Sale speculation baffles White Sox GM Hahn

Updated 5/5/2014 11:12 PM

With the playoffs in full swing and the Blackhawks making another Stanley Cup run, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn was channeling a little NHL on Monday.

Specifically, Hahn is rather envious about hockey's vagueness (upper body, lower body) on injury reports.

And that leads us to Chris Sale.

The Sox' ace starting pitcher has been on the disabled list since April 18 with a strained flexor muscle in his left arm, and Hahn apparently has had it with all of the amateur doctors weighing in on Sale's health.

"It's weird because I think quite frankly that we have been extraordinarily transparent about all these injuries and what has transpired but still there has been daily speculation about where he's at and what it means," Hahn said.

"Not just with Chris but with some of the other injured guys. Frankly, it's made me at least personally preferring to go to an NHL style and just tell you it's an upper-body injury and see you in the morning skate."

Sale did get back on the mound Monday for the first time since going on the DL after throwing a career-high 127 pitches in an April 17 start against Boston.

While he appears to be at least two weeks away from rejoining the White Sox, Sale was encouraged after throwing 40 pitches at U.S. Cellular Field.

"I'm not going to sit here and lie to you, I feel much better than when we started this process," said Sale, who will need at least one minor-league rehab start before coming off the DL. "I threw a 40-pitch bullpen today, got after it pretty good.

"There's nothing there today that made me think there should be any stepbacks or any setbacks."

Jones surgery:

Injured relief pitcher Nate Jones had successful back surgery Monday, but his return to the White Sox' bullpen is a ways off.

"Everything went very smoothly and very well," GM Rick Hahn said. "What they saw was as expected, and we'll re-evaluate in a month. After a month, it's conceivable we'll ramp up baseball activities and he can return soon thereafter as tolerated by the baseball activities."

Fond memories:

After Tuesday night's game against the Cubs, White Sox first baseman /DH Paul Konerko will officially say farewell to Wrigley Field. The Sox' longtime captain is retiring at the end of the season.

"I've always had fun coming here," Konerko said of Wrigley. "I mean, it's the first couple of years and nobody knows who you are and then you come here and play the games and go out to the bars after and nobody knew who you were, you could just go out and do that all night and then come in the next day.

"Now it's a little more challenging to go out as it got a little more heated and you get a little more recognized. You can't really do that."

Thinking big:

The White Sox-Cubs interleague series is no longer a sure sellout, and the rivalry was reduced from six games to four in 2013.

One day, Sox GM Rick Hahn is hoping the two Chicago franchises meet when it really counts -- in October.

"I hope we get to the point where these games matter 11 times a year instead of just four," GM Rick Hahn said. "I think it's nice for the fans; it's always a little heightened level of intensity over your normal regular-season game. But the two we played last week with Detroit, the three we've got coming up with K.C. are more relevant to our year than these four games are against the Cubs.

"But like I said, I think it would be a wonderful thing for city, I don't know if my stomach could handle it, but it would be a wonderful thing for this city and baseball in this town if these games could matter 11 times a year instead of just four."

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