Results tagged ‘ Mark Buehrle ’

Peavy’s prophecy: Twins have life

Before Jake Peavy left for his rehab start with Triple-A Charlotte Thursday, actually before Tuesday’s scheduled series opener at Target Field was postponed due to inclement weather, the veteran White Sox right-hander delivered a bit of an ominous message concerning the suddenly surging Twins.

“This team is starting to play well, and I think it’s a big series for the boys,” said Peavy of facing the Twins. “Come up here and win 2 of 3 and stop their momentum and win 2 of 3 in their park.

“If you give these guys life, … I certainly don’t want the Twins to have any more life than they already have. To lose a series and let them have life, we certainly don’t want to have to deal with this team down the stretch. We saw the problems that they can create to anybody they play.”

Two Minnesota victories later, a stretch in which the White Sox managed just one run scored, and the Twins have life. This latest Twin Cities debacle can’t be blamed on some three-hop triple off the Metrodome turf or some miraculous late rally inside the Twins’ indoor home.

Instead, the Twins have simply outplayed the White Sox in all four games this year. It was Mark Buehrle, Thursday’s hard-luck losing pitcher, who told a few weeks ago how the Twins could never be counted out—even when they were sitting closer to 20 games under .500 than first place.

Too many heartbreaking setbacks for the White Sox exist in the memory bank to ever think that way. An otherwise pleasant trip to Minneapolis and the Twins’ beautiful ballpark has been consistently ruined by Minnesota victories.

“Leaving the Metrodome would be easy on us here, or that’s what I thought. I guess not,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “They play good baseball when they play at home. They’re not playing good baseball just against us. I think they’re playing good baseball the last few weeks. You have to give them some credit.”

“I like it a heck of a lot better than I did over at the Dome,” said Buehrle of facing the Twins. “It seemed like when we went to the Dome, it was like, ‘Get in, get out.’ If we won one out of three games, it was like throwing a party. But here, I don’t know. I love coming to this place. Good town, good stadium. Just seems like we don’t play too good here.”

Fortunes better improve quickly for the White Sox in the Twins’ home. The South Siders play seven more games in this venue before the season’s end, from Aug. 5-7 and Sept. 5-7.  Ron Gardenhire’s crew is on the roll going into Interleague that Peavy wanted for the White Sox, and Minnesota’s best baseball usually comes after the All-Star Break.

Cactus League business as usual for Buehrle

Mark Buehrle’s wish is that he feels just as good during his franchise-record ninth Opening Day start on April 1 in Cleveland as he did during his first Cactus League start Tuesday against the Brewers.

Buehrle threw two quick innings, retiring four hitters on ground ball outs and striking out Brandon Boggs among the six Brewers faced during Milwaukee’s 3-1 victory at Camelback Ranch. The smiling veteran southpaw felt there was another one or two innings in him, but then again, Buehrle makes that same statement after his first start every spring. It really doesn’t take him more than two starts to get ready.

“You should have just got me before the game,” said Buehrle, joking about his quotes not really changing from year to year at this time. “You’re down here getting your work in to get prepared for the season.

“Obviously it’s a little too long for myself. It could be shorter. But it is what it is and you come down here and get your work in, build your arm strength and fill up innings.”

And count Buehrle in mid-season form regarding the fun he has with the media after a low-key start such as this one. Buehrle quipped how he wanted to petition Major League Baseball to have his one strikeout Tuesday added to last year’s regular-season total to give him an even 100 for 2010.

He also comically poked fun at the team’s lack of offense in Game 2 on the Cactus League ledger, with the White Sox locked in a scoreless tie when he departed, costing him an all-important chance at victory on the first day of March.

“We had our big boys going, and all we needed was one run,” said Buehrle, pausing with a wry smile for laughter from the gathered media to subside. “A little bit of run support, guys. Let’s go.”

Ramirez ready for prime time

Alexei Ramirez is on the verge of earning elite Major League Baseball status so richly deserved by the White Sox shortstop’s performance over the past year.

Tuesday afternoon brings the Rawlings American League Gold Gloves announcements at 2:30 p.m. CT. Ramirez certainly doesn’t have the career-long pedigree as the Yankees Derek Jeter, for example, but any of the AL managers or coaches who voted on this award had to recognize Ramirez was the top defender at his respective position. He would be the first White Sox shortstop to win a Gold Glove since present manager Ozzie Guillen in 1990.

Then, on Thursday, the Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards will be announced for both leagues. If Ramirez isn’t a favorite to win with his glove on Tuesday, most likely joining teammate Mark Buehrle with his second straight Gold Glove at pitcher, he certainly should be seen as the top-hitting AL shortstop.

And Ramirez also has a contractual decision to make. The White Sox shortstop can opt out of the $1.1 million he is set to earn in 2011, marking the final year of a four-year, $4.75 million deal, and become arbitration eligible. If Ramirez makes that move, as he is expected to do, the White Sox have the choice between exercising a $2.75 million club option or going through the arbitration process. The White Sox would be expected to exercise the option.

Ramirez has until Dec. 1 to opt out. The White Sox then have until Dec. 15 to make their decision.

Credit for Ramirez’s development goes to Guillen, who has practiced tough love during some momentary lapses for possibly the most talented player on the roster but also has shown him the ultimate support and respect. Bench coach Joey Cora also deserves praise for his tireless offseason and pregame work to help sharpen Ramirez’s defense at shortstop.

But the most credit for Ramirez’s growth goes to Ramirez himself. He has overcome consistently horrid starts, as shown by a .205 lifetime average in April, to post a career .283 mark, while finding a true home at shortstop. With a little better fortune at the season’s start, one of Baseball’s best five-tool contractual bargains could soon be talked about in Most Valuable Player consideration.

Jenks shrugs off doubters

Bobby Jenks was warming up in the bullpen Wednesday night, getting ready to come in and protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning against the Mariners, as he has done so many times before at U.S. Cellular Field.

But something was a little different on this night. At least one fan was a bit more focused on a blown save in Seattle last week and a tough ninth-inning loss he suffered against Minnesota on the first Sunday of the second half then his overall body of work.

“Before I got in the game, some (idiot) was out there telling me I (stink),” Jenks told after striking out the side for his 21st save. “You know, where has he been the last six years that I’ve been doing my job?

“Situations like that, it bothers me a little bit. But not enough to where it affects me. I look at it and say, ‘Who is this guy? Does he know baseball?’

“Is he a fan or just a numbers guy and looks at the numbers and judges where I’m at. And obviously my numbers aren’t good,” said a defiant Jenks with a laugh. “I’ve had a few bad ones so far. All and all, in save situations, I’ve been doing my job when I’ve been healthy out there.”

Jenks has served as the White Sox full-time closer for the past five years. Arguably, the hard-throwing right-hander, who touched 99 mph on his fastball against the Mariners, stands as one of the most important White Sox additions in the last decade and possibly longer than that particular time frame.

The 2005 squad was dominant from start to finish in winning the team’s first World Series title in almost nine decades. But Jenks became that missing late-inning piece, with Dustin Hermanson injured, plucked by the White Sox from their system without losing a player via the trade route.

Since becoming the team’s last line of pitching defense, Jenks has amassed 167 saves to put him second behind Bobby Thigpen’s 201 career saves on the all-time franchise list. He was the second-fastest to 100 career saves behind Seattle’s Kaz Sasaki in Major League Baseball history, needing just 187 games, and of course, tied the Major League record of 41 consecutive batters retired in 2007, a mark since broken by teammate Mark Buehrle.

Yet, Jenks believes the respect he deserves is not always afforded to him–from the media, fans and even the organization, although he doesn’t come out and say it. Jenks knows how he simply has to save his talking for the field, as he did on Wednesday, by knocking down Franklin Gutierrez, Russell Branyan and Justin Smoak on strikes.

Blowing saves is part of a closer’s job, and it also is the one time a closer is sure to get attention. The veteran Jenks is able to separate his own feelings about the role he has talked about being born to fulfill with important perspective on what the team needs to be successful.

“Regardless of what happens, everyone on the bench is under a lot of pressure, and winning the division is the most important thing,” Jenks said. “If a certain situation calls for where (manager Ozzie Guillen) thinks I’m struggling, and maybe I am, and three lefties are coming up or two lefties and a righty, and (Guillen) goes to (left-hander Matt) Thornton, I got to understand a little bit because it’s still a team of 25 guys.

“It hurts a little. Yeah, I’m not going to lie. But it’s part of the game and you have to roll with it some time. When you do get the ball, go out there and do what you know how to do best. Hopefully, it turns things around and gets it going again.”

Before the road struggles, Jenks had recorded 15 straight saves. He hopes Wednesday’s domination starts another string of at least 15 and points up one of the game’s elite closers, even if one fan on Wednesday might disagree.

“He had two bad games, and it (stinks) for a closer or a bullpen to go out there and have one bad inning and everyone kind of wants your head, you’re losing your job,” said Mark Buehrle, who had a no-decision in Wednesday’s victory. “I think everybody has confidence in him. He has to go out there and continue to do what he’s doing now.”

Buehrle knew ejection was coming

Mark Buehrle is not without contrition when talking about Wednesday’s ‘Balk-gate’ in Cleveland, even though he still has no idea what went wrong where one of the game’s top pickoff moves is concerned.

But according to the left-hander, one of the more easy-going and even-tempered players in the game, he knew his time was short in Cleveland following the second-inning disagreement with first-base umpire Joe West, leading to manager Ozzie Guillen’s ejection.

“Obviously, I was in the wrong for throwing my glove down,” said Buehrle, who was tossed after throwing his glove to the ground when West called the second balk with one out in the third. “I didn’t mean to. It was in frustration, sort of like when you throw it up or do something.

“But I could have done anything. I could have raised my arms in the air or shook my head. I was going out of there.”

Buehrle said he drew a line in the dirt after the second inning balk to show West if he called the balk based on going over that line, then he was wrong.

“I wasn’t trying to show him up. I wasn’t trying to. I’m not trying to get tossed,” Buehrle said. “I was just trying to show him where it was at. Then, Ozzie came out and protected me.

“After that, I don’t think it mattered what I did. It was just a matter of time and I was getting tossed.”

There was one humorous piece of irony coming from this otherwise troublesome situation. West, who has preached through the media about teams keeping the flow of the game going and avoiding delays, ejected one of the quickest workers in all of Major League Baseball.

“Soon as I kicked him out of the game, I’m like, ‘This is great, now how long is this game going to take?'” said West, speaking on the Waddle and Silvy showing from Thursday morning on ESPN 1000 in Chicago. “So we aren’t looking to kick him out of the game, we aren’t looking to pick on anybody. The simple fact of the matter is that he balked and he didn’t like it and that he threw his glove, that’s what happened.

“The balks were stepping to home plate; he didn’t step towards first base. And I don’t remember him doing that before, it’s just a balk is a balk. And this is what’s kind of disheartening, I mean this is one of the fastest working pitchers in the world; we aren’t trying to get him out of the game.”

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.”

Week in Quotes

At the end of each week during Spring Training and hopefully beyond, I’ll try to give you a little flavor from the past seven days of White Sox action with some of the more telling or even humorous quotes. Here’s a look from the first week of action in Arizona, in no particular order.

1. “People talk about trade deadlines and offseasons and timing on things. We are always looking to take that next step to get us that much better. That goes for today and the trading deadline season. All that means is other clubs are more apt to want to do things and if something arises where we have a need, regardless of where that need is, we are going to try to fill it.”
–White Sox general manager Ken Williams on the team’s aggressive philosophy in pursuit of top talent.

2. “We do things right, then we are out of here quick. If we play around and we do the wrong thing, throw to the wrong bases, and don’t take ground balls seriously or run the bases seriously, we are going to be out there for a long time. The best we work, we out of here.

“I’m not going to babysit them. It’s not an instructional league. You are in the big leagues for a reason. I’m not supposed to teach you here. We are supposed to remind you about what goes on with baseball.”
–Manager Ozzie Guillen, explaining White Sox players will dictate how long they are on the field for practice each day.

3. “Make sure you take that young guy under your wing and show him the ropes.”
–Guillen to Freddy Garcia, whose Spring Training locker is situated next to 22-year-veteran Omar Vizquel.

4. “This is a different type of team. We are not the slugging White Sox that hit 250 home runs and go base to base. But that’s a good thing.”
–White Sox veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski on the change in philosophy on offense for 2010.

5. “I’m always asked that question and I just want to get as many at-bats as I can get. That’s what I’m looking for. Ozzie is the king of making that lineup and wherever he puts me, I’ll be happy.”
–Carlos Quentin on the ideal spot for him to hit in the lineup.

6. “It’s extremely strange. I talked to both a good bit this winter. They are dear friends for life, and I have a great deal of respect for them and their fabulous careers. But more than that, I have a lot of respect for them as people. I know the fans appreciate all they did for us. It was an honor to coach them, and when I retire and look back, those two are right up at the top of my list to be around.”
–Hitting coach Greg Walker on not having Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye in camp.

7. “I don’t want to bring up names, but you take Jermaine. I remember Jermaine telling me at the end of the year, ‘If I don’t like what I see during the offseason or I don’t get what I want, and that doesn’t mean money, it means just the situation and everything I want, I have no problem, I’m happy to not go play. I’ll maybe go during the season if someone asks me, but I’m content with that.’ I would say that would probably be my mindset, where I’m not going to force something if it’s not there because I have other things, I have a perspective of what’s important and what isn’t.”
–Team captain Paul Konerko, on possibly not playing after his contract runs out following this season if he doesn’t find the right fit.

8. “The bottom line is when you get [weather] like this, you have to be like the Marines – adapt and overcome.”
–Pitching coach Don Cooper, on making workout adjustments during a rare Arizona rainy period.

9. “Getting [drunk] every night. Let’s put it plain and simple. When I took a long, hard look at myself and saw where I was headed, at that point, I was headed in the wrong direction.”
–Closer Bobby Jenks, who came into camp in phenomenal condition, on why he stopped drinking during the offseason.

10. “Joey and everyone were praising him and saying how great he looks. He said, ‘I’m on a mission. I’m the best center fielder you have here.’ And Joey said, ‘Well, you should be there are only pitchers and catchers in camp.’ Line of the day.”
–Williams, at the start of camp, recounting a conversation between Andruw Jones and bench coach Joey Cora.

11. “If that thing offends anyone, beat it because I didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t need Twitter to let people know what I feel about this ballclub. I don’t need Twitter to let people know what I feel about this organization or Major League Baseball, period.”
–Guillen on the one-day Twitter-gate, after the entertaining manager started his own account, which is now up to 29,203 followers in less than one week.

12. “I’m really not a Facebook or Twitter guy. I’m a prime rib and baked potato guy. I hate to say that but it’s true. Maybe somebody should teach me.”
–Cubs manager Lou Piniella, when asked about the Guillen Twitter controversy.

13. “I’m ticked. We need to get the word out.”
–A smiling Mark Teahen on Guillen’s total of followers on Twitter surpassing the total for the followers of his popular dog, ESPY Teahen.

14. “I stopped pitching freshman year in high school. I closed then and used to throw hard.”
–Sergio Santos, who is making the successful switch from infielder to reliever with a fastball in the range of 98 mph.

15. “You mean Babe? Yeah. He’s a natural. Freaks like that just don’t happen. Don’t go looking for another Buehrle.”
–Scott Linebrink, when asked if Mark Buehrle, who hit his first career home run last year, would be the best candidate to follow Santos and go from pitcher to position player.

16. “I was happy to see him smiling and at peace with his decision and his family was around. I thought it was great. It was a great turn out from the Chicago media and it played well when it went out that night.”
–Williams on Frank Thomas’ retirement ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field.

17. “It was big for us. There were a lot of losing years. I got a chance to go to it, since it was in Miami, and I live there. They are still partying back there. That’s why it snowed in Louisiana.”
–Juan Pierre, on his beloved New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl.

18. “Good for the city? Try the whole state. It’s been a big party down there since it happened.”
–White Sox 2009 first-round pick Jared Mitchell, who played baseball and football at LSU, talking about the effect of the Saints’ Super Bowl win on New Orleans.

19. “They gave me an opportunity, and I didn’t put up numbers. So, this is where I find myself.”
–Cole Armstrong, once the White Sox catcher of the future, with a refreshing look at now being in camp as a non-roster invite.

20. “I still feel like I’m a productive player and feel like I can contribute, but teams want me as a backup player, and that’s something I’m not ready to do. I feel undervalued, basically. I don’t think I have to go out there and prove anything to anyone. My numbers the last five or six years show I can help someone.”
–Dye, speaking to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, concerning his shock to still be without a Major League job.

(Personal Bonus): “No, Merkin. I’m the animal whisperer and got that animal to lie down in front of me.”
–Pierzynski, showing off of a special calendar featuring the big game hunted on an African safari he took with Aaron Rowand and their wives. The response was to my question as to whether the mammoth animal in front of him really was dead.

Saturday tidbits

The potential signing of free agent outfielder Johnny Damon had a direct effect on both Daniel Hudson and Andruw Jones.

If Damon had come on board, the White Sox designated hitter-by-committee plan would have been scrapped and a very determined Jones would have been searching for at-bats. Damon’s presence also probably would have reduced Ozzie Guillen’s pitching staff from 12 to 11, meaning a long relief spot would have been vacated, and Hudson would have started the season starting for Triple-A Charlotte.

To the credit of both these players, they kept any personal concerns to themselves in regard to these negotiations. They actually deferred to the good of the White Sox.

“That’s none of my business,” Jones said. “That’s the team looking to get better or doing what they need to do to get where we need to get. I don’t think about all of that stuff. I know I’m mentally ready and physically ready.”

“I’ve heard about it a lit a bit, and obviously it’s a great bat to add to the lineup,” Hudson said. “Whatever helps the team win, I’m all for it.”

Hudson and Jones can breathe a little easier, as Damon opted for a one-year deal with the Tigers, pending a Sunday physical. Jones’ roster spot is secure, but Hudson will try to parlay last year’s success into the seventh and final relief opening on the 2010 staff. If the soon-to-be 23-year-old has any nerves jumping around inside for his first big-league camp, they certainly aren’t getting through his calm exterior.

“My mindset is to throw as well as I can and make the decision really hard for them,” Hudson said. “It’s really out of my hands after that.

“I feel like no matter what the roster situation, if they feel you can contribute, they will make room for you,” Hudson said.

Hello, Old Friend: Jones played the 1998 and 1998 seasons with Guillen in Atlanta. So, suiting up for the White Sox manager in 2010 won’t present any sort of unexpected challenge.

“Everybody hears so much stuff about Ozzie. He’s a great guy and he knows a lot about the game,” Jones said. “I had an opportunity to play with him in Atlanta for a year and I learned a lot from him.

“He was always on my butt to go out there and produce every day. Now, to get a chance to play under him as a manager, it’s going to be a good experience. I think on paper, we’ve got a good team to go to the World Series and win it. It’s all about getting it together and staying healthy.”

Jones admits to having lost a step or two in regard to his one-time flawless defense in center field. But the veteran was almost defiant when stressing how he still can play the outfield if given the chance.

“The judgment of me not being able to go out there and play center field anymore, that was the big thing that motivated me more to get my legs right,” Jones said. “So if they put me out there, I’m going to get the job done.”

Camelback Changes: A once barren Camelback Ranch corridor, with the White Sox clubhouse and training room on either side, now features famous franchise historical photos on the far wall. They range from countless 2005 World Series celebratory shots to pictures of Mark Buehrle’s 2010 perfect game and 2007 no-hitter to the team’s trip to the White House last year. The faces of Buehrle and Josh Fields are blocked out by other players standing in front of them in that particular group shot.

Heavy Traffic Area: Lockers against the wall to the far left as you walk into the clubhouse line up as Paul Konerko, Buehrle, Freddy Garcia, Omar Vizquel, Jake Peavy, Scott Linebrink and Bobby Jenks. That sector figures to be heavily populated by the media on a daily basis during Spring Training.

Buehrle skipped; The Chairman speaks

Carlos Torres will take the mound Tuesday night in Cleveland in place of Mark Buehrle, with the White Sox left-hander possibly having made his last start of the 2009 campaign.

“They are pushing me back a couple of days,” said Buehrle, prior to Friday’s 2-0 victory over the Tigers.

“Right now, we’re not in the situation like we need to go there,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of his left-handed ace. “Right now, we don’t know what we’re going to do about it, but I think it’s not worth it to take the aggravation.”

Buehrle will continue to do his regular work in between starts. Guillen hinted that if the last game of the 2009 regular season at Comerica Park means something for the Tigers or the Twins, then maybe Buehrle would make the start.

“I’m not 100 percent sure,” Guillen said.

Otherwise, Buehrle closes out another workmanlike year. He has a 12-10 record, 3.95 ERA and his requisite 32 starts and 207 1/3 innings pitched. The only disappointment for Buehrle would be his 1-7 record and 5.18 ERA over 12 starts since his July 23 perfect game, a stretch in which he has yielded 97 hits in 73 innings.

–Along with the presentations made to Buehrle in honor of the 18th perfect game thrown in Major League history, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf gave the team a bit of a pep talk early Friday directed toward 2010 preparedness.

“He wants guys to make sure they are going to come in wanting to win and get to the playoffs,” said White Sox rookie third baseman Gordon Beckham of Reinsdorf’s talk. “Hopefully we can do it. He’s the boss and a great person. I really enjoy being around him as much as possible. We all want to do better and fulfill what he wants us to do.”

According to Jake Peavy, Friday’s winning pitcher, Reinsdorf’s words gave him an offseason adrenaline boost past the excitement he already had built up to be ready for 2010.

“Just hearing Jerry talk to the team today got me fired up,” Peavy said. “Talking about competing this winter and being ready to come back and give everything we got to win a world championship next year.”

–Brandon Inge faced Peavy while the right-hander was pitching at a Cy Young-caliber level with the Padres in the National League. And while Peavy wasn’t quite at that level of performance on Friday, Detroit’s third baseman still came away impressed.

“He looked pretty good,” said Inge of Peavy. “His fastball is still jumping pretty good on you. Obviously, it’s not where it used to be; I faced him three or four years ago and he was touching 97, 98. He doesn’t have that kind of juice.

“Nonetheless, it comes out of his hand really well. It really didn’t matter because his slider made up for everything. It was filthy.”

Contreras gets the call

It’s a manager’s prerogative to change his mind, but in the case of Saturday’s starting pitcher for the White Sox in an afternoon contest at Yankee Stadium, Ozzie Guillen really had no choice.

He said as much late Friday night when Jose Contreras was named to face the Yankees, while Jake Peavy makes his fourth Minor League rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte in Norfolk after taking a line drive off of his pitching elbow on Monday.

“I don’t have any choices,” Guillen said. “Our choices in the Minor Leagues were not that good.”

Guillen could have turned to Carlos Torres or Daniel Hudson from Triple-A Charlotte, but the White Sox didn’t want to make a roster move to correspond with their addition. D.J. Carrasco, who talked to as far back as Spring Training about his desire to start, also was a possibility. But Carrasco’s problem, which is a good one, is that he has made himself too valuable as one of the more consistent arms out of a shaky bullpen of late.

This whole discussion might be a moot point, as rain is called for during most of Saturday in New York. But Contreras will get at least one opportunity to give the team a much needed boost. I guarantee you everyone within the White Sox is rooting for him because of the outstanding, hard-working person that Contreras is and the fact that the White Sox are dropping in the American League Central, now sitting five out.

–I asked Mark Buehrle after Friday’s loss if these walk-off defeats knock down a team more than a regular loss. After all, the White Sox have been walked-off twice this week. Buehrle didn’t think the ending mattered as much as the result.

“Any time you lose, I don’t care which way it is,” Buehrle said. “It’s tough.”