White Sox comfortable with Gimenez as backup catcher

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White Sox comfortable with Gimenez as backup catcher

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Theyre not ready to talk about backup catchers if A.J. Pierzynski leaves, but the White Sox believe they have an in-house candidate.

Operating under the assumption Pierzynski departs via free agency this offseason and Tyler Flowers takes over as the starter, the White Sox would appear to be in serious need of veteran help behind the plate.

The teams current 40-man roster includes Josh Phegley and Hector Gimenez, who have combined to play in 11 major league games.

While limited experience wouldnt be as much of an issue if Pierzynski -- who has averaged 132 games a season since 2001 -- were the starter, Flowers has never caught more than 52 games in a season at the major league level.

The teams relative inexperience behind the dish has lead to speculation among media members at the winter meetings that the White Sox might be in the market for another steady catcher. Several reports have suggested Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, whom is said to be available, might be a good fit because the White Sox have depth at starting pitcher, a need for Boston.

But White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said if faced with the decision --- and theyre nowhere close to that point --- theres enough support for Gimenez within the organization. Gimenez has hit 99 homers in parts of 10 minor-league seasons, including 41 in the last three years.

The coaching staff and our scouts and (player development) people feel good about Hector Gimenez and his ability to call a game and catch and throw, Hahn said late Monday. They like the fact that he is a switch hitter and can play some first base. Youre now months ahead of where we are now in terms of what that roster is going to look like. But if it would up with Flowers and Gimenez, thats certainly a possibility were comfortable with.

White Sox agree to trade outfielder Peter Bourjos

White Sox agree to trade outfielder Peter Bourjos

The White Sox have agreed to trade outfielder Peter Bourjos to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations late Monday, according to multiple major league sources.

Bourjos was signed to a minor league contract and invited to camp with the White Sox. He was expected to see a good amount of playing time in center field in the wake of Charlie Tilson’s injury.

Trading Bourjos improves rookie Jacob May’s chances of making the Opening Day roster.

Bourjos, 29, has played for the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels over the span of his career. His best season came with the Angels in 2011, when he hit .271 with 12 homers and 43 RBIs. 

Derek Holland ends spring on strong note as White Sox down Dodgers

Derek Holland ends spring on strong note as White Sox down Dodgers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Derek Holland ended a productive spring with his best outing to date on Monday afternoon.

Healthy and excited to officially kick off his White Sox career, Holland delivered six strong innings in a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. The left-hander allowed two earned runs and five hits in six innings pitched, walking two and striking out one. Holland is expected to pitch once more in Milwaukee on Saturday before pitching in the third game of the regular season.

“Definitely feel good,” Holland said. “Feel very confident with everything, very happy with how the spring went. I worked on what we needed to work on to get myself ready for the season and stay healthy and I’m very happy with that. But most of all when you get out there and pitch, the defense, you have to keep them on their toes, and I thought the last out was the perfect example of that.”

Holland was referring to a nice diving catch by Jacob May that prevented at least one run from scoring. The longtime Texas Rangers pitcher was pleased to have established his fastball early and mixed in his offspeed pitches and changeup.

“I wanted to make sure we were going the distance,” Holland said. “I didn’t want to have a setback, and I thought we did a great job.”

The White Sox appear to have narrowly avoided one setback on Monday and are awaiting word on another. An X-ray on the left wrist of infielder Tyler Saladino was negative after he was hit by a pitch while getting in work in a pair of minor-league games. Saladino has been diagnosed with a bruised wrist.

The team is still awaiting word on pitcher Jake Petricka, who took a comebacker off his pitching hand in the seventh inning. Petricka exited the game, got his hand wrapped in ice and left to take an X-ray.

The White Sox are also waiting to learn the results of Carlos Rodon’s second opinion. Rodon was scratched from Friday’s start with a tight bicep tendon and had a physical exam and took an MRI, both of which showed he had no structural damage. Rodon traveled to Los Angeles early Monday for the second opinion with Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Even if he receives the all clear, the White Sox will remain cautious, manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s almost like you have to re-start the process a little bit,” Renteria said. “It would be foolish to try to anticipate or push him into any direction without first of all ultimately having whatever the diagnosis is or the validation or whatever it might be of the second opinion. Once we get that, we’ll know hopefully tomorrow how we can ultimately proceed. I wouldn’t think we’d try to ramp him up quickly.”

The club also expects to have more clarity on the status of right-handed pitcher Juan Minaya on Tuesday. Minaya, who has been out since March 15 with an abdominal tear, was re-evaluated on Monday. Minaya had a 3.18 ERA and nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings this spring.

Matt Davidson also had two hits in the White Sox victory and drove in a run. Melky Cabrera hit a solo homer, his first of the spring. Yolmer Sanchez blasted his third homer of the spring, a two-run shot.

Zach Putnam struck out two in a scoreless inning.