On Tuesday, White Sox senior VP of marketing Brooks Boyer discussed the importance of a fast start for ticket sales.
"Our reality is that how we play in March typically determines how we draw in April. How we play in April determines how we draw in May and so on," explained Boyer. "Weather obviously has been a factor the past couple of years. The slow starts have been frustrating for our fans and us, because getting off to a good start means a lot to our fanbase and they want to be shown that this team is going to compete and give them a reason to come out and support the team and the style of baseball that Robin wants to play and I think that's going to play out in our ad campaign as well."
And now for the good news: the White Sox have one of the easier early-season schedules in the American League.
Of the first 35 games for the White Sox, 17 will be played at U.S. Cellular Field and only 13 come against teams with a 2011 record above .500. The Sox get four games at home against Boston and three against Detroit while playing three-game away sets at Detroit and Texas.
But the Sox also play 10 games against Baltimore, Seattle and Oakland in the season's first month, as well as the Indians nine times through mid-May. If the Sox are looking to build some early-season momentum, those 19 games could be their best shot.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox held Brett Lawrie out Saturday after he reported discomfort in the same left leg that sidelined him for the final 2 1/2 months of 2016.
The second baseman has been a full participant the entire spring until he informed manager Rick Renteria what he was experiencing Saturday.
"We're going to reevaluate him tomorrow and see where he's at," Renteria said. "He didn't feel quite right, and so he was in there earlier today getting treatment. We'll reevaluate tomorrow and make a determination where we're at in terms of trying to set some parameters for how we move forward."
A confusing, tricky series of injuries that Lawrie blamed on wearing orthotics limited him to 94 games last season. He hit the disabled list on July 22 and didn't discover the cause until after the season ended. But Lawrie reported to camp feeling healthy once again and has participated at 100 percent until this point, Renteria said.
"It's been good," Renteria said. "Everything has been clean. There have been no notifications anything had been amiss. He just woke up this morning and felt it. So we're going to be very cautious, take it a day at a time, reevaluate it and see where we're at."
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Manager Rick Renteria promised before Saturday's game the prospects would play and they certainly did.
White Sox prospects Zack Collins and Yoan Moncada both entered in the fifth inning of Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Collins singled in two at-bats while Moncada, the centerpiece in the Chris Sale trade, went 0-for-2.
"It was fun," Collins said. "To be able to go out there on the first day was an honor to me. A little jittery, but very excited to play.
"I'm the new guy, it's my first year and the first game played and I get to play. It's definitely an honor."
It's a distinction that will be shared by many, Renteria said. With the White Sox focused on player development and a longer spring schedule, the prospects should get a long look. Given the club's top eight prospects — according to MLB.com — are in big league camp, many will see significant playing time early in camp.
"We've got a long spring and a lot of opportunities," Renteria said. "You're going to see a lot of our kids."
Reliever Zack Burdi, the 26th overall pick of last June's draft, is scheduled to appear in Sunday's game when the White Sox host the Rockies. The White Sox also tentatively have listed Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez as the starting pitchers for their split-squad doubleheader on Tuesday.
Collins took advantage of his first chance with a ninth-inning single off Dodgers pitcher Edward Paredes. Next up for the 2016 first-rounder is a report Monday for his teammates as part of Renteria's morning meetings.
"I have my little presentation going," Collins said. "I'll probably be more nervous than I will playing."