7/21/2013 6:00 P.M. ET
Sale moves from national stage back to local
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- When the Tigers visit the White Sox for the first time during the 2013 season Monday, Max Scherzer and Chris Sale, the first two pitchers from the American League's All-Star victory Tuesday, will be on the mound.
Sale enjoyed his second All-Star appearance as much as his first one in 2012, but seeing Mariano Rivera's final inning in the Midsummer Classic gave this trip to New York a little extra meaning.
"Hearing the music start, seeing him run in and warming up on the field and watching him out there was the coolest thing … by far," said a smiling Sale of Rivera working a scoreless eighth Tuesday.
Rivera earned Most Valuable Player honors, but Sale also stood as a deserving selection. He threw two scoreless innings, striking out National League home run leader Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki among the six straight he set down.
That effort put the 24-year-old more so on the national stage than his breakout 17-win performance from '12 and his continued '13 dominance already had. The White Sox even have made him the focus of a marketing campaign to bring fans out to specifically watch him in action.
Ultimately, Tuesday became just another step toward overall excellence, although an extremely fun one for Sale, his family and the White Sox organization.
"Any time you have success on the mound, whether it be in the game or on a bullpen, you build confidence from that," Sale said. "I would like to use that going forward."
"From last year to this year, he's just gotten better, more mature and understands what it takes to go through the season as a starter instead of being out in the bullpen," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Sale. "You hear guys on other teams who face him all the time -- their reaction to him -- it matches up pretty well with what we see and what they feel when they're up there."
White Sox activate Konerko from disabled list
CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko returned to U.S. Cellular Field on Sunday morning after completing his three-game Minor League rehab assignment with a three-hit effort for Double-A Birmingham on Saturday night, and the White Sox officially announced his activation from the disabled list on Monday.
The White Sox captain finished 4-for-10 while with the Barons and is expected to return to the big league lineup for the start of a four-game home set with the Tigers on Monday. Konerko had been on the disabled list since July 3 with a lower back strain.
"[Saturday] night he was swinging it pretty good. Health-wise, he's looking good," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Konerko. "Any time you get Paulie back, it's important for a lot of different reasons."
Konerko played 34 games at first base and 33 at designated hitter before the injury. Ventura wants to use a continued split for Konerko between those two responsibilities.
"He likes being on the field and you want to take care of him in a way that you know you're taking care of his back," Ventura said. "Him and Adam [Dunn] both like being on the field, so you try and mix it up a bit."
Beckham out of action with strained wrist ligament
CHICAGO -- Second baseman Gordon Beckham suffered a strained ligament in his left wrist Friday and figures to be out longer than his absence from the White Sox 3-1 victory over the Braves on Sunday.
Beckham felt something in his wrist while loosening up before batting practice Friday night. He sported a large icepack on his wrist postgame and tried to play through the pain on both days, but was replaced by Jeff Keppinger in the series finale.
"It's not that there's no reason to rush it," said Beckham following his team's series win to start the second half. "The fact of the matter is that I'm hurting the team if I can't swing the bat the way I want to, so it was definitely starting to bother me a little bit. I wasn't able to make good swings, so if you can't do that, you shouldn't be on the field.
"I played with it taped up the last two days and felt OK, but it just wasn't right. And the doctor looked at it after the game [Saturday] night. He essentially said the ligament came off the bone and I know that sounds bad.
"But it apparently is just a strain," Beckham said. "It's just like if you strained or sprained an ankle or something like that. It will take a little bit of time, but hopefully not too long. I don't think it will take too long."
That time frame was listed as "at least a couple of days" by Beckham, who added the injury had nothing to do with the surgery to remove a fractured hamate bone in his left hand costing him from April 12 to June 3.
"The doctor said it could take a while and that it's going to hurt for a while," said Beckham, who felt the pain in the back of his hand after taking an awkward swing Friday. "There's not really anything you can do. You can't take a shot right now."
White Sox players would like to see Peavy stay
CHICAGO -- Despite Jake Peavy becoming a prime trade target before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, with a number of scouts watching his six solid innings in Saturday's 10-6 victory, manager Robin Ventura made his feelings crystal clear postgame that he hopes Peavy remains in Chicago.
Fellow members of the rotation echo Ventura's sentiments, knowing that Peavy has as much value as part of the team as he does as a chip to be dealt.
"Just having his leadership, having his voice, he's a competitor," said White Sox All-Star hurler Chris Sale of Peavy. "That's the one thing we have all learned more than anything from him, that no matter if it's going good or bad, you have to go out and compete.
"The prime example was [Saturday] night. He gives up two earned runs, four total. We were down 4-0 in the third and he kept fighting. He kept them right there and we ended up winning the game. It just shows what kind of person he is and he practices what he preaches."
Dylan Axelrod, who was recently moved to the bullpen after making 18 starts this season, goes back to the Padres' days together with Peavy. Axelrod talked about Peavy's competitiveness and the way he prepares for every start as valuable skills for younger pitchers to follow.
"His scouting reports of the other team. His ideas about pitching, like he'll share his insights about just how to pitch on the bench sitting next to him," Axelrod said. "He's definitely willing to talk to you and help you out.
"For me, personally he's been awesome. He's always been open to me and helped me out anyway he can. He's always in my ear, saying something that's constructive to help me out."
Floyd making gradual progress following surgery
CHICAGO -- Gavin Floyd and Matt Thornton seemed to share a common bond over the past few years as part of the White Sox, in that their names always came up in rumored deals around the non-waiver Trade Deadline of July 31. Thornton was moved to Boston on July 5, while Floyd recovers from season-ending surgery on May 7 to repair the ulnar collateral ligament and a torn flexor muscle in his elbow.
To be perfectly honest, Floyd would love to be part of those trade rumors once again.
"I wish I was in a better, healthier position where I could be helping out the team and stuff like that," said Floyd, speaking in the White Sox clubhouse before Sunday's contest. "All that trade rumor stuff and all that stuff that you know, you kind of, it means that you're playing and it's a better spot than where I'm at."
Floyd has some range of motion back in his right arm, calling it a big step but a small step, as well, in the long process. He'll visit Dr. David Altchek, who performed the successful surgery on Floyd, in about one month, and hopes to get to toss a bit after that visit.
"That'd be awesome," said a smiling Floyd. "But I think that appointment has to come first."
Being around his teammates helps Floyd deal with a recovery time originally set post-surgery at 14 to 19 months for the 30-year-old. But Floyd hasn't given up hope on returning at some point in '14.
"Everybody's different; I've heard guys come back in 10 months, I've heard guys come back in 12 and 14," Floyd said. "So, you know, I'm hopeful that I'll come back and be ready early next year, but you never know.
"Things have been going pretty good. I feel strong -- stronger I should say. The range of motion is a big step, but I've got a long way to go and I've got to focus on getting back and working out and getting back in shape and get my arm ready."
Third to first
• Brent Morel was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte following the White Sox 3-1 victory over the Braves on Sunday. Morel, 26, is hitting .200 with one RBI in 12 games over two stints this season. A corresponding move, which will be the return of Paul Konerko, will be made before Monday's series opener with the Tigers.
• The White Sox senior RBI team won both of its games Saturday at the Central Region tournament in St. Louis. It defeated Kansas City's RBI team, 7-2, in Game 1 and then trumped the Cubs squad, 4-1, in Game 2. Chicago's junior RBI squad beat Nashville, 17-4, and Minnesota, 15-0, in its tournament games.
• According to Elias Sports Bureau, Alex Rios and Raul Ibanez are the only Major League players to hit a grand slam in 2011, '12 and '13. All three of Rios' career grand slams have given the White Sox the lead, with his blast against Cleveland on Sept. 10, 2011, standing as a walk-off shot.
• Dewayne Wise went 0-for-3 with a walk in his injury rehab game for Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday. Wise is working through a strained right hamstring.