02/21/2013 6:48 PM ET
Sale sticking with day-to-day status
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In preparing for the 2013 campaign, his second season as part of the starting rotation, Chris Sale has taken a page out of his manager's playbook.
"I've said it a million times, but that day-to-day thing just kind of works best for me," Sale said Thursday morning. "See what happens today and once today gets over with, see what tomorrow brings.
"I would say my only goal is just to be ready for the season. Prepare every day."
Sale threw a career-high 192 innings in 2012, a jump from 71 when he worked out of the bullpen the year before, and easily topping his career-high of 136 2/3 combined in 2010. The White Sox have adjusted his schedule to give the southpaw two days off in between throwing, meaning he won't pitch again until Saturday following his live batting practice session Wednesday.
His first Cactus League start comes March 1 in Goodyear against the Indians (2:05 CT), and if the rest of the schedule stays the same, Sale appears on track to make his inaugural career Opening Day start on April 1 at home against the Royals. As far as getting himself prepared for the season, the 23-year-old pitcher looks more at pitch totals than starts in Arizona.
"We want to build up and not rush it, but not be too lackadaisical," said Sale, who has targeted between five to eight Spring Training starts. "You don't want to run out there three times and throw two innings. I think my first start I'll go two, and maybe back out there for the third and the next one build on top of that.
"With last year and the year before, it was awesome. I talked with [White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper] and told him I would like to get up to 110 pitches before I leave here, probably on my second to last start. Get out and throw 110 pitches, however many innings that is. And then my last start, kind of back it down a little bit and be ready for the season.
"Knock on wood. I'm feeling better now than this time last year," Sale said. "We'll see where it takes us and be prepared for something. Usually you run into something like the dead arm, and it's par for the course once you ramp up your throwing. Adjust accordingly and see where it takes us."
Thornton plays catch, remains on track
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Thornton played catch on Thursday, two days after he was backed off from throwing live batting practice due to triceps soreness.
"I think the concern level has gone down," said a smiling White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Thornton. "We're not in the orange area anymore. I think it would be yellow. We're going to go to yellow at this point."
"All we are pretty much doing is bump my live BP back a couple of days," Thornton said. "Do catch, catch, bullpen, day off and live BP. I don't know, we'll talk about that when we get there and see how it feels."
Thornton termed the MRI on his left elbow, which showed him to be structurally strong, as "extremely over the top precautionary." He's guessing the pain is due to tendinitis, which needs to be brought under control so Thornton can move forward.
"Obviously I'm worried about April 1. That's all I care about," Thornton said. "I don't care if I get two or three games in and somehow something else happens. I get two or three games in and I'm ready April 1. If April 1 comes in jeopardy, believe me you guys will know and I'd be worried then.
"I'm fine. March 5 is my first [Cactus League] game scheduled, and right now is not in jeopardy. It's no big deal."
Starters take on prospects in intrasquad game
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For those who want a full and complete account of White Sox Spring Training results, Team 1 claimed a 4-3 victory over Team 2 during a 5 1/2 inning intrasquad game Thursday afternoon. Team 1 featured the White Sox projected starting lineup, aside from Brent Morel at third base and Michael Blanke at designated hitter.
Team 2 featured top prospects, such as Carlos Sanchez, Jared Mitchell and Trayce Thompson. Morel delivered a run-scoring double, while Blake Tekotte drove home another run with a triple during a game that featured more than a few miscues.
"That's why you have an intrasquad game," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "There were portions that were sloppy.
"For me, it's good you get that out of the way now so that guys wake up a little bit and you don't have that in your first game. It's good to actually have a semblance of in-game action.
"More just see them in a game situation. There are portions that are sloppy that you can clean up," Ventura said. "Everything you talk about when you're doing this thing where you do fundamentals, it always comes back a wash in that first intrasquad game, so it's good."
Andre Rienzo, who will play for Team Brazil in the World Baseball Classic and start Game 1 against Japan in Pool A competition, threw two solid innings. He struck out Dayan Viciedo swinging and Tyler Flowers looking.
Third to first
• Dylan Axelrod starts the Cactus League opener for the White Sox Saturday against the Dodgers (2:05 p.m. CT), with Erik Johnson starting Sunday against the Dodgers (2:05 p.m. CT), Hector Santiago is starting Monday against the Giants (2:05 p.m. ET) and Nestor Molina starting Tuesday against the Rangers (2:05 p.m. CT). Monday's schedule also has Addison Reed, Nate Jones, Donnie Veal, Jesse Crain and Matt Lindstrom on the list to pitch.
• A team source confirmed a Chicago Tribune report that Alejandro De Aza will play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. De Aza takes the spot of Carlos Gomez, who has decided to stay with the Brewers throughout Spring Training. De Aza joins Alex Rios (Puerto Rico), Jesse Crain (Canada) and Andre Rienzo (Brazil) as players in big league camp who will take part in The Classic. Rios and De Aza play in the same Pool C, along with Venezuela and Spain, in Puerto Rico.
• Robin Ventura doesn't have any B games scheduled for the White Sox at this point.