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.

Reported promotion of Zack Collins adds another piece to White Sox rebuilding puzzle

Reported promotion of Zack Collins adds another piece to White Sox rebuilding puzzle

The White Sox rebuilding puzzle is getting closer to completion.

Zack Collins is reportedly en route to the major leagues, according to a report from Miami talk-show host Andy Slater. That adds another one of the White Sox highly rated prospects to the growing list of them at the big league level as the franchise’s contention window looks set to open relatively soon.


Collins was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2016, selected with the No. 10 pick that year out of the University of Miami. Currently ranked as the No. 11 prospect in the farm system, he’s always been praised for his offensive abilities. Last season at Double-A Birmingham, he finished the year with a .382 on-base percentage and launched 15 homers, also winning the Home Run Derby at the Southern League All-Star Game.

In 48 games with Triple-A Charlotte this season, Collins owns a .258/.382/.497 slash line with nine homers, nine doubles, 38 RBIs and 35 walks.

Collins has been lauded as a big bat, but there have been questions about other parts of his game as he’s risen through the system. From the day he was drafted, there were questions about his defensive ability, leading to speculation that he might one day end up at a position besides catcher. He’s also racked up the strikeouts in the minors, with 396 of them in 322 games over his four minor league seasons.

But the White Sox haven’t wavered in their confidence that Collins can be a big league catcher, and it looks like that’s the position he’ll fill should the White Sox call him up before the start of next week’s Crosstown series with the Cubs. Welington Castillo was removed from Sunday’s loss to the New York Yankees with back tightness. The team said Castillo will be reevaluated on Monday. With this report of Collins’ promotion, it looks like Castillo could be headed to the injured list.

Another top prospect reaching the majors adds another tangible example of rebuilding progress. Fans have been clamoring for the promotions of Dylan Cease and Luis Robert all season long, and while Collins might be a little further down in the rankings than those two, this should still please fans who, even in a season filled with positives, want to see a more rapid advancement toward the rebuild’s ultimate goal.

Collins will perhaps benefit from a lack of pressure, what with James McCann in the midst of a potentially All-Star season as the White Sox primary catcher. The White Sox could perhaps continue to lean on McCann, allowing Collins to ease into the major leagues.

But just like Michael Kopech last August and Eloy Jimenez in March, Collins’ mere arrival is a step forward in this process, one that should please fans immensely.

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Yoan Moncada continues battle with back issues

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USA TODAY

Yoan Moncada continues battle with back issues

Yoan Moncada's battle with his back issues might not be as over as we thought.

The third baseman made his return to the White Sox starting lineup Sunday following a four-game layoff due to a mild back strain. But his return didn't last long. After a fourth-inning strikeout in his second plate appearance of the 10-3 loss to the visiting New York Yankees, Moncada was removed from the game with what the team announced as upper back tightness.

Moncada is described as day to day. The White Sox have an off day Monday ahead of the start of a two-game Crosstown series at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.

"He's doing good. I think I'm not the only one who noticed his grimace in the swing. It made no sense to continue to expose him to that," manager Rick Renteria said after Sunday's game. "All indications are he should be ready to go on Tuesday.

"Didn't seem to put him in any predicament. Hopefully it didn't set him back. All indications are that hopefully he'll be back on Tuesday."

Moncada was removed from Monday's game against the Washington Nationals with what was initially described as back spasms. Renteria updated the verbiage to a back strain in the following days. Moncada missed Tuesday's game against the Nationals, went through a Wednesday off day and then missed the first three games of the four-game weekend set with the Yankees. His return lasted all of four innings Sunday before he was taken out again.

"Just watching the swing, watching the finish, which is what I was concerned with, getting through the ball. He's ready to get through the ball, it's just the finish. He's feeling a little something there," Renteria said. "You can't replicate it in any drill work. We've tried to do it. Everything he did was good. All the work he did was good.

"Everything we tried to do to replicate it, it wasn't existent until you get into the game, then you know. That's why I think it was a good — I don't know if you want to call it a test, but it was a test. We wanted to see where he was at. Didn't make any sense to continue to push him. Get him ready and calm it down and get him ready for the series against the North Siders."

Moncada wasn't the only White Sox hitter removed from Sunday's game. Welington Castillo, who was the designated hitter, was taken out with what the team announced as lower back tightness. Renteria confirmed after the game that Castillo's injury came on his swing in the second inning, a line drive off the center-field wall that ended up as only a single. Castillo will be reevaluated during the off day Monday.

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