GLENDALE, Ariz. -- One of the last things Austin Jackson told Rick Hahn before he signed with the White Sox is he’s happy he wouldn’t have to face Chris Sale.
Wouldn’t you know it?
Jackson found Sale waiting on the mound to face him Wednesday when the new White Sox outfielder participated in live batting. It’s the third of four straight live BPs for Jackson, who is playing catch up after he signed with the White Sox on Sunday afternoon.
The White Sox have suggested Jackson would need 7-10 days to work into baseball shape and be ready for game action. But he has already faced one of the nastiest pitchers he’ll have to face this season.
“There was no pressure and I wasn’t worried about getting a hit,” Jackson said. “But it was still the same Chris Sale, still coming out funky and he’s hard to hit.
“Obviously, getting out here a little later and trying to catch up a little bit is tough. But I’m doing what I have to do and it was good to see some live arms today to really get your timing down. It’s coming along well.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Jackson wouldn’t see any game action until the weekend at the earliest. Ventura added that he expects Courtney Hawkins to return to game action on Thursday. Hawkins hasn’t played since he strained his shoulder on an outfield assist in Saturday’s game. Shortstop Tim Anderson is also expected to return to the team on Thursday. Anderson had three days off to attend the birth of his daughter in Atlanta.
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Sale continues to progress as well.
He got up and down five times and threw 65 pitches on Field 3 in the second of three side sessions/simulated games. The four-time All-Star pitcher said the focus on Wednesday’s session was elevating fastballs and breaking balls to lefties.
Sale has one more session scheduled for Monday. He’s set to appear in his first Cactus League game on March 19 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jackson said Sale looked like he always does.
“Pretty much the same as he has looked every time I’ve faced him in the past,” Jackson said. “It’s not the same, adrenaline isn’t where it normally, but it’s still nasty and probably one of the toughest pitchers to pick up and hit.”