and say treat it like another start, it’s the first one of the year, you are obviously going to be amped up for it and excited for it,” Sale said. “You have to corral yourself and just pitch your game and do what you’ve got to do.”
Former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle leads the team in all-time Opening Day starts, and, according to Sullivan, he doesn’t anticipate catching him anytime soon.
“You can rattle off 15 opening-day starts in a row, and he’s still going to be in the books. He’s one of the best. Unless you bring multiple championships back, I don’t think anyone is going to take the reins from (Buehrle).”