By Adam Hoge-
GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS) While manager Robin Ventura refuses to officially name him the Opening Day starter, Chris Sale continues to prove he’s the White Sox’s ace, throwing five innings of one-run baseball Monday in a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rockies.
“Were just not ready to do it yet,” Ventura said about naming a starter against the Kansas City Royals April 1. “I think we’ll see how everyone is in the next couple weeks and we’ll go from there.”
Ventura did a similar thing last year, waiting until the final week of spring training to name the Opening Day starter despite John Danks having a pretty firm grip on the position for most of spring training.
Sale stretched his arm out a little bit Monday, pitching into the sixth inning on just 58 pitches and then throwing an extra 15 in the bullpen after he was pulled. He only allowed three hits and one earned run, which came on a Yorvit Torrealba solo home run to lead off the sixth inning.
“Today was one of those clicking-on-all-cylinders days,” Sale said. “Arm felt free, felt loose. Felt like I had good command of all my pitches.”
Possibly the only blemish was the lack of strikeouts, as Sale only had two on the day.
Sox Cut 10
The White Sox made 10 cuts to the major league roster Monday, the most significant of which were pitchers Simon Castro, Santos Rodriguez and Nestor Molina. Castro and Rodriguez were optioned to Triple-A while Nestor Molina was optioned to Double-A.
“Everybody is going to get more playing time here and there’s not much room for them to get a lot of playing time so we send them down to get them their work to get ready for their season,” Ventura said.
Meanwhile, Stefan Gartrell, Erik Johnson, Seth Loman, Marcus Semien, Scott Snodgress, Trayce Thompson and Keenyn Walker were reassigned to minor league camp.
The White Sox now have 45 players remaining in major-league camp: 23 pitchers, four catchers, 11 infielders and seven outfielders.
Troncoso Making A Push
The White Sox bullpen seemed pretty set coming into the spring, but free agent right-hander Ramon Troncoso could make things interesting.
After a scoreless ninth inning appearance Monday that earned him the save, Troncoso has now given up just one run in 8.2 innings pitched this spring.
“It’s an interesting thing,” Ventura said. “He comes out here and seems to know what he’s doing out here. He’s performed. That’s definitely one of things you look at.”
Keppinger Still Recovering
Third baseman Jeff Keppinger was held out of on-field workouts Monday morning as he continues to nurse some irritation in his right shoulder. He was a late scratch Sunday and Ventura said he could return to DH Wednesday against the Indians, but it will be a couple days before he starts throwing again.
Tuesday is a scheduled off-day for the White Sox, although Jose Quintana will pitch in a minor league game.
Adam is the Sports Editor for CBSChicago.com and specializes in coverage of the Bears, Blackhawks, White Sox and college sports. He was born and raised in Lincoln Park and attended St. Ignatius College Prep before going off to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a Journalism degree. Follow him on Twitter @AdamHogeCBS and read more of his columns here.