Ozzie unloads on Ohman; Quentin keeps it cool

Ozzie unloads on Ohman; Quentin keeps it cool

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Posted 8:07 p.m. Updated 8:42 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen remained supportive of beleaguered reliever Will Ohman, who packed a 27.00 ERA with him from Cleveland to Kansas City. But that doesnt mean he was unwilling to give the crafty lefty a kick in the hiney.

Hes hereI have to use him. Weve got only 11 pitchers, Guillen said before the White Sox faced the Royals on Tuesday. I dont have the luxury to matchup Ohman to lefties. Maybe later on I will. But hes got to get his head out of his a.

Guillen was speaking soberly, but with a smile, knowing full well that the White Soxs 2-1 start has been somewhat shadowed by the troubles his bullpen has encountered. The poster boy for those troubles so far has been Ohman, a nine-year veteran signed this offseason to a two-year, 4 million deal.

I dont want to punish the kid, Guillen continued. He had what, two bad games? He knows that, we all know that. Im not going to change anything. I dont care what the fans think or what the media says. Its my problem He needs to pitch.

Ohman, while clearly scuffling in Cleveland, pronounced himself fully healthy and ready for more relief work, ASAP. His usual wry manner accompanied his diagnosis of the Wahoos series: When you throw the ball over the middle of the plate, guys hit it, and thats what it was. When I left the ball up, they hit it, and when I left the ball over the middle, they hit it.

Especially considering his team broke camp with just 11 pitchers, Guillen knows how important a productive Ohman is.

We need him pitching, he said. If hes not going to help us, well put people in his place that will I want to show this kid I still have confidence in him and that he can get people out. I still believe he can help us.

To that end, Guillen ran Ohman right back out on Sunday after a poor season debut on Opening Day.

The reason I put him back in on Sunday was to let him regroup, Guillen said. We were already losing; giving him another inning gives us a chance to rest the other relievers, but he couldnt do it.

Guillen was aware that he was catching criticism for his use of Ohman in the opening series, and predictably, the confident manager could care less.

I will take the blame every time the kids on the mound, Guillen said. I will take all the heat. Its my problem, however good or bad hes going to pitch.

Carlos Quentin, one day after being named the first AL Player of the Week for his offensive outburst vs. the Cleveland Indians during opening weekend, called the award a nice surprise but couched it in the context of how nice it was, with two wins in Cleveland.

Quentin went 6-for-11 in three starts over the weekend, getting on base at a .583 clip and slugging 1.091 for an outrageous 1.674 OPS. While the White Sox mostly pummeled Wahoos pitching, slugging at a .459 clip, only Adam Dunns eight total bases approached Quentins tidy dozen in Cleveland.

Through three games, Quentin led the AL in batting average (.545) and is tied for the lead in doubles (three) and RBI (seven).

The occasionally-manic right fielder credited an improved mental and emotional approach to the game for his early success.

What I was looking for was a chance to build on things, develop good habits on and off the field, and set a routine I feel comfortable with, day-in and day-out, Quentin said. Thats what I'm going to do, come in here and, for lack of better way to say it, do my work, play the game. Either way it turns out Ill hope for the victory, go home at night and know everything I did was said and done, turn in my card, punch it and come back the next day.

Quentin also credited his veteran teammates for contributing to a more mature and mentally strong approach so far this season. His willingness to learn from them could contribute to more than one Player of the Week honor this season, as Quentin is the consummate strap-Sox-on-his-back slugger.

There are great mentors on this team, professionals playing longer than I have, Quentin said. Im always watching and always want to treat every day the same, whether it be good or bad. I want to learn and pay attention to people who are successfultry to pay attention to and copy them.

Quentin's new approach

Carlos Quentin, one day after being named the first AL Player of the Week for his offensive outburst vs. the Cleveland Indians during opening weekend, called the award a nice surprise but couched it in the context of how nice it was, with two wins in Cleveland.

Quentin went 6-for-11 in three starts over the weekend, getting on base at a .583 clip and slugging 1.091 for an outrageous 1.674 OPS. While the White Sox mostly pummeled Wahoos pitching, slugging at a .459 clip, only Adam Dunns eight total bases approached Quentins tidy dozen in Cleveland.

Through three games, Quentin led the AL in batting average (.545) and is tied for the lead in doubles (three) and RBI (seven).

The occasionally-manic right fielder credited an improved mental and emotional approach to the game for his early success.

What I was looking for was a chance to build on things, develop good habits on and off the field, and set a routine I feel comfortable with, day-in and day-out, Quentin said. Thats what I'm going to do, come in here and, for lack of better way to say it, do my work, play the game. Either way it turns out Ill hope for the victory, go home at night and know everything I did was said and done, turn in my card, punch it and come back the next day.

Quentin also credited his veteran teammates for contributing to a more mature and mentally strong approach so far this season. His willingness to learn from them could contribute to more than one Player of the Week honor this season, as Quentin is the consummate strap-Sox-on-his-back slugger.

There are great mentors on this team, professionals playing longer than I have, Quentin said. Im always watching and always want to treat every day the same, whether it be good or bad. I want to learn and pay attention to people who are successfultry to pay attention to and copy them.

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

Preview: White Sox open series with Royals tonight on CSN

Preview: White Sox open series with Royals tonight on CSN

The White Sox open a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight's starting pitching matchup: Jason Vargas (3-0, 0.44 ERA) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (2-0, 2.84 ERA)

Click here for more stats to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

White Sox snap skid by forcing, capitalizing on Indians' mistakes

White Sox snap skid by forcing, capitalizing on Indians' mistakes

White Sox force, capitalize on Indians' mistakes 

The White Sox haven't had many opportunities to capitalize on mistakes from their opponents lately because they haven't been in a position to force them. 

But in their 6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field, the White Sox put the pressure on the defending American League champions and reaped the results. 

Two plays stand out, both of which came in the sixth inning. After Omar Narvaez drew a leadoff walk, Jacob May put down a well-placed sacrifice bunt between the pitcher's mound and first base line. Indians first baseman Carlos Santana charged in and turned to underhand a toss to second baseman Michael Martinez, who was covering first. 

But the speedy May was hustling down the line, which forced Martinez to awkwardly stretch for the ball. He dropped it, allowing May to reach. 

"Anytime you you have players that are forcing defenses to complete plays you can put them in an awkward position," manager Rick Renteria said. "I don't know that that led to that in particular but he busted his rear end down the line."

That error paid off for the White Sox three batters later — after Tim Anderson and Tyler Saladino struck out — when Melky Cabrera singled to left. Narvaez was aggressively waved home by third base coach Nick Capra (a common practice with two out) but looked to be easily out at the plate on Brandon Guyer's throw. Again, though, forcing the issue paid off: Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez dropped Guyer's throw, allowing Narvaez to score. 

"That's kind of what we've been stressing in spring, play with your hair on fire," Anderson said. "That's definitely something that we've been working on and that's something we can control, that energy level and the way we hustle."

The White Sox were sparked by a three-run first inning, which ended a stretch of 23 consecutive innings without scoring a run. Anderson began with a double off Indians starter Danny Salazar and, after Saladino singled, scored on Cabrera's sacrifice fly. 

Jose Abreu followed with a line drive to right, which fell in front of outfielder Abraham Almonte and skipped past him for a two-base error, allowing Saladino to score. Leury Garcia later delivered a two-out single to score Abreu. 

"Everybody knows how good this Cleveland pitchers are, especially the first two games with (Carlos) Carrasco and (Corey) Kluber," Abreu said through an interpreter. "Our offense was silent. But today we had more life against Salazar. We know him and we did our job."

The White Sox cruised behind that three-run first inning and a solid start from left-hander Derek Holland, who allowed one run over six innings. Holland's only mistake was a third inning hanging curveball to Francisco Lindor, who launched it for a solo home run. But he came back two innings later and struck out Lindor with the bases loaded on another curveball, ending Cleveland's best scoring threat of the game. 

"Just because something happens you got to turn the page and not worry about those kind of things, and get ready for the next one," Holland said. "He may have got me that first time but I got him the second time. So those are the kind of things, you never let something take you away from your game."