Winter Meetings Sale

On Tuesday, December 6, the Chicago White Sox made the big splash at the 2016 Winter Meetings. The South Siders dealt LHP Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox for four prospects — including Yoan Moncada — who is ranked by MLB.com as the top prospect in all of baseball. You can read more on Moncada in my last blog here. I’ll have more on the rest of the deal, including a look at each of the other prospects in the deal, in a future blog.

Sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball. No doubt about it. For the White Sox, trading a pitcher of his caliber couldn’t have been an easy decision. He’s the ace. The staple of their rotation. But, the White Sox received a haul — and as they build for the future — the four talented prospects are sure to play an important role one day down the road.

Drafted by the White Sox in the first round (13th overall) of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft, Sale moved quickly through the system. On a fast rise through to the majors — Sale started with High-A Winston-Salem. He appeared in four games with the Dash and posted a 2.25 ERA (4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO). Then, it was on to Charlotte (photo, below).

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Knights media relations department.

The Lakeland, FL native appeared in seven games for the Knights. Much like in Winston-Salem, all of his appearances came out of the bullpen. He was sharp — fanning 15 batters over 6.1 innings pitched. He finished with a 2.84 ERA (6.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB).

Unfortunately for Charlotte Knights fans, five of Sale’s seven appearances that year came on the road. After making his Triple-A debut against the Bulls in Durham, NC on July 16, Sale headed to Fort Mill, SC and made his Knights Stadium debut on July 18 against the Bulls. Sale notched a hold after fanning the only two batters he faced (0.2 IP).

The talented 21-year-old southpaw made one more appearance in Fort Mill that year. On July 20, he allowed one run in one inning — a solo home run to Michael Griffin. Still, he struck-out two batters.

Overall, Sale notched at least two strikeouts in six of his seven appearances with the Knights. On two occasions, he fanned three. Both of those performances came in just one inning of work (each).

He later made the jump to the majors and the rest was history. For Charlotte Knights fans, they did get one more glimpse of him — however it did come on the road.

On May 17, 2014, Sale made a rehab start for the Knights in Durham, NC against the Bulls. In the first game of a doubleheader (he was supposed to start the night before, but the game was postponed due to rain), Sale struck-out 11 of the 15 batters he faced. He tossed four innings and allowed just one hit and the Knights won the game 2–1. On a side note: Adam Eaton also rehabbed for the Knights that day.

Photo credit: Tommy Viola
Photo credit: Tommy Viola

That was his last appearance in a Knights uniform. On behalf of the Charlotte Knights organization, I wish Chris good luck in the future.

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