Results tagged ‘ Jayson Nix ’

Putz cautiously optimistic

J.J. Putz’s first appearance with the White Sox couldn’t have been laid out before hand much better.

The right-hander followed Mark Buehrle to the mound in Friday’s 8-3 loss to the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch and faced the heart of the Dodgers lineup. Putz retired Matt Kemp on a ground ball to third baseman Jayson Nix, struck out Andre Ethier swinging, gave up a Manny Ramirez single and then struck out James Loney to end the inning.

But a cautiously optimistic Putz wasn’t about to celebrate this little bit of success, as he works his way back from elbow surgery for a bone spur that prematurely ended his 2009 season with the New York Mets.

“We got a long way to go still – just got to keep building arm strength,” Putz said. “What I was most happy with was being able to throw strikes with all my pitches. I was able to throw my split over for a strike, backdoor slider and fastball to both sides of the plate, which is the most important part.”

This first significant injury to affect Putz’s stellar career remains in the back of the reliever’s mind. So, it’s easy for Putz to get almost too concerned about normal issues popping up during Spring Training.

“I’m probably overly cautious,” Putz said. “Any time I get a little sore or something, I kind of over-exaggerate in my head what it is. That’s going to probably be the hardest part getting back from having surgery. But so far everything is working in the right direction.

“Here’s the thing – you always get sore and achy in Spring Training because you’re doing stuff you haven’t done for six months. (But) in my mind it’s more magnified because I am coming off surgery. I probably felt like this the past 10 years every time on March 5. So it’s just a matter of getting it out of my head.”

Next up for Putz is one inning Monday against his original team from Seattle.
“I think we’re going in the right direction,” Putz said. “We got another four weeks to go, so we can keep building.”

Going Deep

The six home runs hit by the White Sox against the Dodgers on Wednesday night were the most hit by the team since they knocked out six on June 8, 2004 against Philadelphia. As a full service blog, here’s how the home runs broke down during that particular 14-11 victory, in which the legendary Amaury Telemaco suffered the loss.

–Paul Konerko and Juan Uribe each hit two.
–Frank Thomas hit one off of Telemaco
–Carlos Lee went deep off of Ryan Madson

Also of note that night, Mark Buehrle earned the victory and Mike Jackson gave up five runs in one inning of relief.

On Wednesday, the home runs belong to Josh Fields, Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, Jayson Nix, Alexei Ramirez and Josh Fields again.

Beckham on the move

Gordon Beckham officially was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday and will be in the Knights’ starting lineup on Thursday night in Columbus.

Let the predictions begin as to when the Minor League phenom arrives with the White Sox.

The team’s top pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft hit .299 in 38 games for Double-A Birmingham, with four home runs, 17 doubles and 22 RBIs. White Sox manager Ozzie  Guillen said that Beckham could have been ready for Triple-A competition out of Spring Training, but he applauded the choice of Minor League Director Buddy Bell to start Beckham with the Barons.

Guillen also liked the move of prepared talent through the White Sox system.

“I always believe when we think someone is good, move him up,” Guillen said. “A lot of organizations keep guys in the same place to be great just to trade him.”

Before people assume that the jump from Charlotte to the White Sox is a mere formality, remember that Guillen is in favor of Beckham spending a full season in the Minors. Guillen also cautioned that the move from Triple-A to the Majors will be the biggest challenge Beckham has to face.

At this point, the White Sox seem to be satisfied with Josh Fields at third base, Chris Getz at second base and Jayson Nix getting time at both positions.

Ramirez out, Nix in

Ozzie Guillen made a change to Wednesday’s lineup against Detroit, and while heavy rain will at least delay the on-field change, it looks as if Jayson Nix will assume the team’s starting shortstop role. Guillen made a point of stressing that Alexei Ramirez was not in his doghouse, but he also pointed how he was displeased with Ramirez’s at-bats in Tuesday’s 8-7 loss to the Royals.

Ramirez struck out in the 11th with A.J. Pierzynski on first and two outs, but also struck out in the ninth inning with Pierzynski on third and one out. He finished 1-for-6 and is hitting .211. The average is not what bothers Guillen, though, as much as the approach. So, Ramirez will have an undetermined time to work on making adjustments with hitting coach Greg Walker, who Guillen said had been doing all he possibly could to fix last year’s rookie sensation.

Wednesday roundup

–Jayson Nix still features that massive wrap around his right quad, but he told me on Wednesday that he’s definitely feeling better. His target is to be playing again on Friday, during a road game against the Padres in Peoria.

Nix hurt his right quad going for a short pop up in a game last Wednesday against the Cubs in Las Vegas and then truly felt the injury as he was going from first to third on a base hit in that same game. He has not played since.

I can attest that it was a ridiculously cold night in Las Vegas last Wednesday, and the high winds were pretty much out of control, which might have been contributing factors to the injury–at least the cold. The good news for Nix is there are still three weeks left in Spring Training for him to build off of his great start in the battle for the job at second base.

–Gordon Beckham doubled and drove in two runs on Wednesday and will start at shortstop on Thursday in Surprise. Beckham has five doubles and 18 total bases this spring, leading the team in both categories.

Here’s an interesting comment from Ken Williams that didn’t make it into my Wednesday story. In that story, the White Sox general manager admitted the team’s top pick from the 2008 First-Year Player Draft has as good of a chance as Nix, Chris Getz or Brent Lillibridge to break camp with the team BUT only as a starter at second base.

“He’s playing the game and having fun,” said Williams of Beckham. “He’s going to be a good player. He’s been impressive since we drafted him, and obviously, he was impressive before then for us to draft him.”

— The first cuts came down on Wednesday. They were INF Brian Myrow, RHP Brad Salmon and INF Sergio Santos, who were reassigned to Minor-League Camp, and RHP Lucas Harrell, who was optioned to Double-A Birmingham. With these cuts, the White Sox have 53 players in camp: 26 pitchers, six catchers, 14 infielders and seven outfielders.

–Javier Castillo returned with a bang from his stint with Panama in the World Baseball Classic. He singled and scored the tie-breaking run on Wednesday and then launced a two-run home run to put the game away. Even though Panama didn’t advance, Castillo loved his experience in The Classic.

–Ozzie Guillen had this interesting comme on Jerry Owens, whose seventh-inning single gave the White Sox the lead.

“This kid is fighting for his job,” Guillen said. “I want to see a lot of better stuff come around. The last couple of days he’s swinging the bat better.”

Owens still seemed very positive when I taked to him this past weekend for a story. Owens, now hitting .200, is out of options, meaning he is fighting for a roster spot but also probably fighting to stay as part of the organization.

— My pick of DePaul to win the Big East Tournament came up a little short. My total focus is on Michigan-Iowa tomorrow afternoon in the Big 10 Tournament.


This and that

–DeWayne Wise tripled and homered in four at-bats, while Chris Stewart and Sergio Santos both went deep during the Dodgers’ 6-4 victory over the White Sox in Monday’s ‘B’ Game. The White Sox did not bat in the bottom of the ninth because Los Angeles ran out of pitchers. Franklyn German hurled two scorless innings, while Lance Broadway gave up one unearned run and fanned three in two innings.

–Jeff Marquez is scheduled to throw during Tuesday’s day off, probably working against Minor League hitters on one of the White Sox back fields at Camelback Ranch.

–Aaron Poreda worked four innings in relief on Monday, giving up one run and striking out three. This effort follows a strong three-inning stint last Wednesday in Las Vegas against the Cubs.

The big left-hander remains in play for that final spot out of the White Sox bullpen.

“(White sox pitching coach Don Cooper) is going to continue to work with him,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of Poreda, the team’s top pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. “Hopefully, we get the best out of him and see what happens at the end of Spring Training.”

–Brent Lillibridge returned from a bout with the flu and played shortstop in the game against Cleveland, with Chris Getz playing second. Jayson Nix remains out of action with a sore right quad.

Getz’s three-run, inside-the-park home run hit in the second showed me he’s get a second gear speed-wise that I didn’t really get a chance to see last year. Getz shows good patience at the plate, and although Guillen does not want to add more pressure to what he already has, could Getz be a leadoff hitter? I think he could.

–Is this something–the White Sox are 0-5 against American League teams and 6-2 against the National League during 2009 Cactus League action.

–My original pick was Teya to win Rock of Love: Charm School Bus or whatever it’s called. I think Mindy is closing fast.