Results tagged ‘ Jordan 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.
Make it eight losses in 10 Cactus League games for the White Sox, who fell victim for the sixth time against National League teams. Here’s a look at what took place:
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Gavin Floyd looked regular-season ready with four strong innings thrown against the Padres. He fanned five, including Orlando Hudson, Chase Headley and Will Venable in the first, and didn’t issue a walk.
Addison Reed earned praise for his one inning from manager Robin Ventura, who said the closer’s decision won’t officially come down until the final week of Spring Training. Eric Stults and Brian Bruney, locked in a battle with Dylan Axelrod and Zack Stewart for the final two bullpen spots, threw scoreless innings and have been unscored upon in seven combined Cactus League innings.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Charlie Leesman continues to struggle this spring, facing only four batters in the fifth and not retiring any of them, before eventually being charged with four runs. Leesman features plus-stuff but hasn’t been able to harness it since his Arizona arrival.
UP NEXT: Chris Sale takes the mound for Cactus League start No. 2 on Wednesday at home against the Angels. Sale had a solid first start against the Cubs on Friday but was hard on himself for walking Junior Lake with two outs and nobody on base in the second and then giving up a 0-2 home run to Edgar Gonzalez.
MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Jordan Danks’ bloop single to left-center in the third. It wasn’t that Danks crushed the ball, although he did have a good at-bat, but it was more about Brent Lillibridge getting a great jump off of second and making a great read on the fly ball to score easily with nobody out. The White Sox will need to be aggressive on the basepaths, among many other intangibles, in order to be successful.
MOMENT TO FORGET: The Padres’ four-run fifth. Leesman’s struggles started the frame, but errors from Lillibridge and Jhan Marinez on a pickoff attempt contributed to the rally. The White Sox finally got out of trouble on a Marinez wild pitch that bounced back off the wall to catcher Hector Gimenez and allowed him to tag out Nick Hundley before he scored.
Here’s a little interesting side note attached to covering Ken Williams during the Winter Meetings or during really any high-traffic period where trades are the focus, whether it’s the offseason or the non-waiver trade deadline. Williams never has been afraid to pull the trigger on a big deal, make that an extremely big deal, and he’s never been afraid to listen on potential inquiries.
No player is off-limits, although some are less likely to be moved than others. Factoring in all of these particular circumstances, and it’s easy to see how the White Sox are linked to many a big-name player.
Earlier in the week, I was talking to Williams and asked him about Jake Peavy. Williams said the two had talked and that Peavy was fired up and ready to go for 2010. He said the purpose of this call to his new ace was to sort of pick Peavy’s brain about a former teammate, getting a feel as to what fit he would have in the clubhouse.
When I asked Williams if that player in question was San Diego’s Adrian Gonzalez, not expecting any sort of direct answer, Williams paused and then gave me a “No comment.”
Let’s move ahead to Monday, the first official day of the 2009 Winter Meetings, and jump to the half-way point of Williams’ 20-minute session with the media. Check out this following interaction.
“If you didn’t have Jake Peavy, would you be in on Roy Halladay?” a reporter asked Williams of the Toronto ace, who is known to be on the market.
“No comment,” Williams responded with a smile.
“Are you in on Roy Halladay?” another reporter asked.
“No comment,” Williams answered, still smiling.
Either Williams is trying to acquire both Gonzalez and Halladay, judging by the similarity of his responses, or the White Sox general manager has become Major League Baseball’s consummate poker player. Before the Halladay press conference is planned at U.S. Cellular Field, though, remember the right-hander has a full no-trade clause, has expressed a desire to stay in Florida for Spring Training and would probably cost the White Sox either John Danks or Gavin Floyd, along with prospects such as Jordan Danks, Daniel Hudson and/or Tyler Flowers, as a purely hypothetical talent package in return.
And there’s no guarantee Halladay would be anything more than a one-year rental, set to earn $15.75 million in the final year of a three-year, $40 million deal. Of course, I’m taking a huge leap based on two simple words from Williams, who would have probably asked about Babe Ruth’s availability if he was running a team at that point.
Then again, it’s easy to dream about the big catch when Williams is at the helm, even though he readily admits the team is in a financial holding pattern. One reporter I was talking to on Monday night said he never would count out the White Sox.
As for the potential pursuit of Juan Pierre, the Dodgers want a starting pitcher in return for the leadoff man/outfielder and the White Sox would want a sizable portion of the $18.5 million owed him over the next two years to be picked up. Doesn’t sound like a fit.
The fact that free agent Chone Figgins appears close to signing a multi-year deal with the Mariners, as reported by FoxSports.com on Friday, doesn’t really impact the White Sox plan to fill their leadoff spot.
Sure, the White Sox long have had interest in one of the game’s best No. 1 hitters. But this projected four-year, approximately $36 million deal left Figgins out of range where the White Sox currently were able to spend. So, where do the White Sox stand in regard to a leadoff man?
General manager Ken Williams presented a somewhat tongue-in-cheek answer to this particular inquiry during a Friday afternoon conference call.
“We won’t be forfeiting the spot in the order. There’s going to be someone under the ‘No. 1′ in our lineup,” said Williams in a call to discuss the 2009 Winter Meetings, beginning Monday morning in Indianapolis.
Williams once again used the example of a leadoff hitter running against the pure speed prototype by pointing to the team’s usage of Orlando Cabrera during the 2008 American League Central championship campaign. Gordon Beckham, who had a .347 on-base percentage as part of his 2009 rookie season and would add extra-base punch at the top, a la Derek Jeter, would be an in-house leadoff candidate if the White Sox don’t make any further additions.
Judging by Williams’ comments above, he doesn’t seem worried about going to Spring Training without that de fact offensive force at the top.
“As much as 90 percent of the other teams in the league that don’t have the ideal leadoff guy,” Williams said. “You look at some of the teams that are around that have been successful. They don’t have the ideal guy.”
Jordan Danks’ chances to make the Opening Day roster also appeared to get a December boost, although Williams didn’t mention the younger brother of starter John Danks by name. With the top-notch pitching staff in place, beginning with a starting rotation as strong on paper as any American League group, Williams stressed how tightening up the defense in the outfield, going along with the changes already made in the infield, remains a priority.
Danks, 23, was deemed to be ready defensively in 2009. So, the White Sox could take a chance on him as the third outfielder, with the support of veterans such as Andruw Jones and Mark Kotsay.
This same school of thought could lead to Tyler Flowers breaking camp as the team’s backup catcher, although Williams admitted to asking around and having some talks about the spot.
“We don’t see it as a situation where we have to do something if it doesn’t fit overall,” Williams said. “We do have options, and not just Tyler.
“If it turns out we want to put Tyler in this sort of situation, the move comes with expectations that he will grow into the role similar to a young backup quarterback in the NFL. He’ll be learning as he goes, but also losing development time. After the season, that would mean he would have to continue going out and playing somewhere, whether it’s the Fall League or down in Winter ball.
“It’s not something that’s a pressing issue,” Williams said. “We will continue to survey the landscape, but where we sit right now, the way we are designed, we don’t have to make a move that’s uncomfortable or inconsistent to our overall plan.”
Dayan Viciedo was shut down for the remainder of the Arizona Fall League schedule with inflammation in his throwing elbow, as announced by the White Sox on Monday.
Brent Morel will replace Viciedo as part of the Peoria Javelinas roster, joining fellow White Sox Minor Leaguers in outfielder Jordan Danks, infielder C.J Retherford and pitchers Justin Cassel, Matt Long and Jacob Rasner.