One of the White Sox’s most interesting offseason acquisitions made his Spring Training debut with the team Sunday and while the numbers weren’t pretty on the surface, there’s no reason to panic that the supposed final addition to the rotation is going to turn out a train wreck.
Felipe Paulino, whose spot in the starting rotation seems to be his to lose, gave up four runs and eight hits and a walk over 1 2/3 innings Sunday. A couple of the Texas Rangers’ hits were on the soft side, and one by Prince Fielder was an infield tapper. Paulino threw 31 of his 47 pitches for strikes and was ahead in the count to most hitters but couldn’t put hitters away.
For what it’s worth, Paulino seemed aware of this when discussing his outing with reporters after the game:
“I’m happy to get back to a real game and show myself that I controlled everything,” Paulino said. “…They hit me, found the holes in places, but that’s part of the game. I try to do what I worked on with (pitching coach Don) Cooper, and everything was fine, what he wanted me to do. I try to build on it, and hopefully next time I’ll have better luck.”
Within that same Van Schouwen article it was mentioned that the race for White Sox closer is nowhere near a conclusion. None of the supposed candidates have seen any meaningful work yet this spring, but the good news is that Nate Jones, who was out early in the spring with a gluteal strain, threw a bullpen session and could be ready to throw in a game by Saturday.
Other news from the beat
Van Schouwen also had a nice feature on White Sox prospect Micah Johnson and his expectations after bursting onto the scene in 2013.
I don’t know if Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza are actually battling for the starting spot in left field, but Robin Ventura says in this Scott Merkin notebook that a starter hasn’t been named. I still think a move is coming.