Chris Sale aims to stay elite level

Ed Zurga

White Sox pitcher Chris Sale is working this offseason to build on his impressive first season as a starter.

After his first full season as a starting pitcher, Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox is going to use the offseason to try to build on the success he had in 2012, according to a report by Scott Merkin on the team's website on Friday.

Sale, who finished the season with a 17-8 record, 3.05 ERA and 192 strikeouts, ranked in the top 10 in the American League in the categories of wins (4th), strikeouts (9th), earned run average (4th), WHIP (5th) and win percentage (5th). Sale was also named to the AL All-Star team and finished sixth overall on the league's Cy Young ballot.

Though he began throwing to prepare for the 2012 season last November, according to the report, White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper advised the 23-year-old left-hander to hold off on resuming throwing until January, due to an increased workload on his throwing arm as a starter last season.

Here's what Sale said when discussing in the report what he learned last season:

"It's nice to get that first year out of the way, but I learned so much going through it: who I am and how my body reacts. I was learning from guys on the team, too, and I also learned from pitchers around the league, watching top-of-the-rotation guys step up and be that leader. You see what those guys do, catapulting their teams. Everyone wants to be that guy, striving to be the best you can be and best for the team. That's exactly what they did."

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