White Sox set spring opener lineup

662522.png

White Sox set spring opener lineup

embedly_twitter_46952162background:url(http:a0.twimg.comimagesthemestheme1bg.png) C0DEED; padding:20px; embedly_twitter_46952162 pbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 0px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_46952162 .embedly_tweet_contentbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_46952162 p span.metadatadisplay:block;width:100;clear:both;margin-top:0px;height:40px; padding-bottom: 12px; embedly_twitter_46952162 p span.metadata span.authorline-height:15px;color:999;font-size:14px embedly_twitter_46952162 p span.metadata span.author aline-height:15px;font-size:20px;vertical-align:middle embedly_twitter_46952162 p span.metadata span.author imgfloat:left;margin:0 10px 0 0px;width:48px;height:48px embedly_twitter_46952162 p a color: 0084B4; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_46952162 p a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_46952162 .embedly_timestampfont-size:13px;display:inline-block;margin-top: 5px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .components-above span.embedly_timestampfont-size:10px;margin-top: 1px;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_46952162 a color: 0084B4; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_46952162 a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-screen-name font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-full-name padding-left: 4px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actionsmargin-left: 10px;font-size:13px;display:inline-block;width:250px embedly_twitter_46952162 .components-above span.tweet-actionsfont-size:10px embedly_twitter_46952162 .controlsline-height:12px!important embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actions a margin-left:5px embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actions a bfont-weight:normal embedly_twitter_46952162 .components-above span.tweet-actions a bvertical-align:baseline;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_46952162 .components-above .tweet-textfont-size:13px;vertical-align:baseline embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-image float: left; width: 40px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-user-block-image float: left; width: 48px; height: 48px embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-row margin-left: 40px; margin-top: 3px;line-height: 17px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-user-block margin-left: -40px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .stream-item padding-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 12px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .simple-tweet-image img margin-top: 4px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .simple-tweet-content margin: 0 0 13px 0px; font-size: 14px; min-height:48px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .in-reply-to-border border-color: EBEBEB; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px 0 0; embedly_twitter_46952162 .in-reply-to-text margin-left: 4px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 10px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actions i background: transparent url(http:a2.twimg.coma1306889658phoeniximgsprite-icons.png) no-repeat;width:15px;height:15px;margin:0 4px -3px 3px;outline: none; text-indent:-99999px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline-block;position:relative; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actions a.retweet-action i background-position:-192px 0; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actions a.reply-action i background-position:0 0; embedly_twitter_46952162 .tweet-actions a.favorite-action i background-position:-32px 0; @scottmerkin
Scott MerkinVentura's first Cactus League lineup: De Aza 8, Pierzynski 2, Rios 9, Konerko 3, Dunn DH, Ramirez 6, Viciedo 7, Morel 5, Beckham 4, Humber
Mar 04 via web Favorite Retweet Reply
This looks like what Robin Ventura will probably go with on Opening Day, barring an injury. Going with Rios in the No. 3 spot is a gutsy call given his struggles in 2011, but it's actually much better to have Konerko hit cleanup.

By conventional baseball wisdom, Pierzynski is an ideal No. 2 hitter -- someone who makes contact and can move a runner over. So this shouldn't be taken as a criticism of Ventura more as a criticism of conventional baseball wisdom: It's much more important to have a high-OBP guy hitting second than it is someone who can make contact. In seven years with the White Sox, Pierzynski has a .317 OBP.

And this doesn't take into account a player's comfort level at a given spot in the lineup. Although, as a No. 2 hitter, Pierzynski has just a .296 OBP in 437 career plate appearances.

Ventura has said he's not looking to re-invent the lineup wheel, which is fine. He's a well-respected guy, and in his first year of ever managing, there's not much wrong with playing things safe and by the traditional book.

But really, any disagreement over placement of players in this lineup is unimportant so long as Dunn, Rios, Beckham andor Morel hit well. The Sox can score plenty of runs with Pierzynski hitting second if Adam Dunn hit blasting home runs or Gordon Beckham is getting on base at a good clip.

After wild seventh, Carson Fulmer wants another big-time opportunity for White Sox

After wild seventh, Carson Fulmer wants another big-time opportunity for White Sox

The White Sox called up Carson Fulmer from Double-A Birmingham a week ago with the expectation he could add a strong, powerful arm to the back end of a bullpen that’s been taxed quite a bit this season. 

After he struggled in his first high-leverage appearance in the majors, though, the White Sox remain confident their 2015 first-round pick will be an important part of the team’s bullpen down the stretch this summer. 

Fulmer only threw 12 of 30 pitches for strikes and allowed three game-deciding runs in seventh inning of the White Sox 7-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers in front of 22,611 at U.S. Cellular Field Friday night. The leverage indexes of Fulmer’s first two appearances on the West Coast — which spanned 2 2/3 scoreless innings — were .01 and .05 (a leverage index of 1 is average), with those coming in a 8-1 loss and a 6-1 win. On Friday, Fulmer’s leverage index was 2.98. 

Fulmer said nerves weren’t behind his erratic outing, in which plenty of those 18 balls weren’t close to the strike zone. 

“I want to be in those situations,” the 22-year-old Fulmer said. “When you go out there and don’t do your job, it’s obviously frustrating. But you have to have a quick memory and throw it over your shoulder and prepare yourself for tomorrow.”

Fulmer’s electric mid-90’s fastball and wipeout curveball were rendered ineffective by his inability to command them in his two-thirds of an inning. He walked Justin Upton, gave up a single to Tyler Collins and walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia to load the bases with nobody out, and after a pair of groundouts brought a run in, he walked Cameron Maybin to re-load the bases.

 [SHOP: Get your White Sox gear right here]

After that walk, Fulmer was pulled in favor of Nate Jones, who surrendered a go-ahead, ultimately game-winning two-run single to Tigers All-Star first baseman Miguel Cabrera. 

At some point, the White Sox were going to have to test Fulmer. With starter Jacob Turner only lasting 3 1/3 innings, and Fulmer looking comfortable in his first two appearances in the majors, manager Robin Ventura calculated that the seventh inning Friday was a prime opportunity. 

“He’s going to have to have it sooner or later,” Ventura said. “From the way the first (two) went, we felt comfortable he was going to come in there and be able to do that. But tonight, that doesn’t happen. But you have the confidence he can come back from this and be very effective in that spot.”

Morneau, who’s provided offense for bullpens over 14 major league seasons, agreed with his manager’s confidence in Fulmer. 

“We see a lot of good things in him,” Morneau said. “It’s obviously not up to me, but hopefully we get him back out there quick and let him settle back down and get comfortable, because he can really help this team.” 

White Sox relievers entered Friday with the fifth-highest leverage index in baseball, a product of the high volume of one-, two- and three-run games this team has found itself in this season. All those stressful innings — as well as Jake Petricka’s season-ending injury and Zach Putnam’s elbow issue from which he isn’t likely to return anytime soon — have put a considerable strain on Jones, Dan Jennings, Matt Albers, Zach Duke and David Robertson.

Fulmer, by virtue of being in the White Sox bullpen, will get another opportunity at a high-leverage inning. And while his first foray into a pressure-packed relief appearance didn’t go well, he hopes to quickly get a chance to put Friday in the rearview mirror. 

“I can’t ever use the excuse of it being my first big-time experience, especially for me being put in that situation,” Fulmer said. “Hopefully I get the opportunity to do it again. I’ll continue to stay prepared, just like I was tonight, and hopefully the odds turn in my favor. That’s all I can control.” 

Preview: Sale, White Sox continue series with Tigers tonight on CSN

Preview: Sale, White Sox continue series with Tigers tonight on CSN

Chris Sale takes the mound as the White Sox continue their four-game series against the Detroit Tigers tonight, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 5:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Starting pitching matchup: Matt Boyd (1-2, 4.91 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (14-3, 3.18 ERA)

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

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get your White Sox gear right here]

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

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

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with White Sox Pulse.

Report: Rangers making ‘serious effort’ to trade for White Sox ace Chris Sale

Report: Rangers making ‘serious effort’ to trade for White Sox ace Chris Sale

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Thursday he’s been fielding more calls about trades as he team has slid to six losses in seven games after the All-Star break. 

According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, one of those calls has been from a Texas Rangers front office that’s pushing hard to acquire All-Star left-hander Chris Sale. 

Sullivan reports the White Sox want power-hitting 22-year-old prospect Joey Gallo as well as former top prospect infielder Jurickson Profar. 

The 23-year-old Profar is hitting .304/.351/.435 in 42 games with the Rangers this season. Profar missed the entire 2014 season due to a muscle strain in his right shoulder, and underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in the same shoulder prior to the 2015 season, in which he only appeared in 32 games in the Rangers’ minor league system. 

Gallo, who homered in his first career at-bat off then-White Sox right-hander Jeff Samardzija in June of 2015, has 17 home runs with a .254/.394/.561 slash line and 85 strikeouts in 228 plate appearances for Triple-A Round Rock this season. 

While Hahn said Thursday it “might be extreme” for the White Sox to undergo a full rebuild with Sale and Jose Quintana under control on team-friendly deals through 2019 and 2020, respectively, he did say the organization is considering all of its options as it languishes in both the American League wild card and Central Division races.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported Thursday that the White Sox were offered a "king's ransom" for Sale and turned that team down.