GLENDALE, Ariz. — The quality of Mat Latos’ work in camp has been fine. But the White Sox right-hander has some big objectives left to accomplish before the season starts.
Latos — scheduled to start next Thursday in Oakland — participated in a bullpen session on Wednesday morning. He’s also set for one last exhibition start on Friday in San Diego.
“His pitch total is certainly up, but he needs to be able to give us more innings,” pitching coach Don Cooper said. “He’s had difficulty with efficiency and difficulty going past four. That’s not the job description. So he needs to climb.”
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Latos might not get the chance to do much ascending at Petco Park — “a lot of other guys need to pitch in that game,” Cooper said. Similar to Chris Sale on Tuesday, Latos may have to head to the bullpen for extra work on Friday. Sale threw 15 pitches in the bullpen after completing 5 1/3 innings on Tuesday.
Latos has only completed 8 2/3 innings in two starts this spring and has a 12.46 ERA. He threw 96 pitches in Sunday’s start, so pitch count isn’t an issue. Cooper has seen Latos make some progress in his work throughout the spring. He said he’s seen better fastball location, an improved slider and a changeup he has thrown for strikes. He also said Latos’ split-fingered fastball has become more of a put-away pitch.
[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
But now he needs a consistent performance to build momentum.
“There’s more to put together,” Cooper said. “We’ve got to continue his climb with the efficiency of his pitches. There are some innings where he’s falling behind in the count. If you’ve just seen his game so far, efficiency and being efficient enough to get through more innings has not quite been there.
“We’ve got faith in him that it’s going to happen.”
The Charlotte Knights took on the Pawtucket Red Sox on Thursday night in a high-profile minor league game due to White Sox No. 2 prospect Michael Kopech being on the mound.
Kopech, the 22-yearold old flame throwing right-hander, has been collecting impressive strikeout totals but has struggled with his control. He had issued 15 walks over his last five starts, and prior to Thursday's game his ERA was 4.48. But Kopech shined in all facets against Pawtucket.
In six innings of work, Kopech allowed one earned run on seven hits, and had nine strikeouts. But the most important part of his game was that fact that he only issued one walk in the start.
Prior to Thursday's game, Kopech had 122 strikeouts and 57 walks over 88.1 innings pitched. If he continues to cut down his walks he will become a very efficient pitcher in the future.
But the performance is important in the context of the White Sox losing season, as a lack of control is perhaps the last thing holding Kopech back from being able to make his major league debut.
White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito isn't having a great season, but at least it looks like his Twitter account could pass a background check.
A Twitter user dug through some of Giolito's tweets from his teenage years. He didn't find much in the way of hateful, mean or angry tweets. Instead, he found candy, touch tanks at the aquarium and animated movies.
The tweet got plenty of attention on the platform, leading Giolito to comment on it. Giolito took the joke with a good sense of humor and made a joke at his own expense.
This kind of makes you wonder what else would qualify as Giolito's "dark side." Maybe this will spawn a series of Lucas Giolito facts like the very tame version of Chuck Norris or The Most Interesting Man in the World.