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Gamethread: Mariners at White Sox

South Siders looking to kickstart their offense in Jesse Scholtens’ Sox debut

MLB: Spring Training-San Diego Padres-Workouts
Do not adjust your set: Jesse Scholtens, late of the Padres, makes his ChiSox debut today.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I am kicking off my 2023 coverage on my birthday! The Sox better get a win, as I need to start the season with some good vibes. On the beautiful day of my birth, February 27, the Chicago White Sox and the Seattle Mariners will play a Spring Training game at Camelback Ranch. The Sox have lost their first two Cactus League matchups, with the offense looking extremely anemic, scoring only two runs over both games. It’s early — I know, I know — I’m just having 2022 flashbacks.

Seattle had an impressive 2022 season, ending with a 90-72 record and securing second place in the AL West behind the World Series Champion Houston Astros. Unfortunately for M’s fans who’d waited a couple of decades to get back to the playoffs, they were swept by Houston in the ALDS, 3-0. The Mariners hope to build upon their strong 2022 season and give the Astros some heavy competition in 2023. They have a solid roster, including one of the brightest stars in the game, Julio Rodríguez. ZiPS projects the M’s to be a serious contender this season, as a 85 to 90-win team.

So far this spring, Seattle has a 1-2 record and is coming off of a 7-8 loss yesterday against the Kansas City Royals. Today, they will send righthander Chris Flexen to the mound. Flexen is in his third season with the Mariners, and in 33 games and 22 starts last year, he was 8-9 with a 3.73 ERA, 95 strikeouts, 132 hits, and 1.33 WHIP in 137 2⁄3 innings. Flexen looks to be one of a handful of pitchers up for consideration to cover the fifth spot in the M’s rotation.

The White Sox are sending right-handed non-roster invitee Jesse Scholtens to the bump, looking for their first Spring Training win. On Dec. 22, 2022, the Sox signed the free agent to a minor league contract. Scholtens was selected out of Wright State by the San Diego Padres in the ninth round of the 2016 draft and has spent his entire professional career in San Diego’s minor league system. In 37 appearances with the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas in 2022, he went 4-4 with a 4.10 ERA, 92 strikeouts, 82 hits, and 1.36 WHIP in 83 1⁄3 innings. The 28, soon-to-be 29-year-old has strikeout stuff with a 9.94 K/9, but it has yet to translate into widespread success.

Here is the starting lineup for the White Sox:

Here is the starting lineup for the Mariners. There is an old friend alert, with AJ Pollock playing left for the M’s.

Catch the Spring Training action on NBC Sports Chicago and ESPN 1000 at 2:05 pm CT.