Notes: Sale sharp, pitches into sixth

Notes: Sale sharp, pitches into sixth

March 11, 2013, 8:00 pm
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Sale sure looks like an Opening Day starter.

The White Sox still haven’t declared their left-hander will pitch against the Kansas City Royals on April 1 but he already looks pretty sharp.

Sale became the first White Sox hurler to pitch beyond the fourth inning as he pushed all the way into the sixth against the Colorado Rockies on Monday before he tired. Sale limited Colorado to a run and three hits in five-plus innings. He struck out two and was so efficient he needed to go to the bullpen to throw 15 more pitches.

“Today was one of those clicking on all cylinders days,” Sale said. “My arm felt free, felt loose. It felt like I had good command of all my pitches. Just a good day. Had some fun out there and just relaxed and went out and attacked the zone.”

Sale is in line to be the team’s Opening Day starter. His next starts are scheduled for March 16, 21 and 26. The team doesn’t have a game on March 31, which means Sale likely would be pushed back one day to April 1.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Sale looks and feels great. But he isn’t ready to name Sale for Opening Day.

“We’re just going to keep going and see how everybody does,” Ventura said. “We’re just not ready to do it yet. We’ll see how everybody does in the next couple of weeks and go from there.”

Sale -- who last week signed a five-year, $32.5-million contract -- said his only goal right now is to throw strikes. He has said in the past he’d be thrilled if the club named him Opening Day starter.

“Every time that I go out there, my goal in mind is throwing strikes and attacking the zone,” Sale said. “I didn’t walk anybody. So, that’s where I want to be, it’s throwing strikes and filling up the zone. The results are going to be what they are. But just happens today that it turned out good.”

Sox trim camp roster

There will be 10 fewer players in big league camp when everyone returns to Camelback Ranch on Wednesday. The White Sox optioned pitchers Simon Castro and Santos Rodriguez to Triple-A Charlotte and pitcher Nestor Molina to Double-A Birmingham on Monday. The club also reassigned pitchers Erik Johnson and Scott Snodgress, infielders Seth Loman and Marcus Semien and outfielders Keenyn Walker, Trayce Thompson and Stefan Gartrell to minor-league camp.

The White Sox have 45 players left in camp: 23 pitchers, four catchers, 11 infielders and seven outfielders.


-- Jesse Crain (strained adductor) said he felt good Monday and will pitch a side session on Wednesday to determine whether or not he’ll return to game action the same day.

-- Third baseman Jeff Keppinger underwent treatment on his throwing shoulder on Monday and didn’t play. Ventura said he could play in Wednesday’s game as a designated hitter but won’t throw for a couple of days.

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-- Paul Konerko hit a solo home run in three at-bats, his fifth homer of the spring. Konerko has nine RBIs.

-- Second baseman Gordon Beckham singled twice and drove in a run in three at-bats. Beckham’s hitting .290 with six RBIs.

-- Rule 5 pick Angel Sanchez went 2-for-2 with a triple and a run scored. Sanchez is hitting .316 this spring.

-- Reliever Ramon Troncoso pitched a scoreless inning and earned the save in a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rockies. Troncoso has allowed one earned run in 8 2/3 innings (1.04 ERA).