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Gamethread: Diamondbacks at White Sox

The South Siders are undefeated in spring! (which begins today)

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers
Jumping the line: Ervin Santana takes Lucas Giolito’s start this afternoon, his first with the White Sox.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The vernal equinox comes less than two hours after this afternoon’s start, so unless Mark Buehrle shows up and pitches for both teams, this will be the first Chicago White Sox game ending in spring. Forget the dismal winter season and celebrate new hope and rebirth, and all that good stuff.

The big rebirth Sox fans hope for today is that of Ervin Santana, starting his first official spring (or winter) game. Santana threw five innings in a B Game against the Padres Friday and did well, manhandling that Machado chump. More importantly, he came out of it saying he felt fine.

Santana missed almost all of last season with calcium deposits in his throwing fingers, but in 2017 had an All-Star season for the Minnesota Twins, with 16 wins and an MLB-leading five complete games and three shutouts. The Sox signed him to a minor league contract, worth $4.3 million if he makes the team, less than a third of what he had been making with the Twins. He’s 36, but Sox fans have to hope a year more or less off left some gas in the tank.

If so, there’s some hope for the rotation. If not, well, uh, in the words of another Santana, Oye Como Va. Or maybe it should be Evil Ways. And days.

An opening lineup of almost all soon-to-be-minor-leaguers (the White Sox apparently couldn’t even spare a major league catcher for Santana) may be hard-pressed to provide much offense. That’s especially true because top prospect Taylor Widener, the No. 2 Diamondbacks prospect per sister site AZ Snake Pit, is starting for Arizona.

Game time is 3:05 p.m. CT. NBC Sports Chicago has the broadcast.