White Sox lefty Chris Sale has gained 10-15 pounds
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com January 25, 2013 11:17PM
Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura during SoxFest at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Ill., on Friday, January 25, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 27, 2013 6:19AM
Joking that his weight gain must be in his feet, Chris Sale said he has gained 10 to 15 pounds and expects to start spring training around 180. Last spring, the string-bean All-Star left-hander went to camp at 168.
Sale said he ate a lot while working to strengthen his legs and core. He also is using the strenuous Pilates conditioning method to increase flexibility in his legs and hips. He threw lightly off a mound last week.
“Everything is great; my body feels good,’’ Sale said. “I feel loose. I’m excited for spring training to start.’’
Sale pitched 192 innings in 2012 with occasional breaks during his first full season as a starter. Manager Robin Ventura will bring him along slowly this spring, just one of many careful steps the Sox will take to help Sale reach 200 innings.
If Sale has his eye on that number, he’s not saying.
“I try not to think about [numbers],’’ Sale said. “Just who I’m pitching against today and what I have to do today to prepare for tomorrow.’’
The Sox announced the terms of their deal with right-hander Matt Lindstrom, who gets a one-year, $2.8 million contract, including a club option for 2014. Lindstrom will receive $2.3 million in 2013, and the Sox hold a $4 million option for 2014, which has a $500,000 buyout.
Lindstrom, 32, went 1-0 with a 2.68 ERA and 40 strikeouts over 46 combined games with Baltimore and Arizona last season.
“I kept asking my agent, ‘What about the White Sox? What about the White Sox?’ ’’ Lindstrom said. “It’s somewhere I always wanted to play. I’m super-stoked to get going.’’
Lindstrom has some closer experience, which appealed to general manager Rick Hahn.
“Matt’s addition helps solidify our bullpen with a power arm and a veteran presence,” Hahn said.
Danks on target
Hahn said left-hander John Danks is on or ahead of schedule as he recovers from midseason shoulder surgery. Being ready for Opening Day isn’t out of the question, although the Sox have no need to rush him back with Hector Santiago as a possible early rotation replacement.
“I feel good,’’ Danks said. ‘‘Everything I hear is that I’m on schedule.’’
In a lighter moment during a fan seminar with Hahn and Ventura, executive vice president Ken Williams was last in line to ask Hahn, “Will the new general manager do a better or worse job than the previous GM?’’
“That’s not fair — you had a better support staff,’’ said Hahn, who was Williams’ assistant.
The first question asked of Hahn was from a fan who wanted to know why A.J. Pierzynski wasn’t re-signed. Hahn repeated what he has been saying for weeks: that bringing back Jake Peavy and solidifying the pitching staff was a priority and that Tyler Flowers is viewed as a capable replacement.
Hahn mentioned Bill James’ projection that Flowers’ OPS will be 60 points higher than Pierzynski’s in 2013.
Flowers said he will arrive at camp Feb. 2, 10 days before pitchers and catchers are required to report.
“I can’t wait to get rolling,’’ he said.
Hahn also told fans he never shopped left fielder Dayan Viciedo, contrary to reports during the winter meetings.