(CBS) When Chris Sale arrives in Glendale, Ariz. for spring training next month, he’ll be considered a starter and not a reliever.

With the loss of Mark Buehrle, it’s been speculated that Sale would join the rotation in 2012 and the 22-year-old confirmed Monday that starting is the plan.

“I talked to (pitching coach Don Cooper) and he reassured me we are sticking to the starting plan,” Sale said on a conference call with reporters. “I’m ready for the challenge.”

Sale said he’s not looking to fill the shoes of Buehrle, a fellow lefty. For one, he throws the ball a lot harder, with his fastball often reaching 97 miles per hour. The challenge will be to develop other pitches instead of relying on that fastball.

Watch & Listen LIVE