2/28/2014 7:57 P.M. ET
Sale not 'as jittery as normal' in spring debut
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The focus for Chris Sale's 2014 Cactus League debut was simple: fastball location and the changeup.
Throwing just one slider and not even for a strike, Sale still cruised through 2 2/3 scoreless innings in a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers. Sale fanned Chone Figgins, Hanley Ramirez, Drew Butera and Alex Guerrero before exiting in the third after throwing 26 of his 42 pitches for strikes. Adrian Gonzalez' leadoff double in the second stood as the only baserunner against Sale.
"Just getting a feel for those. Pitching to both sides of the plate and getting a little bit of competition in and getting the juices flowing a little bit," said Sale of his start. "It felt good. I felt like I wasn't quite as jittery as normal.
"I just tried to stay as calm as I could and not overthrow. Not try to make anything too nasty and that kind of stuff. Just the normal going out there. Just locating and getting a feel for my changeup and compete a little bit."
Sale plans to build up the slider during his upcoming bullpen session and throw more in his next start Wednesday against the Padres.
Beckham downplays batting-stance talk
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Gordon Beckham looked just a bit more upright in his batting stance during two at-bats Friday in the White Sox 5-0, Cactus League-opening loss against the Dodgers.
If the White Sox second baseman makes any further tweaks to his stance, though, it won't end up becoming a matter of public record.
"I'm not even going to start talking about stance and stuff," Beckham said. "I don't want to have to answer 50 different things of why I've done this or done that.
"The stance is what it is. I feel comfortable in what I am. The [crouched] stance last year, it allowed me to get on my legs and reminded me to get on my legs, so that feel is something you don't have to have by just squatting. You can actually get that feel even if you are more up and down."
After hitting 16 homers with 24 doubles in 2012, Beckham's power dipped in 2013 to five homers and 22 doubles. Part of that change stemmed from April surgery to remove a fractured hamate bone in his left hand, which means he couldn't do upper-body weightlifting for two months.
There also was a second wrist injury after the All-Star break and a strained right quadriceps that hampered him for the final six weeks. Beckham actually believes that being so low in his stance led to the quad injury, which contributed to him not trying to drive the ball as much.
"So, I can't try to do that every year," Beckham said. "In 2012, I showed that I could hit the ball out of the ballpark with a little bit of regularity. I think that it's important for me.
"I'm not going to swipe 50 bags. I can swipe more than I have. I need to hit for a little bit of power. Get on base and hit for a little bit of power to kind of complete my game. Something I'm not looking to do, but if I have the right swing and approach, like I did in the past, the ball will go out of the yard for me."
Jones has adrenaline flowing during live BP
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Nate Jones threw a live batting-practice session Friday to test his strained left glute, and the only problem reported by the White Sox right-hander was getting too amped up on his fastballs.
"I need a little bit of work on the location," said a smiling Jones. "But the changeup and slider were there. I just need to not get so jacked on heaters, but I stepped it up a level.
"It's probably a different adrenaline rush with opposing hitters. But I still got it going pretty good with our hitters."
Jones guessed at a mid- or late-week appearance in Cactus League action, but it was only a guess. He feels as if there's plenty of time to get the necessary work done to prepare for the regular season.
"Absolutely. There's going to be plenty of opportunities," Jones said. "So we still have plenty of games left to get out there and do all that. I'm sure it will be fine."
Lindstrom scratched, Webb out after death in family
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Lindstrom was on the schedule to pitch Friday against the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch, but the right-hander was scratched for precautionary reasons due to a very mild left oblique strain. Lindstrom is expected to resume throwing Saturday, the White Sox said.
Rookie Daniel Webb returned home to Kentucky due to a death in his family. There is no timetable for his return.
"It's just a family deal," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Webb. "So we'll kind of go by what he needs and go from there."
Abreu shows patience in White Sox debut
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The most significant occurrence to come from Jose Abreu's first Cactus League contest, aside from it being his first spring contest, were the 11 pitches he saw over two hitless at-bats in the White Sox 5-0 loss to the Dodgers on Friday.
Abreu took seven of those pitches, giving a brief glimpse of the patient plan of attack he employs at the plate.
"I'm trying to see a lot of pitches right now," Abreu said through translator and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "I want to get a feel for the strike zone and I want to be able to see a lot of them so I feel comfortable swinging the bat."
While Yasiel Puig was not part of the Dodgers' lineup, fellow Cuban countryman Alex Guerrero started at second for Los Angeles.
"It is a great opportunity to play with a fellow Cuban on a different ground, on a different place," said Abreu, who lined out to left and grounded out to second. "Like I always said to all the Cuban players, 'You have to keep working hard so you have a chance to come in and play at this level.'"
Third to first
• Maikel Cleto, the hard-throwing, 24-year-old right-hander who was claimed off waivers from the Royals by the White Sox on Wednesday, is looking forward to his new opportunity.
"I worked very hard in winter ball, and mostly worked on sharpening my pitches, basically location and all that stuff," said Cleto, who throws a fastball, changeup, slider and sinker. "I feel good right now, so we'll see how it goes.
"I've got a good velocity, but when I was in the Dominican in winter ball, I concentrated on location. That's important to me."
• Felipe Paulino is scheduled to start Sunday against the Rangers in Surprise, Ariz., followed by Jose Quintana on Monday at home against the Royals and Erik Johnson on Tuesday in Goodyear against the Indians.
• The White Sox have 62 players in camp and have 13 new players on their 40-man roster to begin camp, compared to the start of 2013 Cactus League action. Paul Konerko is the oldest at 37 years old, and Carlos Sanchez is the youngest at 21.