Ever since Chris Sale landed on the disabled list, he and his superiors have spent most of their media time downplaying concerns, and growing increasingly tired of doing so.
After a simulated game on Saturday, Sale finally feels good enough about his strained left flexor to let his enthusiasm tell the story.
Sale now throwing to Adam Eaton. pic.twitter.com/V4ncwVoY2g— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) May 10, 2014
Sale said he was "very encouraged" by his four simulated innings. Mark Parent went a step further, saying Sale told him he felt "brand new" over his 60 pitches, which Sale described thusly:
"I threw everything," Sale said. "The first inning was all fastballs, changeups; the next two were everything in all locations; and the last one was all fastballs, but as hard as I could go. [White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper] said, 'I don’t want you throwing anything other than fastballs, but I want you at max effort.'"
This news means he should get clearance to start a rehab assignment, either at Birmingham or Charlotte. Presuming he needs two starts -- and given how cautious the Sox have been, I'd pick the longer path -- that would put him back in Chicago for the Yankees series on May 25.