White Sox: Paulino needs to better command waste pitches

White Sox: Paulino needs to better command waste pitches
March 12, 2014, 7:15 pm
Share This Post

SAN FRANCISCO -- Felipe Paulino aims for better command of his pitches, but not the ones you’d think.

The White Sox starting pitcher bounced back after a rough start and allowed two runs and five hits over 3 2/ 3 innings in a 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants. Paulino, who struck out five, has been pleased with how he has felt and commanded his pitches -- for the most part.

“I’m hitting my spot everywhere I want,” Paulino said of his 65-pitch effort. “One of the things is making my pitches throw in the dirt. When I got the guy ahead in the count, I had a little problem throwing the ball in the dirt. That’s supposed to be easy for me, but I throw to strikes. When I throw the pitch, I throw low, but not low enough."

[MORE: Mitchell Boggs upbeat about his progress]

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said it was an adjustment Paulino made midway in the first inning -- working lower in the zone -- that helped him rebound.

The first three batters to face the right-hander sandwiched a pair of bloop singles around a Mike Morse double for two runs. But Paulino got three outs on consecutive ground balls by Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval. He allowed a few hits the rest of the way but didn’t allow another run and struck out five of eight at one point.

“I guess if it gets hit, you are always saying that,” Ventura said. “But if you are walking guys, you want to throw strikes. There’s a mix in there that works. I think he found it as he went along. Early on, they were just jumping on stuff that was up. After that, he was pretty sharp.”

Other notes

-- Per Ventura, Tyler Flowers has made good use of his time working with hitting coach Todd Steverson and it resulted in a pair of hits in three at-bats and an RBI on Wednesday’s game. Flowers has a .273 average this spring.

“He found something that’s comfortable and today he had some good at-bats taking the ball the other way,” Ventura said. “You have to work at it and get comfortable with it to where you are confident when you go to the plate that you can execute.”

[MORE: Keppinger's tight shoulder could land him on DL]

-- After a successful session off flat ground, Matt Lindstrom (strained left oblique) will participate in a light bullpen session on Thursday morning. If all goes well, he’d throw again on Saturday.

-- Pitching coach Don Cooper said Thursday will be a big day for the pitching staff as right-hander Ronald Belisario is unveiled and Jose Quintana makes a start. Quintana suffered a left shin contusion in his last start and Cooper hopes the left-hander can throw 60 pitches and go four innings.

-- Leury Garcia had an RBI-bunt single and drew a walk in four plate appearances.