GLENDALE, Ariz. — There’s no getting away from the good vibrations at Camelback Ranch this spring.
The White Sox clubhouse has a different energy and feel, and the rave reviews from the players involved keep on coming. Ace left-hander Chris Sale was the latest to weigh in Wednesday morning.
“It’s fun,” Sale said. “You have so many different people from different parts of the country and the world, and to mesh together like we have, the different personalities and different people with different humor, it’s been fun. And I think that is part of the difference in this camp and previous camps.”
An occasional laugher on the field doesn’t hurt, either. The Sox have slugged 12 homers in the first seven games — one each by a dozen different players — and are jumping out to early leads.
“No doubt,” said Sale, who, like pitchers not participating on a particular day, isn’t always required to be in the dugout but keeps track of the game on an app. “I saw a four spot yesterday, a five spot. [Adam] Eaton with three knocks. Avi [Garcia] hitting a big homer. That’s exciting. It really is. It’s fun to watch.
“Especially seeing the hard work they’re putting in this spring. You guys might not see it but there is something different about this spring, a lot more energy and positivity. There’s just something. And I think it’s showing. It’s definitely showing, we’re putting up, what 10 runs in three innings? With that you can’t help but to build confidence and momentum going forward.”
Sale, who won’t start in a game till March 19, pitched the equivalent of four-plus innings against live hitters on the backfields. He threw 65 pitches, putting an emphasis on breaking balls to lefties and elevating his fastball.
“Another good workout,” he said.
Sale likes the focus of pitching on the backfields as opposed to Cactus League games — “If I don’t throw a two seamer where I want it can throw two more” — but wouldn’t mind the adrenaline that comes in a stadium setting.
“My question is always ‘can we get this to more like a game? What’s going on, it’s not possible. There’s something to be said for pitching in a game even if it’s a spring training game. You’re going to get more adrenaline, getting a little more stretched out. I’m definitely ready for those.”
Sale threw to Alex Avila, who will share catching duties with Dioner Navarro. Both are in the first season with the Sox. He said just because Tyler Flowers was his ‘personal’ catcher in the past doesn’t mean he’ll need one guy going forward.
“With Dioner and Alex, both those guys are professionals with track records,” he said. “They’ve caught guys with better stuff than me. It won’t be too tough to transition.”