White Sox

White Sox sign 17, no surprises with first lineup

362729.jpg

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.

Tim Anderson celebrated his birthday in style

Tim Anderson celebrated his birthday in style

Tim Anderson turned 24 on Saturday and celebrated the occasion with a bang.

Anderson smashed a three-run home run in the first inning against the A's. It was actually his first swing on his birthday. Anderson took the first two pitches before launching the 1-1 pitch over the right field fence.

That home run, Anderson's 13th of the year, gave the White Sox a 5-0 lead. Things took an ugly turn later in the game with Oakland winning 7-6. Dylan Covey left in the fifth with a hip injury, which manager Rick Renteria said will be evaluated tomorrow to determine the severity of the injury.

Anderson finished 2-for-4 on his birthday. He later added a single, a stolen base and a run in the sixth inning.

Anderon's power surge this year has him on pace to blow past his 17 homers from a year ago. He is four shy of last year's total and has done so in just under half as many plate appearances.

It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season

0622-lucas-giolito.jpg
USA TODAY

It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season

The preseason expectations and the results have been drastically different for Lucas Giolito.

Expected to be the best pitcher on the White Sox starting staff, Giolito hasn’t come too close to that title, instead heading into Friday’s doubleheader with the most earned runs allowed of any pitcher in baseball. His walk total has been among the highest in the game all year long, too. And the calls from social media to send him down to Triple-A haven’t been at all infrequent.

But Friday, White Sox fans got a glimpse at what they expected, a look at the guy who earned so much hype with a strong September last season and a dominant spring training.

It wasn’t a performance that would make any reasonable baseball person’s jaw drop. But it was the best Giolito has looked this season. He still allowed four runs on seven hits — as mentioned, not a Cy Young type outing — but he struck out a season-high eight batters. Prior to giving up the back-to-back singles to start the eighth inning that brought an end to his evening, he’d surrendered just two runs.

Most importantly he walked just two guys and didn’t seem to struggle with his command at all. That’s a big deal for a pitcher who had 45 walks to his name prior to Friday.

“You know it was a tough eighth inning, but throughout the whole game, I felt in sync,” Giolito said. “(Catcher Omar Narvaez) and I were working really well, finally commanding the fastball the way I should. Definitely the best I felt out there this year, for sure. Velocity was up a tick. Just felt right, felt in sync. Just competed from there.”

Confidence has never left Giolito throughout the poor results, and he’s talked after every start about getting back on the horse and giving it another try. Consistently working in between starts, things finally seemed to click Friday night.

“It all worked today,” manager Rick Renteria said. “(Pitching coach Don Cooper) says that every bullpen has gotten better, from the beginning to this point. He sees progress. The velocity that he showed today was something that Coop was seeing in his work. You can see that his delivery is continuing to improve. He was trusting himself, really attacking the strike zone, trusted his breaking ball today when he need to and just tried to command as much as he could. Did a nice job.”

Giolito went through this kind of thing last year, when he started off poorly at Triple-A Charlotte with a 5.40 ERA through his first 16 starts. But then things got better, with Giolito posting a 2.78 ERA over his final eight starts with the Knights before getting called up to the big leagues.

This was just one start, of course, but perhaps he can follow a similar formula this year, too, going from a rough beginning to figuring things out.

“I’m not trying to tinker or think about mechanics anymore,” he said. “It’s about flow, getting out there and making pitches. We were able to do that for the most part.

“I’ll watch video and see certain things, and I have little cues here and there. But I’m not going to go and overanalyze things and nitpick at certain stuff anymore. It’s about going there and having fun and competing.”

Maybe that’s the secret. Or maybe this is simply a brief flash of brilliance in the middle of a tough first full season in the bigs.

Whatever it was, it was the best we’ve seen of Giolito during the 2018 campaign. And it was far more like what was expected back before that campaign got going.