Jose Quintana and Chris Sale – neither pitcher will get extra rest
Fellow left-handers Jose Quintana and Chris Sale are two key reasons why the Chicago White Sox currently own a three-game lead over Detroit in the American League Central with 22 games remaining. The two young starters have shown signs of weariness in recent weeks, but manager Robin Ventura recently told MLB.com that neither pitcher will get extra rest as the White Sox fight to win the division title.
In August, Baseball News Source featured Sale as one of the success stories among relievers who were converted to starters this season. At 16-6 with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 26 games (including 25 starts), the 23-year-old Sale has remained one of the most consistent arms in the majors this season.
Quintana, who is also 23, is 6-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 21 games and 19 starts. He was dominant while posting a 1.25 ERA over his first six starts, but since then he logged a 3.67 ERA in five July starts and a 4.20 ERA in five August outings. Until limiting the Tigers to one run and seven hits over 7.2 innings in a crucial White Sox victory on Tuesday, the Colombia native had surrendered 12 runs and 12 hits over his previous two outings that lasted a combined five innings.
Ventura has needed Quintana and Sale since Chicago has been without John Danks and Gavin Floyd. The White Sox acquired Francisco Liriano from Cleveland, but he has a 5.25 ERA this year, including a 5.09 mark in eight starts with Chicago.
Sale, who logged 71 innings with a 2.79 ERA out of the White Sox bullpen last season, has received two stretches of rest this year. He did not make a start from May 1-12 and appeared just once out of the bullpen when he experienced elbow soreness. Sale returned to the rotation but his only outing during that time was an appearance in his first All-Star Game. He was then given another break between a July 27 start and an August 6 win against the Kansas City Royals.
Sale has pitched 169 innings this year and his previous high was 110 between the majors and minors in 2010. Quintana has logged 171.1 innings between the White Sox and Double-A Birmingham. Last year, while pitching at advanced Single-A Tampa in the Yankees organization, Quintana compiled his previous single-season career high of 102 frames.
With Jake Peavy as the only reliable rotation arm beyond Quintana and Sale, the two young starters will be counted upon to help the White Sox preserve the newfound three-game lead they have built. The weariness could prove pivotal, though, if Chicago reaches the postseason.