Sep 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) warms up before the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
I felt Sale deserved a little better, but that could be some of my Ken “Hawk” Harrelson bias as well in that statement.
Anyway, Sale finished with two second-place votes and 19 third-place votes. He also had five fourth-place votes and three votes for fifth place, totaling 78 points.
In second place was Seattle Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez with 159 points (13 first-place votes, 17 second-place votes).
Looking back at the ’14 season of Sale, he finished with a 12-4 record in 26 starts. He made 26 starts (two complete games) in what amounted to 174.0 innings pitched.
He walked 39 and finished with 208 strikeouts, holding opponents to a .205 batting average.
Sale’s WHIP was under 1.00 at 0.97.
Looking even closer at the numbers of Sale for 2014, the 25-year old lefty has a WAR (wins above replacement) of 6.6 with a RA9 (all runs allowed per nine innings) of 2.48. Sale also had a WAA (wins above average) of 5.0.
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My belief is if Sale would have been able to pitch more (he missed nearly a month with the left flexor strain in May), he would have received a better vote count than he already did.
Each year, Sale becomes a more complete pitcher, and even with his eight 10- or more strikeout games (his season-high was 13 on Aug. 22), I believe if he can stay healthy, he’ll become even a better pitcher than what he already is. Plus, it would be nice if the White Sox got him a little bit more run support this offseason.