White Sox pitchers and catchers reported to spring training on Saturday, but not everybody arrived in the best shape of their lives. One of them didn't even arrive at all.
Nate Jones falls into the former group, as he disclosed a "mild-to-moderate" glute strain on Saturday. That's better than Ronald Belisario, whose White Sox career is off to a very Ronald Belisario start with visa issues.
Outside of the two-sevenths of the projected bullpen, everybody else was willing to offer up some of that heart-smart spring training optimism that's good and good for you.
Danks delivered an early candidate for the quote of spring training when asked about his pitching last year:
"I don’t know if that was pitching," Danks said of his 2013 season. "That was kind of throw it and look out."
He went on to say that this season will at least start differently. He declared himself "100-percent healthy," and said he should be able to throw easier:
"Name it. I’m just feeling stronger," Danks said. "Not having to force things quite as much. The ball is coming out of my hand night and day better than it was last year. I feel good about things. I’m confident. I have high expectations for myself."
Coming off his own shoulder surgery, Tyler Flowers says he feels good and ready to reclaim the starting job. That's expected, but more intriguing is what he told Scott Merkin:
"Basically, I just decided at a point last year that I will do what I want to do more so," Flowers said. "I'm not going to be rude to the other coaches. Everybody is here to help everybody be better, but there comes a point where you become so uncomfortable and you get so many directions on things to try and do that you lose who you are and what feels good to you.
"That's more of where I'm at right now. I'm not just going to change everything just to please other people. I'll be comfortable and do, for the most part, what I want to do unless lack of success dictates a change."
He declined to specify what his approach looks like, except "you will see it when you watch me swing." Maybe he's going to let go of the bat.
It sounds like Abreu had a productive first few months in America:
As he heads into his first Spring Training in the big leagues, everything seems right with Abreu, especially his attitude and approach.
"Talking to him, from when to show up for camp, to his nutrition, to his hitting regimen, everything he's trying to do is to maximize his ability,'' White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Saturday. "He's by no means satisfied because he got the magnitude of a contract he was able to get. He wants to not only earn that money, but show it was a damn good deal for the White Sox.''