GLENDALE, Ariz. – The extended Spring Training due to the World Baseball Classic will benefit White Sox pitchers both young and old.
Pitching coach Don Cooper already has put together a full schedule for his staff, comparing it to piecing together a challenging but enjoyable puzzle. But one point Cooper made clear on Tuesday, on the day when pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch, is that none of his Major League starters will appear in a Cactus League game until March 1 against Cleveland in Goodyear, Ariz.
Chris Sale gets the call on that particular afternoon, followed by Jose Quintana on March 2, Jake Peavy on March 3, John Danks on March 4 and Gavin Floyd on March 5. Cooper pointed out that nothing should be read into the regular-season rotation alignment based on this Spring Training setup.
With games starting on Feb. 23, some of the up-and-coming hurlers will get a Cactus League start. Hector Santiago is slated to pitch the Cactus League opener against the Dodgers at Camelback, but Cooper also mentioned Scott Snodgress, Andre Rienzo, Erik Johnson, Simon Castro and Dylan Axelrod as starting possibilities over that six-game stretch.
In an attempt to monitor their Spring Training workload, Sale, Danks and reliever Matt Thornton will have two days off in between pitching as opposed to the regular one day for other hurlers. Sale is coming off a single-season career-high of 192 innings, while Cooper doesn't need 20 Cactus League appearances for Thornton in his 10th season -- the veteran left-hander has made no fewer than 61 in his seven previous seasons in Chicago.
Danks is working his way back from Aug. 6 arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder. He will throw his first side session on Thursday.