Floyd, Thornton pain-free in spring debuts

Floyd, Thornton pain-free in spring debuts
March 5, 2013, 5:30 pm
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Gavin Floyd’s elbow is pain free and not an issue, he said Tuesday.

The White Sox starting pitcher said he feels fine after he threw 50 pitches in his Cactus League debut against Team USA. Floyd limited Team USA to two hits, a walk and one hit batsmen in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out three.

Floyd said he hasn’t experienced any of the pain he did last season when he twice was placed on the disabled list. Nearly half of Floyd’s 50 pitches were breaking balls and offspeed pitches.

“I don’t feel it out there at all, especially how many offspeed I threw out there today,” Floyd said. “It felt good. Non-issue I guess. I’m not really (concerned) because in Florida I was throwing off mounds three or four times and it felt good then.”

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Floyd wasn’t the only White Sox pitcher to debut Tuesday. Matt Thornton also appeared in a game for the first time and walked one in a scoreless inning.

The left-hander said his throwing elbow, a source of discomfort last month that shut him down for several days, continues to feel good. Thornton heads into the team’s first off-day pleased with what he accomplished in his appearance.

“I wanted to go out and throw some changeups, throw some breaking balls, throw my fastballs to both sides of the plate and I did that,” Thornton said. “I fell behind a couple times and threw more balls than I wanted to but the first time, still to this day, I get nerves throwing in spring training. Getting calmed down and I felt great so that’s all I really care about right now. Felt outstanding.”

Pitchers hit for first time

Hector Santiago has had a running joke with hitting coach Jeff Manto since the minor leagues about when he’d get a chance to jump in the batting cage. On Tuesday he and the White Sox other starting pitchers had their first chance of the spring to take a few cuts and work on bunts.

The opportunity to hit was the first in 6 1/2 years for Santiago.

“Everyday I tell him ‘Today’s the day,’ and he’ll tell me a time that’s impossible,” said Santiago, who throws left-handed but hits right-handed. “It looked a lot harder than it was. It looked like it was zooming in there and I was way ahead of it. But it went good -- I got my bunts down and hit some oppo and pulled some. There were a couple of good reactions after I hit the ball so it felt good.”

Notes

-- Paul Konerko singled three times and drove in a run on Wednesday, which also happens to be his birthday. Konerko turned 37. “I always do good on my birthday and it never counts,” Konerko said.

-- Gordon Beckham singled in all three of his at-bats with a run scored and an RBI. Dewayne Wise and Alexei Ramirez each went 2-for-3.

-- Team USA rallied from a 4-0 deficit to tie the White Sox. Pitchers Matt Lindstrom and Scott Snodgress each gave up two runs in an inning of work.

-- Hector Santiago struck out two batters in 1 1/3 innings and Dylan Axelrod and Nate Jones each pitched a scoreless frame.