Sale gives White Sox hitters an uncomfortable at-bat

Sale gives White Sox hitters an uncomfortable at-bat
February 20, 2013, 4:15 pm
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Given the decision, most players would choose not to hit in an indoor batting cage.

The dark, constricted, screen-filled cage offers far more distractions than hitters prefer to face when they work on their craft.

Well, try adding Chris Sale to the equation.       

White Sox hitters had the chance to experience all of the above in an effort to complete their work on a rain-soaked Wednesday morning. In order to stay on schedule, both Sale and John Danks participated in live batting practice, the former providing a group of young hitters with a series of uncomfortable at-bats.

“It’s definitely an unorthodox delivery,” White Sox minor leaguer Tyler Saladino said of his first time facing Sale. “He drops down a little bit, goes way across. So it’s well hidden. (It was) double hidden inside the cage.”

Saladino didn’t take many hacks because Sale and Danks weren’t throwing behind protective screens and he didn’t want to line any balls back up the middle.

Sale said he’s thankful hitters mostly tracked pitches are rarely took swings.

“A lot of guys were hanging out, seeing stuff, which benefitted because I didn’t have to worry about balls coming right back at me,” Sale said. “It was so dark in there you could barely see it coming back from the catcher. …You don’t want to skip out on a day like today, it was highly anticipated. It was nice to get my work in.”

Right on schedule

Danks took another step forward in his rehab by completing his 50-pitch session against hitters. The left-hander, who will face hitters twice more before he’s scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on March 4, said pitching coach Don Cooper and trainers continue to offer him encouragement.

“Coop just told me I’m exactly where he wants me,” Danks said. “I don’t know what that means. I take that as I’m doing everything they want me to do, but I think I’m on pace to be ready to go. Like I’ve said all along. It’s not my decision, but things are coming along great.”

No rain delay

White Sox players managed to get in most of their work even with Wednesday’s showers, manager Robin Ventura said. Stretching was moved to the team’s gym and hitters and pitchers worked in the indoor batting cages.

“You get guys in there and let them hit and do their stuff,” Ventura said. “On the field you don’t get to do the fundamental stuff you want to do in the field but we’ll catch up.”

Et cetera 

-- Outfielder Dewayne Wise said his sore neck was fine on Wednesday.

-- Ventura said the plans to hold an intra-squad game on Thursday morning.

-- Reliever Deunte Heath’s wife, Melisa, gave birth to an 8-pound, 10-ounce son, Deunte Jr., on Feb. 14. Mother and son were released from the hospital on Feb. 18.