Roger Bossard worked his magic and despite a brutal, dragging winter U.S. Cellular Field is ready for Opening Day.
The White Sox and Twins held workouts at U.S. Cellular Field on Sunday, and while the grass isn't the verdant green it'll be in the summer the playing surface looks to be in good shape for Monday's game.
Bossard, the head groundskeeper for the White Sox, said earlier this month he was confident the field would be ready for Opening Day but couldn't guarantee anything. He had to thaw six to 10 inches of permafrost beneath the field for it to be playable, and he had to do that while temperatures routinely dipped into the low 30s or upper 20s over the last few weeks.
"I’m impressed," manager Robin Ventura said Sunday. "It’s one of those we thought there would be an iceberg out in left field from the reports we got in Arizona. But Roger even before he left, he knew he had his work cut out for him. I knew he would pull this off. I’ve never seen a situation he hasn’t been able to handle yet. But this one was probably pretty close."
Closer still a mystery
Ventura informed White Sox relievers of their respective roles on Sunday -- including who'd handle closing duties -- but declined to publicly reveal who will close if the White Sox have a lead in the ninth on Monday.
Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper didn't get an extended look at most of the closer candidates this spring, since Nate Jones and Matt Lindstrom were hurt, Daniel Webb missed time due to a death in the family and Ronald Belisario didn't show up to camp until mid-March.
"You didn't really get to see a bit bulk of innings out of those guys to really, not have confidence but have a good assessment of where you want to put them," Ventura said. "So now we feel pretty good about it and we know what we're going to do."
Beckham, Keppinger officially hit DL
The White Sox finalized their Opening Day roster on Sunday by placing Gordon Beckham (oblique) and Jeff Keppinger (shoulder) on the 15-day disabled list, both retroactive to March 21. With the moves, the White Sox roster hit the magic number of 25 with Opening Day on Monday.