FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox who stepped in against Chris Sale for Monday's live batting practice session got a glimpse of what American League East hitters are going to have to deal with regularly this season.The most apt word? Nasty."It's a lot more fun facing him knowing he's
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox who stepped in against Chris Sale for Monday's live batting practice session got a glimpse of what American League East hitters are going to have to deal with regularly this season.
The most apt word? Nasty.
"It's a lot more fun facing him knowing he's your teammate," said Red Sox outfielder Chris Young, who faced Sale a day after going against David Price. "He's a handful, that's no secret."
With his lanky frame and unique delivery, Sale stood out among the crowd as he got his work done with a 30-pitch session on Field 3.
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"Good. Very good," Red Sox manager John Farrell said after watching the left-hander. "He certainly gives an uncomfortable feel to the hitter in the box. And you combine it with stuff that seemingly moves all over the strike zone. We're getting a first-hand look at why he's been so successful and an elite pitcher."
Young, who has made a habit of hammering left-handed pitchers in his career, is 1-for-11 against Sale. What makes him so tough?
"His delivery, his release point, it always changes and that's what makes him so effective," said Young. "His breaking ball starts really far out and comes all the way across the plate. His fastball has good movement. His changeup is good. He has three plus pitches, and that's what makes him really effective."
For Sale, it was a productive day at the office.
"Mostly fastball-changeup today," Sale said. "I threw three breaking balls. You know, that's usually the last one that I try to incorporate. I'm just trying to get my feel and get a feel for pitches. Not only that, just getting off the mound on a baseball field instead of a side session mound. You've got guys standing in there for the first time. But everything went well."
Sale's acclimation to life with the Red Sox continues to be smooth.
"It's been great. Everybody here's been awesome," Sale said. "Staff, top to bottom, players, everybody, very welcoming. There's definitely an energy in here, there's a buzz, and there's an expectation level that needs to be met on a daily basis, which is awesome to see."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and **Facebook**.