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Modest Proposal
April 01, 2013
Having signed Chris Sale to a five-year, $32.5 million contract, the White Sox have assumed the risk of his heavy workload. Not that they were going to work the skinny, 24-year-old lefthander like Wilbur Wood, but now they're financially invested in his health. We're less than a year removed from the team's moving Sale to the bullpen for a week due to concerns about his durability. (In 2012, his first year as a starter, he threw 192 innings.) To protect him, they should manage him less like a workhorse ace and more like the Red Sox once used Pedro Martinez. That means using a full five-man rotation so that Sale sometimes starts on five days' rest, employing occasional skipped starts or DL trips for minor injuries, and keeping his in-game pitch counts well out of the danger zone of the 120s. Martinez made 30 starts just three times in seven years in Boston, but was so effective with the lighter workload that he won the Cy Young Award twice with 29 starts and finished third in a third 29-start season. That should be the model for Sale.
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April 01, 2013

Modest Proposal

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Having signed Chris Sale to a five-year, $32.5 million contract, the White Sox have assumed the risk of his heavy workload. Not that they were going to work the skinny, 24-year-old lefthander like Wilbur Wood, but now they're financially invested in his health. We're less than a year removed from the team's moving Sale to the bullpen for a week due to concerns about his durability. (In 2012, his first year as a starter, he threw 192 innings.) To protect him, they should manage him less like a workhorse ace and more like the Red Sox once used Pedro Martinez. That means using a full five-man rotation so that Sale sometimes starts on five days' rest, employing occasional skipped starts or DL trips for minor injuries, and keeping his in-game pitch counts well out of the danger zone of the 120s. Martinez made 30 starts just three times in seven years in Boston, but was so effective with the lighter workload that he won the Cy Young Award twice with 29 starts and finished third in a third 29-start season. That should be the model for Sale.

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