White Sox Spring Training: Day One Synopsis
Two phrases can best describe the White Sox’s philosophy this year:
The former is a phrase coined in early December amidst the Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski signings when it was evident that owner Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Kenny Williams were not going to fold the 2011 season to rebuild.
The latter is a foreign idea to most who are involved with the White Sox, but Williams insisted that’s how the White Sox will operate this season. It echoed throughout the clubhouse, from recently Vicktimized (see what I did there?!?!?) pitcher Mark Buehrle to manager and king of drama, Ozzie Guillen.
Williams said that any drama or distraction would have to come from outside the organization.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Gordon Beckham, Juan Pierre and Brent Lillibridge all showed up to the complex early. There wasn’t much hoopla surrounding those three – Beckham and Pierre spoke briefly with reporters – as the real story was Jake Peavy.
Having gone through the motions all day, I’ll spare you all the suspense. It’s as simple as this: Jake Peavy looked good, felt good after throwing, and Ozzie expects him to miss three starts at most. Optimistic? Maybe at this point, but let’s take the good news and run with it.
Doctors told Peavy to expect a bump or two in the road during his recovery, so when the bump occurs, don’t be surprised. You have been warned.
He had an MRI last week that came back clear. He was supposed to throw again Saturday but he’s going home for a couple days due to personal reasons. He expects to throw on Sunday.
As for Buehrle, this Mike Vick story just won’t die, as hard as he’s trying to kill it. He admitted that he meant what he said, but wants to move past it.
“It’s an old story,” he said. “It’s over, and we’ll move on.”
That, of course, is just a small portion of what Buehrle said on the matter, but it’s the most important point. The White Sox don’t want drama in the clubhouse. They want to concentrate on baseball.
If you insist on wasting your time with this story, click here for the full report.
Remember when I said Chris Sale was a favorite to be the fifth starter in case Jake Peavy were to miss some time? Consider that no more. Ozzie told reporters today that Sale will be in the bullpen.
So who will be the fifth starter?
“Right now, I don’t know. We have a couple names but I forgot the names,” Ozzie said, in typical Ozzie fashion.
While that situation will work itself out eventually, there is one situation already worked out – the Sox are going to have a great bullpen.
The Sox now have three left-handed plus-arms to relieve a stellar starting rotation. Matt Thornton and Chris Sale are the two you already know of, but after watching Will Ohman throw today, let me just say that White Sox fans are going to LOVE him. He was bringing some serious heat throwing next to Jake Peavy.
Williams spoke about Ohman later, explaining the signing wasn’t so Sale could move into the starting rotation, but because he has a few left-handed bats in mind (something tells me they play in Minnesota) who he’s sick of watching run around the bases.
So with those three, Tony Pena, Brian Bruney (non-roster invite), Sergio Santos, Jesse Crain…the bullpen is going to be stacked. They might not even have enough room for all the talent they’ve brought in.
Ozzie has yet to choose a closer, but by the way he sounded today, it’s Thornton’s job to lose based on his track record in Chicago.
With a plethora of talent to pick from, Ozzie has a wonderful problem on his hands.
Check back tomorrow for day two non-drama!