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White Sox Spring Training Review

By Jeff Dutton
On March 29, 2011

 

 

 While it may not seem like spring on the south side of Chicago, nonetheless the White Sox find themselves heading into the last weeks of spring training down in Arizona. Here is a look at some of the developments so far and some of the questions that still need to be answered before they take the field to the field April 1 in Cleveland for the season opener.

Jake Peavy's Recovery

After suffering a rare injury early last July, in which Peavy's latissimus dorsi muscle in his back completely detached from his throwing shoulder, the White Sox were left speculating whether or not he would be able to pitch again, let alone be ready to go at the start of this season. On July 14 of last year Dr. Anthony Romero preformed a surgery that had never been attempted before, when he successfully re-attached Peavy's muscle at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Much to the delight of White Sox coaches and fans alike, Peavy was ready to start spring training on time in the middle of February. So far this spring he has started two games, lasting 3 2/3 innings, allowing one run, and throwing 49 pitches against the Giants in his last start. According to him he has, "felt nothing out of the ordinary – just general soreness all through the arm, which is part of spring training." Barring any setbacks late in the spring, it appears he is going to be ready to go once the bell rings on April 1.

Battle at the Hot Corner

Prior to the start of the 2010 season, Sox GM Kenny Williams trade Chris Getz and Josh Fields to the Kansas City Royals for Mark Teahen. The hope was that Teahen would solidify the third base position. Unfortunately, Teahen had an injury plagued season in 2010, which saw him commit more errors in the field than the Sox were comfortable with at the hot corner. In came rookie call up Brent Morel to finish out the 2010 season. Morel proved to be a slick fielding third base, something the Sox have sorely missed since the departure of Joe Crede, but questions remain about the kid's ability to hit. 2010 saw Morel bat .231 with 17 strikeouts in 65 at-bats while playing with big club.

The story heading into camp was that Morel and Teahen were locked into a battle royal for the starting spot at the hot corner, and so far a decision has yet to be made. While Teahen started the spring shaky in the field, he is batting a barn burning .474, and has recently received praise from manager Ozzie Guillen for his improved glove work. Morel, on the other hand, has proved to be rock solid defensively, yet he just recently reached the Mendoza line for the first time this spring, raising his average to .200 with a pair of hits against the Dodgers. Guillen has been quoted saying that this decision will probably come down to the last week of spring.

Closer

With the departure of long time closer Bobby Jenks to free agency, the White Sox find themselves weighing their options between two fire-balling lefties, in regards to who is going to nail down victories in the ninth. The choice is between dominate veteran setup man Matt Thornton and last years late call up sensation Chris Sale. Thornton has recorded 17 saves during the course of his career, most of which has been spent as one of the A.L.'s elite setup men. Sale was called up at the end of last season, after being drafted out college that same June. After making his rapid ascent to the majors, Sale recorded four saves last season with a 2-1 record and 1.93 ERA. Indications are that Guillen prefers Thornton at this point, with a decision expected soon.


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