March 2011

It Wasn’t Tyler Saladino’s Fault

I go into spring training every year hoping the White Sox will compile a respectable won-loss record. Unfortunately, they haven’t had a winning spring since 2004 when they were 15-13-1.
Because of all the “getting in the groove” and liberal substituting, a team’s spring record is not really indicative of the upcoming season (the Sox were 14-18 in the spring of 2005),  
but winning is always better than losing. 
The trend has continued at least through the first two games of this spring. Following a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers on Monday, the Sox fell to the Brewers this afternoon, 3-1, at Camelback Ranch.
The Ups:
The most excitement came in the bottom of the ninth as minor league shortstop Tyler Saladino, a 2010 seventh round draft pick out of Oral Roberts, tripled and scored on a Alejandro De Aza ground out. Saladino hit a combined .305 for Bristol and Kannapolis last summer…Former Angels’ phenom Dallas McPherson, trying to resurrect his career, singled twice while Lastings Milledge and Dayan Viciedo each had a base hit and that was today’s offense. Sorry, I forgot, Brent Lillibridge walked twice…Pitching-wise, Mark Buehrle pitched two perfect innings and Jesse Crain, Matt Thornton, Sergio Santos and Josh Kinney each pitched an inning of scoreless ball. The Sox were flawless in the field and in the top of the ninth, catcher Donny Lucy picked off Hunter Morris at third after Morris led off the inning with a triple. Viciedo, making his first start in rightfield, robbed Rickie Weeks of an extra base hit in the first inning and made an outstanding throw in the sixth to prevent Yuniesky Betancourt from advancing from first to third.
The Downs:

An offense that produced five hits, including four singles…After striking out twice against the Dodgers, Adam Dunn K’d again today and hit into a double play…Chris Sale gave up two runs on three hits in the eighth, which turned out to be the difference in the game…Phil Humber, hoping to win the fifth starter spot if Jake Peavy isn’t ready to open the season, wasn’t real sharp. He gave up a run and four hits while pitching the third and fourth innings.
The Sox travel to Goodyear tomorrow to face the Reds.
With three strikeouts and a double play grounder in his first two games, Adam Dunn has yet to make a positive impact. 

Best Part of the Spring Opener? It was the Spring Opener

59755305.jpgIt was sloppy and it was a disappointing 6-5 loss. The truth is that the best part of the White Sox spring opener yesterday at Camelback Ranch against the Dodgers is that it was the spring opener. The games have begun.
The Ups
RBI singles by Brent Lillibridge and Donny Lucy (2) to rally the Sox to within one run in the seventh inning…Gavin Floyd‘s two perfect innings of work…Will Ohman‘s scoreless third inning…An RBI double by Jordan Danks, who is trying to rebound from a sub-par season in AA Birmingham…The club’s first hit of the spring, a line drive single by Gordon Beckham in the first inning.
The Downs

Adam Dunn K’d twice…With runners on first and second and nobody out in the opening frame, Juan Pierre was thrown out trying to steal third…Two errors (Beckham and catcher Josh Phegley)…a baserunning gaffe by Alexei RamirezTony Pena, who is an important cog in the Sox pen, surrendered two runs on three hits in his inning of work…Miguel Socolovich, a non-roster hurler, gave up four runs on three hits and three walks in two-thirds of an inning.
Sox vs. Brewers today in Glendale.