Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Chicago's Chris Sale heading to DL, Knights LHP Charlie Leesman to be recalled and start Tuesday

By Seth Lakso, Charlotte Observer Correspondent 

Late last night the Chicago White Sox confirmed to ESPNChicago.com's Doug Padilla that LHP Chris Sale is headed to the 15-day disabled list with a strained flexor muscle in his throwing arm.

As a result, Charlotte Knights left-hander Charlie Leesman will reportedly be called up from Triple-A to start Tuesday's game at Detroit against Justin Verlander. RHP Andre Rienzo remains scheduled to start Wednesday for Felipe Paulino, who went on the DL earlier this week with rotator cuff inflammation.

According to Padilla, Sale underwent an MRI that showed no ligament damage, leaving the White Sox hope he may return to action in a few weeks. As of now, there is no timetable on when he might pitch again.

In his last start for the Knights on Thursday, Leesman (0-2, 1.59 ERA) went seven innings, allowed four hits, one unearned run, and struck out four. He was helped out along the way by three double plays turned behind him, due to a solid sinking fastball.

“Tonight, he just threw strikes with all his stuff,” said Knights catcher Josh Phegley of Leesman's performance last Thursday. “He’s got good movement on his fastball and he gets a lot of groundballs with it. He had some downward cut to his fastball and I just stuck with it as long as they weren’t squaring it up and it worked pretty well.”  

In three starts this season, the Knights’ southpaw has allowed just five runs (three earned). However, in those starts, he’s received just six total runs of support from the Charlotte bats.

Taking Leesman’s spot on Charlotte’s roster is Frank Francisco, who was signed by Chicago to a Minor League contract back on April 14. Francisco has yet to pitch in a game this season.