The main storyline thus far this spring for the Chicago White Sox has been the comeback of pitcher Jesse Crain.
Injuries have derailed his last two seasons, but this spring he seems to be getting back to form. While no one is sure when exactly he will be ready to pitch in a regular-season game, excitement abounds in camp regarding Crain.
Another bullpen story is Nate Jones throwing a long toss. Even though he has yet to get on the mound, long toss is a step in the right direction for Jones.
Expect the White Sox to be cautious with Jones, and my guess would be that he would come back sometime in mid-season.
Sox running more this year? Looks like they will be. Coach Vince Coleman wants the Sox to be aggressive on the base paths, and considering their speed, that makes sense. Micah Johnson said it is still possible for a player to steal 100 bases in the majors (which Coleman did in 1987 in STL).
If Johnson makes the team (as 2B), it will be Johnson hitting ninth and Eaton hitting first, which creates serious havoc on the base paths. The 2B job will be decided over the spring, but if Johnson winning the job were to happen, the Sox could manufacture runs as well as hit home runs.
Conor Gillaspie has added weight. As I have stated in several articles, Gillaspie has weakened as the season went on over the last two years. On top of that, he has stopped chewing tobacco. With Gillaspie adding weight and muscle, he should be better served for the full 162-game season.
Sep 20, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) singles during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Another story on being fresh is Jose Abreu. Abreu wasn’t used to an MLB season in 2014, as he had only played in Cuba. With last year under his belt, he will be able to weather the six-month grind better. If he has energy for late in the season and the Sox are contending, the Sox will be in better shape for it.
Overall, it is hard to make a whole lot out of a camp that officially started last Friday. Games don’t even start until next Wednesday, which is when a lot of the competition will start up in regards to individual positions.
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Spring training can get long and boring for the fans (and the players), so a storyline here and there is nice. The roster will start to take shape once games have been played for a few weeks, giving fans a glimpse of the 2015 team.
As of now, it is just a matter of waiting around until the Sox begin to face an opposition other than themselves.