Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Sale easing into transition as White Sox starter

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- So far, so good for Chris Sale in his transition to being a starting pitcher.

The White Sox' prized young left-hander has impressed Robin Ventura in the early stages of spring training

"He has great stuff,'' Ventura said Wednesday. "For me, especially the live stuff and we had guys in there [facing him in batting practice]. It's not a comfortable at-bat for guys going in there left-handed.''

"He has velocity. His off-speed pitches are something else. I don't know many that I've seen that are better as far as the velocity and change to his off-speed pitch. Keep him healthy. That's the big thing. The sky is the limit and I'm excited to get him going."

Ventura hasn't announced his rotation plans for Cactus League games, which begin March 5 against the Dodgers, but Sale said he is scheduled to start against the Cubs on March 9.

Sale will be watched closely as he adjusts to the workload and routine of a starting pitcher. He feels great and likes the way the ball is coming out of his hand.

"I'm feeling really good, as far as my body and my mental state,'' he said. "It's all there and it's all clicking right now. I'm trying to find a way to keep using that.''

Last spring, Sale was walking through the wrong doors at Camelback Ranch finding his way around at his first camp. This year, he's one of the boys.

"I know where I'm going this year. I'm not walking out that [wrong] door anymore. Obviously, I'm more comfortable with the facility. The jitters aren't as high as they were last year. It was my first spring training, but the intensity is still there. The excitement is still there.''

Sale isn't waiting to cut loose on the mound.

"I was letting some go today. My philosophy is if you feel good, throw. No reason to hold back. Games are starting soon, the season is coming up quick. I would like to get as close to 100 percent, if not 100 percent, as fast as possible.

"[I need to] be the guy they need me to be. Show up ready to go every day and be consistent. I would like to show up to the ballpark every day and just find something that fits me well to be ready to go every fifth day and go out there and give it everything I got.''

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on February 29, 2012 7:20 PM.

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