Sale's pain in the neck is over

Left-handed reliever Chris Sale threw off a mound today as the White Sox took batting practice in preparation for their game against Single-A Winston Salem.

After dealing with limited mobility the past few days because of a stiff neck, Sale feels much better and pronounced himself available for Opening Day on Friday at Cleveland.

In 21 big-league games last season, Sale was impressive in posting a 1.93 ERA, even recording four saves. He was being considered for the closer's opening this spring before that job was eventually awarded to Matt Thornton.

Because of his limited playing time in 2010, Sale will still be considered a first-year player and is one of the favorites for the American League Rookie of the Year award, along with teammate Brent Morel.

Sale struggled early this spring but after a minor adjustment he started pitching better in the closing days of the Cactus League schedule. He left Arizona with a 5.06 ERA.