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."