Chris Sale

Chris Sale

Sale with the Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox – No. 49
Starting pitcher
Born: (1989-03-30) March 30, 1989
Lakeland, Florida
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
August 6, 2010, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
(through 2016 season)
Win–loss record 74–49
Earned run average 2.97
Strikeouts 1,238
WHIP 1.06
Career highlights and awards

Christopher Allen "Chris" Sale (born March 30, 1989), nicknamed The Condor,[1] is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). Prior to playing professionally, he played college baseball for Florida Gulf Coast University. Sale made his MLB debut in 2010. He is a five-time MLB All-Star, and he led the American League in strikeouts in 2015.

Early life

Sale was born in Lakeland, Florida. He graduated from Lakeland Senior High School.[2] After his senior year for the Dreadnaughts, Sale was drafted in the 21st round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft by the Colorado Rockies, but chose not to sign and instead to attend Florida Gulf Coast University.

College career

Sale played college baseball for the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles baseball team under head coach Dave Tollett. During the 2010 season at FGCU, Sale posted an 11–0 win–loss record and a 2.01 ERA over 17 games. Sale pitched 103 innings while striking out 146 and walking 14. He led the NCAA in strikeouts at the end of the regular season. He received both conference and national Pitcher of the Year honors.[3] He is one of four Eagles to play in the major leagues, along with pitchers Jacob Barnes, Richard Bleier and Casey Coleman.[4]

Like many top college players, Sale spent the NCAA offseason pitching in wooden bat summer leagues. In 2008 he was an All-Star for the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League, and it was during his time in Wisconsin that coaches suggested he adopt his now distinctive low three-quarter arm angle.[5][6] In the summer of 2009, Sale pitched for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod Baseball League.[7] He had a record of 4–2 and an earned run average of 1.47 with Y-D, with 57 strikeouts as well. He was awarded the MVP in the Cape Cod All-Star Game.[8]

Professional career

Draft and Minors

Sale was drafted by the White Sox 13th overall in the 2010 MLB Draft.[9] He is one of five players in MLB history to play the same year he was drafted.[10]

Once Sale signed with the White Sox in 2010, he was assigned to the White Sox' Class A affiliate Winston-Salem Dash. Sale pitched in four games for the Dash with a 2.25 ERA in four innings. Sale gave up three hits and one earned run while walking two and striking out 4 during his tenure with the Dash. Sale was then promoted to the White Sox triple-A affiliate Charlotte Knights. While there, Sale pitched in seven games for the Knights with a 2.84 ERA in 6.1 innings. Sale gave up three hits and two earned runs while walking four and striking out 15 while with the Knights.

Chicago White Sox


Sale was called up to the majors for the first time on August 4, 2010, and made his MLB debut August 6, 2010, against the Baltimore Orioles in the 8th inning.[11] He was the first 2010 draft pick to be promoted to the majors. He got his first major league save on September 1, 2010, against the Cleveland Indians.[12] In 21 appearances his rookie year, Sale went 2–1 with a 1.93 ERA, 32 strikeouts, and 4 saves.


During 2011, Sale made 58 appearances out of the bullpen with a 2–2 record, a 2.79 ERA, 8 saves, and 79 strikeouts.


The White Sox announced that Sale would transition to a starting pitcher for the 2012 season. On May 28, 2012, Sale struck out a career high 15 batters in seven and a third innings during a 2–1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Sale's 15 strikeouts are tied for second most in franchise history with Eddie Cicotte, Ed Walsh and Jim Scott. Jack Harshman holds the White Sox team record with 16 strikeouts in a game.[13] Sale was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for the month of May with a record of 4–1, ERA of 1.71, 35 strikeouts and a .181 opponents average over six games.[14]

Sale was chosen by American All-Star manager Ron Washington to pitch in the 83rd All-Star Game in Kansas City. This marked Sale's first All-Star appearance.

During the 2012 season, Sale compiled a 17–8 record, a 3.05 ERA, and 192 strikeouts in 192 innings pitched. He was 6th in voting for the AL Cy Young Award.


On March 7, 2013, Sale and the White Sox agreed on a five-year, $32 million contract with two option years depending on the team.[15]

On May 12, 2013, Sale threw a 1-hit shutout during a 3–0 Sox victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Sale took a perfect game into the seventh inning. With one out in the top of the seventh inning, Mike Trout singled up the middle for the only hit of the game. Sale finished the game with 7 strikeouts and no walks, allowing Trout as the only base runner.[16] Sale began the 2013 season with a 6–8 record and a 2.85 ERA. He was named an All-Star for the 2nd season in a row. Sale came on to pitch for the 2nd and 3rd innings, allowing no hits, no runs, no walks and striking out two NL hitters. He was named the winning pitcher for the American League, which won the game 3–0.

In 30 starts of the 2013 season, Sale had an AL-leading 4 complete games, an 11–14 record, 226 strikeouts, and a 3.07 ERA in 214.1 innings pitched. He received one of the lowest run supports in the AL. Sale ended up in 5th place in Cy Young votes for 2013.[17]


On April 21, Sale was placed on the 15-day disabled list after sustaining a flexor strain in his left (pitching) elbow.[18] During his first start off the disabled list against the New York Yankees on May 22, 2014, Sale retired the first 17 batters in a row before allowing a single by Zoilo Almonte. He struck out 10 in 6 innings pitched as the White Sox won the game 3–2.[19] During a game against the Angels on June 7, 2014, Sale had a 5–0 lead but surrendered 5 runs all in the 7th inning that featured a grand slam by Mike Trout. Sale continued his dominance on the mound, winning eight of his first nine decisions and carrying a 8–1 record and 2.08 ERA into the All-Star break.

After not initially making the All-Star roster, Sale was voted into the game by fans (alongside Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo) as part of the "Final Vote."[20] Sale joined all-star teammates Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez in the all-star game in Minneapolis.

Sale finished the season with a 12–4 record, 208 strikeouts in 174 innings pitched, and a 2.17 ERA, second best in the American League. He finished 3rd in voting for the AL Cy Young award, behind winner Corey Kluber and Felix Hernandez.


Sale started the 2015 year on the disabled list due to a foot injury. He returned on April 12, pitching 6 innings with 8 strikeouts in a 6–2 victory over the Minnesota Twins.[21] During a game against the Kansas City Royals on April 23, 2015, Sale was warned by home plate umpire Sam Holbrook after hitting Mike Moustakas with a pitch. Later on, Sale was involved in a bench-clearing brawl after his teammate Adam Eaton grounded out to Yordano Ventura. Sale was one of five players to be ejected for his role in the brawl as the White Sox lost to the Royals 2–3 in 13 innings.[22] On April 25, 2015, Sale was suspended for 5 games.[23]

In a June 8 win over the Houston Astros, Sale struck out 14 batters. On June 19 Sale had his 5th consecutive game with 12 or more strikeouts tying a major league record. Also on June 19 Sale had his 6th consecutive game with 10 or more strikeouts. On June 30 against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sale struck out 12 batters to tie a major league record with his eighth consecutive start of 10 or more strikeouts. He shares the record with Pedro Martínez, who accomplished the feat while pitching for the Boston Red Sox in 1999.[24]

On October 2, versus the Detroit Tigers, Sale set the franchise record for number of strikeouts in a season. The previous record of 269 Ks in a season was held by Hall of Famer Ed Walsh in 1908. He accomplished the feat in 464 innings, while Sale's 270th strikeout came in the midst of his 203rd inning of 2015.[25]


Sale began the 2016 season winning each of his first 9 starts. He entered the All-Star Break with a 14–3 record (12 quality starts), an ERA of 3.38, and a WHIP of 1.04. Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost named him the starter for the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[26] In the All Star Game Sale pitched 1 Inning and gave up a home run to Chicago Cub Kris Bryant.

On July 23, Sale used a knife to destroy the team's throwback jerseys for a game while the team was taking batting practice. He was suspended 5 games for insubordination by the team on July 24.[27]

Pitching style

Sale relies on three pitches — a fastball at 93–99 mph, a slider at 79–83 mph, and a changeup (84–89 mph). The slider, which carries a career whiff rate of 43%, is Sale's most common 2-strike pitch to hitters from both sides of the plate.[28]

Sale throws with a "funky" sidearm throwing motion.[29]

See also


  1. "Chris Sale". Baseball-Reference.Com. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  2. "Chris Sale Stats". Retrieved November 26, 2012. External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. "Sale Named National Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball". FGCU Athletics. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  4. "An Experience with Chris Sale". Northwoods League. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  5. "White Sox pitcher Chris Sale's skinny stature and lasting career – ESPN The Magazine". Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  7. "Chris Sale Cape Cod league stats". White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  8. "Chris Sale". Baseball-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  9. White Sox Draft LHP Chris Sale Archived June 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "Two-Month Sale: White Sox call up rookie". Chicago White Sox. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  11. "Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians – Box Score – September 01, 2010 – ESPN". Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  12. "Sale fans 15 Rays during 2–1 White Sox victory". Yahoo Sports. May 28, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  13. "Sale named AL Pitcher of the Month". Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  14. " – ABC7 WLS Chicago and Chicago News". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  15. "Sale throws 1-hitter as White Sox beat Angels 3–0". The Associated Press. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  16. " Official site of the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America.". Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  17. "White Sox's Chris Sale to go on DL with flexor strain". Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  18. "The Grand Slam: Chris Sale dominates Yankees in return from disabled list". Yahoo Sports. May 23, 2014. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  19. "It's a Windy City sweep: Sale, Rizzo win Final Vote". Major League Baseball. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  20. Skrbina, Paul. "Sale returns after foot injury, White Sox win 6–2 over Twins.". Chicago Turbine. Retrieved April 12, 2015. External link in |website= (help)
  21. Burke, Timothy. "Benches clear at U.S. Cellular Field.". Screengrabber. Retrieved April 24, 2015. External link in |website= (help)
  22. "6 players suspended after brawl. Sale suspended 5 games.". Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  23. Fallstrom, R. B. "Benches Sale ties strikeout record, White Sox edge Cardinals in 11th". Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  24. SI Wire (October 2, 2015). "Video: White Sox Chris Sale sets franchise strikeout record". Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  26. Katie Strang, "White Sox suspend Chris Sale five days," ESPN, Bristol, CT 6:42 PM EDST June 24.
  27. "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool – Player Card: Chris Sale". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  28. van Dyck, Dave (June 11, 2012). "Chicago White Sox: The skinny on rising star Chris Sale". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 28, 2012.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chris Sale.
Preceded by
Rick Porcello
Youngest Player in the
American League

Succeeded by
Mike Trout
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