GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Thornton admits he initially wasn’t as confident his elbow was fine, but those concerns have since been alleviated.
The White Sox reliever threw 40 pitches on Wednesday in batting practice and believes he hasn’t lost any ground.
Thornton missed several days last week and required an MRI, which showed no structural damage, because of inflammation in his throwing elbow. But he is set to pitch again Saturday in the bullpen and will appear in a White Sox game on March 5.
“I didn’t know what it was at the time,” Thornton said. “I knew it was sore. I cranked it up a little too much too early knowing I had time and all that. So it kind of went the wrong way this time. We backed off a couple days, picked it right back up and didn’t lose anything I worked for this offseason.”
Thornton said he didn’t have to hold back during Wednesday’s session and threw all of his pitches.
“No problems at all,” Thornton said. “I let everything go. I threw everything I had and as I went along I amped up the intensity and let ‘em go.”
Konerko, Gillaspie hit first homers
Paul Konerko needed only seven at-bats to hit his first home run of the spring when he clubbed a two-run shot Wednesday in an 8-4 win over the Texas Rangers. Manager Robin Ventura said the early homer should help Konerko eliminate any pressure he might place on himself.
“I know in my last couple of years, if you didn’t get one or you didn’t have a good enough at-bat, it sits on you a little bit to get it going and get that good feeling, that good swing back,” Ventura said. “Whether he’s real happy about it or not, it’s good that he’s got that out of the way and then you go from there. I don’t know if he’s ever satisfied in spring, but it’s a close second. It kind of wears on you and you sit there and think about and then you try to make up for it and that’s when you really get into problems.”
[Sox Drawer: Pressure is on for Indians, Royals]
Konerko is 3-for-7 this spring with two RBIs.
Third baseman Connor Gillaspie is still going strong after he went 1-for-2 with a two-run homer, his first of the spring.
White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez is home in Florida for the next few days to attend to a family matter, a team official said Wednesday. The club believes Ramirez will return to Camelback Ranch on Friday.
-- Adam Dunn has a bone bruise above his right elbow after a pitch hit him in Wednesday’s victory. Ventura said Dunn didn’t signal that he was injured after Robbie Ross hit him in the fifth inning.
-- Simon Castro limited Texas to a hit and a walk and struck out three in three scoreless innings. “You’re looking at maturity and just being able to compete at a different level,” Ventura said. “This year I think he has command and the confidence that comes with being another year into it and control.”
-- Outfielder Alejandro De Aza singled, walked, stole a base and drove in a run in three plate appearances. Dayan Viciedo went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
-- Non-roster invitee Ramon Troncoso pitched two shutout innings for the White Sox.