SoxFest notes: Konerko supports MLB's new HGH testing

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SoxFest notes: Konerko supports MLB's new HGH testing

Paul Konerko said hes in favor of Major League Baseballs new policy, in which players will be tested for HGH. Earlier this month, MLB implemented a policy which requires players to available for in-season testing after the plan was approved by the players union.

MLB officials have indicated players will be randomly selected for HGH tests at least once every season, but not during the postseason, according to media reports.

This is just about the right progression, Konerko said at SoxFest on Friday. As soon as there was testing there was going to be testing as soon as the science was up to doing it. This should be the way to test because now that the science is there, you can test guys from all angles and test for everything you want to test for.

The only issue Konerko can foresee is how some players react to blood tests. Players previously submitted blood tests in spring training last season.

I dont have a problem having blood drawn, Konerko said. I can see that might be the issue for some guys. Some guys, if they get blood drawn in the afternoon, they are done for the day. They are a mess. As for me I have never had a problem giving blood. The issue about how it is done will have to be figured out.

-- Dan Hayes

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Peavy: Detroit's the team to beat

White Sox starter Jake Peavy is confident in his team's chances of unseating Detroit atop the AL Central, but he's not going to make any bombastic statements about his squad in relation to the Tigers.

"I'm not going to say the White Sox are the team to beat because we're not," Peavy said. "The Tigers are the team to beat. They're the AL Central champions, they're the American League champions. They're the team to beat."

Detroit will return the core of its 2012 team along with catcher Victor Martinez, who missed all of last season following an ACL injury in the offseason. Until Peavy's White Sox are able to unseat the Tigers, the right-hander feels his team has plenty to prove.

"Are we sitting here that we're conceding? Absolutely not," Peavy said. "This team won't concede anything until we're mathematically eliminated. And we all believe right now that that's not going to happen. We know that we have enough talent, as we did last year, to play with the Detroit Tigers, who were the American League champions. There's not a player in this room who was on this team last year who doesn't believe we can beat that team."

- JJ Stankevitz

More from SoxFest: Danks ready to take the next step

No WBC for Santiago

Pitcher Hector Santiago confirmed Sunday he wont to play in the World Baseball Classic in March. Santiago (Puerto Rico) was one of five White Sox players listed on provisional WBC rosters. Jesse Crain (Canada) and Alex Rios (Puerto Rico) are expected to participate as are minor-leaguers Andre Rienzo (Brazil) and Andy Gonzales (Puerto Rico).

-- Dan Hayes

Mitchell primed to turn the corner?

Jared Mitchell hit .237.358.420 between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte last season, which represented a step in the right direction for the team's 2009 first-round draft pick. His trikeout total was still high -- 179 in 549 plate appearances -- but White Sox assistant GM Buddy Bell feels the 24-year-old is starting to put everything together.

"I saw a guy who's starting to look like a baseball player," Bell, who's raved about Mitchell since seeing him play in the Instructional League last fall, said. "(He's) a guy who looks like a baseball player that's athletic as opposed to an athlete trying to play baseball."

-- JJ Stankevitz

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Reed working to avoid another slow finish

Addison Reed's offseason has consisted of plenty of cardio in an effort to avoid another late-season letdown.

As a rookie, Reed allowed 13 hits, two walks and eight runs in nine September innings. The right-hander said he didn't feel tired -- his fastball velocity in September was consistent with the rest of his season -- but the issue may have bee a little more latent.

"It might have been a combination of the hitters seeing me a couple times around," Reed said. " Physically, I didn't feel tired, but that didn't mean I didn't get tired."

-- JJ Stankevitz

More from SoxFest: Flowers' first appearance goes well

Oh those fans

Pitcher John Danks elicited plenty of laughs in a Sunday afternoon seminar when he was asked about his habits when he watches University of Texas sporting events.

I become one of the fans I hate, Danks said.

-- Dan Hayes

Preview: White Sox­-Twins tonight on CSN+

Preview: White Sox­-Twins tonight on CSN+

The White Sox take on the Twins on Tuesday night, and you can catch all the action on CSN+. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.

Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight's starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.04 ERA) vs. Kyle Gibson (0-5, 6.05 ERA).

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get your White Sox gear right here]

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

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

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with White Sox Pulse.

Chris Sale 'would like to see' Mark Buehrle retire in White Sox uniform

Chris Sale 'would like to see' Mark Buehrle retire in White Sox uniform

While Chris Sale doesn’t know if Mark Buehrle will pitch again, he’s certain about one thing — Buehrle should retire as a member of the White Sox.

His future plans still undeclared, the legendary pitcher made the rounds at U.S. Cellular Field this weekend to visit ex-teammates from two of the three clubs he played for during his 16-year career. Buehrle, who won a World Series title and 161 games and threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in 12 seasons with the White Sox, has yet to sign retirement papers. Whether or not Buehrle would pitch again was speculated upon often this spring even though he struggled down the stretch in 2015 and failed to eclipse 200 innings for only the second time in his career.

Were he to officially call it quits, Sale hopes Buerhle does it here.

“For me personally, I would like to see it,” Sale said. “When you think of Mark Buehrle, you think of him in a White Sox uniform, wearing the black jersey with the pinstripes on the bottom.

“I don’t think he could go out any other way. Especially it would be nice to see him in a White Sox hat when he goes to the Hall of Fame.”

Buehrle spent the first dozen years of his career with the White Sox before agreeing upon a four-year deal with the Miami Marlins in 2012. His stay in Miami lasted only one season before the club held a fire sale and dealt him and shortstop Jose Reyes among others to the Toronto Blue Jays. Buehrle played the last three seasons in Toronto and won 40 games. He won 15 games last season but finished four outs shy of a 15th straight 200-inning campaign.

Sale said he didn’t talk any business with Buehrle during their visit and doesn’t know if he still wants to pitch.

“It was definitely good to see him,” Sale said. “It gives you a little boost. Any time you see guys like that come back around, it’s always fun. He looks good. He looks like he could pitch again.

“We don’t talk about business when he comes around. It was good to see him and whatever unfolds, I think it will be fun regardless of what happens.”

Weekend provides much-needed rest for White Sox bullpen

Weekend provides much-needed rest for White Sox bullpen

A cold beer in hand and shower shoes on his feet, Zach Duke was the epitome of relaxation Sunday afternoon as he leaned back in his chair in the White Sox clubhouse.

A selfie of his feet with a tropical destination in the background is all that was missing.

The chance to relax isn’t wasted on Duke or his relief brethren. After a span in which they combined for 18 appearances in seven games, Duke, Nate Jones, Matt Albers and David Robertson received a weekend pass. While Robertson’s break was interrupted Sunday, the rest of the group is set for three consecutive days without an appearance.

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It’s a nice shot in the arm, if you will,” said Duke, who entered Sunday tied for the major-league lead with 39 appearances. “It’s good. To have a little rest time to get through this next stretch of games is big.

“I’m not sure what we’ll be doing (Monday). Maybe we’ll go out to the beach.”

Life has been anything but easy for the trusted members of the White Sox bullpen.

The workload of the bullpen recently included 30 innings in the eight games leading up to Sunday. While the bullpen’s innings pitched this season ranks low (they’re 21st among 30 teams), it’s the type of work they have been asked to perform that has begun to add up.

An inconsistent offense that has failed to put games away has the White Sox tied for the fourth-most one-run games in the majors (26). Of the 78 games played by the White Sox, 41 have been decided by two runs or fewer. The bullpen has the second-highest leverage index -- a statistic that measures how much pressure each pitcher faces -- in the majors.

Basically, only San Francisco Giants relievers face more tight situations than in baseball than the White Sox.

With that in mind, White Sox manager Robin Ventura prescribed mandatory rest for Jones, Albers, Duke and Robertson on Saturday.

“They need it,” Ventura said. “They need a break, it's that simple.”

What has magnified the team’s issues is the losses of Daniel Webb and Jake Petricka for the season and Zach Putnam, who is out indefinitely with elbow soreness and said to be weighing surgery as an option.

Last season, Putnam and Petricka combined for 100 2/3 innings. The season before it was 127 2/3 innings.

With those trusted arms down, Dan Jennings and rookies Chris Beck, Michael Ynoa and Matt Purke will likely have to consume big innings at times. The scenario arose on Saturday when the White Sox rallied after it appeared they had been blown out by the Toronto Blue Jays. Even though they trailed by as many as five runs twice, the White Sox found themselves down a run headed into the ninth inning. But with their veteran arms down, Ynoa was asked to work an inning and surrendered a pair of runs.

“It’s tough to watch those games,” said Robertson, who earned his 20th save in 22 tries on Sunday. “When we’ve thrown six or seven games out of eight days, you need a day because the chances of you going out there and hurting yourself are possible. And you’re looking at the longevity of this team and the arms we’ve got, you don’t want to lose any of your valuable pieces in one game when you might need them later on in September to make that push to get into the playoffs or even in the playoffs themselves. When you get those days off you have to take them, enjoy ‘em. It’s hard to watch those games because you feel like you should be in there. But it’s just part of baseball. Every now and then you need a day off.”

Chris Sale added another day of rest with his dominance in Sunday’s victory. He consumed eight of nine innings and held Toronto in check until he surrendered two solo homers in his last frame. Though the homers forced Jones to warm up, Sale recovered in time to get through the eighth. Two days after he pitched out of a bases-loaded jam, Robertson needed only 10 pitches to record his second save of the series.

But because Sale worked as late as he did, Duke didn’t have to lift a finger. He had a chance to relax and determine what he and his family might do Monday. “Hopefully,” Duke will get to the beach.

No matter what, he knows what he won’t do.

“There’s going to be no baseball involved,” Duke said.