GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The first Cactus League start for Chris Sale as an official member of the White Sox rotation did not bring happiness or satisfaction to the 22-year-old southpaw.
In fact, Sale was downright perturbed by his performance.
"I don't look back on this by any means and say, 'I got my work in. I threw my pitches. All in all, not a bad day,'" said Sale, who allowed three runs on three hits over three innings. "That's not the mindset at all. I've got to be better than that, and I got this week to do that."
Sale showed off his electric stuff with strikeouts of Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Baker, Bryan LaHair and Steve Clevenger. But he was bothered by a two-out walk issued to Junior Lake with nobody on base and the game tied at 1 in the second, followed by an 0-2 fastball to Edgar Gonzalez that he deposited into the left-field stands for what amounted to the game-winning two-run homer.
"It absolutely kills you every time," said Sale of free passes. "Home runs happen, but walks are something you can control. You get two outs and walk a guy, it brings up another hitter. And look what happened.
"Just two-out walk, 0-2 home run, those things can't happen. I don't think it was the wrong pitch by any means. It was the wrong location. That one's on me."
White Sox manager Robin Ventura understood Sale's frustration, but is more focused on the converted reliever getting stretched out and ready for his fourth starting slot.
"They're all hard on themselves when they give up runs, but we're looking at the big picture, where he'll be at the end of the month," said Ventura of Sale. "He's going to have to get stronger, throw more innings. This is part of the process."
Flowers happy to have Pierzynski's back
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A.J. Pierzynski and Tyler Flowers will make up the White Sox catching tandem when the 2012 regular season begins on April 6 in Texas, working together with the team's pitching staff.
That work already has begun, according to Flowers, with the veteran Pierzynski mentoring the younger catcher during time spent in Arizona. As an example, Flowers pointed out a discussion they had recently about handling plays at the plate and potential collisions.
"We talked about the [Buster] Posey situation and what [Pierzynski] does to avoid it," said Flowers, referring to the collision that cost the Giants' catcher his 2011 season. "It definitely helped me out, educated me on the situation.
"I have a tendency to drop a knee, like if you have to stretch for it, kind of like a first baseman, and the back knee straightens and drops down. He reminded me of the importance of not doing that and staying on your feet. If you get hit, you get tumbled over.
"He pays attention to all the little details," said Flowers of Pierzynski. "Obviously, the guy has been hurt once in 11 or 12, whatever years. He's doing some stuff right. That's the little kind of things that protect himself."
Flowers put Pierzynski's words into action on Monday, when the Dodgers' James Loney tried to score from first on A.J. Ellis' double. Of course, there was no collision in the first Cactus League game, but Flowers took the relay throw from Gordon Beckham and tagged out Loney.
It's more than just plate coverage being talked about by these catchers.
"That's just one example. We've actually had a fair bit of communication this year," said Flowers, adding that he feels a hair more comfortable knowing he has a job. "We've talked about game calling, a number of things.
"Trying to get pitchers back in the strike zone, especially early in spring, when people are a little bit rusty. There have been some other ideas to get the feel back for them and such. It has been very good."
Cooper trying to get young bullpen arms ready
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In working with manager Robin Ventura and the rest of the White Sox staff to put together a solid bullpen, pitching coach Don Cooper isn't concerning himself with rumors centered on interest in veteran southpaws Mike Gonzalez or Arthur Rhodes.
Cooper simply is looking at the arms he has in camp to fill the final three voids.
"My job is to coach and not to acquire players," Cooper said. "We have a group of guys and we got some decisions to make and we are in the process of evaluating now. So, that's where my mind is at."
White Sox interest in Gonzalez and/or Rhodes would be characterized more as offseason checking in on them or having their camps check in with the White Sox, but nothing is imminent. The pitchers in camp look to be the ones charged with completing what figures to be the backbone of this team.
"It's a good time for these kids in this camp, because the opportunity is there," Cooper said.
Short out for the season after crashing into wall
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brandon Short suffered a season-ending injury during Thursday's victory over the Rangers in Surprise, Ariz. Short crashed into the center-field wall trying to catch Luis Martinez's long double during the eighth inning of the South Siders' 6-3 victory and sustained a dislocated left shoulder and torn left labrum.
Short is scheduled to undergo surgery next week in Chicago. Dr. Greg Nicholson of Midwest Orthopedics at Rush University Medical Central will perform the operation.
Third to first
After giving up five runs on seven hits in his first outing, Nestor Molina bounced back with two scoreless innings and two strikeouts in the Cubs' 5-1 victory on Friday.
After flying out to the left-field wall in his final at-bat, Adam Dunn finished 0-for-3 in Friday's loss.
"Adam has had great at-bats all spring," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.