Thornton ramping up toward season opener

Thornton ramping up toward season opener

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Thornton's back-to-back days of throwing come with Thursday's off-day in between after he takes the mound for Wednesday's Cactus League finale. The veteran left-hander gets two days off before the season starts and feels great after battling through triceps soreness early in camp.

"Just stay where I'm at and things are coming together," Thornton said. "The slider is getting good. Fastball location has gotten better. I don't know my velocity but from what I can tell from the reaction of the hitters, it's getting better.

"I'm getting to a place where I feel pretty good. So, stay healthy, finish Spring Training strong and get ready to go."

Thornton hopes to mix in a couple of different variations of offspeed pitches, based more on location, along with his plus fastball.

"My breaking ball last year was slower and it was very effective when I kept it out of the zone," Thornton said. "But [White Sox pitching coach Don] Cooper and I talked about how it stays in the zone if I don't bounce it in there. I'm working on the harder breaking ball and keeping that slower breaking ball in there for the right situations.

"I talked to the catchers, Coop has too. Get a good mix and go out there and have a good time."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.