Notes: Ventura sets middle of order; Quintana rolls

Notes: Ventura sets middle of order; Quintana rolls
March 23, 2013, 12:45 am
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PHOENIX -- Alex Rios hit third on Friday night and Paul Konerko was in the fifth spot. Expect to see plenty of the same this season whenever the White Sox face a right-hander, with Adam Dunn sandwiched in between.

Manager Robin Ventura intimated this would be his lineup often when the season kicks off in 10 days, though Konerko and Dunn can be flipped with a lefty on the mound.

Rios--who went 0-for-3 on Friday--hit a team-high .304 last season with 25 homers and 91 RBIs while Konerko batted .298 with 26 homers and 75 RBIs. Konerko went 2-for-3 with a double and a two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning.

Dunn, who had Friday off, blasted a team-high 41 homers and drove in 96 runs last season.

“I think the way it sits right now it probably lines up that with Paul batting fifth and Rios third,” Ventura said. “We will mix and match and change it up. For right now, that's probably where we'll start.”

Quintana rolls again

Jose Quintana finished a strong spring on a high note with nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings on Friday.

The left-hander’s two-seam fastball was a particularly effective weapon against right-handed, which was one of the primary goals of his offseason work. After last season, pitching coach Don Cooper asked Quintana to work on his armside command and has been pleased with the pitcher’s preparation.

“I felt really good and I felt like the fastball was working really good today,” Quintana said through a translator. “I worked with all my pitches but my fastball was particularly good. It was running good...I tried to do a lot of physical work to strengthen my legs and I feel strong. I feel good right now and that’s going to help me throughout the season.” 

Danks, Tekotte impress

Outfielders Jordan Danks and Blake Tekotte impressed Ventura before they were optioned to Triple-A on Thursday.

Danks hit .351 with two homers and nine RBIs in 37 at-bats this spring while Tekotte hit .222 with four RBIs in 36 at-bats.

The two benefited from the absence of Alejandro De Aza and Alex Rios, who returned to the team on Thursday from the World Baseball Classic.

“I think one of the things with having the two guys that were gone, the outfielders got a lot of playing time,” Ventura said. “Not only (Danks), (Jared) Mitchell, (Trayce) Thompson and (Keenyn) Walker got a lot of playing time, too. In a normal spring, they wouldn't get that kind of playing time so it's good for them, it’s good for their development and it’s good for us to see them.”


-- Left-handed pitcher John Danks and right-hander Dylan Axelrod will appear in a minor-league game on Sunday instead of facing the Kansas City Royals. The White Sox haven’t named a starter for Sunday’s game.

-- Chris Sale’s alma mater, Florida Gulf Coast University, upset No. 2 Georgetown in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

-- Catcher Tyler Flowers went 2-for-4 with an RBI to raise his average to .333 and second baseman Gordon Beckham went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI to raise his to .293.

-- Reliever Hector Santiago struck out five batters and allowed a hit in three scoreless innings pitched.