Spring Training Takeaways: March 21, 2019

Today, the White Sox played their usual starters (aside from Jon Jay and Welington Castillo, who are day to day with nagging injuries) against the Rangers, and the team played a terrific all-around game.

Position Players

  • Leury Garcia was aggressive early in counts and went 4-4 with a home run and a stolen base. He has always been a productive player when healthy, and he figures to see plenty of opportunities off the bench this season in center field, right field, and at second base.
  • Jose Abreu continued his hot streak and seems locked in at the plate, as he went 2-3 with 3 runs batted in.
  • After Abreu was hit by a pitch in the first inning, Tim Anderson got his attention from the dugout and amusingly started throwing air punches, suggesting (sarcastically) that Abreu should have charged the mound. Anderson later had an uncharacteristic lapse defensively and went 0-4, but was making solid contact and has been benefiting from a more patient approach.
  • Yonder Alonso and Daniel Palka, two lefty sluggers who figure to be platooned during the season, were left in to face a left-handed pitcher in the 7th inning. Both players ended up turning tough pitches into doubles.
  • Yoan Moncada was 1-3 with a walk and no strikeouts, and he appeared comfortable at third base. I was able to record his at-bat as a right-handed hitter in the 7th inning, where he flied out to the center fielder but advanced Adam Engel to third:

Pitchers

  • Ivan Nova was spectacular, allowing just an unearned run in 5.2 innings. He likely would have gone longer in the regular season. He was fluid, in a good rhythm, generating swings and misses, and allowing weak contact.
  • Kelvin Herrera, still working his way back from a torn ligament in his foot, seems to be regaining his velocity.
  • Alex ColomeJace Fry, and Jose Ruiz also appeared in relief, and they all showed varying flashes of brilliance. While Ruiz will likely start the season in AAA, it is clear that the White Sox have the makings of a very effective bullpen.

I will be at tomorrow’s game against the Angels before returning home. The White Sox were dominant today in their 12-2 victory over the Rangers, and Carlos Rodon will be on the mound tomorrow for his final Spring Training start before he toes the rubber in Kansas City next Thursday.

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