The White Sox and a shift for Pujols

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The White Sox and a shift for Pujols

Generally, when teams shift their infield for a pull hitter, they do it for a lefty. David Ortiz, Jim Thome, and Adam Dunn have grounded out plenty of times to short right field.

It's much more rare to see a team shift against a right-handed hitter, though. But that's what the White Sox did Tuesday when Albert Pujols came to the plate.

The Sox aren't the first team to shift for Pujols -- Milwaukee did that last year. Dusty Baker's also employed it for a few years now. But what's interesting is how far Adam Dunn played off the first base bag -- that looks like about a 30, maybe 40-foot sprint he'd have to make to get to first, not leaving him with a ton of time to find the bag, even with Pujols' footspeed. But moving Dunn any closer to first base would've opened up a massive hole through which Pujols could poke a single.

Danks ended up walking Pujols in the sequence, although he did try to work inside with his cutterfastball and outside with his changeup. Unfortunately, neither pitch was really there for Danks on his first start of the spring.

But this shift does show the Sox are going to be a team that takes a good look at spray charts (Pujols' chart from 2011 can be found here). Not to say the previous regime didn't, but it would've been somewhat surprising to see Ozzie Guillen, Joey Cora & Co. implement this shift.

Either way, it's nice to see the on-field management be forward-thinking.

Ex-White Sox Jesse Crain hosting charity event featuring Paul Konerko, George Brett

Ex-White Sox Jesse Crain hosting charity event featuring Paul Konerko, George Brett

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ex-White Sox pitcher Jesse Crain is hosting a local charity golfing event featuring Paul Konerko, Matt Thornton and Hall of Famer George Brett among others.

Crain, who pitched for the White Sox for three seasons and was an All-Star in 2013, and his wife, Becky, recently created the Crain Family Foundation to benefit children. 

The couple is hosting the Swing into Spring event at Top Golf in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Monday night, which is designed to benefit the Tandem Resource Center, Arizona RBI Baseball and Autism Speaks. Crain expects between 25-30 current and former players will participate in the event, which is open to the public.

[RELATED: Todd Frazier out with left oblique strain]

"Me and my wife had wanted to start a foundation for a long time with the platform that we'd give back to kids any way possible," Crain said. "We just want to be able to help kids in whatever capacity, whether through medical, hardships or whatever it may be."

Crain, who was at Camelback Ranch on Wednesday, said planning for the event began in October. Though he had wanted to begin a foundation during his playing career, Crain said after planning the event he knows he wouldn't have had the appropriate amount of time while he was an active player.

Among those scheduled to attend are Cody Ross, David Aardsma, Jonny Gomes, Nick Punto, JJ Putz, Brandon Webb, Justin Morneau, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Feldman, Nate Jones, Mark Melancon, Denard Span and Chad Qualls. Crain also hopes to convince a few more current White Sox players. He said reservations for the event or donations can be made through Crainfamilyfoundation.org.

Todd Frazier out with left oblique strain

Todd Frazier out with left oblique strain

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier has been sidelined with what he's describing as a left oblique strain.  

Frazier — who produced a career high 40 home runs and 98 RBIs last season — said he injured himself swinging on Monday. White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Frazier is day-to-day and the club would take advantage of the extra time on the spring training calendar this season.
 
The veteran also said he expects to be cautious with the injury and thorough.

"Just felt a little tightness in my left side," Frazier said. "That's what spring training is for, you've got to just be careful. (Athletic trainer Herm Schneider has) been working with me the past day and a half. I don't feel like it's anything that serious, but we have so much time. Let's take a break, take a few days off and hopefully it keeps getting better and better.

"It's something I've dealt with before. But at the same time, from what I've heard they're not anything to mess with. So let's take a couple days and see how it is after a couple days and go from there."

[MORE: Lighter Avisail Garcia wants to show White Sox his best]

The White Sox begin their exhibition season on Saturday with a contest against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the team's regular season opener isn't for another 5 1/2 weeks, which should give Frazier ample time to rest, rehab and prepare. The White Sox open the 2017 campaign at home on April 3 against the Detroit Tigers. 

"He's been working good," Renteria said. "I just saw him, he's smiling. He's day to day and we'll re-evaluate and see where he's at.

"We'll back him up. We're taking it day to day. We'll see where he's at before I can determine how far back we can push him back."