Robin Ventura says Chris Sale should be an All-Star

Written By BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter Posted: 08/03/2014, 06:40am



The facts: 7:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.

The pitchers: Tyler Skaggs (4-4, 4.34 ERA) vs. John Danks (7-6, 4.26).

Even though he missed five weeks with a flexor muscle strain, Chris Sale deserves to be an All-Star, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

“You are also trying to win the game, so you are trying to take the best guys,” Ventura said Tuesday. “He has done it over not just this year, but the last couple of years. You are looking at a guy at the top of his game, whether or not he missed a little bit of time. He’s still one of the better pitchers, and his numbers prove it out.”

Sale, who would be selected by the players or American League manager John Farrell, has a 7-1 record, 2.30 ERA and 84 strikeouts against 16 walks over 781/3 innings. He has a start Friday against the Mariners before the teams are announced Sunday.

Sale pitched two perfect innings in relief and got the win in the 2013 All-Star Game in New York.

College of closers

When spring training rolls around in 2015, the Sox hope to have a healthy Nate Jones in camp. They also figure to have a handful of young relievers who should benefit from getting late innings in 2014.

Therein might lie the silver lining in Matt Lindstrom’s injury and Ronald Belisario’s inability to hold down the closer’s role. Zach Putnam, Jake Petricka, Javy Guerra, Daniel Webb and Eric Surkamp figure to get save opportunities in the second half.

“It’s big that they get in some situations that [become] real comfortable,’’ Ventura said. “You become more experienced.’’

Unless one guy emerges as a shut-down closer, Ventura will continue to mix and match for at least the time being.

“You start getting in at the end of the game when you are pitching for somebody’s win, and that creates a different element than just pitching in a big-league game,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘There’s your teammate, it’s his win, and it becomes important. That’s when you start stretching these guys a little bit experience-wise.’’

Noesi struggles

Hector Noesi matched his career high with seven strikeouts in five-plus innings in the 8-4 loss in Game 1. He also walked a career-high seven, putting the leadoff man on five of six times with walks in a disappointing (five runs) start after a no-walk, two-run outing over seven innings in Baltimore.

“From the beginning, I didn’t feel good, I didn’t feel my release point,’’ said Noesi, who was 2-1 with a 3.59 ERA in his previous six starts.

The loss snapped the Sox’ three-game winning streak.

Minor details

Third-base prospect Matt Davidson finished a solid June with two homers Monday, giving him nine for the month. In his last 10 games of the month, not long after spending time with special assistant Jim Thome, Davidson had four homers, seven RBI and 11 runs scored.

† Class A Winston-Salem outfielder Jacob May was named Carolina League player of the week after hitting .533 with four doubles and two triples. He had nine stolen bases and scored 12 runs. May has 28 stolen bases.

† Righty Mitchell Boggs was released from Class AAA Charlotte.


Twitter: @CST_soxvan

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