Chris Sale, Jose Abreu reflect on spring debuts

Chris Sale, Jose Abreu reflect on spring debuts
February 28, 2014, 5:15 pm
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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Abreu had a little adrenaline going in his first spring training at-bat on Friday.

Chris Sale had less than he expected.

The two made their spring training debuts Friday as the White Sox lost 5-0 to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Sale struck out four in 2 2/3 scoreless innings while Abreu went 0-for-2 with a hard liner to left.

“I wasn’t that anxious, but it’s the first at-bat and it meant a lot for me and you do feel a certain level of anxiety,” Abreu said through a translator. “It was very quality at-bat for me and I was glad for that at-bat.”

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Sale threw 42 pitches, 26 for strikes, in his first Cactus League outing. He only allowed one hit and struck out Chone Figgins — who robbed Abreu of a hit — Hanley Ramirez, Drew Butera and Alex Guerrero.

The left-hander said he threw fastballs and changeups for all but one pitch.

“I felt like I wasn’t quite as jittery as normal,” Sale said. “I just tried to stay as calm as I could and not overthrow. Not try to make anything too nasty and that kind of stuff. Just the normal going out there. Just locating and getting a feel for my changeup and compete a little bit.”

Abreu lived up to scouting reports that he would work the count until he found a pitch he liked in his first at-bat. The first baseman actually swung and missed at a 2-1 offering from Hyun-Jin Ryu and let go of the bat, which soared to the screen. But the Cuban first baseman composed himself and sent a line drive toward the left field corner on a 3-2 pitch only to have Figgins run it down.

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Abreu grounded out to the right side in his second at-bat.

“That first at-bat I felt was a very good one,” Abreu said. “I was able to come back from a so-so swing to a better swing and I connected. … I just want to play every day. I want to get as much live pitching as I can so I can get back into it. Playing today felt really good. We’re going to get as many as we can so I’m ready for the season.”

Newcomer Adam Eaton also debuted, going 1-for-1 with a walk in two plate appearances.