GLENDALE, Ariz. – Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura said he has settled on an Opening Day starter, but won't reveal his choice until possibly two weeks from now.
Ventura said he might not announce anything until members of the regular-season rotation start pitching in Cactus League games. Play begins in Arizona on Saturday, but the regular rotation won't start taking its first turns until March 1.
The two prime candidates for the Opening Day honor are Chris Sale and Jake Peavy. Sale will pitch for the White Sox on March 1 against the Cleveland Indians, while Peavy pitches in the March 3 game against the San Diego Padres.
Sale has already touted Peavy for the Opening Day assignment, while Peavy returned the compliment and then some.
"Chris Sale is the best pitcher on the team," Peavy said early in camp. "I say that with no disrespect to anyone on the team, but he's the best arm we got. He's the most talented guy we got. Your best guy goes Opening Day. That's the way I've always seen it."
Under the current pitching schedule, Sale appears to be better lined up to pitch on Opening Day. He has six scheduled outings, including one on March 6 when the White Sox have an off day. He likely would pitch in a B game that day.
If Sale pitches every fifth day, his last spring outing would be March 26 against the Texas Rangers. That would give him one extra day of rest before facing the Kansas City Royals in the season opener at U.S. Cellular Field on April 1.