GLENDALE, Ariz. – Chris Sale took the news that he will pitch in relief in stride.
The hard-throwing lefty found out on the first day of spring training Thursday that he will pitch in relief, regardless of Jake Peavy’s status in the starting rotation.
General manager Ken Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen told the media about the decision Thursday, and Sale learned from friends who had read the news online.
“I’ve done it before so I feel I should be able to do it again,” Sale, who closed four games in four opportunities last season, said Friday. “It’s a matter of getting prepared enough to do that. Getting the mindset of being a closer, if that’s the job that they offer me. But just trying to get in shape and get my arm ready for the season.”
Whether Sale closes or pitches in the eighth or seventh will be determined this spring. Matt Thornton also wants to close and will be part of the competition.
Sale and Thornton both love the thought of trying to get the last three outs of games.
“Absolutely,” Sale said when asked if that’s the job he covets. “The adrenaline rush of closing out ballgames is unbelievable. I was talking a little bit with [Sox starter] Edwin [Jackson], and he was saying that you are the last man standing. If you go out there and get your job done, we shake hands and go home. Or you are walking off the mound disappointed.
“I’m looking forward to shaking some hands this year. It will be exciting. There are a lot of quality guys for that spot…it will be fun.”
(Confidence in yourself)