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Chris Sale polishing another weapon against left-handed hitters

Watch him throw a pair of beautiful changeups against a left-handed hitter during his final spring start


It sure looks like Chris Sale is raring to go.

In his final tuneup before Opening Day, Sale breezed through the Texas Rangers' lineup, throwing four easy innings to wrap up his Cactus League season during an 11-3 White Sox winner.

Because the game was on CSN Chicago, we have some Pitch f/x data to work with. And because the game was on, we can GIF some highlights. In this case, we can see where Sale stands on his preseason project of throwing more changeups to lefties.

Sale subjected David Murphy to the most thorough working-over of the afternoon, throwing a pair of beautiful changeups for an inning-ending strikeout.

The first took place on a 1-1 count, as Sale threw a beautiful changeup that Murphy couldn't stay back on for a swinging strike:


And after Murphy laid off a slider in the dirt to even the count, Sale came back with another changeup. It's hard to say if Murphy was covering the outside corner, but he definitely couldn't get his hands in enough as the ball dropped out of the hitting zone for the swinging K:


Mitch Moreland was the only other lefty in the Texas lineup, so that's it for Sale's lefty-on-lefty changeups during the afternoon. According to Sale, they felt as good as they looked.

"Yeah, it felt good, especially to lefties," said Sale of the pitch, which helped him limit the Rangers to one Geovany Soto solo homer over four innings and 50 pitches, while he fanned five.

"Hector told me before the game that we were going to throw a lot more changeups," Sale added. "He said that these guys have seen your breaking ball and haven't been quite on your changeup and haven't seen it as much."

You can see the rest of Sale's pitch data here. The Rangers didn't force him to work too hard -- he threw 50 pitches over four innings, with Geovany Soto's solo shot (3-1 fastball on the outer half) the only damage. In non-fastball counts, Sale got a lot of silly swings, many of which you can see in this strikeout compilation.

On the spring, Sale finished 4-0 with a 3.86 ERA, allowing 22 baserunners (17 hits, four walks, one hit batsman) over 23⅓ innings. He allowed five homers, but he also induced five double plays. Whatever you make of the numbers -- and I'd suggest very little -- they're not nearly as important as the fact that Sale finished the spring in full working order. He's ready for Opening Day.