Chris Sale injury serves as warning: ‘Be careful,’ Robin Ventura says

SHARE Chris Sale injury serves as warning: ‘Be careful,’ Robin Ventura says
SHARE Chris Sale injury serves as warning: ‘Be careful,’ Robin Ventura says

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The White Sox have moved past Chris Sale’s off-the-field injury that likely will cause him to miss Opening Day.

“We like the fact we have some depth there and we can withstand something like this,’’ manager Robin Ventura said Monday.

That said, Ventura knows there’s no one on his staff like Sale. He didn’t say losing his ace with an avulsion fracture in his right foot in a freak accident – the Sox said he injured the foot jumping off the back of his truck Friday night — was tougher to take than a baseball injury, but he was somewhat baffled by it.

“It’s different just because you didn’t see it happen and it’s not something that happens on the field,’’ Ventura said. “A freak injury like this, you scratch your head. But we’ve all heard the stories of weird, odd injuries that have happened off the field. Unfortunately we get to add Chris to that list of a weird injury. It’s not nice either way. But if you can see it, you can understand it a little better.’’

Sale is out three weeks, which probably doesn’t give him enough time to get his arm ready by Opening Day. In any event, Sale’s injury was a reminder for all to be safe.

“Yeah, it’s like kids,’’ Ventura said. “You want them to be careful. Chris is a free spirit to an extent and every once in a while you’re going to get something like this.’’

Penny for your thoughts

Veteran Brad Penny’s name is getting some play now that a Cactus League and perhaps early-season rotation spot is open.

“Right now there are a lot of guys who are pretty excited about an opportunity,’’ Ventura said. “Who has the best one? I don’t know at this point. We’ll see it as these guys pitch and continue to progress during Spring Training.’’

Penny, 36, was signed as an option for protection.

“He might able to fill in and do a job that we kind of envisioned,’’ Ventura said.

A two-time All-Star, Penny failed to make it with the Royals last spring and then pitched to a 6.58 ERA with the Marlins over 26 innings late last season.

The Sox do have younger options, including Chris Beck, Frankie Montas and Carlos Rodon – although Rodon remains a good bet to get more seasoning at AAA Charlotte for at least the first few weeks of the season.

Haber promoted

Jeremy Haber was promoted from special assistant to general manager Rick Hahn, a position held the last two years, to the title of assistant general manager. Haber, 31, assists with day-to-day operations of the baseball department, including roster management, contract negotiations and player acquisitions. Haber led negotiations on Jose Quintana’s five-year contract. Buddy Bell also serves as an assistant GM.

This and that

The first intrasquad game was rained out Monday but the Sox got work in, including batting practice against live pitching, under cover. Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to pitch in Tuesday’s intrasquad.

*Jose Quintana will start Wednesday’s Cactus League opener against the Dodgers. Penny, prospect Tyler Danish, Nolan Sanburn (acquired in the Adam Dunn trade) and Zach Putnam are among those also slated to pitch.

*John Danks, lined up to follow Quintana in the rotation, starts Thursday against the Dodgers.

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