Dusty Baker is notorious for the controversial way he handles his pitchers and recently weighed in on the White Sox’ decision to move starter Chris Sale into the closer role while he deals with a sore elbow.
Chris Sale has arguably been the White Sox second most effective starting pitcher this year. Recent elbow soreness has landed him the closer’s role momentarily. Conventional thinking would lead most to believe that elbow soreness merits a stint on the disabled list. According to Dusty Baker, the Sox are playing their cards perfectly.
“Pitchers at any level need to play themselves out of a funk, physical or mental,” said Baker, who can list Rob Nenn, Kerry Wood, Mark Prior and Edinson Volquez as just a few of the oft-injured pitchers under his watch. “If a guy reaches 160 pitches but is three outs away from a shutout, leave him in there. If a starter has a little bit of elbow tenderness, 15 days on the bench isn’t the medicine. Daily work out of the bullpen just might do the trick though. I think Robin Ventura is making a smart decision; a decision you only see veteran managers make.”