Results tagged ‘ Padres ’
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.
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.
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.”
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.
–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.