Chicago White Sox

Bad inning could cost Kinney bullpen job

Bad inning could cost Kinney bullpen job

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Posted 5:55 p.m. Updated 7:23 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. On a day when the news on the starting rotation wasnt so good, Gavin Floyd and Josh Kinney turned in pitching efforts that werent too heartening for Chicago White Sox fans.

A comeback staged against former Minnesota Twins reliever Matt Guerrier teased the White Sox with thoughts of leaving Camelback Ranch in brighter spirits, pushing ahead in the seventh against the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-4, keyed by Gordon Beckhams 3-2, two-out, three-run blast and a deep solo home run by Carlos Quentin to lead off the inning.

But Josh Kinney, one of a few arms left on the White Sox with a legitimate shot at the 12th arm role breaking camp, suffered a full-on meltdown in the eighth, allowing two home runs and five earned runs to shoot his spring ERA from 1.29 to 6.75 and sending L.A. home 9-7 winners.

Floyd had a decent outing in his six innings on Sunday, giving up eight hits and four earned runs.

When you go six, obviously thats the minimum you want to go as a pitcher, Floyd said. You want to go as late as you can. After my next start, it will really feel like youre ready to start the regular season.

Promisingly, he recorded four Ks despite punching out just one batter in his first three spring starts.

If I can get them out, thats all that mattersone way or another, strikeouts will happen, Floyd said. I dont really go for them, but occasionally I do, Im not going to lie. Theyre not a big partthey just happen.

But Matt Kemp provided a big blow against Floyd, clocking a two-run blast deep to left in the sixth. Take spring ERAs for what theyre worth, but Chicago is showing signs of getting out of the gate slowly with their startersthe very problem that dug such a deep hole for the team in 2010once more.

Floyds spring ERA is now 4.91, while Mark Buerhle stands at 5.54, Edwin Jackson at 5.65. Jake Peavy, whose rotator cuff tendinitis could push the start of his season back a turn or two, stands at 4.11. The only starter so far worthy of any leagues best rotation laurels has been the spot-on John Danks, at 1.65.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

White Sox Road Ahead: Lucas Giolito, Carson Fulmer set for first White Sox starts

White Sox Road Ahead: Lucas Giolito, Carson Fulmer set for first White Sox starts

On this week's Honda Road Ahead, sponsored by Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Honda dealers, Bill Melton and Chuck Garfien talk about the upcoming starts for young pitchers Carson Fulmer and Lucas Giolito.

With the White Sox rebuild sucking up all the attention from fans of the team this year, Lucas Giolito and Carson Fulmer have been names in any conversation about the future of the team.

Fulmer, the first-round pick of the White Sox in 2015, made his big league debut with the White Sox last year, but it was as a reliever. This time Fulmer will get the start in the second game of Monday's doubleheader against the Twins.

In eight relief appearances with the White Sox last season, he walked seven in 11 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and an 8.49 ERA. This season Fulmer has returned to starting with Triple-A Charlotte and has a 5.61 ERA with 95 strikeouts and 63 walks in 122 innings.

"I'd like to see Carson Fulmer throw more strikes," Melton said. "Maybe that's all I want to see because I remember when he was here last year he had a tough time coming out of the pen because he was a starter and he wasn't throwing a lot of strikes. So I think the key for me to watch him is, just forget about guys getting hits or hitting balls out of the park, I want to see if he's getting it over the plate, how many times he's ahead of the hitters."

Giolito will make his White Sox debut on Tuesday. Like Fulmer, the 23-year-old has some major league experience. Giolito pitched 21 1/3 innings in four starts and two relief appearances last year with the Nationals. He posted a 6.75 ERA with 11 strikeouts and 12 walks.

The White Sox acquired Giolito in the Adam Eaton trade in the offseason and he hasn't had the smoothest of seasons as a teammate of Fulmer's in Charlotte. The 6-foot-6 right-hander has a 4.48 ERA with 134 strikeouts and 59 walks in 128 2/3 innings for the Knights.

Those numbers aren't going to excite fans, but he has been pitching better lately. In his last five starts, Giolito has a 1.71 ERA (six earned runs in 31 2/3 innings) with 28 strikeouts and 11 walks.

"This is a tall guy, he's a velocity guy, he's a strikeout guy so I'm going to be watching that," Melton said. "And again, nerves. There's nothing wrong with that. First time in front of a Chicago fan base and stuff like that. But a guy that big, I'm more interested in seeing how his breaking ball is. If he starts bouncing it in the dirt, a little nervous. He's got such a good one. I want to see him get ahead of the hitters and see how he puts them away."

Watch the video above to see Garfien and Melton talk about the two White Sox pitching prospects.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Jeff Passan explains why White Sox have the best farm system in baseball

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Jeff Passan explains why White Sox have the best farm system in baseball

After speaking with 24 people in baseball (GMs, farm directors and scouts), Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports made a conclusion: the White Sox have the best farm system in baseball. On the podcast, Chuck Garfien speaks with Passan about his specific findings and how the next few years might play out for the franchise.

How many of the White Sox prospects have to be a success for the rebuild to work? Will Michael Kopech or Alec Hansen have the better major league career? Will the Cubs one day regret trading Eloy Jimenez? Will the White Sox be willing to spend big money to land a player like Manny Machado? Who will be the White Sox closer in 2019? Who might the White Sox draft in 2018?

The answers to these questions and many others on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: