Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE
Chicago White Sox left-handed pitcher Chris Sale impressed future Hall of Famer John Smoltz, who said Sale is "as good as it gets."
Future Hall of Famer John Smoltz is impressed by Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale. The Chicago White Sox left-handed ace made his first All-Star team last year and finished sixth in American League Cy Young Award voting.
Smoltz said of Sale, "he's as good as it gets."
Smoltz is most impressed by how Sale handled pitching a full-time starter's amount of innings for the first time in his career. "He did a great job, basically with no history of innings, competing throughout the year," Smoltz said. Sale spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons as a reliever, pitching 23.1 and 71.0 major-league innings respectively, but became a starter in 2012 and pitched 192.0 innings. Smoltz was unsure how Sale's frame and delivery would withstand a whole season as a starter, but he proved he could handle it.
Sale, 23, went 17-8 for the Sox with a 3.05 ERA and 192 strikeouts with a 5.7 WAR in 2012.