White Sox

White Sox set spring opener lineup

662522.png

White Sox set spring opener lineup

embedly_twitter_46952162background:url(http:a0.twimg.comimagesthemestheme1bg.png) C0DEED; padding:20px; embedly_twitter_46952162 pbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 0px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_46952162 .embedly_tweet_contentbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_46952162 p span.metadatadisplay:block;width:100;clear:both;margin-top:0px;height:40px; padding-bottom: 12px; embedly_twitter_46952162 p span.metadata span.authorline-height:15px;color:999;font-size:14px embedly_twitter_46952162 p span.metadata span.author aline-height:15px;font-size:20px;vertical-align:middle embedly_twitter_46952162 p span.metadata span.author imgfloat:left;margin:0 10px 0 0px;width:48px;height:48px embedly_twitter_46952162 p a color: 0084B4; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_46952162 p a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_46952162 .embedly_timestampfont-size:13px;display:inline-block;margin-top: 5px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .components-above span.embedly_timestampfont-size:10px;margin-top: 1px;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_46952162 a color: 0084B4; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_46952162 a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-screen-name font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-full-name padding-left: 4px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actionsmargin-left: 10px;font-size:13px;display:inline-block;width:250px embedly_twitter_46952162 .components-above span.tweet-actionsfont-size:10px embedly_twitter_46952162 .controlsline-height:12px!important embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actions a margin-left:5px embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actions a bfont-weight:normal embedly_twitter_46952162 .components-above span.tweet-actions a bvertical-align:baseline;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_46952162 .components-above .tweet-textfont-size:13px;vertical-align:baseline embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-image float: left; width: 40px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-user-block-image float: left; width: 48px; height: 48px embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-row margin-left: 40px; margin-top: 3px;line-height: 17px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-user-block margin-left: -40px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .stream-item padding-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 12px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .simple-tweet-image img margin-top: 4px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .simple-tweet-content margin: 0 0 13px 0px; font-size: 14px; min-height:48px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .in-reply-to-border border-color: EBEBEB; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px 0 0; embedly_twitter_46952162 .in-reply-to-text margin-left: 4px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 10px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actions i background: transparent url(http:a2.twimg.coma1306889658phoeniximgsprite-icons.png) no-repeat;width:15px;height:15px;margin:0 4px -3px 3px;outline: none; text-indent:-99999px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline-block;position:relative; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actions a.retweet-action i background-position:-192px 0; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actions a.reply-action i background-position:0 0; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actions a.favorite-action i background-position:-32px 0; @scottmerkin
Scott MerkinVentura's first Cactus League lineup: De Aza 8, Pierzynski 2, Rios 9, Konerko 3, Dunn DH, Ramirez 6, Viciedo 7, Morel 5, Beckham 4, Humber
Mar 04 via web Favorite Retweet Reply
This looks like what Robin Ventura will probably go with on Opening Day, barring an injury. Going with Rios in the No. 3 spot is a gutsy call given his struggles in 2011, but it's actually much better to have Konerko hit cleanup.

By conventional baseball wisdom, Pierzynski is an ideal No. 2 hitter -- someone who makes contact and can move a runner over. So this shouldn't be taken as a criticism of Ventura more as a criticism of conventional baseball wisdom: It's much more important to have a high-OBP guy hitting second than it is someone who can make contact. In seven years with the White Sox, Pierzynski has a .317 OBP.

And this doesn't take into account a player's comfort level at a given spot in the lineup. Although, as a No. 2 hitter, Pierzynski has just a .296 OBP in 437 career plate appearances.

Ventura has said he's not looking to re-invent the lineup wheel, which is fine. He's a well-respected guy, and in his first year of ever managing, there's not much wrong with playing things safe and by the traditional book.

But really, any disagreement over placement of players in this lineup is unimportant so long as Dunn, Rios, Beckham andor Morel hit well. The Sox can score plenty of runs with Pierzynski hitting second if Adam Dunn hit blasting home runs or Gordon Beckham is getting on base at a good clip.

For on-the-rise White Sox, learning to win also means learning to lose

For on-the-rise White Sox, learning to win also means learning to lose

The White Sox lost Saturday night.

That’s baseball, of course, they’re not all going to be winners. And this rebuilding franchise has seen plenty of losses. But the feelings have been so good of late — whether because of Eloy Jimenez’s 400-foot homers or Lucas Giolito’s Cy Young caliber season to this point or a variety of other positive signs that make the White Sox future so bright — that losing Saturday to the first-place New York Yankees seemed rather sour.

Obviously there will be plenty more losses for this White Sox team before the book closes on the 2019 campaign. Back under .500, these South Siders aren’t expected to reach elite status before all the pieces arrive, and it would be no shock if they’re removed from the playoff race in the American League by the time crunch time rolls around in September.

But don’t tell these White Sox that an 8-4 defeat is a return to reality or a reminder that this team is still a work in progress. Even if, for a lot of players, development is still occurring at the major league level, the “learning experiences” that have been such a large part of the conversation surrounding this team in recent seasons and their daily goal of winning baseball games aren’t mutually exclusive.

“The Yankees are sitting in first place and they lost two games in a row,” catcher James McCann said Saturday night, providing a reminder of how the first two games of this weekend series went. “Just because you're expected to win and expected to be World Series contenders doesn't mean you're not going to lose ballgames. It's how you bounce back.

“And it doesn't mean you're going to win tomorrow, either. It's just, how do you handle a defeat? How do you handle a bad at-bat? How do you handle a bad outing, whatever it may be? But it doesn't mean that we step back and say, ‘Oh, we're back under .500, we're supposed to lose.’

“We expect to win when we show up to the ballpark. You can take learning experiences whether you win or lose. Do I think a game like tonight reminds us we're supposed to be in a rebuilding mode? No. We still expect to win, and we're going to show up tomorrow with that mentality.”

Maybe that’s a description of the much-discussed “learning to win” young teams supposedly need to do on the road to contender status. Maybe that can’t happen until a team figures out how to bounce back from a defeat — until it learns how to lose and how to act in the wake of a loss.

For all McCann’s certainty about the team’s expectations on a daily basis, his explanation was peppered with questions. He said he’s seen the answer to “how do you bounce back?” from this club, and his three-run homer in the eighth inning Saturday night was fairly convincing evidence that the White Sox didn’t use up all their fight just getting back to .500.

So while the White Sox know they won’t win every game — that no team will — they need to know how they handle defeat. Losing, it turns out, might end up being more instructive about when this team is ready to win.

“I think we've done a pretty good job (bouncing back),” McCann said. “You look at the road trip in Houston and Minnesota where we took two out of four from a good Houston team and then played really not very good baseball for three days in Minnesota only to come home and have an extremely good homestand.

“It's the big picture. It's not the very next day. It's not, ‘We've got to bounce back and win.’ It's not a must-win situation in the middle of June. But it's how do you handle yourself? How does a game like tonight, do you show up flat tomorrow and let it snowball into a three-, four-game spiral? Or do you fight?

“And that's what this team's been really good at doing is fighting and not giving in.”

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

Eloy Jimenez gets rave review from Yankees All Star: 'He can be a star for all of MLB'

Eloy Jimenez gets rave review from Yankees All Star: 'He can be a star for all of MLB'

The temperature is rising on the South Side, and if you look outside, you know it has nothing to do with Mother Nature.

Instead, it’s a heat wave coming from a fresh-faced 22-year-old slugger who’s crushing baseballs, igniting a fan base and screaming “Hi Mom!” to his actual mother whenever he spots a TV camera with its red light on.

Eloy Jimenez has arrived with the White Sox, and according to a New York Yankees All Star who has known him for years, the best is yet to come.

“Not this year, but next year, he’s going to be even better,” infielder Gleyber Torres said about Jimenez.

The two of them were signed by that team across town in 2013 when they were both 16 years old. They were practically inseparable back then, and they remain tight to this day.

“I talk with Gleyber pretty much every single day now. He’s kind of like my brother,” Jimenez said. “We haven’t lost that communication, and I think that’s good for us.”

Torres echoed similar thoughts about Jimenez.

“In my first couple years with the Cubs, he was my roommate every day. We’ve got a really good relationship. We’re like brothers. We are really good friends,” Torres said. “I’m just happy to see what he’s doing right now.”

Which, lately, has been just about everything.

There was that majestic home run Jimenez belted on Wednesday against the Washington Nationals that landed on the center field concourse at Guaranteed Rate Field, the two walks the next day when the Yankees decided to pitch around Jimenez as if he was a perennial All Star, and then the two-homer game on Friday: The first one gave the White Sox the lead, the second stuck a dagger into the Yankees, as well as the heart of his longtime friend.

“For sure, I didn’t like it,” Torres said with a smile about Jimenez’s two-homer, six-RBI game. “I’m not surprised. I knew Eloy before he signed with the Cubs out of the Dominican. He’s a big dude. The power is coming every day.”

How good can Jimenez be? Torres, who plays on a star-studded team with Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius, sees Jimenez reaching the same stratosphere.

“He can be a star for all of MLB. He’s just a young guy right now, but when he matures a little more, he can do everything.”

Jimenez is turning up the heat in Chicago, and it’s not even summer yet.

The South Side can’t wait for the sizzle to come.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.