Intimidation reigns in live BP

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chicago White Sox hitters faced White Sox pitchers for the first time in live batting practice Wednesday and neither side appeared very comfortable.

Chris Sale squared off against Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia among others, and while Sale clearly looked to have the advantage this early in camp, he wasn’t exactly feeling intimidating out there.

“I’m glad I don’t have to face them (in the regular season),” Sale said. “Abreu got in there, and I was like, ‘All right, someone else can pitch.’ I’ll make sure to keep that L screen in front of me. Those guys look good. Everyone looks like they’re coming in, gaining some weight, looking strong. I’m looking forward to it.”

Abreu and Garcia might have looked imposing, but they were hardly confident facing pitches at 90 mph-plus for the first time. Garcia looked uncomfortable facing Sale’s fastball and then laughed when the left-hander threw an off-speed pitch that buckled his knees.

“It’s not fun,” manager Robin Ventura said when asked what it’s like to see pitches in the middle of February. “They go out there and do their best just to give the pitcher some looks of somebody standing in there, but I don’t think anybody is ready to start facing Chris before we even start with full-squad workouts. It’s good to see it, though. You don’t have to swing or do anything. Get your eyes used to it.”

Jose Quintana also faced hitters Wednesday as the White Sox progressed toward their Feb. 28 Cactus League opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sale is expected to start that game as well as Opening Day on March 31.

“It was good to just kind of get a feel,” Sale said. “Obviously throwing bullpens, you get your work in. It’s nice aving a body in there and kind of seeing how they react and getting some feedback from them, throwing some breaking balls and getting some feedback about what it looks like from the other side. It was good, worked out well. My arm felt good, felt loose and I’ll be ready to go in two more days.”