By Connor McKnight-
GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS)— It took a while but Robin Ventura named Chris Sale his opening day starter after an 11-5 win over the Athletics, Saturday.
“He’ll be the opening day starter; maybe he had some nerves doing that,” Ventura said of Sale giving up five earned on seven hits in just five-plus innings of work. “We feel very confident with him going forward and giving him the ball for the first day.”
In just two springs as manager of the White Sox, Ventura has waited to name an opening day starter until relatively late. This year, he treated the opening day nod as a bit of incentive toward the end of a very long spring.
“It’s something for him to be motivated the last two weeks,” Ventura said. “Get out there and go. He’s ready to do that.”
Sale, who spoke to the press before Ventura made his announcement, said essentially he’s not been thinking about being named to start the season.
“It’s not a concern for me,” Sale said. “It’s probably the farthest thing from my mind. I have one goal in mind and that’s preparing myself for, you know, opening day, the next day or three or four days after that. Wherever I fall in, I’m going to pitch.”
The 2012 season was the first year Sale worked as a starter and he was 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA in 192 innings pitched.