In less than two weeks (Monday, April 5), the White Sox open up the regular season against the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field.
Today, the Sox got a bit closer to their Opening Day 25-man roster by sending two players to Charlotte–pitcher Carlos Torres and catcher Tyler Flowers–and five others to their minor league camp. They include outfielder Jordan Danks, first baseman Josh Kroeger, third baseman Brent Morel, second baseman C.J. Retherford and pitcher Ryan Braun. There are now 32 left in the big league camp.
The likely scenario finds two roster spots yet to be filled. The Sox expect to take 12 pitchers north–starters Jake Peavy, Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, John Danks, Freddy Garcia and a bullpen of Bobby Jenks, J.J. Putz, Matt Thornton, Scott Linebrink, Tony Pena, Randy Williams and one of the following: Sergio Santos (pictured below), Dan Hudson, Greg Aquino, Erick Threets and Charlie Leesman. The best bet to make it is Santos, who is out of options and has been very impressive this spring.
The other spot, a backup infielder/outfielder, will probably go to either frontrunner Jayson Nix, who is out of options, or Brent Lillibridge. The wild card here is if the Sox decide to go with red-hot outfielder Alejandro De Aza instead of Nix or Lillibridge. Or, they could go with 11 pitchers and take both De Aza and Nix/Lillibridge (pictured below, left to right, under the watchful eye their skipper). One last possibility, admittedly remote, is to take a 13th pitcher instead of the extra position player.
GOODYEAR, AZ–My wife Bonnie and I landed in Phoenix yesterday, checked into the hotel and rushed over to catch the first pitch of Sox-Reds in beautiful “no clouds in the sky” weather.
You know the old adage, playing to a tie is like kissing your sister. That’s exactly what happened yesterday in Tempe as the Sox kicked off their spring training schedule with a 4-4 tie with the Angels.
The Sox had a 4-2 lead heading into the eighth, but prospect Brian Omogrosso couldn’t find the plate and the tying runs scored. The South Siders had a chance in the top of the ninth with Alejandro De Aza on third and two outs, but C.J. Retherford struck out.
While it certainly wasn’t as satisfying as getting the win, we’ll take the tie on the road. And here are a few positives to ponder.
* A.J. Pierzynski‘s two-run homer in the fifth to give the Sox a 4-2 lead.
* Starter John Danks‘ two shutouts innings.
* If yesterday was any indication, the Sox will indeed run in 2010. They stole four
bases in the opener–Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, Mark Kotsay, De Aza.
* Converted infielder Sergio Santos was very impressive, striking out the side in
* Dayan Viciedo, trying to make the switch to first, played well in the field and singled
in a run.
* Newcomers Pierre and Mark Teahen each reached base on a hit and scored a run.
* Lefties Randy Williams and Erick Threets and righty Clevelan Santeliz each pitched
a scoreless inning. Santeliz shut the door in the ninth to preserve the tie.
Mark Buehrle makes his first spring start today against the Dodgers at Camelback
Ranch. J.J. Putz and Scott Linebrink are also scheduled to see action.
Mr. Perfect takes the hill today vs. the Dodgers in Glendale