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updated: 5/26/2013 4:56 PM

Some free advice on Sox' Sale

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  • According to WSCR's Matt Spiegel, the White Sox should do everything in their power to make sure Chris Sale doesn't suffer a long-term problem with his pitching arm due to poor mechanics.

    According to WSCR's Matt Spiegel, the White Sox should do everything in their power to make sure Chris Sale doesn't suffer a long-term problem with his pitching arm due to poor mechanics.
    Associated Press


Skipping a Chris Sale start is of course the right thing to do.

As skipping another one Tuesday would be, if he still feels any of that tendinitis.

The Sox should be glad he said something to Herm Schneider about the pain, even as he knew it would probably mean a pause in his current run of excellence. I wonder if his contract changed the dynamics of that conversation; Sale doesn't have to prove durability or excellence to get paid anymore.

Sale's delivery will always be a knee-jerk trigger for concern, because he looks so unnatural in still frames captured on your computer screen and morning paper.

His mechanics feature "a fairly internally rotated humerus at stride foot contact," according to a great research piece on the website The Hardball Times. That has been flagged as a possible, though not consistently proven, precursor to shoulder issues.

The state of knowledge and thought on how to save a pitcher from himself is still ambiguous. Have pitch counts and inning limitations lowered the rate of serious injury? Not one bit.

Mechanics are what need to be isolated, dissected, digitized, researched and tweaked. Find pitchers with similar deliveries, and help Sale avoid their pitfalls. Spend time and money on this for the entire staff.

The Orioles are at the forefront of Biomechanics, a painstaking process in which eight cameras help dissect 32 elements of a pitcher's delivery. Biomechanics is the current apex of technology for pitcher preservation.

Teams are split as to the value and usage of Biomechanics. White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper is not on board. It should be said that other than John Danks last year, the Sox have had tremendous success in keeping pitchers healthy.

Chris Sale's value demands the utmost organizational forethought and care.

I wish the Sox would utilize all of the scientific possibilities at their disposal.

Pig 'pen':

If you think this Cubs bullpen feels historically bad, that's because it is. Their starting pitcher ERA is sixth best in baseball, with a 3.55 ERA.

But 10 of 20 chances to nail down a victory have been blown. That 50-percent save percentage ties them with the Astros for dead last.

In the last 10 years, only the 2011 Astros and the 2008 Nationals have finished with a save percentage as low. The worst save percentage of this century belongs to ... wait for it ... the Cubs in 2002.

Antonio Alfonseca, Joe Borowski, Kyle Farnsworth and Juan Cruz combined to nail down just 48 percent of their chances.

I offer sincere apologies for dredging up those memories.

Who's No. 1?:

Today, in a must-win game against a feared rival, who do you want on the mound?

•Matt Harvey of the Mets? He just doesn't let people get on base, as his 0.83 WHIP shows.

•The Rangers' Yu Darvish strikes out more than 12 men every 9 innings, and can dominate any team.

•Washington's Jordan Zimmerman has issued just 9 walks in 7313 innings.

•Boston's Clay Buchholz and the Diamondbacks' Patrick Corbin have had 9 quality starts in 10 chances.

But give me one guy, today? I'm taking the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw.

He leads all pitchers in ERA and WHIP, and has gone an amazing 22 straight starts giving up 3 earned runs or less, 1 short of the record for any pitcher in the last 20 years. He keeps his team in every game, with a high probability of dominance.

Kershaw is on the mound today in a great matchup with St. Louis phenom Shelby Miller, who deserves a mention in this conversation too.

Let's all fly to L.A. and scalp some seats with a good pitching angle.

• Matt Spiegel co-hosts "The McNeil & Spiegel Show" 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday on WSCR 670-AM. Follow him on Twitter @mattspiegel670

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