10 useless but interesting White Sox spring training facts

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10 useless but interesting White Sox spring training facts

What to make of Spring training statistics? The correct answer is mostly nothing. But since I have access to White Sox spring training numbers from 2006 to present, I insist in presenting ten useless facts to munch on until Opening Day.

1. No White Sox player has 50 PA and an OPS of 1.000 or better this Spring. Over the previous four Springs, however, there have been a grand total of two times this has happened.

- Josh Fields: 1.092 OPS in 78 PA Spring 2009
- Brian Anderson: 1.021 OPS in 79 PA Spring 2008

2. Paul Konerko, over his last 60 Spring Training Games (every game from 2009 to current), has two HR in 193 at-bats...but is batting .347 over that span.

3. Adam Dunn has a BBK ratio this Spring of 138 (1.63), which is way better than last Spring (0.41 BBK ratio - 11 BB, 27 K). Dunn also has seven HR in 110 Spring at-bats in a White Sox uniform; he had zero homers in 73 career spring at-bats while with the Nationals.

4. From 2006 through 2011, only two White Sox pitchers have finished a spring with 10 IP and an 0.00 ERA

- Boone Logan: 0.00 ERA in 11.0 IP Spring 2007
- Randy Williams: 0.00 ERA in 13.2 IP Spring 2010

5. Matt Thornton racked up a save Thursday against the Dodgers. His only other Spring save with the White Sox came in 2007. The White Sox spring saves leader from 2006 to present is the unforgettable D.J. Carrasco, who tallied three -- all in 2008.

6. Is it possible to be 2-0 with an 13.50 ERA? Yes it is. Carlos Vazquez pulled it off for the Sox in 2008.

7. Once over the last six springs have three White Sox players finished with 50 PA and an OPS of 1.000

Jim Thome: 1.175
Rob Mackowiak: 1.065
Paul Konerko: 1.024
(Jermaine Dye just missed at .999, by the way)

That came in 2007, when they went on to go 72-90; their worst record since 1989.

8. Chris Sale's BBK ratio of 22:2 this spring is nothing short of incredible. But of all White Sox pitchers to strike out 10 or more in a spring from 2006 to current, the best is Ryan Bukvich in 2007, with an incalculable 11:0 ratio.

9. Over the last six complete springs, a White Sox player has had 5 homers on five occasions.

Jim Thome: 8, 2006
Jermaine Dye: 5, 2006
Jim Thome: 6, 2008
Wilson Betemit: 6, 2009
Carlos Quentin: 5, 2011

Only Betemit failed to hit five in the regular season (he had none in 20 games).

10. Lucas Harrell posted a 20.25 (6 ER in 2 23 IP) spring ERA in 2011, but ended up pitching for the White Sox during the season. That's the highest spring ERA from 2006 to current to eventually pitch that regular season with the big club.

White Sox likely will place 2B Brett Lawrie on disabled list

White Sox likely will place 2B Brett Lawrie on disabled list

The White Sox will "probably" place second baseman Brett Lawrie on the disabled list before Wednesday’s Crosstown game at Wrigley Field, manager Robin Ventura said.

Lawrie initially was diagnosed with a tight left hamstring July 21 against the Detroit Tigers, causing a firestorm of speculation he had been traded when he was removed from the game. He was initially considered day-to-day after undergoing an MRI on Friday, and manager Robin Ventura said before both Monday and Tuesday’s games against the Cubs he could’ve been available in an emergency. 

But Lawrie suffered a setback sometime Tuesday, and with two games under National League rules at Wrigley Field requiring more bench pieces, Ventura didn’t want to head to Clark and Addison short-handed. 

“It just seemed like he was going backwards today, during the game, of his knee,” Ventura said. “There's no way you can go over there and play the National League rules with nobody on the bench.”

[MORE: Shields picks up bullpen as White Sox top Cubs again]

Infielder Carlos Sanchez was removed from Triple-A Charlotte’s game Tuesday night and is expected to replace Lawrie on the White Sox roster. 

Lawrie is hitting .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs and 22 doubles over 94 games this season. 

Tyler Saladino has done well in his short stint in the starting lineup since Lawrie’s injury, going 4-15 with a walk. His walk-off single on Monday netted the White Sox their third win in what now is a four-game winning streak, the team’s first since May 6-9.

Tonight on CSN: Crosstown Classic shifts back to Wrigley Field

Tonight on CSN: Crosstown Classic shifts back to Wrigley Field

The Crosstown Classic continues on Wednesday at Wrigley Field as the White Sox square off against the Cubs on CSN Chicago. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Anthony Ranaudo (1-0, 17.18) vs. Jason Hammel (9-5, 3.35)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

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— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

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'Bulldog' James Shields picks up White Sox bullpen in win over Cubs

'Bulldog' James Shields picks up White Sox bullpen in win over Cubs

James Shields offered a taxed bullpen a significant boost on Tuesday night.

It was the sort of performance that earned him the nickname “Big Game” earlier in his career.

The right-hander pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings and the White Sox offense did enough for a 3-0 victory over the Cubs in front of 39,553 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Shields lowered his earned-run average over his last seven starts to 2.11 as he worked around four hits and four walks with five strikeouts. The White Sox won their fourth in a row, including their second straight over the Cubs, and in doing so retained the Crosstown Cup. David Robertson recorded his 24th save in 28 tries with a perfect ninth.

“This is the guy we were thinking of when we got him,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He came up big tonight, especially the way the bullpen is. I know he takes a lot of pride in that, he really does, of going out there and going deep into games. This is another one that we needed and he came through for us.”

An individual turnaround that began June 23rd in Boston reached its apex on Tuesday.

Since an atrocious three-start introduction to the White Sox, Shields has rediscovered some of the form that made him one of the top starters in the American League for the better part of a decade.

With the bullpen in need of a huge lift after throwing 19 1/3 innings in the previous four games, Shields delivered. White Sox relievers recorded only four outs and threw 19 pitches at time they needed it most. A number of close games and Chris Sale’s skipped start Saturday have White Sox relievers working in shifts to rest.

Shields provided that breather.

“He was a bulldog today, man,” third baseman Todd Frazier said. “He came out there and did what he had to do, saved the bullpen a little bit. You saw him out there. He was yelling at everybody, getting everybody fired up. That’s all you can ask for from him.”

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All Shields could request of his teammates is to spare a few runs. They produced three for a pitcher who entered the game ranked 130th among 138 qualified starters with a 3.2 runs-per game support average.

Jose Abreu made it 1-0 in the first with an RBI single to score Adam Eaton, who hit a solo homer in the fifth off Kyle Hendricks. Tyler Saladino also forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk, the third straight free pass issued by reliever Travis Wood.

Shields took advantage of the limited support and put himself in better position to pitch deep into the game with quick innings in the fourth and fifth. At 56 pitches after three, Shields needed only five to retire the side in the fourth and nine more in the fifth.

He had more than enough to get out of trouble in the sixth inning. Having retired 12 of 13 into the sixth, including the first two outs, Shields walked Addison Russell and Jason Heyward singled. But Shields -- who also got Dexter Fowler to pop out on a 3-2 pitch with two outs and the bases loaded in the second inning -- retired the dangerous Javy Baez on a foul ball down the left-field line to keep the White Sox ahead by two.

“They worked the count in the second inning,” Shields said. “I had a few walks there. We had La Stella out, but he had catcher’s interference. I probably threw a little extra that inning, and I had to get myself back in the game as far as pitch count, and I ended up doing that the very next inning.”

The ability to make big pitches and pitch deep into games stems from the comfort Ventura thinks Shields has rediscovered on the mound. The stretch of four starts, including his last with the Padres, in which he allowed 31 earned runs in 11 1/3 innings and was singled out by his former team’s owner for poor performance, couldn’t have done Shields any favors. But little by little, Shields has worked his way back.

Shortstop Tyler Saladino said the renewed confidence is easy to see when Shields is on the mound. Saladino said Shields will engage his infielders and even position them at times, knowing and trusting where they are.

“He starts to feel that confidence that he’s making his pitches, he’s getting his outs, he’s in charge,” Saladino said. “And when you’re behind him watching all that going on, and he’s giving you feed back when you come back in, you just know that he’s locked in. So you just go with it, the flow of him and everything.”