CHICAGO -- The White Sox have decided to keep Chris Sale on regular rest, making his next start Sunday in Oakland, despite the left-hander throwing just three innings and 37 pitches before Tuesday's contest with the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field was postponed.
Sale had his start skipped last Wednesday due to a mild case of tendinitis, and he hadn't pitched since May 17 in Anaheim. But the hurler cruised through the first inning Tuesday on eight pitches and hit 96 mph three times on the radar gun. Sale allowed Welington Castillo's two-run homer in the second, but his 23-inning scoreless streak stayed intact when the game was canceled.
Taking care of their ace southpaw was one of the reasons why the White Sox didn't move Sale to Saturday, with the lefty pitching in Oakland either way.
"You would rather not have him pitch and it get washed out. You would rather it continue, but that's the way it goes," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Sale. "There is nothing really gained, except that he faces the same people where you would slot him in at. To give him an extra day is continuing with taking care of him and making sure he feels good when he goes out there."
Sale said that he didn't have to do any extra work to compensate for his short night on the mound Tuesday. He felt great pitching and felt just as good the day after, aside from normal stiffness.
The outing was called a "real nice test run" by White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper for Sale's first start back.
"It's more than a sideline [session]. Let's call it a real good extended sideline [session]," Cooper said. "That's a break for him, and heck, we were losing the game, 2-0, so that's a little bit of a break for us. And the bullpen guys get another day to regroup with 15 days in a row till our next off-day."
"Whether it feels good or feels great, you still have to pitch," Sale said. "You watch guys with great stuff get hit and see guys with not so great stuff not get hit. It's more location than how hard it's coming in or what it looks like."
Gillaspie's future could include more power
CHICAGO -- Conor Gillaspie entered Wednesday's game at Wrigley Field leading American League rookies in hits (38) and extra-base hits (11), while ranking second in on-base percentage (.354), average (.292) and slugging (.431) and third in homers (three).
Gillaspie has been consistent over his 130 at-bats this season by trying not to do too much with what the pitcher gives him, flashing a solid swing featuring good gap power. But White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto believes Gillaspie could hit for longer distance in the future, playing a position that usually demands extra-base potential.
"He'll go 10 to 15 [homers] at some point," Manto said of Gillaspie, who was acquired from the Giants for Minor League pitcher Jeff Soptic on Feb. 22. "We have to remember that he's doing so well right now that he's simply a rookie.
"He has to learn the pitchers. He has to learn different counts on what he's able to do at this level. We'll see where he fits in. I don't know quite yet. I know he definitely can hit for average."
One of the reasons Gillaspie can hit for average is his fundamentally sound swing.
"It's a low-maintenance swing, that's for sure. He's a low-maintenance guy and he's very intense," Manto said. "You have to tell him things once. There's very little timing mechanisms going on with him. You have a guy who is as intense and as intelligent as he is, it makes for an easy day."
Beckham to resume rehab stint with Charlotte
CHICAGO -- Gordon Beckham will resume his Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday after being shut down last Friday while experiencing ongoing soreness in his surgically repaired left hand. Beckham had a fractured hamate bone removed in that hand.
Beckham, who has not played at the big league level since April 9, is 7-for-22 during five rehab games. He probably will only need a handful of games with the Knights if all goes well, and he could rejoin the White Sox after the out-of-Chicago part of the team's eight-game road trip.
"He'll probably come back when we're back for Oakland [on June 6]," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I don't see him making it back when we're in Seattle [from June 3-5]."
Sox contingent headed to Blackhawks game
CHICAGO -- About 25 members of the White Sox active roster and coaching staff will be at Game 7 of the Blackhawks' Western Conference semifinal contest with the Red Wings on Wednesday night at the United Center. That total includes White Sox captain Paul Konerko, a true hockey aficionado, and manager Robin Ventura.
"It's great stuff for the city, Game 7 and hockey," Ventura said. "There's not a lot of things like it."
When asked for a prediction, Ventura first went with a shutout in the Blackhawks' favor.
"That would be nice," Ventura said. "However, I would say 3-1 Hawks. I'd like that."
Third to first
• Adam Dunn got the start at first on Wednesday, with Konerko on the bench. Dunn's 43 career homers against the Cubs are the second most among active players behind Albert Pujols (53).
"Last night, having played and the quick turnaround for Paulie," Ventura said of the reason for Dunn's start, with no designated hitter in the National League ballpark. "He'll be in there tomorrow, and Dunner won't be. It's just more of giving him that quick turnaround and going from there.
"Both of them probably [have good numbers at Wrigley]. You flip a coin with both of them as far as putting them in there. You can only play one of them. You can put Dunn in left, but I don't know if today's the day to do that."
• White Sox television play-by-play announcer Ken "Hawk" Harrelson missed Wednesday's game due to a sore throat. Steve Stone moved over to the play-by-play role, with Mike Huff serving as the analyst.
• The White Sox had an area scout present at the recent open workout of Chad Jones. The one-time teammate at LSU of current White Sox prospect Jared Mitchell originally went the football route after being drafted by the New York Giants, but never played following a 2010 car accident in New Orleans. Jones is being looked at as a left-handed pitcher, and he held some previous interest from the White Sox as a potential Draft pick before he chose football.