Over the course of my few days here in Arizona, I have the ability to watch the White Sox games today (Sunday), Monday, and Tuesday. With so much of the future built on these players, I want to give the fans an update about some of the biggest things I take away from my trip here in terms of development and improvements from some of the guys.
Here is my Sunday report.
Lucas Giolito (3 Stars) – 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR
Lucas, in my opinion, continues to have a very good Spring that is being overshadowed in the fans’ eyes by numbers (6.75 ERA). Lucas is commanding the zone well with a newly shortened arm slot, which you can see in the video below:
These changes in mechanics are something Lucas has talked about throughout this Spring. His biggest problem at this point is also something he’s talked about: his mechanics sometimes fall apart when he throws out of the stretch, causing him to fall off towards the first base side of the dugout (instead of staying square). As a result, Lucas finds himself behind in the count. However, he worked himself out of a jam today in the third and completed the longest outing in Spring Training by a Sox starter thus far. His worst pitch was the hanging changeup that Neuse hit for a homer.
I know I get a lot of crap for hyping Giolito, but he is absolutely improved this year. Both his curveball and changeup looked incredibly sharp today, and his fastball was consistently 94-97 on the radar gun. To look only at Giolito’s stat line is to ignore the clear progress he’s made and the bad luck he’s experienced in all three of his starts. Giolito may never be an ace, but he’s working his way towards a 2-3 starter role.
Dylan Cease (3.5 Stars): 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Dylan uncharacteristically struggled with location today, walking two batters in an inning and two-thirds. However, some of that might be attributable to the fact that he came out of the bullpen instead of starting the game. Regardless, Sox fans, Cease is so much fun to watch. He has a smooth, easy delivery, yet consistently hits 98-100 on the radar gun. It won’t be long before we see him on the South Side – the amount of seasoning he needs isn’t as much as one would think for a guy who hasn’t pitched above AA.
If it weren’t for the two walks, he would’ve easily had a five-star performance today. Always fun to see him pitch.
Jordan Stephens (4.5 Stars): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Jordan Stephens continues to be a player I can’t believe hasn’t made his MLB debut yet. While he only hits about 91-93 mph on the gun, he has incredible control and a major league demeanor on the mound. He’s a pitcher in every sense of the word. Every time I’ve watched him, he’s shown incredible knowledge of his strengths and limitations and pitches to his strengths. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t on the South Side at some point this year.
Position Player Performances
Yoan Moncada (4.5 Stars): 1-2, HR, RBI, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K
Yoan Moncada continues to show growth at the plate after a long offseason of work and improvement. He worked the count well today, fought off tough, close pitches, and even homered. He also looked really good at 3B today, starting a double play and making a nice play on a slow roller at third.
You can doubt Moncada, and that’s completely your right. I just don’t happen to agree. He’s looked good and is hitting .370 with a 10/5 K/BB ratio. That’s improvement.
Jose Abreu (5 Stars): 3-4, 2 2B, 4 RBI
Model of consistency. Need I say more?
Tim Anderson (3 Stars): 0-2, 1 BB, 1 R
TA7 didn’t do anything too out of the ordinary today, but his improvements at SS have been incredible to watch. He’s become a sure-handed middle infielder and looks natural at the position. He also worked the count well today in the at-bat in which he walked, fouling off quite a few tough pitches and laying off a few good breaking balls. Expect to see more growth and improvement from Timmy this season.
Seby Zavala (1 Star): 0-2, 2K, CS (as C)
Seby had a rough day at the plate today. He looked overmatched in both his AB’s. He didn’t look great behind the plate, dropping a couple pitches, but he didn’t look bad either, as he threw out a base runner. Seby is still going to need some seasoning, so expect James McCann to continue to get at-bats until at least June or July at the earliest (unless McCann is really struggling, then potentially earlier). The talent is there for Seby, it’s just not fully developed yet. He’s not far from getting his chance.
Featured Photo: Jordan Lazowski
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