Results tagged ‘ Zach Stewart ’
The White Sox set their 25-man roster on Saturday morning by optioning right-handed pitcher Dylan Axelrod to Triple-A Charlotte and reassigning RHP Brian Bruney, C Hector Gimenez, INF Rey Olmedo, LHP Leyson Septimo and LHP Eric Stults to Minor League camp.
With those moves, the White Sox have 12 pitches, two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders set to break camp. Eduardo Escobar was selected as the final position player, as expected, while Zach Stewart and Nate Jones round out the seven-man bullpen.
In that relief crew, the White Sox have four players with 70 days of big-league experience or less and three in Addison Reed, Jones and Hector Santiago, with 30 days or less. General manager Ken Williams said Saturday that he knew two weeks ago Jones and his fastball in the high 90s would make the team.
“He’s not out of nowhere for us,” said Williams of Jones. “When you throw 97-100 mph with a hard curve ball, and I think you guys finally saw the changeup a little bit last night, which we developed when he went down to start a couple years ago so that he could have something … .
“When you throw, last night I think he was 98-99 and the changeup was around the 86 mph range with some sink and fade to it, along with the curveball that makes everything better when you’re just sitting, I think he got into trouble a little bit in spring when you’re just sitting on two pitches. Guys can guess, ‘Ok, I got to be ready for the 98, so let me guess on this.’
“But when you put another thought in their mind, then you have something to work with,” Williams said. “We’ve been impressed with his aggressiveness. He was a little geeked up last night, trying to make that last impression and walked the first couple guys but settled down and really got in the swing of things.”
The White Sox bats continued their recent surge, pounding out 16 hits in a 16-4 victory over the Royals. Here’s a look at the action from this victory over their American League Central rivals at Camelback Ranch Thursday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: This is beginning to sound like a broken record, but Adam Dunn has had a great run in Arizona. Not only is Dunn seeing the ball great and getting tremendous results at the plate, but he also looks good playing defensively at first base.
Against the Royals Bruce Chen, Dunn hit a two-run homer in the first and then hit a grand slam during a six-run fifth. The fact that Chen is a lefty, a sort of pitcher Dunn rarely connected against in 2011, was just a bonus.
“I feel fine against lefties. I don’t feel any different than I do against righties,” Dunn said. “It’s just, I’m seeing them good and I’m getting a pitch, I’m putting a good swing on them.”
Dayan Viciedo hit three home runs in a Minor League game at Camelback Ranch, with the White Sox hoping those extra at-bats gets their left fielder into a more productive mode. Meanwhile, Jake Peavy threw six scoreless innings in that same Minor League contest against the Rangers’ Triple-A team, while Zach Stewart strengthened his case as a long relief candidate with just two runs allowed on six hits over five innings against the Royals.
WHAT WENT WRONG: With 29 runs scored in the past two victories, it’s hard to find a pitfall.
Addison Reed allowed two runs over 1 2/3 innings, but manager Robin Ventura admitted that his pitch count was extended a little beyond where they had him slotted for the day. Matt Thornton threw another scoreless inning, and Ventura added Thursday that he doesn’t expect to name a closer before the team leaves for exhibition games in Houston on April 3 and 4.
“They were fine. Again, it’s what you see,” said Ventura of his closer candidates. “Addison probably stayed a little longer than we would have liked, but he got stretched out. But I thought he threw great. In the end, he was a little hot and tired. Matt threw great. They were on time with everything and where they need to be in a few weeks.”
UP NEXT: The White Sox have split-squad action in Tucson, where Dylan Axelrod gets the start against the Dodgers in the afternoon affair where all proceeds from the contest will benefit the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation. Gavin Floyd starts the night game against the Diamondbacks at Camelback Ranch.
MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Josh Phegley tripled with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth to finish off the White Sox scoring on Thursday. While Phegley certainly won’t break camp with the team, he continues to move his name up the list for future catching consideration.
MOMENT TO FORGET: That honor belongs to Chen, the Royals starter who gave up more runs on Thursday against the White Sox than he did in five starts total against them last year. Of course, Thursday’s effort was Cactus League related and is more about the work but still a bit frustrating.
“I don’t know what to say,” Chen said. “I mean, it was a tough first inning and last inning. I tried to make some adjustments. I really think my pitches are coming real good out of my hand. I just have to keep working. I’m not going to give in. I’m not going to make too much out of this.”
The White Sox turned a two-run deficit into a 3-2 victory via a ninth-inning rally against the Rangers, raising their record to 2-4 overall. Here’s a look at Saturday’s first-game action.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Dylan Axelrod, Zach Stewart and Eric Stults amped up the long relief competition with two strong innings apiece Saturday. Hector Santiago seems to have a leg up for one of the three remaining relief openings, meaning it might be tough for another southpaw such as Stults to break camp as the fourth left-hander. So, it could come down to Axelrod and Stewart for one relief opening.
“I focus on what I’m doing, but you don’t want to root against anyone,” Stewart said. “I want everyone else to do good, because the better everyone else is doing, the better it makes the team around you.”
Although the regulars were gone by the ninth inning, some White Sox Minor Leaguers helped put together a three-run rally for the victory. Trayce Thompson walked, Andy Wilkins doubled and Ken Williams, Jr. delivered the two-out, game-winning single via an infield hit with the bases loaded.
Eduardo Escobar, who remains in the mix for the final position player roster spot partially because of his versatility, had two hits after starting at third base. Brian Bruney earned the victory with a scoreless ninth, giving him two scoreless innings in Cactus League action.
WHAT WENT WRONG: The White Sox didn’t get a baserunner in four innings against Texas starter Colby Lewis, and on any level of competition, those results aren’t good.
“We tried to set up Lewis, just for Opening Day, make him comfortable,” said a smiling White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who gave all the credit to Lewis.
Paul Konerko also fouled a ball off of his left knee on a seventh-inning pitch from Scott Feldman, and White Sox fans collectively held their breath as he walked around in pain. But Konerko finished the at-bat and seemed to walk normally off the field to the clubhouse when he was replaced prior to the eighth inning.
WHAT’S NEXT: It’s bonus baseball at Camelback Ranch, with Philip Humber and the White Sox taking on Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers Saturday night. It’s the second time the White Sox have faced Billingsley this week.
MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Williams has not had a lot of luck where health is concerned or a great deal of overwhelming success over his four Minor League seasons with the White Sox. But he did get to experience a game-winning hit with his single to center and his hustle down the first-base line in the ninth.
MOMENT TO FORGET: Pretty much the first four innings. Lewis was outstanding and efficient, needing just 36 pitches, and the White Sox didn’t seem to have much of a chance.
Make it three up, three down for Robin Ventura as White Sox manager in Cactus League competition. Here’s a look at the important factors behind the 10-6 final in favor of Milwaukee at Camelback Ranch Wednesday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Jake Peavy felt good.
Yes, I repeat, the White Sox right-hander, scheduled to make the second start of the 2012 regular season in Texas, felt no pain—anywhere.
“I did, I did, I really did,” said Peavy of feeling good during his two innings of work. “I can’t help but have a big smile on my face.”
“You want to win the game,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of one of the silver linings from Wednesday’s setback. “But it’s good seeing Jake go out … . Good velocity.”
Brent Lillibridge continues to show himself as the utility infield favorite by playing a solid second base and knocking out one hit. He also swiped a base, presenting a solid right-handed hitting alternative at the top of the White Sox lineup.
Jared Mitchell launched his first Cactus League home run during the White Sox three-run fifth inning, and Brent Morel finished with two hits.
“He has had good at-bats,” said Ventura of Mitchell. “His confidence level coming in his at-bats, you like what you see. He’s making a good impression.”
WHAT WENT WRONG: Sure, it’s only three games into Cactus League play, but the White Sox middle relief spots could end up being a war of attrition. Nestor Molina, who is a long shot to break camp with the team, got hit hard Monday by the Dodgers, while Dylan Axelrod and Zach Stewart combined to give up six runs on six hits over four innings Wednesday, with three walks and two strikeouts. Eric Stults helped his cause with a scoreless frame against the Brewers.
WHAT’S NEXT: Hector Santiago can strengthen his case for a middle relief job during a start against the Rangers Thursday afternoon in Surprise. Gavin Floyd, Will Ohman and Addison Reed all will pitch during a morning B game, also in Surprise.
MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Peavy’s genuine happiness after Wednesday’s outing. It wasn’t exactly a celebration befitting a playoff clincher, but White Sox fans are hoping for about 35 healthy postgame smiles from Peavy this season.
MOMENT TO FORGET: A couple of fly balls hit off of Peavy and Axelrod, looking somewhat routine at first, ended up carrying over the outfielders for extra-base hits. It’s good to remember how hard it is to judge pitching during Spring Training in Arizona, which is what makes it tough to pick a final two or three pitchers somewhat based on performance.