GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The longer spring training this season forced Chicago White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper into some changes to the schedule he uses to make sure the staff is ready on time.
Cooper said that at the outset everybody will be pitching every other day, except for Chris Sale and Matt Thornton, who will have two days off between throwing sessions. Also, John Danks, who is coming off shoulder surgery this past summer, won’t have a throwing session until Thursday.
Teams reported about a week earlier than usual this year as a nod to the World Baseball Classic, which takes place this spring.
With the earlier reporting date, it also means that games will start sooner than usual. The White Sox will play their spring opener Feb. 23 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cooper said that none of the White Sox’s projected starting staff will pitch in a game before March 1. That means that guys like Dylan Axelrod, Zach Stewart, Hector Santiago, Scott Snodgress, Erik Johnson and Simon Castro will have the chance to start some early spring games.
When the regular rotation does make its Cactus League debut, Sale will hit the mound first on March 1 against the Cleveland Indians, followed by Jose Quintana, Jake Peavy, Danks and Gavin Floyd in successive days.
Cooper stressed that the order doesn’t necessarily represent the order the White Sox pitchers will be in once the regular season begins April 1 at home against the Kansas City Royals.