Chicago White Sox

Beckham, Quentin lead Sox assault of A's

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Beckham, Quentin lead Sox assault of A's

Friday, March 18, 2011
Posted: 8:44 p.m. Updated: 10:06 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. A new Bad Bobby strode to the mound on Friday night, but he wasnt pitching for the Chicago White Sox, but against them.

This Bobby was the Oakland As Bobby Cramer, and the Chisox creamed him for eight runs in three innings, punctuated by titanic blows to left field by Gordon Beckham (three runs), Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin (both solo bombs).

Yesterday, we had four hits, and people were screaming about the offense, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. Today, theyll be yelling about saving some for the regular season.

And the White Sox didnt stop with nine taps and eight runs off Cramer; the hit parade continued against Yadel Marti, who extinguished just two of the Chicago Nine while surrendering six runs on six hits in the fourth.

Next in front of the firing squad was Josh Outman, who was rocking an old-school gold-and-green sockstirrup ensemble that made him look like he was pulled off a nearby softball field with the As trailing 13-1. Outman hurled more like Craig Minetto than Rollie Fingers, at least to begin with, getting knocked for five quick hits and two runs.

Every White Sox starter had at least one hit, led by a 4-4 night (with nine total bases) from Quentin, who entered action batting .167. Beckham continued his smash-and-grab on the Cactus League with three hits, three RBI and four runs. Alexei Ramirez was 3-4 with two RBI. Tyler Flowers clubbed a two-run shot, the longest of the night, continuing his torrid spring, and in all these new Hit Men tapped out 21 hits in the game, allowing just four.

I hope this helped, not just because we won, but because well get the confidence back for a few guys, Guillen said, citing Quentin, Beckham, and Brent Morel (2-5) in particular. I dont know why, its just spring training, but they put a lot of pressure on themselves to get five or six hits. Theyre still kids. Sometimes you have to do what you can to make sure those guys are still having fun.

The offensive outburst almost overshadowed a sterling performance from John Danks, who might just yet snatch an Opening Day start away from Mark Buehrle. Danks spun six innings of four-hit, one-run ball and looked ready for the season to begin.

I feel like Im on the way, Danks said. Toward the end of the outing, I started to get a little gassed. By the time I get to the regular season Ill be ready to go. No doubt, this was the biggest step toward being ready, results-wise at least. I threw all four pitches for strikes and fastballs both sides of the plate. It was fun.

Guillen was also pleasednot that he was terribly worried about his star lefthander.

Johns been pitching very well, he didnt walk that many guys none, in fact, he said. One thing about spring training, when you take a comfortable lead, you start playing around and then you give up runs. He did what he was supposed to do, so Im very happy. His changeup was outstanding today.

Danks acknowledge some of the same things, with a broad smile.

During the regular season its a lot different pitching with a 15-run lead than spring training, he said. There were a couple of times where you almost wanted to get right back out there, but the guys just kept on scoring. Its good for them. We need them to get on just as big a roll as us pitchers, so its always a joy to see them go out there and have a night like tonight. Hopefully the way weve been throwing out there carries over into the regular season, and the offense carries over.
Peavy, if he doesnt puke

Jake Peavy is still in line to make his start at the Oakland As on Saturday. Guillen said he talked to the hurler and was talked into letting him pitch.

We will monitor him very closely, Guillen said.

If there is any question of Peavy being too weak to throw, Guillen will pull him from the start. Whats Plan B?

Plan B is whoever is wearing a White Sox uniform, the manager said with a smile.

On the same page?

Guillen didnt have any news on roster cuts or lineup decisions despite insinuating that he would after yesterdays games. But he did offer a glimpse into just how difficult the early discussions have been for the last two roster spots.

Not really, Guillen replied when asked whether the White Sox brain trust was on the same page regarding the roster, while allowing that we have a little idea of what were going to do.

Tomorrow will undoubtedly bring a few more cuts, and possibly the formal announcement of Morel as the starting third baseman. But as for final cuts, those are going down to spring trainings final day.

Guillen, in fact, hasnt decided whether the team will keep 11 or 12 pitchers. That decision is likely to come next week, the manager said.

When Phil Humbers name was mentioned as someone possibly mucking up the plan to break camp with just 11 pitchers, Guillen raised his eyebrow to acknowledge yes. Humber threw three scoreless innings, earning a rare save in a 17-run win.

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

Reynaldo Lopez leaves White Sox game with injury

Reynaldo Lopez leaves White Sox game with injury

Reynaldo Lopez's arrival to the South Side has created a spark of excitement in the latter part of the 2017 season, but that excitement may have turned into minor panic from White Sox fans after he was taken out of Thursday's start in Texas with an injury.

The whole scene was a bit odd with manager Rick Renteria and head athletic trainer Herm Schneider going out to the mound to check out Lopez in the fifth inning. Initially Renteria left after a somewhat short conversation with Lopez, but then Jose Abreu signaled for them to come back.

At that point, Lopez was removed from the game. Watch the video above to see the whole sequence.

The White Sox updated Lopez's status shortly after he was pulled from the game.

Lopez finished with 4 1/3 innings pitched and allowed six runs, five earned with six strikeouts, four walks and five hits allowed. Two of the runs were inherited runners that scored when Chris Beck relieved Lopez. Oddly enough, Beck was soon pulled with an injury as well.

Lopez had struck out three in a row after recording the first out of the fifth, but then allowed a walk and a single before being taken out.

Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton talk about Lopez and his injury in the video below:

How Alec Hansen's methodical path through minors has turned him into a top prospect

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Winston-Salem Dash

How Alec Hansen's methodical path through minors has turned him into a top prospect

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — He didn’t totally lose it, but the White Sox intended to restore Alec Hansen’s confidence with a methodical minor league program after drafting the right-hander.

Hansen, 22, admits that a junior season at the University of Oklahoma in which his stock fell sharply when he was moved in and out of the team’s starting rotation was difficult.

Still, the 6-foot-7-inch pitcher never gave in and found a team that believed in him enough to take him in the second round. Fourteen months later, the Single-A Winston-Salem starter feels good enough about his prospects to have recently suggested he thinks he can be a No. 1 or 2 in the majors.

“It’s tough, especially when you work so hard basically your whole life to achieve your goal of being a first-round pick or a top-10 pick and it kind of wastes away throughout the season,” Hansen said. “I think the White Sox had faith in me. They saw what I can do and understood my situation there at OU and took a chance on me and I’m just trying to make sure they get their money’s worth.”

Hansen has been everything the White Sox hoped and more since they selected him with the 49th pick in the 2016 draft. Once viewed as a potential first overall pick, Hansen was viewed as a project by the end of a rough 2016 season. Though he could hit 99 mph on the gun, Hansen’s mechanics were off and he was deemed inconsistent throughout a season in which he posted a 5.40 ERA and walked 39 hitters in 51 2/3 innings for the Sooners.

But the White Sox liked what they saw. Hansen struck out 185 batters in 145 innings at Oklahoma. Their plan for the right-hander included a quick trip to Arizona to work with now-bullpen coach Curt Hasler on mechanics before he’d spend the bulk of the season at Rookie League Great Falls.

“He was a little bit out of whack,” said third-base coach and ex-farm director Nick Capra. “I think confidence played a big part in what he was doing early and to what he’s doing now. He didn’t have the confidence in what he was doing. Once he got into sync with what he was doing with his mechanics it took off on him.”

Hansen said the mechanical adjustments were related to better posture — sometimes he leaned back toward first base in his delivery — and keeping his head still. While he deems the changes as minor, the impact they’ve had on him has been great. After seven innings pitched in Arizona, Hansen moved to Great Falls and struck out 59 batters with only 12 walks in 36 2/3 innings and a 1.23 ERA. That performance earned him a late-season promotion to Kannapolis.

“The difference outing to outing is just mentally,” Hansen said. “It’s just mental and having the confidence and the poise and being relaxed and the right attitude to go out and be successful.”

[RELATED: White Sox Talk Podcast: Alec Hansen wants to be a future ace and don't piss off Dane Dunning]

The White Sox started Hansen at Kannapolis this season and he was dominant again. He produced a 2.48 ERA with 92 strikeouts and only 23 walks in 72 2/3 innings. Hansen — who’s rated the No. 9 prospect in the organization by MLB Pipeline and 10th by Baseball America — has continued to excel since a promotion to Winston-Salem 10 starts ago. He struck out 11 in seven innings on Wednesday night and allowed only a run in seven innings. Hansen is second in the minors this season with 166 strikeouts (he’s walked 43 in 126 innings).

Player development director Chris Getz said Hansen has the stuff to throw his fastball up in the zone and get swings and misses and combines it with good offspeed pitches. Throw in the confidence and Hansen has strong potential.

“Even though he’s a large guy he’s fairly athletic, he can repeat his delivery,” Getz said. “It’s really, with him, it’s staying over the rubber and not rushing out there so his arm can go out on time and on top of the ball. Those are the keys and he’s been able to take to that.”

“Since he’s really gotten into professional baseball and more comfortable with who he is as a pitcher he’s been consistent. We look forward to what else he can bring to the table.”

Hansen does, too.

He insists this belief in himself was never lost because Hansen suspected the consequences of doubt would ruin him. But Hansen didn’t downplay how the uncertainty of his junior season affected his mindset.

Hansen said he’s glad at how he handled the experience and has moved on from the disappointment of dropping 48 places. He's also more than pleased to have found an organization that has the same belief in him that he does.

“It was kind of hard to go through that but it’s over now,” Hansen said. “I believe in myself more than anyone. I think you need to as a professional athlete. If you don’t have confidence then you’re done as an athlete no matter who you are at what level.

“It’s just being more relaxed and comfortable and confidence because the people I’m around have confidence in me.”