May 9, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT
Last week the White Sox cut short Sale’s transition to the rotation and moved him back to the bullpen as their new closer, with manager Robin Ventura saying he’d fill the ninth-inning role for the remainder of the season.
Sale made his first relief appearance of the season last night and blew his first save, although it was in the eighth inning and he entered the game with two runners on base and no outs.
Meanwhile, Cooper has indicated that Sale’s move to the bullpen is less set in stone than Ventura claims and Sale himself has repeatedly made it very clear that he’d rather be starting.
He reiterated that desire yesterday, telling Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times:
Starting is something I hope I can get back into. We’ve been kind of talking back and forth. There’s a possibility of it. Not ruling it out is the best way to say it.
Part of the issue is that Sale has had a sore arm and there are questions about his mechanics potentially making him likely to break down as a starter, but he went 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA and 29/8 K/BB ratio in five starts before the White Sox made the switch.
Toss in the fact that rookie Addison Reed looks more than capable of becoming the White Sox’s long-term answer at closer and giving Sale the opportunity to show that he can thrive as a full-time starter makes too much sense not to happen again eventually. Assuming, of course, that he doesn’t already have a major elbow injury.