White Sox

White Sox sign 17, no surprises with first lineup

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White Sox sign 17, no surprises with first lineup

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2011
Posted 11:23 a.m. Updated 12:57 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. Overnight rains dashed the scheduled intersquad game for the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, but it will be business as usual for the team for Mondays Cactus League opener vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Heres the lineup behind starting pitcher Gavin Floyd:

Juan Pierre, lf
Gordon Beckham, 2b
Adam Dunn, dh
Paul Konerko, 1b
Alex Rios, cf
Carlos Quentin, rf
A.J. Pierzynski, c
Alexei Ramirez, ss
Brent Morel, 3b

The lineup has already been tweaked once, as manager Ozzie Guillen decided to get more at-bats for Dunn this spring, pushing the DH to third, Konerko up to fourth, and dropping Rios down from third to fifth.

Im going to try this one first because I want Dunn to get more at-bats in spring training, Guillen said. It doesnt matter where I put Dunn, hes going to be together with Konerko. I cant split them up. I tried, but I cant. I put Rios there at fifth just to see a different look and have some speed at the bottom of the lineup, too. I like it. It will be nice to see how it works.

Following Floyd will be Lucas Harrell, Miguel Socolovich, Jeff Gray, Tony Pena, Brandon Hynick, Will Ohman, Gregory Infante, and Jhonny Nunez.

Peavy Cruising

Yesterday pitching coach Don Cooper and starter Jake Peavy switched up the plan for the fireballer on Saturday, throwing long toss instead of a side session off the mound, but Peavy cautions against reading too much into that.

That was the plan, to stretch it out and get some arm strength, and long toss is better than getting on a mound at this point, Peavy said. Well take a day or so to regroup; Friday March 4 is my day, so I throw a few sides in-between now and then, maybe a light one on Monday and a light one on Wednesday, Thursday off, and Friday well see what we got.

Much has been made of Peavy keeping pace with the four other White Sox starters in terms of workload and residual soreness. But with every day, the righty is getting more confident hell remain on track to make his first start.

Were past the grueling parteight consecutive days, and throwing every other day is grueling, Peavy said. Throwing 40 pitches and down, and 40 pitches the following day is tough. But were past all that, with flying colors. I feel healthy. I just got down from working out. There are no limitations on anything Im doing which is always a good sign.

Early Roster Reads

Its been assumed that Guillen will be filling out his roster with the best fit for the club. But when a player like Mark Teahen, who can fill four or five positions on the field alone, is a roster lock, the need to mix and match role players is lessened.

Guillen confirmed that while a lot depends on Peavys health and readiness, it will be player performance that will determine the 25th man on the roster.

At the end of the day, the players make the team for you, Guillen said. You just sit there and relax, and all of a sudden they make the team for you. Because we dont have that many position players, we dont have many guys, we have split-squad games, everyone here is going to have a lot of at-bats. Theyre going to play a lot Those guys are going to have a lot of fun because theyre going to have a lot of at-bats.

Re-Ups
The White Sox wrapped up deals with all remaining unsigned players for 2011, inking 17 0-3 service time players on Sunday. The full group includes:

Beckham, 2b (one year, 123 days)

Anthony Carter, p (no service time)

Kyle Cofield, p (no service time)

Alejandro De Aza, of (two years, 75 days)

Freddy Dolsi, p (1.01 service time)

Eduardo Escobar, ss (no service time)

Tyler Flowers, c (67 days)

Stefan Gartrell, of (no service time)

Lucas Harrell, p (41 days)

Gregory Infante, p (33 days)

Nate Jones, p (no service time)

Brent Lillibridge, if-of (one year, 115 days)

Jeff Marquez, p (four days)

Brent Morel, 3b (31 days)

Jhonny Nunez, p (39 days)

Chris Sale, p (61 days)

Sergio Santos, p (one year)

The signings put the White Sox at right over 125 million in team payroll for 2011.

Teahen Returns

After departing camp for a short time to attend to his mother, Teahen returned to camp, entering the clubhouse door saying, What times the game? and smiling broadly. Teahen admitted that seeing his mother in person vs. just talking on the phone was a big relief to him.

Get it Right

While drills are often run briskly at White Sox camp, it doesnt mean that mistakes are glossed over. At the very end of team relay drills on Saturday, Beckham made a poor throw home after Quentin dealt him a shaky feed on a ball off the wall. Bench coach Joey Cora made Quentin and Beckham repeat the relay twice more before ending the workout with satisfaction.
Reinsdorf on Duke Snider

Jerry Reinsdorfs comment on the recent death of Hall of Famer Duke Snider:

Along with hundreds of thousands of other kids growing up in Brooklyn, Duke Snider was one of my idols. He really was one of us. As a 21-year-old rookie, he lived on my block and often would join us in games of stickball on his way home from his day job as the Dodgers center fielder. I always told him he was a better baseball player than he was a stick ball hitter. One day a kid hit the ball into a passing baby carriage, and I remember that the mother refused to give us back the ball. She would only give it back to Duke. I was 11 years old then. Duke, Pee Wee, Jackie and the rest of the Dodgers were everything to us. With news of his passing, I really stop and think, Where have all the years gone?

According to the White Sox, its one of the quotes the Baseball Hall of Fame has gathered to memorialize Snider.

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

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

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AP

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

GLENDALE, Ariz. — On a day when Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada took live batting practice for the first time this spring, off in the distance was a lanky White Sox prospect standing in the outfield grass.

But Alec Hansen was doing more than shagging flies. He was watching both hitters very closely.

“I was looking to see how much pop they had,” Hansen said of Abreu and Moncada. “I kind of look at that to see the difference in power between minor league ball and the major leagues. It’s nice to see it’s not a huge difference. That makes me feel a bit more comfortable.”

At 6-foot-8 — actually 6-foot-8-and-a-half, according to his spring training physical — Hansen is a big man with big plans for his baseball career. He might be quiet on the outside, but he has booming expectations for himself on the inside.

“I want to be the best,” Hansen said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

The best? The very best?

That’s what Hansen aspires to become, though later in our conversation, he did dial back a notch, settling for becoming “one of the best.”

Either is fine with manager Ricky Renteria, who is overseeing these uber-confident White Sox prospects and accepts their lofty expectations.

“I think their mindset is where it’s supposed to be,” Renteria said. “None of these kids are concerned or consumed with the possibility of failure. Much more they’re consuming themselves with the understanding that they might hit some stumbling blocks, but they’re going to have a way to avoid overcoming them and push forward and be the best that they can be.”

In his first full season in the White Sox organization, Hansen led the minor leagues with 191 strikeouts. He’s proud of that accomplishment but admitted something: He’s not that impressed because he didn’t do it where it really matters — in the major leagues.

When you watch Hansen pitch, it’s easy to see that the talent is there. His coaches and teammates rave about his ability. With his enormous size and power arm, he is loaded with strengths.  

Though there is one weakness that Hansen acknowledges he needs to work on.

“Sometimes I have a tendency to think too much and worry. I think worrying is the worst thing that I do just because I want to be perfect,” Hansen said. “I think everyone wants to be perfect, some more than others, and I worry about things getting in the way of achieving perfection.”

To Hansen, that doesn’t mean throwing a perfect game. He actually takes it one step further.

He wants to strikeout every single hitter he faces.

“I love striking people out,” Hansen said. “Not having to rely on anyone else and just getting the job done myself and knowing that the hitter can’t get a hit off me. That’s a great feeling. That they can’t put it in play. Like a line drive out. That’s terrible.”

At some point, Hansen will have to lower these impossible expectations for himself. This is an imperfect game. There’s no place for nine-inning, 27-strikeout performances. Players end up in the Hall of Fame because they learn how to succeed with failure.

In the meantime, Hansen is here in big league camp watching and learning anything and everything.

“I’m a good observer. I listen. I don’t really talk too much. I’m a pretty quiet guy. I like to sit back and observe and see how these guys go about their business. Just trying to be at their level, hopefully one day surpass them.”

Surpass?

“It’s kind of hard to surpass some of these guys. I mean, they’re at the tip-top, like the pinnacle of the sport,” Hansen said. “I guess you could say, to get on that level and then be one of the best in the league.”

He might be on his way.

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

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USA TODAY

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

The White Sox freed up a spot on their 40-man roster Sunday, outrighting pitcher Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte.

Covey pitched in 18 games last season, making 12 starts for the South Siders. Things did not go well, with Covey turning in an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings.

While there was an outside chance that Covey could have provided at least some starting-pitching depth heading into the 2018 season, the team's recent additions of Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago — not to mention Covey's results from last season — wiped out that idea.

At the moment, the White Sox starting rotation figures to look like this by Opening Day: James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, with Santiago seeming like a good option to provide depth as the long man in the bullpen.