White Sox invite 18 to spring training

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White Sox invite 18 to spring training

The White Sox invited 18 players to spring training -- which begins in a month -- including prospects Trayce Thompson and Jake Petricka.

Thompson, who was ranked between Nos. 3-7 on a few White Sox prospect lists, hit 24 home runs with 60 walks and 172 strikeouts at Single-A Kannapolis in 2011. Petricka made 21 starts between Kannapolis and Winston-Salem last year, striking out 94 with 39 walks while allowing just three home runs in 109 13 innings.

Jared Mitchell, the Sox first-round pick in 2009, was also invited to camp as he looks to resurrect his prospect status. Mitchell suffered a devastating ankle injury during spring training in 2010 and struggled in his 2011 return, posting just a .304 OBP with 52 walks and 183 strikeouts with Winston-Salem.

Others in the Sox system who garnered invites include Brandon Short, Michael Blanke, Josh Phegley, Tyler Kuhn, Jim Gallagher and Jordan Danks. Of the players invited, Danks has the best shot at making the 25-man roster as a fourth outfielder, although that the Sox left him unprotected in December's Rule 5 Draft may be an indication as to how they feel about John's little brother.

The Sox also signed eight players to minor league deals and invited them to camp, a few of whom have a decent chance to win a bullpen spot with the major-league club. Brian Bruney, who appeared in 23 games with the Sox last season, should be a leading candidate to win a job, while Brian Omogrosso, Leyson Septimo and Eric Stults will all be considered as well.

Costly mistakes, Nolan Reimold's HR send White Sox to 6-3 loss vs. O's

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Costly mistakes, Nolan Reimold's HR send White Sox to 6-3 loss vs. O's

BALTIMORE — The White Sox haven’t given away many games this season, but Friday’s effort qualifies for sure.

Two innings after the defense made several costly errors, Carlos Rodon yielded a three-run homer to Nolan Reimold and the Baltimore Orioles sent the White Sox to a 6-3 loss in front of 19,912 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Reimold’s seventh-inning, opposite-field homer off Rodon broke a 3-all tie and led to a second straight White Sox loss.

Following a defensive breakdown in the fifth that led to three runs, Rodon looked like he had things under control. He cruised through the heart of the Orioles order in the sixth inning and needed only eight pitches to retire the side.

But Baltimore’s bats heated up in a hurry in the seventh. Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy both singled and Reimold jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Rodon and drove it out to right field to put the Orioles ahead 6-3.

Rodon allowed six runs (four earned) and eight hits in seven innings while striking out seven and walking one.

The left-hander had been on cruise control for the game’s first four innings, using a strong slider to efficiently keep the Orioles under wraps. Rodon used only 55 pitches and had only allowed an opposite-field single as the White Sox led 1-0.

But Rodon issued a leadoff walk to Adam Jones in the fifth and Brett Lawrie’s error on Wieters’ potential double play ball put runners on the corners. Still, Rodon induced a grounder to third from Hardy and Jones was caught too far off third base, which led to a rundown and the first out of the inning. An infield single by Reimold then loaded the bases and Jonathan Schoop’s two-run single gave the Orioles a 2-1 advantage. Rodon induced another grounder off Joey Rickard’s bat but Jimmy Rollins’ relay throw wiped out another double play and reached the stands, allowing a third run to score. The Orioles’ rally would have continued had it not been for a perfect throw home by Adam Eaton to nail Rickard on Manny Machado’s two-out single.

The White Sox fought back from the two-run deficit but missed out on a big opportunity in the sixth. Jose Abreu’s one-out RBI single got the White Sox within a run and Todd Frazier walked to load the bases. But Jones raced in to catch Melky Cabrera’s liner and fired a perfect throw home to nail Rollins and keep the Orioles ahead 3-2.

Lawrie wiped out the lead in the seventh, however, with a solo homer off reliever Brad Brach. But the White Sox, who went ahead in the second on Avisail Garcia’s RBI triple, got no further against Brach, Darren O’Day and Zach Britton.

Robin Ventura used blowout loss to rest key White Sox

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Robin Ventura used blowout loss to rest key White Sox

BALTIMORE — One of the few positives to Thursday night’s blowout loss to the Baltimore Orioles is it offered Robin Ventura a chance to rest several players.

With the White Sox down by eight runs, Todd Frazier, Jose Abreu and Jimmy Rollins all exited a cold, windy and miserable contest two innings early. For Frazier, it was the first two innings he hasn’t played all season out of 205. Even though it’s only two innings, Ventura thinks it was a nice breather for a team in the middle of a span with 19 games in 19 days.

“The way we’re playing, you just try to get them off their feet,” Ventura said. “If I had more guys to do that with I probably would have. But you’re trying to get those guys out of there. If it would happen again, you’d get (Brett) Lawrie or someone like that out of there. You’re just hoping it helps them somewhat. It doesn’t sound like a lot, two innings. But in a game like that, it helps. It’s a little sticky out there. It’s just a way to get them out of the game and they feel like they get somewhat of a break.”

Frazier likes that the rest got some plate appearances for his teammates. Otherwise, he’d rather be out there. But Frazier gets that it’s important for Ventura to find playing time for Carlos Sanchez, Tyler Saladino and Jerry Sands.

He also admitted he didn’t mind sitting the final six outs of a contest where the temperature at first pitch was 48 degrees.

“It's different in the American League — you might go a month without hitting it seems like,” Frazier said. “To get guys in there that need at-bats, that’s probably the best thing that comes out of it. You don’t ever want to be out of the game, but it was a cold day. Robin understands it was damp and there’s just a right time to get them in there.”

John Danks to start for White Sox on Wednesday

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John Danks to start for White Sox on Wednesday

BALTIMORE — John Danks will get another turn in the White Sox rotation.

Even though he could have manipulated the team’s rotation with a day off upcoming, manager Robin Ventura said Friday that Danks would start again on Wednesday night at home against the Boston Red Sox. Danks allowed six runs in Thursday’s loss and fell to 0-4 with a 7.25 ERA in four starts.

“You’re sitting there going through it, he was just in the middle of the plate (Thursday),” Ventura said. “I think he has a good changeup, still battles and all that stuff. I know he’s frustrated. But where we’re at, we need him to battle, and at this point, that’s what we’re doing.”

Entering Friday, the White Sox won eight of their past 10 games with their only losses coming in both of Danks’ starts. Danks had his best turn of the season on April 21 when he limited the Los Angeles Angels to two runs over six innings. But he had no fastball command on Thursday and the Baltimore Orioles made him pay. Danks said he’s only focused on his work when he was asked Thursday about the big picture.

“I’ve got enough to worry about here than anything else,” Danks said. “I’ll be ready to go. I’ll work hard. I’m not going to pout or anything. Never have or never will. I guess it’s part of it. It’s not easy, but there’s only one thing to do and that’s work hard and get ready to take the ball.”

After the game, Ventura said the White Sox would work to help Danks, who’s in the final season of a five-year contract. Not only has Danks allowed two home runs per nine innings, his highest total since 2013, he also has walked 4.4 batters per nine, a career-worst.

“We’re trying to make him better and we’re going to continue to work at that and continue to make him better so he can help us,” Ventura said.