The Chicago White Sox were unable to keep up their winning ways the past two days. On Thursday and Friday, the White Sox lost their first two games of the spring versus the Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians respectively. Despite the losses, there were plenty of positives to take away from some individual performances.
Thursday, February 28th
Final: Milwaukee Brewers 4 Chicago White Sox 3
The White Sox offense cooled off following their 22 run outburst in a span of two games. The Sox recorded eight hits on the afternoon, highlighted by Alejandro De Aza’s two-hit effort. The Sox leadoff man was the only player to record two hits on the day. He is currently hitting .400 during the spring, and continues to display strong on-base skills. Gordon Beckham continued his solid start to the spring by collecting an RBI single. The RBI was Beckham’s third of the spring, and is hitting .333 at the moment. Catcher Tyler Flowers also added a single, and third baseman Josh Bell knocked his first homer of the spring. Josh Bell now has 5 RBIs on the spring while fighting for a roster spot. On the mound, was lefty Scott Snodgress. Snodgress is ranked as the White Sox 6th best prospect according to MLB.com. Snodgress pitched three innings on the afternoon, surrendering 2 runs on 2 hits, a walk, and a strikeout. Closer Addison Reed struggled in his second outing of the spring. The righty gave up a 2-run homer after walking a batter in the seventh. Reed will have more opportunities this spring to show that he is capable of building on last year’s rookie campaign and turning into an elite closer.
Friday, March 1st
Final: Cleveland Indians 9 Chicago White Sox 7
On Friday, the White Sox offense returned to their hot hitting ways, but it was not enough to pull off the victory. The Sox opened up a 4-0 lead after three innings thanks to a pair of home runs. Dayan Viciedo crushed a mammoth solo homer in the second inning off of Justin Masterson, and Brent Morel added a two-run shot two batters later. Viciedo appears to be adjusting to his new leg-kick as evident with a .400 batting average so far this spring. “The Tank” certainly has plenty of power in his swing, but adding a solid batting average would turn him into a prolific hitter. Morel is still hoping to play his way back into the starting third baseman’s job, but may also be playing for a reserve spot. The White Sox have started playing Morel at shortstop, and would like to see if he can handle the position. As a natural third baseman, I remain skeptical if Morel has the athleticism to play shortstop. Morel’s versatility to play multiple positions would definitely help his chances of avoiding Triple-A to start the season. For the first time this spring, one of the White Sox starters took the hill. Lefty Chris Sale made his first appearance of the spring, and performed quite well. Sale was able to pitch into the third inning and recorded seven outs on the afternoon. During his time on the mound, Sale struck out three Indians’ hitters while allowing two hits and a walk. Entering his second full season as a starter, Sale will look to build on a very impressive 2012 campaign. Sale needs to continue to work on improving his arm strength and show that he is capable of pitching over 200 innings in a season. Last season, the White Sox were understandably protective of Sale (skipping some of his starts or giving him extra rest), but he should not be restricted this season if the Sox truly feel he is their ace.
Up Next: Saturday vs. Cincinnati Reds at 2:05 CT (Jose Quintana vs. Bronson Arroyo)
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