Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale has been by just about any measure one of the two best pitchers in the American League this season. He has the second lowest ERA in the AL, and is tied for second in lowest WHIP. In Baseball Reference's measure of WAR, he's tied for first with Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander, and by Fangraphs' measure of WAR he's in second, .3 wins behind Verlander. He's even tied for second in the AL in wins.
But Sale almost certainly won't be the AL's starting pitcher in the 2012 All-Star Game. That is because the White Sox are only allowing Sale to pitch a single inning in the All-Star Game, which almost certainly takes him out of the running to be the starter.
Sale won't be starting the ASG, according to RV, unless he only throws an inning. That is ASG limit--one inning— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) July 7, 2012
AL manager Ron Washington could of course still decide to tab Sale as the starter and then pull him after the first inning, but in all likelihood Verlander will take the hill to start the game, with Sale coming in at some point in relief.
For more news and updates from around the league, drop by Baseball Nation with Rob Neyer. And for a closer look at the numbers and analysis behind the game, visit the sabermetrics blog Beyond the Box Score or keep up to date with the league's transactions at MLB Daily Dish.