White Sox Paulino healthy enough to debut new pitch

White Sox Paulino healthy enough to debut new pitch
March 17, 2014, 6:45 pm
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PHOENIX -- Felipe Paulino feels so healthy he has added a new pitch to his repertoire this spring.

The White Sox pitcher finally felt confident enough to debut his cut-fastball in Monday’s 9-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Paulino said he threw the cutter 6-8 times over five scoreless innings and likes the addition. The right-hander allowed two hits, walked three and struck out four.

“Everything (is) coming together right now,” Paulino said. “We worked on a new pitch which is working great, the cutter. Happy with that. We work on that last week with (pitching coach Don) Cooper. … I got a couple popups with that so that helped me get out quick.”

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Scouts have said throughout the last month that Paulino has featured the same kind of stuff he had prior to reconstructive elbow surgery in 2012. Putting everything together, however, has been a bit of a process for Paulino, who also had shoulder surgery in 2013.

But if he continues to progress as he did Monday the White Sox should be pleased. Paulino pitched around a walk and a single in the first inning. Then in the third he got Ryan Braun to pop out and struck out Aramis Ramirez after he allowed a one-out triple. Few balls were hit hard during Paulino’s five innings and one scout said he liked how the pitcher used both sides of the plate.

“He threw fairly well,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He was getting ahead. You feel like you can throw strikes and throw that hard, it’s a little bit easier on you. … The velocity has been building, but to be able to repeat the location that he wants, it just looked better today.”

Per brooksbaseball.net, before his new cutter, Paulino had thrown five pitches: four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, slider, curveball and changeup. He plans to continue to use the cutter and said Cooper has implored him to try it out.

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“He cares a lot,” Cooper said. “He gives me that confidence, Cooper gives it to me, to let me throw it in the game. I’m glad with how it’s coming. But it’s a long season, I want to see how it responds every time. It’s something I can add when something is not working I can add it to myself.”

Other notes:

-- Shortstop Alexei Ramirez had three singles, a double, a run scored and two RBIs in four trips to the plate for the White Sox, who improved to 7-8-2.

-- Third baseman Matt Davidson doubled twice, scored twice and drove in two runs in four at-bats.

-- Nate Jones, Daniel Webb, Mitchell Boggs and Donnie Veal each pitched a scoreless inning in relief. Boggs would have given up a run had it not been for a leaping grab by Blake Tekotte to rob Ramirez of a homer.

-- Ventura said relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom (strained left oblique) would pitch on Wednesday though he didn’t specify whether it would be a bullpen, simulated game or against the Los Angeles Angels.