GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When Chris Sale threw his 65-pitch simulated game Wednesday morning at Camelback Ranch, getting up and down five times, Alex Avila was behind the plate.Tyler Flowers caught every pitch thrown by the White Sox ace over the past two seasons, but Sale doesn't feel the need for
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When Chris Sale threw his 65-pitch simulated game Wednesday morning at Camelback Ranch, getting up and down five times, Alex Avila was behind the plate.
Tyler Flowers caught every pitch thrown by the White Sox ace over the past two seasons, but Sale doesn't feel the need for a personal catcher between Avila and Dioner Navarro in 2016.
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"Just because I have in the past doesn't mean I need it going forward," Sale said. "With Dioner and Alex, both those guys are professionals with track records. They've caught guys with better stuff than me. It won't be too tough to transition."
Thinking of pitchers with better stuff than Sale is a tough proposition, but his stuff won't be on display in Cactus League action until March 19 against the Dodgers. Sale focused on elevating fastballs and breaking balls to lefties Wednesday, calling it another good workout.
"My question is always, 'Can we get this to more like a game?'" Sale said with a laugh. "With 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. Definitely ready for those.
"It's just being competitive. Especially in scenarios like you're in right now, you're not competing against a batter. You're competing with yourself, and that's where I get the adrenaline, the focus and that edge. I'm trying to do well against the hitter, but I'm trying to beat myself and better myself on every pitch I make."
While working on his pitching, Sale also has kept track of his team's offense in Cactus League action and likes what he sees.
"You guys might not see it, but there is something different about this spring, a lot more energy and positivity," Sale said. "There's just something, and I think it's showing. It's definitely showing, we're putting up, what, 10 runs in three innings [Tuesday]? With that, you can't help but to build confidence and momentum going forward.
"This is fun. 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."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.