GLENDALE, AZ – The Chicago White Sox have an afternoon tilt against Jason Hammel and the Kansas City Royals today at 3:05 pm CT at Camelback Ranch this afternoon. Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez will take the mound for his fourth start this spring.
Lopez has shown considerable improvement following his horrific effort (5 R, 4 H, 1.1 IP) against the Cincinnati Reds on Feb. 28. Over his subsequent two starts, he’s allowed one run, fanned seven and walked none over 7.1 innings pitched. Better yet, he’s finding the strike zone with more consistency and is missing bats with his off-speed selections.
LUCAS GIOLITO GETS TORCHED BY THE M’S
Lucas Giolito suffered through his worst outing of the spring versus the Seattle Mariners Tuesday afternoon, surrendering four runs on four hits with a pair of walks in two-thirds of an inning. Frankly, those numbers look better than he did on the mound. He grooved several fastballs and directed a couple into the dirt before getting the hook after a ground-rule double off the bat of Tyler Smith.
Tuesday’s debacle aside, Giolito’s looked fairly sharp this spring. In his three outings prior, he amassed an 81 percent strike rate and needed only 20 pitches to make it through four innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks last week. Yesterday was just one of those days.
MATT DAVIDSON IS LOST
On the inside track to open the season as the club’s designated hitter, Matt Davidson continues to play himself off the 25-man roster. Following a 1-for-3 showing Tuesday, Davidson (.200/.300/.314) now has 17 strikeouts over 35 at-bats with two extra-base hits.
At this rate, the White Sox can probably get away with assigning him to minor league camp. Sure, he’s out of options, per MLBTradeRumors.com, but whose gonna pick this guy up? Let him clear waivers and send him to Triple-A. The White Sox can lose just as many games with Leury Garcia at DH. No offense to Leury, of course.
THE CHARLIE TILSON ERA ENDS BEFORE IT BEGINS?
Charlie Tilson can’t catch a break. Well, uh, you know what I mean. After missing the final two months last year with a torn hammy and then suffering a stress reaction in his right foot before games began this spring, word broke that Tilson is set to start the season on the disabled list after a setback, per ESPN.com.
After he comes off the DL, however, he’ll likely get an assignment to Double-A in order to get as many at-bats as possible. (There is a log-jam at Triple-A, as the folks over at South Side Sox point out.) That means we’re likely looking at him being ready sometime in early May.
And that’s if one of many scenarios doesn’t get in the way. He could hurt himself again. Jacob May or Adam Engel could play themselves into a roster spot at Triple-A. Peter Bourjos may prove more than serviceable, forcing the White Sox to continue trotting him out there to drive up trade value. Either way, it’s not looking good for the defensive whiz acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals for Zach Duke.
- Left-hander Carlos Rodon tossed a 64-pitch sim game on Tuesday to rave reviews, according to Daryl Van Schouwen from the Chicago Sun Times. Look for one more sim before his first Cactus League appearance in roughly 10 days.
- Yoan Moncada made a plate appearance in the bottom of the eighth inning on Tuesday and…wait for it…struck out swinging. His 13 strikeouts in 30 at-bats puts him just behind Matt Davidson for worst K% on the team. Swing and miss aside, Moncada has acquainted himself quite well this spring. He’s flashed explosive speed, has looked flawless in exchanges with Tim Anderson and is working on his approach at the plate.
- If the White Sox decide to carry eight relievers to cover some of the innings James Shields and Derek Holland are going to leave on the table, Matt Purke is looking like a solid choice to be the second left-hander. Over 4.2 innings across four outings, Purke has a 0.952 WHIP and a .167 BAA. Spring training stats, for sure. Might be worth a look, however, if he can string together a couple more solid outings.
Stay with us at The Loop Sports all spring as we provide frequent updates on the happenings at Camelback Ranch, Cactus League game updates and deep-dive analysis into the story-lines to watch!
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