Previewing 2012 SoxFest

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Previewing 2012 SoxFest

When SoxFest will kick off Friday at 4 p.m. with the opening ceremonies (streamed LIVE on Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com) under much different circumstances than a year ago. Gone are longtime figures Ozzie Guillen and Mark Buehrle. Gone are key pieces in Sergio Santos and Carlos Quentin. And, judging by the general mood of supporters, gone is the optimism of the fanbase.

But, with all of those people and feelings gone, an opportunity to win back some goodwill presents itself. Robin Ventura has his first real chance to interact with fans. Adam Dunn and the Sox made a smart move to make him available at SoxFest, where he's sure to face some tough questions.

Kenny Williams will be hit with questions regarding the team's direction -- rebuilding, retooling, or contenting? Jake Peavy will entertain comments about his health, while Gordon Beckham will be asked about his progress in putting the last two years behind him.

Everybody will be asked about Guillen, which hopefully will stand as the last time any of the players has to answer a question regarding their former manager. And everybody will be asked about Prince Fielder, perhaps to the extent of whether the Sox should even bother to play baseball this year.

Some questions will be fair, and plenty will be unfair. That's the nature of these things.

It'll be great to see some members of the 2005 World Series team making an appearance, from Joe Crede and Frank Thomas to Neal Cotts, Pablo Ozuna, Cliff Politte and Chris Widger. While plenty of panels should leave fans feeling pleased, none will accomplish that more than the '05 World Series memories ones.

There probably won't be any major announcements, like a free agent signing or a trade. There really aren't any free agents the Sox could easily announce -- maybe Yoenis Cespedes, although that's a longshot -- and a fan convention is no time to announce a trade of your presumptive closer or mid-rotation starter for prospects.

The Sox generally put on a good event, and I know I'll enjoy milling around, thinking about baseball during the end of January.

Stay with White Sox Talk on CSNChicago.com and Comcast SportsNet for complete coverage of all of this weekend's activities from the Palmer House Hilton.

Today on CSN: White Sox square off against Padres

Today on CSN: White Sox square off against Padres

The White Sox are back in action in spring training as they square off against the San Diego Padres. Coverage begins this afternoon at 2 p.m. on CSN!

Probable starters: Jhoulys Chacin vs. Dylan Covey

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

Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch

In-Game Live: Follow along during the action all game

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana was pleased with his final warmup before Opening Day.

The White Sox Opening Day starter threw 48 pitches (30 strikes) against a Milwaukee Brewers minor league team at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. Quintana allowed two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out three in three-plus innings. He next pitches at home on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

"I finished my preparation on a high note," Quintana said. "I'm heading to the season with good energy and satisfied with all the worked and effort that I put in my preparation.

"I'm absolutely ready for the season to start."

A tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday suggested Quintana will start the season as a member of the White Sox despite myriad rumors. Nightengale noted that the Houston Astros refuse budge on what they're willing to pay for the 2016 All-Star. The White Sox have also held firm on their asking price and haven't been motivated by any of the offers they've received to move Quintana.

The team reduced the number of players still in camp to 34 on Tuesday with the trade of Peter Bourjos and by cutting nonroster invitees Cory Luebke and Matt Purke. Luebke, who has been sidelined for six days after he tweaked his hamstring, finished the spring with a 0.96 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. He can opt out of his minor-league deal in May. Purke struck out eight in eight innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA. 

Both had been in the mix for one of two open bullpen spots.

Fellow reliever Jake Petricka looked much calmer on Tuesday than he did after taking a comebacker off his hand Monday. X-rays were negative and Petricka played catch. He hopes to pitch as scheduled this weekend in Milwaukee. 

"This is just one of those you do everything you can do to stay healthy, and its part of the game you can't control," Petricka said. "You never want that to happen, especially this late in camp. "But we dodged a bullet and we're good to go."

The White Sox also had a close call with second baseman Tyler Saladino, who was hit by a pitch in the left wrist in minor league action on Monday. Saladino received treatment and could return to action on Wednesday.

"He's doing good, we're just holding him back today for my well being," Renteria said.

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Renteria said reliever Juan Minaya is improving but still likely to start the season on the DL. Minaya suffered an abdominal tear in mid-March. 

"He has been improving solidly and responding to the treatments," Renteria said.

Yolmer Sanchez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz. 

Michael Ynoa allowed an unearned run and a hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. 

Zack Burdi struck out three in a scoreless inning.