Earlier this offseason, the White Sox’s pitching coach said, “We’ll give this kid (that’s Chris Sale, in case that’s not clear; coaches like to call people “kid”) just enough experience and let him go (be a starter). We’re going to do everything in our power to not put [his health] in danger. It’s gonna be a fun year to be a White Sox fan…. Oops, I was looking at the Tigers lineup.” So the White Sox will be craptastic this year, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a positive or two. Like one positive is the stands will be so empty you won’t have a guy behind you wearing a Frank Thomas jersey screaming with his mouth full of Italian beef. Wait, that is Frank Thomas! Another positive… The ex-manager twit is tweeting elsewhere? Sure, Random Italicized Voice, but also Chris Sale. Never would’ve guessed that. It’s in the title. Yeah, I didn’t read that. I prefer my end of the rotation starters in the NL, but I’m so excited about Sale he’s got me wanting to pay retail. Turn of a phrase point! Anyway, why do I like Chris Sale in 2012 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Last year, Sale’s number looked like this: 2.79/1.11/79 in 71 innings. To put those stats in a different context: nice/very nice/excellent. The excellent K numbers aren’t out of nowhere either. He’s got a track record that says that’s closer to the norm. Speaking of which, he won’t be the closer. He’ll be a starter, so that leaves us with our biggest question that harkens back to the intro quote by the pitching coach. Just how many innings will Chris Sale get this year? Thanks, clunky expository question! I think he sees around 125 innings. Can we pretend airplanes are shooting stars and Chris Sale will throw 200 innings? Sure, but it ain’t happening. If you’re in a league with a low maximum inning limit, then this should push Sale up your draft sheets. He could give you fantasy number two starter type numbers in his abbreviated season. Some look at his walks as a concern, but whenever he’s started his walks have come down. Sure, it was back in college (229 IP and only 51 BBs), but it’s what we have to go on. I’m not too concerned; he has the Ks to make up for it. In the top 80 starters for 2012 fantasy baseball post, I have Sale’s projections down at 8-8/3.50/1.24/130. I have this guy down for 10-3/2.75/1.05/100. Oh, that guy is Josh Johnson. I’ll take the discounted Sale 150 picks later for the bargain and leave my competitors Chris’d off. Sorry, I over-punned that end; I’ll need to shake that one off.