GLENDALE, Ariz. — Chris Sale doesn’t want a repeat of last spring, one spent almost entirely in the training room.
The White Sox ace would also like to win for the first time in his career.
Headed into his seventh season, Sale, like everyone else, is optimistic about the team’s prospects. He likes the two catchers the team brought on board — Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro — and also is excited for the energy added to the roster in Brett Lawrie and Todd Frazier. Sale also called the addition of Mat Latos a “great” move. He hopes what Rick Hahn has done this offseason is enough to get the White Sox back into the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
“You win ballgames, and a lot of good things happen,” Sale said. “People start showing up in terms of the fans. Nobody is ever in a bad mood when you are winning. You come up and slap me in the face when we win 10 in a row and I’m going to laugh at it.
“Winning does a lot of things for teams in terms of camaraderie and just for energy and feeling.”
[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get your White Sox gear right here]
Having missed almost all of last spring with a broken bone in his right foot, Sale knows he never wants to experience the feeling of being stuck in the training room ever again. Though he maintained arm strength through exercise, Sale was limited to a pair of minor league games last spring, and he missed his first start of the regular season in order to allow his leg strength time to catch up. Sale still set a franchise-record with 274 strikeouts as he went 13-11 with a 3.41 ERA in 31 starts.
“I’ll stay down here for three months if I had to rather than spend another day in the training room,” Sale said. “I definitely got some appreciation for doing this and being around the guys. You get to your 15th day of doing PFPs and you are kind of dragging along. It’s better than being on your 15th day of icing your ankle for three hours. That was another thing I was excited for, being able to come out here and have a normal spring training and get back into the swing of things.”
Manager Robin Ventura said Sale would be the club's Opening Day starter unless he "fell off a truck."