Sale, who has been on the mend since fracturing a bone in his right foot on Feb. 27, gave up three hits and a run against minor leaguers in the desert, adding seven more strikeouts. He had 13 strikeouts in a dominating minor league start Wednesday.
Pitching coach Don Cooper confirmed that Sale will be the White Sox’s scheduled starter this Sunday, saying that the left-hander will throw a sideline on Friday, the day of the White Sox’s home opener.
Sale actually will be able to come off the disabled list Saturday, but Jeff Samardzija will pitch in that game. Samardzija can pitch in the fifth game of the season on regular rest thanks to Tuesday’s off day. From the outset, the White Sox had been looking at Sunday’s game for Sale.
“That was the date that we had originally targeted as the outer most date in which we would have to make a roster move to bring up another starter based on the off day,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “We’ll see how the weather cooperates here over the next couple of days and then make a determination once we get a full report on Sale’s health and where he’s at.”
Sale is expected to join the White Sox in Kansas City on Tuesday. The Cy Young candidate was originally scheduled to pitch on Opening Day before his injury, with Samardzija getting that start in his place.