Gavin Floyd: 'I can win 20'

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Gavin Floyd: 'I can win 20'

GLENDALE, Ariz -- After winning 17 games in his first season with the White Sox in 2008, many felt it was just the beginning for Gavin Floyd. If his career was an arrow, it was pointing straight up towards the sky.

But in the last three seasons, the 29-year-old right-hander, who has the stuff to be one of the best pitchers in the game, has statistically been reduced to a .500 pitcher going 11-11, 10-13, and 12-13.

Spring is a time for optimism. The past is the past. What you control is today. Ask Floyd about tomorrow and the season that awaits, and youll hear a man looking for big things.

I believe that I can win 20 ballgames, Floyd said in an interview with Comcast SportsNet.

Saying it is one thing. Doing it is another. Can he?

He definitely has the stuff to win 20, said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. But its also a matter of scoring runs. You might be pitching your ass off on those days, but if on that given day we dont score or have trouble catching the ball, wins are very difficult to get.

Cooper continued, Is he capable? Does he have the stuff? Yes.

Until recently, Floyd would never have said on-the-record that he believes he can win 20 games. He was much more shy and reserved when speaking with the media.

Call this the new Gavin Floyd, whos now a seasoned veteran entering his fifth year with the White Sox, who hold a team option on his contract for 2013. He knows his potential and his ability to fool hitters. It might not show it on the back of his baseball card, but he says hes still the pitcher he was in 2008...and then some.

I think Ive become even a better pitcher even though I had better statistics in certain areas," Floyd said. "I feel like Ive matured and Ive got more experience under my belt. I feel like Ive grown a lot.

Gavin thinks 20 wins is possible. How about just matching his career-high of 17?

I definitely feel like I can do that every year, he said.

Floyd has a cell phone. He has a computer and the internet. He heard all about the trade rumors this off-season that had him being dealt to the likes of the Red Sox and Blue Jays. Hes heard them before, but this winter he felt it might actually happen.

I guess it was more realistic this off-season than others because the last couple years, my name had been brought up a couple of times, but this off-season, I think it was more often, Floyd said. I did pay attention to it a lot because you try to anticipate where your family is going to go, where youre going to go because thats very important to me. A couple of times it really became real. I was trying to think about what city I was going to go to or what team. Im still with the White Sox. I never got the phone call.

Now in Glendale for Day 5 of spring training, Floyd is firmly implanted in the White Sox starting rotation. However, hes aware that his 9.5 million team option for next season might be pretty tempting for contending teams if things dont go the White Sox way this summer.

Im here today. Im trying to live for today and whatever happens tomorrow, happens tomorrow, Floyd said. Im here with the White Sox. Thats what Im anticipating.

The same with 20 wins. Will he get there? We'll have to wait and see.

Jose Quintana turns in stellar outing as White Sox crush Twins in series finale

Jose Quintana turns in stellar outing as White Sox crush Twins in series finale

MINNEAPOLIS -- Guess who’s back?

Jose Quintana turned in the kind of game on Thursday afternoon that reminds you why he has been one of baseball’s top pitchers the past few seasons. Working with a swing-and-miss curveball and another shocking barrel of run support, Quintana waited out a near five-hour delay to produce a stellar outing. Quintana struck out nine batters in 6 2/3 scoreless innings as the White Sox avoided a sweep with a 9-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins in front of 27,684 at Target Field. Jose Abreu, Todd Frazier and Matt Davidson all homered for the White Sox, who finished with 18 hits and a 3-3 mark on their road trip.

After making several baby steps in his past few starts, Quintana ran wild in the series finale against a Twins team that he has always struggled against. While he worked deliberately, Quintana never got into trouble facing a team against whom he was 6-8 with a 4.28 ERA in his career.

The left-hander used a nasty, biting curveball along with sharp fastball command to keep Minnesota hitters off balance. Quintana struck one batter in each of the first five innings before he picked up steam. He struck out two batters each in the sixth and seventh innings and is averaging a career best 8.97 strikeouts per nine innings this season.

He struck out Miguel Sano three times in three trips and never allowed a man past second base in a 113-pitch effort. Quintana allowed five hits and walked none.

Quintana has a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts as he’s allowed 19 hits and six earned runs in 24 innings. He has walked eight and struck out 24.

[MORE: White Sox will give Tim Anderson freedom to make mistakes

The White Sox offense made it all much easier for Quintana for a second straight start. Six days after they produced an early four-spot for Quintana against Toronto, the White Sox scored five times and knocked Minnesota starter Nik Turley out in the first inning.

Showing no signs of malaise after a 290-minute rain delay, Abreu and Frazier each blasted two-run homers off Turley to put the White Sox up 4-0. With two outs and Turley gone, Adam Engel singled off reliever Buddy Boshers to make it 5-0 in the first.

The White Sox continued to add on for Quintana as Kevan Smith and Engel each singled in runs in the third to give the 2016 All-Star pitcher a seven-run cushion. Engel finished with four hits and Smith tied a career high with three.

Davidson increased the lead to 8-0 in the fifth inning with a 427-foot blast off Craig Breslow, his 17th homer. Davidson also singled, doubled and walked. The White Sox scored once more in the seventh when Tim Anderson (two hits) doubled in a run off Breslow.

After they produced 22 runs of support for Quintana in his first 13 starts this season, the White Sox have scored 20 in his last two.

White Sox will give Tim Anderson freedom to make mistakes

White Sox will give Tim Anderson freedom to make mistakes

MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox have no plans for Tim Anderson to take the same path as the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber.

An hour before the Cubs announced their shocking news Thursday that the World Series hero is headed to Triple-A, White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he thought Anderson’s struggles could be addressed in the majors.

Playing in his first full season, Anderson has had an up and down campaign. He leads the majors with 16 errors committed and has struggled at the plate, hitting .256/.284/.374 with six home runs and 19 RBIs in 265 plate appearances. The roller coaster ride has led to some aggravation for Anderson, who slammed his batting helmet in frustration during Wednesday’s loss. Anderson said the helmet slam was the topic of a postgame conversation he had with Renteria on Wednesday.

“I feel like this year has been the toughest year I’ve dealt with since I’ve started playing baseball,” Anderson said. “I have to keep playing, lock in and control it.

“(Slamming the helmet) doesn’t make you feel better. It’s just a little frustration. You get mad at times, but you just try to control it and keep playing.”

Anderson, who turns 24 on Friday, has had a lot to manage in 2017.

It’s his first full season in the majors. He signed a contract extension in March. Since May he’s been dealing with the loss of his close friend, who was shot to death. Throw in the on-field struggles and Renteria realizes there’s a lot with which Anderson had to deal.

“You just make the sure the perspective they’re having at any particular moment is the correct perspective,” Renteria said. “You try to make sure that the underlying frustrations he might be having, that he’s able to separate it.

“You have ups and down, they’re not always going to be in the best place mentally at times. But for the most part you address it, you talk about it because you understand it, you’ve lived all those things and you just try to give him a little insight and keep it going in the right direction.”

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Anderson made a pair of miscues in a costly third-inning Twins rally on Wednesday night.

But Renteria expressed his confidence in the second-year player, calling him one of the premier shortstops in the league.

The White Sox manager has seen Anderson make the necessary corrections after infield work with bench coach Joe McEwing. The effort and preparation have been there. Renteria just wants to make sure his player can compartmentalize and stay focused. He realizes there’s going to be mistakes from time to time and wants to make sure Anderson is handling them well.

“To say he’s not going to continue to make mistakes every now and then, yeah that’s going to happen,” Renteria said. “It’s there for everybody to see. That’s why everybody takes notice and that’s natural. I think the one thing we have to do as a staff and players also is step back and stay away from the fray of that attention and stay focused on what you have to do. Minimize how all the noise affects you and continue to play the game.”

Renteria remembers his own struggles as a young player and knows how much more scrutiny Anderson faces. Every game is televised and highlights are streamed on the internet. Any little gaffe can be magnified. Anderson admits that at times he’s dealt with frustration he’s never before experienced and it’s caught up to him. Now he just needs to learn how to cope with the stress a little better.

“Nobody wants to go through tough times and struggle,” Anderson said. “Slamming helmets is not the right way to go about it because you could get injured, so try to handle it in a better way.

“It’s been tough times and a lot of frustration, but I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes it does. I try to balance it out and keep going.

“I’m just trying to manage it, balance it out and separate it from each other.”