The Chicago White Sox are one step closer to having ace Chris Sale back in their starting rotation. To call this a baby step might be overstating things, but it was a step in the right direction nonetheless as Sale works his way back from a strained flexor muscle in his throwing arm.
On Monday Sale threw a bullpen session off the mound and all indications are that things went well. Sale had the following to say (from Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune):
I feel much better than when we started this process. I got after it pretty good. There’s nothing there today that made me think there should be any setbacks.”
The indications that it still might be a while before Sale returns came from White Sox general manager Rick Hahn:
We’ll leave it at the fact that today was a good day and he continues to progress. He’s in the phase of rebuilding and building up his arm strength.
“I don’t want to put a marker in the sand saying he’s going to do this on day four, because if for some reason he doesn’t do this on day four, it creates panic. In reality it’s just a natural process of rebuilding a guy’s arm strength.”
Translation: it won’t be anytime soon, so quit asking when. The White Sox have lost seven of their last 10 games; they will be no more inclined, therefore, to rush Sale and have him aggravate the injury than they would have been anyway…that is to say, not inclined at all. They truly have no reason to rush him back.