Over the next couple weeks of White Sox Spring Training action before games get underway, there will be plenty of minor nuggets of information popping up. We'll keep you updated as much as necessary, but we figured today would be a good day to get started as pitchers and catchers reported this afternoon.
Robin Ventura meeting with the press. Credit: Daryl Van Schouwen
Here are some notes from Saturday, February 15th and Glendale, Arizona.
– There were a couple minor setbacks with prominent relievers Nate Jones and Ronald Belisario.
Jones, who many consider to be the favorite for the closer role, came to camp with a strained glute muscle and is out indefinitely. At this point, it looks like it may just be a day-to-day deal. Whether he winds up being the best option to start the season as closer or not, you never want to see a setback so early on.
Belisario will be late to camp, as he's stuck in Venezuela having visa issues. This isn't too uncommon, and Belisario himself has actually dealt with this before while with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As CSN's Dan Hayes wrote, Rick Hahn hopes to know more about both of these situations by early-to-mid week next week.
– Felipe Paulino had a bullpen session in front of coaches, which is good considering he's recovering from some serious injuries (Tommy John & shoulder surgery in 2013). He seems to have the inside track to the number five slot in the rotation. Andre Rienzo is still in that mix, but it's good to see that it'll likely be a healthy competition.
– John Danks seems to be feeling good. He said the ball is coming out of his hand much better than it did last year, calling the difference "night and day" (H/T @ChuckGarfien). From all the quotes we saw, it really looks like Danks wants everybody to know that he'll be on a much higher level than he was a year ago.
– Robin Ventura said that the chance the Sox go with an 11-man pitching staff is very real, stating "The way we're structured, we may have to go that way…" (H/T @CST_SoxVan). For the most part we've dismissed this notion, because it's pretty uncommon to see a big league club break camp with less than 12 hurlers these days. But like RV said, the Sox' roster may require it.
If that were the case, it'd probably make way for Jordan Danks or Leury Garcia, who we discussed recently. And it may give Charlie Leesman a better shot at making the club over Donnie Veal, since he could fill the lefty reliever and long man roles. But that'll most likely just come down to who performs better throughout the spring.
We'll have more in the coming days, but make sure to follow us on Twitter so you don't miss a thing!