White Sox ace Chris Sale picked up another no-decision in a loss to the Detroit Tigers on Monday
During the first half, a Chris Sale start almost immediately meant victory for the Chicago White Sox. However, that hasn’t been the case as of late. Sale went eight strong innings but allowed two home runs by Miguel Cabrera, and the left didn’t factor in the decision. The White Sox would lose 5-3 to the Tigers in 11 innings on Monday.
Sale is 0-1 in his last three starts, allowing a combined seven runs in 25 innings of work. What is even more amazing is the lefty is 1-4 since the All-Star break. He has pitched relatively well but just hasn’t gotten the timely hitting or run support he’s needed. Since his last win on August 20, the offense has only scored five runs. They scored six in his last win.
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There is no doubt about Sale’s talent but his numbers don’t reflect that of an ace. He is 15-7 with a 3.07 ERA. But he has pitched much better than his numbers indicate. Remember, he started the season 9-0 with a 1.58 ERA and was very much in the discussion for Cy Young.
The second half of the season hasn’t been kind to Chris Sale. He missed a start because of a disagreement with the front office ended with a five-day suspension. It’s really a collapse that nobody would have expected. The way he was pitching everyone thought he could keep it up for the rest of the season.
At the deadline he was the talk of trade rumors but a disagreement between White Sox vice president Ken Williams and GM Rick Hahn kept Sale with the team. However, I think if the team was interested in moving Sale, it would be best to wait until the offseason. While I don’t think it’s a good idea, there is no doubt they could get a good return. The question is whether his performance in the second half will hurt his value.
Despite his 1-4 record, he has a 2.52 ERA in the second half. He may have been 14-3 in the first half but his ERA was 3.38. He has consistently lowered his ERA but he is still stuck at 15 wins. It’s hard for White Sox fans to watch Sale pitch see him take a loss or no-decision because we can’t score any runs. I would never be in favor of trading him but that may be the best move for the team if they remain in the same place next year.
The White Sox have a decision to make. Do they hit the reset button and trade away a guy like Chris Sale or do they stay the course and try to retool? I would be in favor trying to add some pieces and do their best to compete next year. If they do decide to hit the rest, Sale most certainly would need to be traded because his return could chance the course of the franchise. Only time will tell.