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Emptying the SoxFest notebook

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White Sox quotes from Robin Ventura, Rick Hahn, Don Cooper, David Robertson and more.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Robin Ventura:

  • Plan is for Adam LaRoche to get the majority of the playing time at DH. Maybe someone else against lefties. He'll play once or twice a week at first base, but Jose Abreu is the long-term first baseman.
  • Second base is an open competition with Carlos Sanchez, Micah Johnson and Emilio Bonifacio.
  • The third baseman is Conor Gillaspie.
  • "If five left-handed starters have the best stuff, we'll start five lefties."
  • "Eaton has the green light [to run]".
Rick Hahn:
  • LaRoche is a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman. Their due diligence on him said he was "one of the most outstanding clubhouse leaders" with comparisons to guys like Mike Sweeney, Sean Casey and Jim Thome.
  • LaRoche's swing and spray chart translate well to U.S. Cellular Field.
  • Tyler Saladino is the third best defensive shortstop in the organization after Alexei Ramirez and Cleuluis Rondon.
  • Relievers are very volatile so long-term contracts are a risk for overpay. But we feel good about Zach Duke and David Robertson.
  • "We were not the highest bidder [for Robertson]. That doesn't necessarily mean we didn't overpay." [Nice of Rick to at least acknowledge the high(er) risk.]
  • We targeted two free agent left-handed relievers. The reason we felt good about signing Duke was his mechanics. The reason we felt good about signing Robertson was his repertoire.
  • Don Cooper is very excited to work with Hector Noesi in spring training to build on the mechanical adjustments they made last season. Cooper is "really bullish on Noesi."
  • Nate Jones needs to slow down in his rehab [meaning he's pushing things too far, too quick]. I've talked to his representation about this. His likely return is around the All-Star break or August 1.
  • After Jones and Matt Lindstrom went down, we decided we needed to learn about what our bullpen guys can do. Things we did may have looked odd, like bringing in Zach Putnam after Jake Petricka. But we wanted to see what Zach's splitter would do against lefties.
Jerry Reinsdorf:
  • "How the budget works is I set a budget. Then Kenny figures out a way to get a little more out of me. Then he's got more lies to get more. Then we're suddenly $25M over budget."
Reinsdorf and Bobby Jenks:
  • Jenks talks about a game in which he blew the save and was taken out of the game. Reinsdorf asks "Who won the game?". Jenks replies "We did. That's all that matters."
Adam Eaton:
  • My approach [at the plate] is always evolving. Generally, every pitch I'm looking fastball and adjusting to slow stuff.
Todd Steverson:
  • "People need to keep in mind that Dayan Viciedo is only 24." [Viciedo turns 26 in March.]
Don Cooper:
  • Recounts a conversation between Orlando Hernandez and Jose Contreras. "Duque told Jose 'you not real Cuban. I'm real Cuban. I swim here. You fly first class.'"
David Robertson:
  • My approach is "fastball down and away and then curveball."
  • He wanted to come to Chicago because he saw the White Sox were putting effort into building a team - LaRoche, Duke, heard a trade for a starter was coming (later found out it was Jeff Samardzija).