White Sox

White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

Robin Ventura's first Opening Day lineup is as follows: De Aza CF, Morel 3B, Dunn DH, Konerko 1B, Pierzynski C, Rios CF, Ramirez SS, Viciedo LF, Beckham 2B, Danks SP.

Chuck Garfien's down in Texas for Opening Day, and he spoke with Paul Konerko on Thursday about what the Sox will do in 2012. As Konerko sees it, they'll do everything "the right way."

Hector Santiago? Matt Thornton? Addison Reed? Whoever winds up closing games for the Sox actually isn't a big deal, since the relief corps is deep and should succeed regardless of who's taking the ball in the ninth.

David Kaplan previewed White Sox opening week in the first installment of the BMO-Harris Bank Look Ahead:

A.J. Pierzynski, Gordon Beckham, Brent Lillibridge and Kenny Williams are Southside in this great Nike ad spot.

Williams was pretty awesome in that Nike commercial, but his comments about disgraced defensive coordinator Gregg Williams -- whose bounty targets included Williams' son, Kyle -- were perfect given his position and the ugliness of this whole situation: "Personally, suspension or not, it's probably best I'm never in a room with Gregg Williams and wonder if such an order crosses the line of the aggressive, competitive spirit we all know and love about the sport and leans closer to a criminal act and therefore litigious matter."

Around the division: Jose Valverde proved why wins are a worthless stat in Detroit's 3-2 win over Boston, Cleveland lost the longest season-opening game on record and was involved in another beanball war, Jonathan Broxton was named Kansas City's closer, and Minnesota got some bad news as Scott Baker was pulled from a minor league rehab start.

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease picked up a win in his first start, but his second did not go as well.

Cease pitched six innings Tuesday at the Royals and gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk. He struck out seven, but took the loss in an ugly game for the White Sox.

The game got off to an ominous start with Eloy Jimenez getting injured on the first batter Cease faced. The White Sox defense didn’t help Cease much either with three errors (Cease had one of those on an errant pickoff throw).

After giving up six runs in the first four innings, Cease settled down to retire the final eight batters he faced. He finished with seven strikeouts against just one walk and threw 67 of his 108 pitches for strikes.

Cease struck out six in his first start and is the first pitcher in White Sox history to strike out six or more in each of his first two career appearances.

A deeper look at Cease’s numbers show his swing and miss stuff hasn’t quite caught on as expected so far. Cease got 13 swinging strikes in 101 pitches in his major league debut. He got 12 whiffs on 108 pitches on Tuesday. His slider did get five swinging strikes on 25 pitches against the Royals.

Fastball command remains a key part to Cease’s success. He only threw 26 out of 54 fastballs for strikes in his debut. Cease improved upon that with 31 strikes on 50 fastballs against the Royals.

Most of the Royals’ damage came against Cease’s fastball as well. Six of the Royals’ eight hits off Cease, including all three extra base hits, were off heaters. Cease also gave up four hits with two strikes.

There has been plenty of hype surrounding Cease since he joined the White Sox, but he hasn’t hit the ground running in the majors just yet. Having 13 days between the first two starts of his career due to the all-star break and the White Sox giving him some extra rest also isn’t the ideal scenario for a young pitcher.

Cease’s ERA is now at 5.73, which isn’t going to set the world on fire. Still, there have been enough positives in his first two starts to see where reasonable improvement could lead to Cease becoming the pitcher the White Sox expect him to be.

 

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Sports Talk Live Podcast: Next steps for the White Sox rebuild

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Next steps for the White Sox rebuild

David Haugh, Sam Panayotovich and Chris Bleck join Kap on the panel.

0:00 - The Cubs deal World Series hero Mike Montgomery to the Royals for catcher Martin Maldonado. So what does that mean for Willson Contreras' injury? And who will get the majority of the playing time behind the plate?

10:30 - The guys look ahead to Dylan Cease's second Major League start and discuss what players should be dealt at the deadline to continue the White Sox rebuild.

16:00 - The Blackhawks deal Artem Anisimov to the Senators. Could this mean Kirby Dach can make the team on opening night?

18:30 - Robbie Gould won't be a Bear next season. Is the Bears Week 1 kicker currently on their roster?

20:00 - Did EA Sports diss Mitch Trubisky? DARN NATIONAL MEDIA!!!!

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: