White Sox

Danks wild, White Sox slug way to victory

406093.jpg

Danks wild, White Sox slug way to victory

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Posted 5:27 p.m. Updated 6:29 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. A wins a win, and the Chicago White Sox improved to 3-6-1 on the spring with a 9-7 victory Tuesday over the Colorado Rockies, but it was a bit sloppier an outing for John Danks in his second start of the spring, throwing 55 pitches and just more than half for strikes.

More than anything, I just wasnt making my pitches, Danks said. Its good to go out there and throw the pitches I need to throw and whatnot, but walks are an issue. Theres no other way of putting it I feel good, I just need to be able to throw it where I want to now.

He only walked a few people, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen offered in Dankss defense. He threw the ball very well. Im happy where he is.

Guillen also characterized the 31-hit, 17-run affair, with a roll of the eyes and wipe of the brow, as a typical Arizona game.

Bounced from the fourth inning with just one out, Danks struggled with his control all game long, giving up three walks and five hits, including a two-run shot to Ty Wigginton that drove Danks from the game.

Its just part of the process in spring, Danks said. There are four more starts left. Theres time to get it right. Thats going to be my focus.

Chicago tapped out 17 hits against Colorado pitching, amassing eight early in the game against Rockies starter Felipe Paulino. Tyler Flowers and Eduardo Escobar knocked run-scoring singles in the second, while Gordon Beckham and Mark Teahen did the same in the third.

The White Sox picked up a fifth run courtesy of Flowers smoking hot bat, as the catcher upped his average to .625 with a line-smash home run to left.

After Colorado rallied off of aspiring closer Matt Thornton to tie the game at five in the seventh, the White Sox broke the game wide open with five hits in their first six at-bats in the bottom half, punctuated by a game-tying hit from Paul Konerko and a two-run double from Jordan Danks.

Colorado had another rally going in the eighth, but found it stanched in part by a second outfield assist from Dayan Viciedo, this time throwing Ben Paulsen out at the plate in the eighth.

After the game, Guillen offered his strongest endorsement of The Tanks play so far.

He looked good, Guillen said. I dont know if its hes more comfortable out there, or just natural. Hes better than we thought: Making the plays, hitting the cutoff man, having great at-bats Hes making it harder for a lot of people, no doubt.

Its early, too early

Guillen has consistently lamented the long spring schedule ahead of the White Sox, anguishing over the 31 games remaining.

We still have a long way to go, he said. I was checking the schedule this morning and I almost started crying when I saw how many games weve got left laughter. To be honest with you, this is a joke. We got 31 games and we have doubleheaders, B-games, we have day-night doubleheaders.

But its not just bus weariness that is slowing Guillens roll. The long spring means its much too early to make bold decisions on players, even to the extent of cutting players off of the spring roster.

Thats why I say its too early to make big decisions, Guillen said. Guys are swinging the bat well. The people were watching closely are doing good, the Gordons, the Chris Sales, the Sergio Santos, Viciedo, Brent Morel. Mark Teahen is swinging the bat very well Everything is fine, everybody is healthy, thats the most important thing.

Tank talk

Viciedos play was a natural topic postgame, and the long spring was one reason Guillen gives in not going overboard about his right fielders play.

Its too early, Guillen repeated. Viciedos had a pretty good spring training, but you never know. Were glad about how hes played, no doubt about it. Were excited about him. Hopefully this year we finally have got him in one position. Hes only had a couple years in baseball, and we moved him from third base to first base, first base to third base, its not easy. Hes handled it very well. I hope he continues to play like that.

Method to the madness

The tedium of spring is part of the reason Guillen tabbed all the action up until today as vacation for his players. Pacingthe six-month regular season hasnt yet begunis key for Ozzie.

With the big guys core players, I dont worry, Guillen said. They get ready for the games in their own way. Its not easy to put pressure on yourself, like, Oh God, I have to win games. Just pitch and play the games to get ready for the season. Obviously, when you win its nicer. But I dont worry about the core players. I dont even look at those guys. Adam Dunns already got a couple more hits this spring than he had all last year, we checked that his spring statistics out.

Ozzie on Ali

Guillen was still wowed by his teams meeting with Muhammad Ali before todays gamemore so for the discussion it fostered within his team than the audience with the champ.

It was a great experience, not just for me, but for everybody, Guillen said. To me, it was cool, but for the rest of the guys, it was inspirational. I took a lot of feedback from the players. I can learn from them. Brent Lillibridge said something. Lastings Milledge said something I never heard before. We have different opinions, not talking about black or white, were talking about everyones opinion. This was the best meeting Ive had in 30 years in spring training.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

mickeradolfo.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

PHOENIX, Ariz. — One of the White Sox prized prospects will be on the shelf for a little while.

Outfielder Micker Adolfo has a sprained UCL in his right elbow and a strained flexor tendon that could require surgery. He could avoid surgery, though he could be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Though he hasn’t received the same high rankings and media attention as fellow outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, Adolfo is considered a part of the White Sox promising future. He’s said to have the best outfield arm in the White Sox system.

Adolfo had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .264/.331/.453 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 112 games with Class A Kannapolis.

Adolfo, along with Jimenez and Robert, has been generating buzz at White Sox camp in Glendale, with a crowd forming whenever the trio takes batting practice. Earlier this week, the three described their conversation dreaming about playing together in the same outfield for a contending White Sox team in the future.

As Cactus League play begins, how many spots are actually up for grabs on the White Sox roster?

0223-rick-renteria-rick-hahn.jpg
AP

As Cactus League play begins, how many spots are actually up for grabs on the White Sox roster?

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Some teams have it easy, with their 25-man rosters seemingly locked into place before spring training games even start.

The White Sox actually have a lot more locked-down spots than you might think for a rebuilding team, but this spring remains pretty important for a few guys.

The starting rotation figures to be set, with James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Miguel Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer the starting five. Carlos Rodon, of course, owns one of those spots once he returns from injury. But the date of that return remains a mystery.

From this observer’s viewpoint, eight of the everyday nine position players seem to be figured out, too: Welington Castillo behind the plate, Jose Abreu at first base, Yoan Moncada at second base, Tim Anderson at shortstop, Yolmer Sanchez at third base, Nicky Delmonico in left field, Avisail Garcia in right field and Matt Davidson as the designated hitter. More on the omission of a starting center fielder in a bit.

Omar Narvaez would be a logical pick to back up Castillo at catcher, and Tyler Saladino is really the lone reserve infielder with big league experience, not to mention he’s a versatile player that can play anywhere on the infield.

Leury Garcia also figures to be a lock for this 25-man roster. But will he be the everyday center fielder, as he was for a spell last season? He played 51 games in center in 2017 but battled injuries throughout the year. I think Leury Garcia will end up the starting center fielder when the season begins because of his bat. His .270/.316/.423 slash line isn’t going to make anyone do cartwheels, but it’s better than the offensive struggles of Adam Engel, who started 91 games in center in 2017 and slashed .166/.235/.282. Engel would still be a solid inclusion on the bench because of his superb defense, but to create that big a hole in the everyday lineup is tough.

How could that position-player group change? Keep your eyes in center field, where there are a couple other guys who could force their way into a roster spot this spring: Charlie Tilson and Ryan Cordell. Tilson has had a tremendous amount of trouble staying on the field since coming over to the White Sox in a 2016 deadline deal, but that hasn’t dampened the White Sox hopes for him. And Cordell got name-dropped by general manager Rick Hahn during SoxFest, when the GM said he’s received multiple calls about Cordell since acquiring him last summer. Cordell put up good numbers at the Triple-A level prior to a significant injury last year.

But the main battles figure to be in the bullpen. At times this winter, as the White Sox kept adding players to that relief corps mix, that the whole thing seemed wide open. But when you think about it, maybe there are only one or two open spots.

You’d have to think these guys are pretty safe bets to make the team: Juan Minaya, Gregory Infante, Nate Jones, Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan. Though Hector Santiago was just recently acquired on a minor league deal, he’s really the only long man of the group, and he could sub in if there’s an injury to a starting pitcher. That leaves two spots between the group of Aaron Bummer, Danny Farquhar, Jace Fry, Jose Ruiz and Thyago Vieira — not to mention guys signed to minor league deals like Xavier Cedeno, Jeanmar Gomez and Bruce Rondon.

Bummer had a 4.50 ERA in 30 big league games last year. Farquhar had a 4.40 ERA in 15 games. Vieira has gotten attention as a flame-thrower, but he’s got just one big league game under his belt, something that might or might not matter to the rebuilding White Sox. Guys like Gomez, who has 40 career saves including 37 just two years ago, and Rondon, who had multiple shots at the Detroit Tigers’ closing job in the past, could vault themselves into the mix as potential midseason trade candidates.

Then there's the question of which of those guys will be Rick Renteria's closer. Minaya had closing duties after most of the bullpen was traded away last summer. He picked up nine saves and posted a 4.11 ERA in his final 17 appearances of the campaign. Look to Soria, though, a veteran with plenty of closing experience from his days with the Kansas City Royals. If he's given the opportunity to close and succeeds, he could fetch an intriguing return package in a potential deadline deal.

But now it's game time in Arizona.

“The fun part of playing the game of baseball is playing the game of baseball," Renteria said earlier this week. "We prepare. I think they all enjoy what they’re doing in terms of their preparation. They take it seriously, they focus. But ultimately like everything that we do in life, I guess it’s a test. And the games are a test for us on a daily basis. And how we are able to evaluate them and take advantage of the opportunities that we have to see them in a real game situation is certainly helpful for us.”