White Sox

Garfien: Peavy Expects to Pitch Like a No. 1

Garfien: Peavy Expects to Pitch Like a No. 1

Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010
5:22 P.M.

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

Walking into the White Sox clubhouse on the day that pitchers and catchers officially reported, I noticed something unique about the squad Kenny Williams had assembled for 2010, but I couldnt put a finger on it.

There was a pair of cowboy boots at one locker, a fishing pole at another, mixed together with the overwhelming stench of Skoal.

We got a lot of rednecks around here, Jake Peavy observed.

Maybe not the word that I would have used, but ummm.thats it.

Jakes locker sits near fellow good ol boys Scott Linebrink, Mark Buehrle, and Bobby Jenks, who has cleverly pegged this area Redneck Row.

I was getting made fun of for my cowboy boots, Peavy said. But I promise you theres going to be 6, 7, 8, 9 guys walking in here with cowboy boots.

Rest assured, Kenny Williams will not be one of them.

Peavy, from Mobile, Alabama, proudly declared that his injured ankle from last season(and the rest of his body) is now 100 percent. Im healthy and as ready as Ive ever been.

But he wont need to be ready on Opening Day. For a franchise-record 8th time, Mark Buehrle will get the nod, a decision announced later in the day by Ozzie Guillen.

Before learning that hell pitch April 5th against the Indians(on Comcast SportsNet by the way), Buehrle nominated Peavy to be the Sox 1 starter for the season, saying, Id rather watch a pitching match-up of PeavyVerlander than BuehrleVerlander.

Cant really argue with that.

And dont even try to squabble with John Danks about his idol, Mr. Buerhle. Who was his pick for Opening Day? No surprise.

Im going to say Buehrle because hes been here the longest. No disrespect to Jake but Buehrle has been here, hes the face of the franchise, and if Im the pitching coach Im going with Buehrle.

But while Peavy might not technically be the Sox number-one(atleast on Opening Day) Jake said I expect to pitch like a number-one.

He also talks like a number-one.

After feeling the pressure of being THE guy in San Diego, Jake acknowledged that its a different situation with the White Sox. Higher expectations, but less individual pressure.

Its fun to jump in and be one of the guys, and not to be looked as having to carry such a big load that, at times, I may have felt in San Diego.

Peavy came to the White Sox to win a World Series, something only a handful of Sox players are still around to remember.

It seems like forever ago, Buehrle said. Not just with guys not being here and not many guys left, but five years have passed, and other teams have been winning, and we havent been there in a couple years, so we definitely want to be back.

Let the Hoedown begin!

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

As encouraging as the reports are on many of the White Sox’s minor-league pitching prospects, Carlos Rodon’s effort against the Athletics on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field could prove just as significant to the rebuild on the South Side.

Looking much like the ace the Sox envisioned prior to Rodon’s rough 2017 season that ended with shoulder surgery, the left-hander put together his most successful effort of ’18 during a 10-3 drubbing of the Athletics before a sun-drenched crowd of 21,908.

Making his fourth start of the season, Rodon matched a career-high by going eight innings. He yielded two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Rodon earned his first win of the season to help the Sox salvage a split of the four-game series.

“I felt good today—a lot of strikes,” Rodon said. “It was good to go eight and just be ahead of guys.”

Helping matters for Rodon was an offensive explosion by the Sox, led by Yoan Moncada’s career-high six RBIs. After falling behind 2-0, the Sox plated five runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings as Moncada cleared the bases with a double off the base of the wall in the fifth and launched his 10th home run of the season to drive in three more an inning later.

“Today was a great day,” Moncada said via a team interpreter. “I just went out to play the game the way that I play. Just to have fun. It was a very good game for me.”

Daniel Palka and Yolmer Sanchez also homered as the Sox won for just the second time in their last 11 games.

Rodon was the happy recipient of the run support to win his first game since Aug. 21, 2017, against the Twins. On Sunday, he threw 99 pitches, 69 for strikes and was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball.

“I’m looking to do that every time out,” Rodon said. “Just show up and establish the strike zone with the fastball and be aggressive.”

The 25-year-old’s second-inning strikeout of Khris Davis was the 400th of Rodon’s career. It is a career that is continuing after a surgery that was a setback, but one that did not derail Rodon’s confidence that he would again pitch effectively.

“There are up-and-down days when you go through shoulder surgery or any surgery for any player,” Rodon said. “You've just got to work through it and try to make your way back. I'm here now and it’s looking up and I’m trying to get better.”

So is it reasonable to view Rodon as the future ace after all?

“You certainly can’t discount that,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He has to go out there and continue to get his feet underneath him and get through the rest of the season healthy and climbing.”

In other Sox pitching news, Renteria said starter Dylan Covey, who was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game due to a hip flexor injury, “felt better” Sunday and the team will continue to monitor the right-hander’s progress.

Meanwhile, veteran Miguel Gonzalez made a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte as he continues to recover from inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Gonzalez went three innings and allowed one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez belted his first homer for the Knights in the game.

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

No one knows better than Joakim Soria that the more successful he is as the White Sox’s closer, there is an increased likelihood that the veteran right-hander will be headed out of town at some point.

Soria has not only solidified the back end of the bullpen, the 34-year-old has emerged as perhaps the Sox’s most valuable trade asset to a contending team in need of relief help.

Over this last 14 appearances, Soria has not allowed an earned run and has converted all seven save chances with five hits allowed, two walks and 15 strikeouts.

“My body feels good and my arm feels good,” Soria said before the Sox defeated the Athletics 10-3 on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. “I come to the ballpark expecting to pitch and … I try to be out there and help this team win.”

While the Sox haven’t done a whole lot of winning of late—Sunday’s win was just their second in their last 11 games—when they are victorious it’s accompanied by a Soria save. With the Sox’s rebuild in full swing, Soria understands that general manager Rick Hahn won’t hesitate to flip him in a trade.

“Players say they don’t think about it but you have to think about it,” said Soria, who was acquired from the Royals on Jan. 4 in a three-team trade also involving the Dodgers. “When you have a family with three kids and a wife you have to be prepared for everything. But it’s not like I come to the field thinking about that. It’s just God’s plan and whatever happens it’s a business and you prepare.”

Soria has 215 career saves, including 162 in seven seasons with the Royals, but hadn’t been a full-time closer since notching a combined 24 saves with the Tigers and Pirates. With the Sox, Soria won the closing job over fellow veteran Nate Jones in spring training and has been nearly unhittable in recent weeks.

Over his last 13 2/3 innings pitched, Soria has held opponents to a .109 batting average and sports a 2.89 ERA for the season. He has issued five walks in 28 innings and is averaging 10.29 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

The two-time All-Star has settled in nicely in a Sox clubhouse featuring a mix of veterans and promising talents. Soria has to balance that with the knowledge he might not be around as the season progresses.

“It’s something I can’t control,” Soria said. “I have a really good relationship with these guys and the chemistry with this team is very good. I can’t think outside of the box because (a trade) hasn’t happened yet. You have to keep focused and be ready for today’s game.”