Spring Training Takeaways: March 20, 2019

News of the Eloy Jimenez extension broke shortly before today’s game, which is a positive considering that the White Sox lineup was mostly comprised of minor league journeymen. Regardless, some intriguing players appeared in the game, and since the box score does not tell the whole story, I figured I would share some impressions from the game.

Position Players

  • Infielder Danny Mendick did not record any hits, but made solid contact and seemed to have a professional approach at the plate. The White Sox have been surprisingly adept at producing MLB quality utility infielders over the years, and Mendick might be another one.
  • Ryan Goins, formerly of the Blue Jays and Royals, played shortstop today, and while he was not necessarily bad defensively, there were plenty of ground balls/line drives that resulted in hits which left me thinking, “Tim Anderson would have made that play”.
  • The Diamondbacks took a combined perfect game into the 7th inning until Goins homered and third baseman Jose Rondon, who I wrote about recently, followed with a single to right field.
  • Blake Rutherford made a nice charging play in right field where he called off the retreating second baseman to make the catch. I have seen those plays result in disaster too many times, so it was refreshing for Rutherford to take charge and make the play without any miscommunications.
  • Outfielder Luis Gonzalez doubled to left field in his lone plate appearance. I caught it on video:

Pitchers

  • Ervin Santana was a little rocky in his Spring Training debut, but that was expected given his late start to the season. Overall, his mechanics looked sound and many of his hits were of the lucky, weak contact variety. Things fell apart in the 4th inning for him, which led to Alex Avila taking him opposite field for a three run home run.
  • Lucas Giolito had a typical Lucas Giolito 2019 Spring Training outing, which means that he looked pretty good, was hitting 96 MPH, had great movement on his curveball, but got shelled for 7 runs in 4 innings of (relief) work. I would not be too worried about this, as he was clearly throwing more off-speed pitches than usual just to get the reps in. Despite the poor overall result, I was actually impressed by Giolito’s off-speed stuff, and if it translates to the regular season, his strikeout rate should increase dramatically.


I will be at tomorrow’s game against the Rangers and Friday’s game against the Angels, hopefully with better results in store, as the Sox ended up dropping this game to Arizona by a score of 11-2.

 

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