Results tagged ‘ Angels ’

Game 17: Angels knock out Danks

TEMPE, Ariz. – An Angels’ lineup featuring Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo, among others, could do damage against many pitchers even at the top of their game. In Thursday’s 12-4 White Sox loss, it was John Danks and his road back to the Majors that got taken down over 3 1/3 innings. Here’s a look.

HOME RUN: Tyler Flowers feels good at the plate and backed up that Thursday morning analysis with a strong game at Diablo Stadium. Flowers drew a walk in the third off of Jason Vargas after being down 0-2 in the count and scored, doubled to center in the fifth and lined out to center in the seventh.

TRIPLE: Although he’s not front and center in the roster picture, outfielder Blake Tekotte hit the ball hard Thursday. He tripled home one run, marking his second Spring Training three-bagger, and then added a second RBI with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly.

DOUBLE: Jordan Danks didn’t start Thursday’s game but knocked out two hits and drove in a run as a replacement for Dewayne Wise. It was Wise who drove home the team’s second run with a sixth-inning homer off of left-handed throwing Scott Downs.

SINGLE: A single for Hector Gimenez in the ninth leaves him at 9-for-16 for the spring. All nine hits have been singles.

STOLEN BASE: As the leadoff hitter in the fourth inning, the left-handed hitting Adam Dunn tried to lay down a bunt on the first pitch from left-handed throwing Vargas. The bunt attempt went foul. Dunn, who has 406 career homers, launched the next pitch toward the left field stands but it was hauled in against the wall by left fielder Vernon Wells.

CALLED THIRD: Danks worked 3 1/3 innings, which represents his longest 2013 Cactus League outing to date, and felt good despite allowing six earned runs on seven hits. He focused on the changeup, using it to strikeout Howie Kendrick and Trumbo in the first, but did so in part because that pitch was working the best for him.

He also benefitted from facing as strong of a lineup as the Angels.

“For me especially, I need to see lineups like this down here. Just because more than anyone else in camp, I’m needing to see reactions, and how guys are taking pitches,” Danks said “I just need to kind of get it going a little more — some of these other guys can go out there and just get their work in, and certainly I’m doing the same thing. But I’m hoping to see progress each time.

“I don’t feel like I can really do that unless I’m facing big league hitters. Without a doubt, that’s one of the better lineups we’ll see this year. Wish it could’ve gone a little better.”

White Sox manager Robin Ventura pointed out the good news is that Danks is not hurting, although the White Sox would like slightly better results from their left-hander.

“Once you start getting knocked around a little, it kicked in and he picked it up a little bit,” said Ventura of Danks. “Even though it’s Spring Training, you’d like to see a little bit better than this.”

JUST A BIT OUTSIDE: The White Sox are 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position over their past two losses. Jhan Marinez also was touched up for four runs on one hit and three walks in the seventh, but they were all unearned because of Tekotte’s dropped fly ball in center.

Game 2: Danks gone a little wild

Robin Ventura stayed winless through two Cactus League games following the Angels’ 6-2 victory Tuesday at Diablo Stadium. Here’s a quick look at the breakdown:

WHAT WENT RIGHT: After striking out twice on Monday, Gordon Beckham ripped two solid singles to left in Tuesday’s setback. It goes to show that Cactus League results aren’t nearly as important as the process to get there.

“After yesterday, you come back and you work on things and get him a little more aggressive,” said Ventura of Beckham. “He looked great.”

Matt Thornton threw a scoreless inning in relief, striking out one and giving up Albert Pujols’ double. Ventura praised Thornton’s work and then sarcastically took a jab at the pitch selection to one of the game’s top players.

“He realized Albert can hit a fastball down the middle,” a smiling Ventura said of Thornton. “So we got that out of the way.”

Keep an eye on Nate Jones, the fifth-round selection from the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. The right-hander who fanned 67 in 63 1/3 innings for Double-A Birmingham last season struck out three over two innings on Tuesday. Jared Mitchell also served a ninth-inning single to left.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Call it a good day of work for John Danks, who threw almost 50 pitches in two innings. The fact that almost half of those pitches were out of the strike zone made it a bit of an erratic work day for the southpaw.

“I’m just trying to throw the ball and make the ball do what I want it to do,” Danks said. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t very sharp today.”

The team finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position for those keeping track of such statistics two games into spring, and Brian Omogrosso was touched up for three runs on four hits in one inning of relief.

WHAT’S NEXT: Jake Peavy goes full throttle 19 months after surgery to reattach his lat muscle when taking the mound against the Brewers on Wednesday. Peavy is scheduled to start the second game of the season in Texas.

MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Trayce Thompson and Gordon Beckham both picked up stolen bases in Tuesday’s loss, as the White Sox were much more aggressive on the basepaths. The White Sox don’t have a highly-touted Minor League system, but they do have young athletes who seem to be learning the game.

MOMENT TO FORGET: It’s a toss-up between two: John Danks snapping his glove in frustration on a throw back from Tyler Flowers after walking Bobby Wilson in the first, showing even Spring Training can draw anger, or Beckham’s name spelled as Beckman on the Diablo Stadium scoreboard during his two trips to the plate.

Peavy throws two scoreless

Jake Peavy’s comeback took a major step forward Friday.

The right-hander, who last pitched in a game on July 6, 2010 against the Angels in U.S. Cellular Field, threw two scoreless innings against those same Angels at Diablo Stadium in his return from a detached latissimus dorsi muscle in his right posterior shoulder. Peavy fanned two and walked one during the 2011 Cactus League debut, as White Sox starters extended their hitless innings streak to 10.

Peavy opened with a swinging strikeout of Maicer Izturis, before falling behind at 3-0 on Bobby Abreu. He battled back to a full count, but Abreu drew a walk. Two pitches later, Torii Hunter hit into a 4-6-3 double play, a pitch on which Peavy topped out velocity-wise at 92 mph, from Brent Lillibridge to Alexei Ramirez to Dallas McPherson, ending the frame.

In the first, Peavy threw 12 pitches and six for strikes.

Vernon Wells struck out to start the second, with Peavy reaching back for something extra on a high fastball off of a 1-2 pitch. Howie Kendrick hit the ball hard but flew out to Alejandro De Aza in center. Erick Aybar came closest to getting a hit, lining a 3-2 pitch to left that was tracked down by Juan Pierre.

That effort meant 26 pitches in total, 16 for strikes. If everything checks out for Peavy Saturday following this important outing, then he’ll go with a side bullpen and get ready to face the Giants Wednesday in Scottsdale.

“Relieved, pleased, it’s a big step to get out there in a game,” Peavy said. “You know, I did what I expected to do and hoped what I would be able to do, turn it up a level and get some big league hitters out. And feel normal in doing that. We accomplished that today. I hope we’ve put a lot of questions and issues to rest.”

More from Ken Williams

Even with three stories soon to be up on whitesox.com, focused on Kenny Williams’ Winter Meetings thoughts, there are still a few more nuggets of information from the White Sox general manager to be shared. So, here they are.

CLOSING TIME
Bobby Jenks is not being actively shopped, according to Williams, who has not had one present offseason trade talk concerning the burly right-hander to date. This assessment doesn’t mean Williams won’t listen to offers for Jenks at the Winter Meetings. In fact, Williams expects Jenks to be a topic of conversation at Indianapolis.

“He’s one of the game’s better closers and people need closers,” Williams said. “But so do we.”

A more in-depth look at the Jenks’ dynamic and the White Sox bullpen will be on the site today.

RUMOR MILL CHURNING
Williams claimed to not have even heard the recent rumor concerning a three-way trade involving the White Sox, Padres and Angels, a rumor termed as preliminary discussions for sending Adrian Gonzalez to the White Sox, Paul Konerko to the Angels and a plethora of prospects to the Padres. The Angels were never involved in such a deal, but check out the following by-play with Williams as representative of possible Gonzalez interest. Well, it just might show interest, as of course, nothing was said directly.

I asked Williams if he had talked to Jake Peavy during this offseason, trying to get a gauge on Peavy’s fire and preparedness for his first full season in Chicago. Williams told me that the two had spoken, with Williams needing to ask Peavy about a player from another team to whom he had interest.

“He’s already pumped up,” said Williams of Peavy.

When I asked Williams if that player he asked Peavy about was Gonzalez, he responded with a quick “No comment.”

Now, Williams could have just been throwing out a standard response when a media member asks him about a specific player. He might have been asking Peavy about catcher Henry Blanco, who played in San Diego last year and has drawn the White Sox interest. Williams has been known to seek out his veterans to get a feel for how a particular trade target would fit on the roster and the clubhouse, much more so than his talent.

Most White Sox fans surveyed would list Gonzalez as a perfect fit, and remember Williams never shies away from inquiring about top talent. He even asked about Johan Santana before the Twins traded him to the Mets.

“If you’re good, I’ve asked about you,” said Williams with a laugh.

WAIT AND SEE
Don’t expect talks to begin any time soon in extending catcher A.J. Pierzynski or first baseman Paul Konerko, whose multi-year deals expire after 2010.

“Way too early,” Williams said. “I’ve got to look at so much focus on 2010. That’s something I can’t focus on.”

ALL ABOUT ANDRUW

The expediency with which Andruw Jones signed with the White Sox, not to mention the $500,000 as the agreed upon salary, with incentives that could add on another $1 million, proves Jones truly wants to play for the White Sox.

“He’s been a great player for a long time and has gotten derailed doing some things that really isn’t his game,” said Williams of Jones. “But he and Ozzie have a great rapport.

“Andruw knows he’s coming here in a backup role. It’s always a key, when talking about a player who has amassed the numbers and accomplishments he has amassed, to be accepting of his role.

“But he really, really wanted to be here,” Williams said. “He wanted to be a part of what we are trying to do. That combination, the player and the dollars, it makes sense for us.”

Williams also knows that he has a player who could be something special if he returns to past form. As for not pursuing Jones prior to the 2008 season, after fellow center field aces Torii Hunter, Aaron Rowand and even Kosuke Fukudome wound up with different teams, Williams explained how the two-year, $36 million deal Jones eventually signed with the Dodgers didn’t even factor into the White Sox lack of interest.

“I didn’t make one phone call to Scott Boras,” said Williams of talking with Jones’ representative in the 2007 offseason. “And that’s not because we didn’t like the player. It simply was because we had our sights set on a different target.”

Guillen already has talked to his friend about coming to Glendale in the best possible physical condition.

“Ozzie has advised Andruw that it’s in his best interest to show up in shape,” Williams said. “But the good thing about Andruw is he knows who Ozzie is and what he is about and didn’t shy away from the challenge.”

NAME GAME
Remember the names Daniel Hudson, Lucas Harrell, Jhonny Nunez, Jon Link, Sergio Santos and Randy Williams. If the White Sox don’t add a veteran reliever, these young hurlers will fill out the final two spots in the White Sox bullpen.

Quentin leaves the game

Carlos Quentin pulled up lame while running out a double in the first inning of Monday’s contest with the Angels at Angel Stadium.

Quentin’s double to center scored a run, but as he turned the corner around first base, he began to limp and favor his left foot. When Quentin reached second base, he bent over in pain and acting manager Joey Cora and athletic trainer Herm Schneider came out to check on him. Quentin originally was helped from the field but walked to the dugout under his own power, replaced at second by Brian Anderson.

With Anderson’s entrance and Quentin’s injury, Scott Podsednik moved from center to left and Anderson took over in center. Quentin missed five games from May 16-20 with a sore left heel, diagnosed as planter fasciitis.

Roster Roulette

So, Wednesday officially begins the Cactus League ledger for the White Sox, which means I will be in Las Vegas for the Cubs-White Sox games in one week. I’m actually going to buy a small suitcase as soon as I finish blogging.

For those not concerned with my travel plans or my future purchases at Target, which pretty much covers everyone, the contest between the Angels and White Sox also marks the start of numerous interesting position battles to be waged by the South Siders. Instead of going through the primary roster openings, let’s look at the roster as a whole.

If you assume Ozzie Guillen takes 12 pitchers, coupled with nine position player starters, then you are left with four open spots. One goes to a back-up catcher and one goes to a back-up infielder, probably Wilson Betemit, leaving Guillen with two roster openings. And then this equation becomes a myriad questions.

–Who is starting in center field? If it’s Brian Anderson, then do both Jerry Owens and DeWayne Wise make the roster or does Guillen take a second utility infielder and risk losing Owens or Wise?

–Who wins the job at second base? If it’s Chris Getz, then does Brent Lillibridge have an advantage for one of those two remaining roster spots because of his infield versatility, speed to burn AND his ability to play center? Remember, Wise, Owens, Betemit and Jayson Nix all are out of options.

–Will Guillen actually break camp with 11 pitchers, meaning only 20 roster spots are committed?

–Is there any chance Dayan Viciedo breaks camp with the White Sox?

–Can both Jose Contreras or Bartolo Colon be ready, health-wise, by the time the fourth and fifth starter’s slot comes up during the first week of the 2009 regular season? While there might be a target date for these veterans to pitch during Spring Training, Contreras just told me the other day as to how there isn’t a “Jose Contreras Comeback Day” set. When he’s ready and White Sox athletic trainer Herm Schneider and the rest of the team’s upper management agrees, Contreras will be out there.

Many questions to be answered, approximately 45 days to come to a decision. Tell me how you think this roster roulette shakes out.

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