DETROIT — White Sox left-hander Chris Sale will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strain of the flexor mass muscle in his left arm.
Sale had been experiencing soreness in his arm after he threw a career-high 127 pitches in his previous start, and he underwent an MRI on Monday night.
“We’re going to do everything in our power to protect him for the long term,” Hahn said. “This is about making sure we get out in front of any issues and make sure he is in the best position to have success and stay healthy for an extended career as opposed to worrying about a start or two here and there.”
Left-hander Charlie Leesman was in Michigan on Monday night and will start in Sale’s place Tuesday against Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander. Sox right-hander Andre Rienzo, who was called up from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday, will pitch Wednesday.
Sale was locked in a pitchers’ duel with Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester on Thursday, and Sox manager Robin Ventura let him extend the battle as the White Sox bullpen had been overworked the night before in a 14-inning game.
“There was certainly no indication at any point before that start or during that start that he was in the least bit of jeopardy of doing any damage to himself,” Hahn said. “I don’t know the cause, but I do know we’re not going to mess around with this guy if he doesn’t feel like he’s 100 percent or experiencing any soreness.”
The Sox have been cautious with Sale and his recovery time in the past. He missed a start in May 2013 because of mild tendinitis in his shoulder and a start in August 2012 because of fatigue. He was briefly moved to the bullpen in May 2012 because of elbow tenderness, a similar problem to what he now has, Hahn said.
Sale’s absence is the latest in a string of injury setbacks the Sox have faced, including right-handed starter Felipe Paulino being placed on the disabled list with rotator cuff inflammation. Rienzo was brought in to fill Paulino’s roster spot, and he put in one inning of relief work on Sunday.
Sale wasn’t available for comment on Monday night, but Hahn said he thought Sale was relieved to find out the injury wasn’t worse. Left-hander John Danks agreed that there was a sense of relief.
“I was more concerned before the game. I knew he was going to get looked at,” Danks said. “To hear that he’s going to be OK and not miss too much time, that’s great. It’s a big shoe to fill. He’s one of the best pitchers in the game, and it wouldn’t do us any good to lose him. Fortunately we’re not going lose him for too much and I’m going to try to pick up the slack until then.”