08/03/10 1:17 PM ET
Sale's big league debut drawing near
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
The White Sox top pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and 13th selection overall came to contractual terms with the team without much haggling, carrying with him the understanding that he could reach the Majors before the end of the current campaign. That big league opportunity for Sale is all but certain to begin on Wednesday.
Prior to Tuesday's doubleheader at Comerica Park, left-handed reliever Erick Threets was placed on the 15-day disabled list with turf toe in his left big toe. Carlos Torres took Threets' roster spot, starting the nightcap of the twin bill, but Torres returned to the Minors after working six innings and suffering a 7-1 setback.
Matt Thornton stands as the only left-hander presently in the bullpen, so adding the left-handed Sale would make sense. Since joining Triple-A Charlotte, following four games with Class A Advanced Winston Salem, the 21-year-old has fanned 15 over 6 1/3 innings covering seven relief appearances. During a recent effort against Louisville, Sale struck out the two batters faced on just six pitches.
"He looks like a good young lefty," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper of Sale on Tuesday morning, before pausing to take a phone call from Richard Dotson, Sale's pitching coach at Charlotte. "You never know. We might see him tomorrow."
According to White Sox Minor League pitching coordinator Kirk Champion, Sale does not operate in awe of his quick ascent to prime time. His fastball has been clocked anywhere from 91 to 96 mph, and he also throws a slider and changeup.
The organization has the slender Sale targeted for the starting rotation eventually, but much like the way Mark Buehrle began his career in 2000, Sale's Major League debut will come out of the bullpen and looks as if it will come on this eight-game road trip to Detroit and Baltimore.
"Well, he's prepared," said Champion of Sale. "Whatever it took him to get to that point, whoever has had him along the way, prepared him well.
"We have not done anything as an organization from that standpoint. Our scouts around him had the ability to recognize this quality. But he carries himself very well -- that's the best way to describe it."
Threets happy to be part of White Sox
DETROIT -- Getting placed on the disabled list usually isn't considered good news for a player. But for White Sox reliever Erick Threets, it means a chance to heal and a chance to stay with the White Sox.
With the White Sox needing to clear a roster spot for Tuesday's second-game starter Carlos Torres and not being in need of 13 pitchers, Threets looked to be the odd man out. The left-hander also was out of options, but clearing waivers did not become necessary when Threets was sidelined with turf toe in his left big toe.
Threets has given up just one unearned run over 9 1/3 innings, striking out five. But with his immediate future apparently being with the White Sox, Threets hopes to pitch with a bit more relaxed and comfortable demeanor.
"Things happened where I could have been better," said Threets, who seems to be his own worst critic. "In the back of my mind, I believe I've been semi-successful, showing I can be around the strike zone and be competitive and get people out.
"But I could have done little things better, got key ground balls when needed with inherited runners. Execute pitches better, with more intensity.
"I've been in a little funk, not being sure about my position and being nervous about my status," Threets said. "I just want to be myself and go out with more of a chance to prove myself and show I can get job done for them. I want to be confident with who I am and what I'm doing."
Konerko addresses special 2010 season
DETROIT -- As part of Sunday night's Grand Slam Party at Hub 51 in Chicago for the Bring Me Home Campaign launched by Paul Konerko and Jim Thome in 2007, benefitting Children's Home + Aid, Konerko took a few questions from the fans in attendance.
One question dealt with Konerko's favorite memory of the current season, leading the White Sox captain to put forth his thoughts on the special campaign for the White Sox moving into the final two months.
"This team is different than any team I've been on in terms of where we were and how the vibe is on this team right now," Konerko said. "It went from one of the worst situations and a low point from any year I've been here, as low as you can go.
"Now, it's no guarantees, and it's not like we are holding the championship, but to come from where we were at to where we are now, I would think even at young levels of baseball, at high school, you don't see turnarounds like that. It's really remarkable at this level.
"There's that one team every year that does this and runs the table," Konerko said. "I think we might be that team. Even if it doesn't work out, we'll look back at this team and say it's so easy to quit when you get underneath deficits like that with a bunch of guys.
"It doesn't work out sometimes. To see how these guys in our locker room all fought and kept fighting, 20 years from now, I'll be telling people, when they talk about a team losing five in a row, you have no idea. We were so bad, and now we are so good."
Gordon Beckham has joined forces with Konerko and Thome in this charitable endeavor, with Thome now playing for the Twins. The Campaign to raise support for the needs of foster children through public awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts has raised more than $245,000 in its first three years.
Mark Teahen walked in his only at-bat in his first injury rehab game playing third base for Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday afternoon. Teahen, who hopes to be back with the White Sox by the next homestand, beginning Tuesday against Minnesota, handled one chance flawlessly in the field ... Juan Pierre extended his hitting streak to 10 games, as did Alexei Ramirez, who beat out an infield grounder in the ninth of the White Sox 7-1 loss for his fourth infield hit of the day ... Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were in attendance for Detroit's victory in Tuesday's night portion of the split doubleheader ... Omar Vizquel's three hits raised his average to .434 in his last 18 games.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.