Ballantini: 'Peavywatch' kicks up a notch

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Ballantini: 'Peavywatch' kicks up a notch

Friday, March 4, 2011
11:00 a.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com
TEMPE Peavywatch has taken to the streets here on Friday, as rehabilitating Chicago White Sox fireballer Jake Peavy makes his first start of the season on the road vs. the Los Angeles Angels.

On Thursday, manager Ozzie Guillen kept the pressure low on his potential ace, while still tabbing Peavys outing as an important a moment as youll find in spring training.

Im not going to say tomorrow can be the biggest day of camp for us, because the only thing I expect is Peavy comes out of the game healthy, Guillen said. I dont care how he throws. Gauging his health gives us the opportunity to see what we can do, gives us the idea of how healthy he is. Right now, his health report is great. I dont want to put a lot of heat on Peavy but hopefully well see and itll be a good game for us.

Peavy insisted after his last heavy bullpen session on Tuesday that he didnt just feel strong for someone rehabbing from a unique, detached latissimus dorsi muscle injury, but that he doesnt feel like hes coming off of major shoulder surgery at all.

If we didnt talk about it all the time, I wouldnt feel like Im coming off of an injury, he said. I feel normal, just like I would any other spring training The injury monitoring is the biggest thing we are doing different than I ever have before.

Thursdays starter, John Danks, is just one of four rotation members who are eager to see Peavy back and healthywhether or not he surrenders the first hit by a White Sox starter this spring.

The no-hits thing is for fun, were all having a good time with it, but the most important thing is a healthy Jake, Danks said. For him to go out there and feel good, the results dont even have to be there. We just need him to feel good and healthy and come back as soon as possible, for sure. A healthy Jake, that makes a huge difference in our rotation.

Guillen echoed his laid-back leftys sentiments, but stopped short of calling his rotation the one to beat in the American League.

We have a great rotationon paper, Guillen said. Thats a plus, but its what you do between the lines, not on paper Today all I want is to see Jake Peavy walk off the field healthy. Results? The results will be better later, I guarantee you that.

Laid-Back Lefty, Redeux

Danks is as popular a figure as youll find in the clubhouse, part of the so-called Redneck Row that made a huge offseason addition in picking up the unique stylings of slugger Adam Dunn. But among the pitchers, Danks is the perfect foil.

Take yesterdays startduring his in-game interview in the clubhouse after he left the game, Danks was chided by a friendly expletive from Edwin Jackson after Danks joked that he was disappointed in his start because Im tied for the team lead in walks with Edwin Jackson. Just a few minutes later, Mark Buehrle gave Danks noise for his wild effort, pointing out that his own offseason pitching regimen has kept him sharp: Thats something you oughta be doing, Danks.

Even his own, younger brother in White Sox camp Jordan purportedly doesnt return his phone calls. Yet through it all, Danks is the happiest-go-lucky hurler in a pretty congenial rotation.
Overheard

Hitting coach Greg Walker, feeling the heat after a couple of subpar offensive efforts early, after Thursdays win: Hey, we won one!

Guillen, when asked if he was feeling itchy being the last team of spring training to get a win: I dont worry about that stuff. Ive earned my Masters in managing by now. Ive got a doctorateI dont worry about that stuff.

Outfielder Stefan Gartrell, having a friendly debate over fielding form with animated outfield instructor Daryl Boston in the dugout during Thursdays B-Game: You guys think whatever you wantI catch the ball! Have I ever dropped one?
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

Jose Quintana, White Sox five-game winning streak snapped with loss to Rays

Jose Quintana, White Sox five-game winning streak snapped with loss to Rays

The playoffs were the ultimate goal and he probably would have liked another victory on Thursday night.

But Jose Quintana has plenty to be pleased about when he takes stock of his 2016 campaign, which ended with a 5-3 White Sox loss to the Tampa Rays in front of 14,792 at U.S. Cellular Field. The first-time All-Star’s record dropped to 13-12 after he allowed two earned runs in six innings in his final start, but not before Quintana established career highs for innings pitched, strikeouts and earned-run average.

Rays pitcher Chris Archer won to avoid becoming the first pitcher since 2003 to lose 20 games and Carlos Sanchez homered in the losing effort. The loss also guaranteed a fourth straight losing season for the White Sox, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2008.

No surprise, Quintana didn’t receive any run support yet again. He entered the game ranked 116th out of 132 qualified starting pitchers in run support with an average of 3.8 runs per contest. Archer had plenty to do with the latest round of inadequacy when it comes to supporting Quintana as he kept the White Sox under wraps until Sanchez’s two-run homer in the seventh made it a two-run game. Archer allowed three earned in 6 2/3 innings to improve to 9-19.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

But Quintana was good enough to win yet again in a season full of comparable efforts.

He allowed a run in the second inning on a bloop RBI single by Alexei Ramirez and another in the fourth on a solo homer by Mikie Mahtook. Other than that he was his normal efficient self, striking out seven and limiting the Rays to two runs and five hits in six innings.

The effort lowered his ERA to 3.20 (his previous low was 3.32 in 2014). He also surpassed his previous high-inning mark of 206 1/3 with 208 this season. And, Quintana finished with 181 strikeouts, three more than he in 2014.

White Sox instructor Luis Sierra to coach in 2017 World Baseball Classic

White Sox instructor Luis Sierra to coach in 2017 World Baseball Classic

Luis Sierra hopes to take another step next spring toward achieving his dream of being a major league manager when he coaches in the World Baseball Classic.

Sierra — who spent eight of 10 minor league seasons in the White Sox farm system — will return as a coach for Colombia after participating in the WBC qualifier last spring.

Colombia, which plays in Pool D in Miami along with the United States, Canada and Dominican Republic, is managed by Luis Urueta, a short-season field coordinator in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system. Sierra, a pregame instructor in his second year for the White Sox, is Colombia’s first-base coach. The 29-year-old said the transition from player to coach hasn’t been too difficult.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

“It didn’t take too long and that’s what I do now and that’s my focus, just to help the guys and get better as a coach and as a person,” Sierra said. “It’s been a great experience so far. Still learning. Hopefully one day I’ll be a big league manager.”

Sierra, who was a catcher and an infielder in his professional career, hails from Barranquilla, which is also the home of White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana. The two live near each other and work out in the offseason. Quintana has expressed interest in pitching for Colombia during the 2017 WBC.