The wait is over as pitchers and catchers officially reported to Spring Training on Wednesday. Here’s a look at the latest White Sox storylines from Arizona and elsewhere.
Spring Training Day One Recap
McCann is Ready to Win, Reflects on Grandal Signing
In his first media appearance of the spring, catcher James McCann said it’s time to win now as focus shifts towards winning a World Series. He said, “If I said we weren’t trying to win a World Series, I’d be lying.”
The conversation then shifted to the Grandal signing, where McCann quickly found himself in a back-up role. He had this to say:
Three Players Suffer Minor Injuries
Rick Hahn announced that three players suffered some minor injuries on the first day of camp. Yasmani Grandal has a mild calf strain, Lucas Giolito has a mild chest muscle strain, and Gio Gonzalez has mild shoulder soreness. The injuries will likely keep the trio out the first week of Spring Training games, but all are expected to be ready for Opening Day.
Giolito himself said he threw 120 feet with no issues yesterday and had a “zero percent” concern level with his injury.
Reynaldo Lopez Worked Out at Mamba Academy
Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez met with the media on Wednesday. He said that this offseason, he worked out at the Mamba Academy in Los Angeles and focussed on things like his fastball spin rate. He said the following when asked about his spot in the rotation, “You can’t be comfortable at this level. Everyone behind you wants that spot.” ReyLo also mentioned how he is working increasingly more on his mental game, an area that he didn’t focus on as much as his physical health.
Dane Dunning Making Progress After Tommy John
Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports that Dane Dunning has thrown about a half dozen bullpens at full strength. He is expected to throw a live batting practice soon.
Blake Rutherford Arrives Stronger
Blake Rutherford added some muscle this offseason and is sitting around 212 pounds after hovering around 200 at last season’s end.
Carlos Rodon and Jimmy Lambert Throwing
Pitchers Carlos Rodon and Jimmy Lambert were seen playing catch on Wednesday. Both are recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Michael Kopech Completes Sideline
Michael Kopech threw a sideline with no restrictions on Wednesday. Here’s a clip from his meeting with the media:
Spring Training Day Two Recap
Reynaldo Lopez Gets Start for First Cactus League Game
Reynaldo Lopez will be making the first Cactus League start against the Los Angeles Angels split-squad on February 22nd, per MLB.com’s Scott Merkin. The game is scheduled to start at 2:05 pm CST with broadcast feeds available on MLB.com and WGN 720.
Dallas Keuchel Asked About Astros Situation
The following are a string of Dallas Keuchel’s quotes tweeted by MLB.com’s Scott Merkin:
“That’s a good question. I’m just one dude. I guess it’s ultimately up to the individual. We are always going to be World Series champs because we were talented and to me we earned the right to be World Series champs…”
“Just because stuff came out about the 2017 Astros doesn’t mean other teams weren’t doing illegal stuff. It just means we were the ones who were I guess caught…”
“I’m not here really to dig into anything that happens. That’s my feeling. Ultimately it’s up to the individual to show remorse or try to move on. I chose the remorse route because hey, personally I felt that was what was owed…”
“I owed it to my family and that’s how I was raised. I’m going to remember that but at the same time I’m going to try to help this organization for the next three, hopefully four or five years down the road.”
As for the quote of the day from Dallas, which was not related to the Astros’ investigation:
Zack Burdi, Ian Hamilton Throwing Bullpens
Zack Burdi and Ian Hamilton were among the pitchers out on Thursday afternoon throwing bullpens. Both are recovering from injuries.
White Sox Reach Agreement with Cuban Pitching Prospect
The White Sox have reportedly made an agreement with 19-year-old Cuban pitcher Norge Caros Vera for roughly $1.5 million, per Jesse Sanchez. The right-hander is listed as No. 4 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 international prospects list. The deal is set to become official sometime during the upcoming international signing period that begins on July 2nd.
Moncada Switches Agencies
PECOTA 2020 Projections Released
In case you missed it on Tuesday, the 2020 PECOTA projections were released for the upcoming season. The Chicago White Sox are predicted to go 83-80 in the AL Central, which is completely reasonable even after a very busy and successful offseason. Here’s how the AL Central shakes out in its entirety:
- Minnesota Twins: 93-69, 77.4 Div %, 89.2 Playoff %
- Cleveland Indians: 86-76, 16.7 Div %, 41.4 Playoff %
- Chicago White Sox: 83-80, 5.9 Div %, 18.1 Playoff %
- Detroit Tigers: 69-93, 0 Div %, 0 Playoff %
- Kansas City Royals: 68-94, 0 Div %, 0.1 Playoff %
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