GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With their Cactus League opener on Friday the White Sox will take it easier than normal on Thursday.
The team will hold a short workout in advance of their exhibition season, which kicks off against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. The White Sox, who have had eight days of full-team workouts, play 29 games between Friday and March 28. They also held a nine-inning intrasquad game earlier this week.
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With only one off day upcoming on March 20, manager Robin Ventura wants his players to have an easy day.
“It was definitely just to give them a breather,” Ventura said. “We worked hard and this is the last chance to really do it…These are starting to be long days where you’re getting in here early and then you have a game. You have to be ready for it. They’re going to have a short day, but they better prepare mentally to get in it for the long haul.”
The White Sox have pushed their players harder than in past years in order to get them focused during workouts. Ventura said he and his coaches have taken a strict approach to practices and players have responded. General manager Rick Hahn is pleased with how the pre-exhibition games portion of spring training has been run.
“I’ve been thrilled with how camp has gone,” Hahn said. “There is a heightened level of energy. There is good competition going on. Robin and his staff has been great, the players have been very receptive about what we’re trying to do on the hitting side. We’ve seen some progress.”
Ventura agrees. He’s glad with the way players have handled workouts since camp kicked off and wants to reward them.
“They’ve worked hard,” Ventura said. “Everything’s gone great. I’m going to give them the one last time where they take a little bit of a breather. Make it a real short day where they come in, do stuff early in the morning and after that, take off and get what they need done. Once Friday gets here, it's long days, and we’re not going to have a lot of free time.”