Ballantini: White Sox eager to play

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Ballantini: White Sox eager to play

Monday, February 28, 2011
2:10 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. Reflective of the eagerness the Chicago White Sox have had for getting started on the 2011 season, Mondays Cactus League opener vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers couldnt come fast enough.

Slugger Adam Dunn echoed the sentiments of the entire clubhouse when he said, with a bit of a sigh, Im just happy to get the games going.

Dunn admitted that he and the other White Sox hitters are still behind pitchers, who reported to camp earlier than most position players. So despite bringing a career seven-of-11 mark against Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw (including three homers, seven RBI and a 2.273 OPS), Dunn warned against setting expectations too high: I wouldnt expect too much.

Dunn said he would be working on something I havent felt so far in batting practice yet, and even the notion that playing with pride might not kick in for the opener: You can pretty much throw pride out the window today.

This early in spring training is where pitchers will have their fun, Dunn said, recounting the fact that he derogatorily refers to hurlers as kickers (as in non-player specialists). Theyve been here longer than us. Theyre ahead of us.

Juan Pierre was Kershaws teammate for two seasons in Los Angeles and has never faced the wicked lefty. But the speedster takes a different stance on hitters vs. pitchers: They always have the advantage. You never know what theyre throwing.

Pierre is the kind of player who starts counting down toward a day like today as soon as the last out of the previous season is made. And he cant help but be eager to get going.

The games dont count, but your competitive nature kicks in, he said. You dont want to mess up. You cant simulate game action in drills, so for now, its just see the ball, hit the ball.

Lucas Harrell will relieve todays White Sox starter, Gavin Floyd, and hes excited to get game play underway as well.

Im excited for the games to start and show what I can do, Harrell said. You cant put pressure on yourself, but just let things happen.
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 Talk Podcast: Ode to Mark Buehrle

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Ode to Mark Buehrle

With the news that the White Sox will retire Mark Buehrle's jersey this summer, we replay Chuck Garfien's 2011 interview with Buehrle who recalls all the big moments of his White Sox career: the perfect game, no-hitter, World Series save, his first and only home run, sliding on the tarp during rain delays and much, much more.

Also, John Buehrle (Mark's dad) joins Chuck and Ryan McGuffey to talk about the jersey retirement and Buehrle's White Sox career. Chuck and Ryan also share their favorite Buehrle stories.

Check out the latest edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast here:

Rick Renteria: White Sox not overly concerned about Todd Frazier's injury

Rick Renteria: White Sox not overly concerned about Todd Frazier's injury

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- They plan to stay vigilant, but the White Sox say Todd Frazier's left oblique injury isn't severe. 

A day after he said Frazier is day to day with what he described as a left oblique strain, manager Rick Renteria said the third baseman has improved.

"He's actually feeling good today, Renteria said. "Our purpose was to hold him back a little bit. Those side issues, muscular issues, oblique issues, they could be a pain in the rear, but it depends on the severity of those types of injuries. Right now it's just a mild soreness, so we're not concerned about it too much."

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Renteria also said outfielder Charlie Tilson has shown some improvement. The hope is Tilson, who is expected to be sidelined for 10 days with a stress reaction in his right foot, could start limited activities on Friday.

Renteria also suggested Carlos Rodon could participate in his first bullpen session shortly. Rodon only began to play catch last Friday and hasn't pitched off the mound yet in camp.

"He feels good and he'll be out there soon," Renteria said. "He's extending and he feels good. He's holding it back a little bit."