Jones pleased with first Cactus League outing

Jones pleased with first Cactus League outing

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With the moderate left glute strain completely behind him, White Sox reliever Nate Jones pitched a scoreless fourth during his 2014 Cactus League debut Saturday afternoon against the D-backs. Jones threw eight of his 16 pitches for strikes, while striking out one and escaping a two-on, nobody-out jam by inducing a Henry Blanco double play.

"I didn't necessarily want to get in that jam, but it happens and I got to work out a little bit, get the blood flowing," said Jones, who gave up a Shelley Duncan double and a four-pitch walk to Andy Marte to open the inning. "Everything felt good. Everything was normal, ready to get it going.

"The best part was seeing that other uniform in the box instead of the White Sox uniform. Got the adrenaline going for sure."

Jones was happy with his changeup and slider but was hoping for better fastball control. He'll have a chance to improve Tuesday against the Rangers, as Jones returns to a normal pitching schedule.

"He's throwing what you would think as far as velocity-wise but not sharp as he could be missing that much time," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "But he's not a starter so you are not worried about him going in the extended innings and getting him in there for that. Occasionally, he might have to get two just to stretch him out a little bit because in the past, he's gone two innings in a game."

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