Knowing this was an exhibition game today, I didn't know what to expect from the White Sox. How many offensive starters would sit? Would the pitchers be nothing but minor leaguers? Would Johnson or Songress start?
After batting practice ended, which I unfortunately just missed, I saw a pitcher warming up in front of the bullpen. It was Gavin Floyd. So where Friday's game featured the whole bullpen, I figured we'd see a few starters today getting some innings in before the several days before their first starts. I was guessing a few get an inning or two each with some of the minor leagues guys along for the ride getting a chance late. I was right and wrong.
Floyd had a shaking one inning of work. His velocity seemed OK (the radar guy wasn't working for him), but seemed wild. From his body language, things seemed off. Aoki started off the game with a routine ground ball to Beckham but he was watching Aoki running to first and dropped the ball. Rickie Weeks then crushed what seemed to be a hanging curve. Then, the slow Gavin Floyd arrived. It was a long inning, but somehow he got out of it with giving up only two runs.
I was getting ready for a very long game. Then, Quintana was in to pitch the second. He was everything Floyd was not. Even his body language seemed better than Floyd and it seemed to show in the results. He did give up a leadoff hit to Segura who promptly stole second. Quinana then shut down the next three batters to end the threat. Quintana was the sharpest looking pitcher I saw all day.
In the third, Dylan Axelrod came in. He did OK, but he was pretty much just Dylan. Each inning I expected to see someone else come out, but he just kept pitching. Then, came the eighth. He started the inning near 90 pitches which I'm guessing was the high for the spring. Finally, back to back RBI doubles knocked Axelrod out. He finished the game with 103 pitches Matt Zaleski came in to finish off the eighth but not without giving up the winning run. Zaleski had trouble finding the strike zone. Either he was dealing with nerves or he still needs some work.
I did have some additional things I was looking for today, and here's a a few notes from what I saw.
- Gordon Beckham's work to Hriniak-ize his swing seems to be over as his top hand held on for dear life with every swing. That said his double to center was very well hit. I still say his stance looks like he's sitting on a stool, but, if he keeps hitting. I won't care.
- The Brewers adjusted the shift against Adam Dunn with Aramis Ramirez playing close to his normal third base position. Dunn had a nice double against the Brewers's shift on Friday.
- The White Sox offensive starters all had two at bats today before the replacements came in today.
- Brandon Short continued to impress at the end of Spring Training. In the fourth, he threw out Martin Maldonado at home from right. In his first at bat, he hit a double to the left field corner to drive in a run, partially helped by a bobble by Brewers propect Khris Davis.
- Keenan Walker showed that he definitely is fast. On one play, the ball was hit to Gartrell in left. Walker ran to the ball too and could have caught the ball himself even through he had been shading the batter to right. The rest of his outfield play showed how raw he is. He nearly misplayed a ball to center and almost had to dive for a ball hit in front of him. He had throws to third and home that were both well off the mark. With injuries, he struggled last year at Kanapolis. I'm really hoping he starts no higher than Winston-Salem with the crowded outfields at Charlotte and Birmingham.
- In case you were wondering, the Italian Sausage won the race today with the Hot Dog nearly catching up at the end.