White Sox Spring Training Notes: Renteria Opts to Skip Intrasquad Games, Double Down on Fundamentals

GLENDALE, AZ – With Sunday’s rainy weather departed yesterday, the White Sox were back outside on the practice fields at Camelback Ranch. The White Sox coaching staff ran a good amount of infield drills during Monday’s practice, and also featured live batting practice, highlighted by Jose Quintana striking out teammate Todd Frazier.

Practice was the theme of the day on Monday as new White Sox Manager Rick Renteria announced that the team will opt not to host any intrasquad games this spring, and instead use the extra days to practice and work on drills, “doubling down” on the opportunity to perfect the youthful members of this years camp’s fundamentals according to Renteria.

MLB Network in the House

White Sox camp had some visitors on Monday, as the MLB Network crew was in camp to record for their “30 Clubs in 30 Days” feature, as well as conduct interviews with players and coaches for a day full of White Sox focused programming on MLB Network.

Former major-leaguer Harold Reynolds even took part in a fielding demo with White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson on Monday, and wasted no time beating around the bush early Monday when he interviewed White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana, immediatley asking the all-star southpaw if he thought he would be traded in the immediate future.

Peter Bourjos Ready to Step Into CF Role, But Feels for Tilson

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos expressed on Monday that he is excited to have a chance this spring with the White Sox, and his stock to make the Opening Day roster took a jump this weekend when it was announced that rookie Charlie Tilson suffered a foot stress reaction, and would be shut down for 10 days before being reevaluated.

Still, Bourjos’ concern was for his new teammate first and foremost, relating that he felt bad for Tilson, who is coming off of a season-ending hamstring injury in his major-league debut last August. Bourjos has this to say about Tilson’s current situation,

“I feel bad for him,” Bourjos said. “He’s gone through a lot. I didn’t know the extent of the hamstring when I talked to him and it seemed like a big one. This sounds like just a small hiccup and he’ll be fine. I talked to him this morning, just said, ‘Keep your head up.’”

Bourjos, is a Chicago area native, born in Chicago before moving to the suburb of Park Ridge in second grade, and would love the opportunity to break camp with his hometown team in April, but if Tilson is healthy he may not get the opportunity, as White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn has already named Tilson as the presumptive Opening Day center-fielder for 2017.

Rodon Continues to Ease into his Workload this Spring

Carlos Rodon continued to ease into his full workload this spring on Monday, playing catch with the team and participating in fielding drills on Monday. The third-year pitcher is still not expected to throw a bullpen until later this week, eliminating him from being one of the White Sox starting pitchers when they open their Cactus League schedule this weekend.

Lucas Giolito Continues to Look Good

Lucas Giolito continued to show mechanics that closely resemble his mechanics of old, before the Nationals asked him to change up his delivery. Giolito threw off the mound on Monday, and you can see that he returned to the lower, and more relaxed hand placement, coupled with his former lower leg kick and quick stride.

This is something that Giolito and White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper have been working on during the first week of camp to get Giolito back to the level of comfort-ability that he has had throughout the majority of his young professional career. Check out the clip of Giolito throwing below.

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Renteria Mum on Pitching Plans for 2017

White Sox Manager Rick Renteria wouldn’t commit to naming an Opening Day starting pitcher on Monday, or any order in the rotation for that matter, but barring a trade before then, there’s no doubt that Jose Quintana will take the hill to open the 2017 season.

Speaking of pitching plans, Renteria also refused to share a pitching schedule for this weekend’s Cactus League games, but like I mentioned earlier, you can rule out Carlos Rodon who has yet to throw a bullpen this spring.

Stay with us here at The Loop Sports all spring as we will be providing frequent updates of the happenings around Camelback Ranch, Cactus League game recaps and analysis, and deep-dive analysis into the story-lines to watch for this spring!

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