White Sox ace set to start first game since being suspended for cutting throwback jerseys. The All-Star pitcher will start against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in finale of Crosstown Series.
After losing to the Cubs on Wednesday in a game the White Sox used a spot starter, the team has reinstated its All-Star pitcher from a suspension for the finale on Thursday evening. Chris Sale, who was serving a five-game suspension for cutting the White Sox 1976 throwback uniforms, will pitch in his first game since July 18.
Sale didn’t offer any apologies for his immature outburst last Saturday, but the White Sox will certainly need its best starting pitcher to put this incident behind him as they look for their third victory against the Cubs this season. The White Sox have recently won four of its last five games, and although they’re 50-51 before Thursday’s game, they’re just six games out of the second wild card spot.
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The White Sox will have decisions to make regarding some of its better players, and whether they will be sellers at the trading deadline on August 1. Sale is certainly a hot commodity on the trade market, and according to Jon Heyman, a surprise team has emerged in the bidding for the All-Star pitcher. The New York Yankees, who recently traded its closer in Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs, have reportedly been calling the White Sox on multiple occasions inquiring about Sale.
If the White Sox were to trade Sale, it would leave a gaping hole in its starting rotation for the remainder of the season. The Los Angeles Dodgers were reportedly looking to add its top pitching prospect in Julio Urias in a trade for Sale. The White Sox would need a boatload of top prospects in return for Sale, and the team’s asking price is reportedly at five top prospects.
The return of Sale to the rotation on Thursday night should give the White Sox an immediate boost, and most certainly help out a taxed bullpen. Although it’s primarily the fault of Sale’s idiotic tirade against wearing throwback uniforms that led to the bullpen pitching an entire game last Saturday, the White Sox should be able to rest its relievers with a lengthy outing from Sale against the Cubs on Thursday.
Sale should be motivated for his return not only because the foolishness of his actions, but also to get payback on a particular Cubs player in Kris Bryant. The All-Star slugger hit a solo home run in the All-Star game on July 12 against Sale, and I’m sure Sale hasn’t forgotten about it. The White Sox will look to get back to .500 on Thursday night, and Sale will look to keep his emotions in check on the mound.