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White Sox spring training opens: Pitchers and catchers recap

Various players and staff members give the media their "State of Me" addresses

USA TODAY Sports

Larry already gave us a head start in recapping the first day of spring training. We read our first A.J. Pierzynski update before any Sox news started, we know that Chris Sale shrugs off the Verducci report and Gordon Beckham doesn't know what Baseball Prospectus is.

Thankfully, there's more.

Flexible ninth innings!

Scott Reifert has a lot of transcribed answers from Rick Hahn and Robin Ventura, and they're worth a read. The most interesting of the bunch was Hahn's response to a question about Addison Reed:

"Obviously he established himself last year. At the same time, I feel like we’ve got some options, if need be. Based on a given situation, if it’s Donnie Veal that needs to come in and get a tough lefty or even (Matt) Lindstrom on a certain day given the amount of usage in the last several games. I feel that Robin should have, knock on wood, the depth and alternatives to play the best matchup. I try not to get too hung up on "this guy’s the closer or this guy’s the setup man." I know it makes guys a little more comfortable to know when they need to get ready, at the same time given the communication that I expect Cooper and [Bobby Thigpen] and Robin will have with our guys, they’ll know that we’re going to go to the best guy to get the most important out when it arises. A lot of times that’s going to be Addison in the ninth and sometimes, perhaps it might not be."

A reenactment of me reading this:

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Governing pitchers!

The Sox are shortening the super-long spring training by holding their projected rotation back until March 1. That leaves six days for young pitchers like Erik Johnson, Scott Snodgress and Simon Castro to make an early impression, and then Chris Sale will take the mound when the new month rolls around.

*John Danks is still on track for Opening Day, even after adding breaking balls to his throwing program. He'll throw off a mound for Don Cooper on Thursday.

*Chris Sale will have no innings limit. If his arm is lacking something, Hahn says that there are healthy lines of communication with the coaches, which I assume will prevent a situation like the one last May from happening again.

*Jake Peavy says Sale should start on Opening Day, calling him "the best we've got." Sale said the honor would be "crazy," and he would be "speechless" if selected.

The earliest reporter?

Tyler Flowers is taking the opportunity to start seriously.

New uniform numbers!

Tucked into Reifert's notes, some White Sox switched up uniform numbers, which is neat. The changes thus far:

  • Don Cooper will change from No. 21 to No. 99 to honor Kevin Hickey.
  • Tyler Flowers will take No. 21 from Cooper, the first player to wear that number since Esteban Loaiza.
  • First-base coach Daryl Boston takes Flowers' old No. 17, and ...
  • ... Bobby Thigpen will take No. 58, which he wore his rookie season in 1986.

I was really hoping Flowers picked No. 21 to flip around Pierzynski's old number, but he wore that number back in Birmingham. It would've been awesome if he took No. 12 instead, because the fans who would be most upset are the ones who already dislike him.

Cell phone photos and video!

The size difference between Flowers and Josh Phegley is worth noting.