05/05/2013 1:55 PM ET
Sale bumped up to face Royals in series finale
White Sox lefty replaces Peavy in rotation, matches up with Shields
By Robert Falkoff / Special to MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- With Jake Peavy still dealing with back issues, the White Sox are moving up Chris Sale to start Monday's series finale against the Royals.
Sale will be working on normal rest because of Friday's weather-related postponement and will refocus on getting Royals hitters out instead of Yankees hitters. The original plan called for Sale to make his next start on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
Sale will again be matched against Royals ace James Shields. The White Sox left-hander was in that position on Opening Day at U.S. Cellular Field and came out on top as Chicago prevailed, 1-0.
"I want to build on that," Sale said.
Manager Robin Ventura said Hector Santiago will get the ball for the opener of the Yankees series on Tuesday and the White Sox will wait and see if Peavy is healthy enough to start on Wednesday.
Sale relishes the opportunity to match up against another club's No. 1 starter.
"It's always fun getting their best guy," Sale said. "It's what you want. It's not going to be easy, but it's a challenge and we look forward to challenges. That's the nature of the game."
Sale is 3-2 with a 3.83 ERA, while Shields is 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA.
Peavy continuing treatment to avoid DL stint
KANSAS CITY -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura isn't ruling out the notion that right-hander Jake Peavy might have to go on the disabled list if Peavy's back issues linger.
"It's a possibility," Ventura said. "We're kind of going by today and [Monday] on how he feels. He's getting better, but I don't know if it's enough to expect him to go out and pitch seven or eight innings. You wait it out and see how he feels."
Peavy has been dealing with back spasms since last Thursday, when he had to be scratched from a start at Texas. Peavy tried to play catch on Saturday, but felt a grabbing sensation when he tossed the ball. The plan was for Peavy to receive more treatment on Sunday. He has been working with a chiropractor and massage therapist.
Ventura confident Keppinger can break out
KANSAS CITY -- Veteran infielder Jeff Keppinger has been struggling at the plate, but White Sox manager Robin Ventura expressed confidence on Sunday that Keppinger will come around.
Keppinger started the day hitting .186 with only two extra-base hits and zero walks in 97 at-bats. He is a .284 career hitter.
"I don't know if concern is the word, but you can tell it's not smooth," Ventura said. "It's not the norm for him. But he has a track record and you expect that to come out. You just have to stay with it."
Keppinger isn't the only White Sox hitter looking to find a groove. If the offense continues to collectively struggle, Ventura will consider changing some spots in the order.
"I don't see any reason why people have to hit in a certain spot," Ventura said. "Eventually, you have to find the one that works."
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.