The Chicago White Sox split their pair of spring training games this weekend. On Saturday, the White Sox defeated the Cincinnati Reds, with six pitchers contributing on the shutout. On Sunday, the Sox were on the other side of a shutout thanks to the arms of the San Diego Padres. Considering the low scoring affairs, solid pitching was the main positive for the White Sox to take away from the weekend.
Saturday, March 2nd
Final: Chicago White Sox 4 Cincinnati Reds 0
On Saturday, the White Sox pitching staff did not need a whole lot of support, but a couple of hitters provided a spark. Conor Gillaspie continues to impress during his brief time in a White Sox uniform. Gillaspie hit a solo home run in the 6th inning, his 2nd of the spring which also increased his RBI total to seven. If Gillaspie can keep performing like this, then he will start to distance himself from the other players competing to make the Opening Day roster. Outfielder Jared Mitchell recorded two extra-base hits on afternoon. The former first round draft pick and top prospect had an RBI double in the 2nd inning and a solo shot in the 4th. Mitchell, 24, still has a ton of potential to be an everyday player in the majors. He has very good speed and some decent pop given his smaller stature, but right now his lack of making consistent contact is hurting his ability to hit for a higher average. Look for Mitchell to spend another season in the minors with a chance to crack the roster late in the 2013 season. His real impact may not happen until 2014 at the earliest. On the mound, six White Sox pitchers combined to shutout the Reds. Left-handed starter Jose Quintana began the game by throwing three perfect innings. Quintana struck out two batters on the day, and is looking to build off his surprising 2012 season. The White Sox claimed Quintana off of waivers prior to the 2012 season and he excelled when he was given an opportunity to start. Quintana’s performance dwindled a little bit towards the end of the season, and is now battling for the 5th starters’ spot this spring. His main competition is fellow lefty, Hector Santiago. Santiago struggled in his first appearance of the spring, but was much better on Saturday. Santiago struck out two hitters while pitching two scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit and issued two walks. The White Sox appear to be ready to let Quintana and Santiago pitch on the same day, and it will be interesting to see who starts the next game.
Sunday, March 3rd
Final: San Diego Padres 4 Chicago White Sox 0
There really wasn’t much to talk about after this game. The White Sox offense managed just four hits off of the seven San Diego pitchers combining on the shutout. The only things positive offensively were that Conor Gillaspie got a hit in his only at-bat, and Tyler Flowers reached base twice with a hit and a walk. Despite being shutout, the White Sox did receive a few positive pitching performances. Jake Peavy made his spring debut on Sunday. Peavy struggled a little bit on the afternoon by allowing three earned runs during his three innings of work. The righty struck out a pair of Padre hitters, while allowing five hits and issuing one walk. Peavy’s results may not have been ideal, but don’t concentrate on the numbers with him. Since Peavy is a veteran, he knows how to prepare himself for the regular season. Given that it was his first start, Peavy may have been just throwing fastballs to help build-up his arm strength. Peavy’s fastball reportedly sat in the low 90s and topped out at 94 mph while throwing 44 pitchers. Considering that it was his first start of the spring, look for Peavy to have much better results the next time out. Addison Reed, Matt Lindstrom, and Nestor Molina combined to pitch four scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Reed and Lindstrom will be key members of the back-end of White Sox bullpen this season, while Molina will continue to work on his craft as a starter in the minors.
Up Next: Monday vs. San Francisco Giants at 2:05 CT (John Danks vs. Ryan Vogelsong). John Danks will be taking the mound for the first time since his shoulder surgery that ended his 2012 season. Danks is scheduled to pitch two innings. As long as he is able to leave the game healthy, then Monday’s start will be considered a success.
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