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Notes from White Sox Spring Training: Flat offense, but a lot to be encouraged by

For the first time in a while, we had a writer covering the Cactus League!

Jake Burger makes another forever fan.
Melissa Sage-Bollenbach/South Side Sox

GOODYEAR, ARIZ. — It was a gorgeous day in Goodyear after there was hard-pouring rain and flooding in some areas of Arizona yesterday.

Yes — I visit the desert, and it rains and floods. Pretty much par for my game.

Goodyear Ballpark
Melissa Sage-Bollenbach/South Side Sox

Here are some takeways from today’s 5-1 loss; it’s nice to get a real look at what’s happening on the field:

  • Other than Nick Avila, the rest of the pitching looked really pretty stellar!
  • Keynan Middleton gave up the one run in his only inning, but the rest of the relief corps got the job done.
  • Jesse Scholtens had the Guardians swinging at everything, which was exciting to see. He had five strikeouts on the day, and only surrendered three hits in his three innings pitched.
  • Jimmy Lambert, who had been struggling of late, was lights-out. His movement and velocity seem to be heading in the right direction.
  • Frank Germán continues to impress. He made his fifth appearance today and gave up a walk and a strikeout while maintaining his spotless ERA this spring.
  • The offense was, well, other than the first inning, just kinda meh. They did get to Triston McKenzie early, but being the stud he is, he was able to shut it down after that.
  • Hanser Alberto keeps on hitting, with another safety today, and it will be really interesting to see if the Sox find a spot for him on the roster.
Hanser Alberto, signing autographs.
Melissa Sage-Bollenbach/South Side Sox
  • On the defensive end, Oscar Colás scared the crap out of everyone with his diving catch in center field, as an audible gasp emitted from all the Sox fans in our section. The play was impressive, but honestly, no one wants to see that in Spring Training. Flashback images of Eloy Jiménez hanging from the wall were all I could see as he made that diving catch.
  • The Sox also managed to execute a flawless rundown at one point! No one dropped the ball or ran into each other.
  • One of the most exciting things I saw today was ... stretching. Yes, all the pregame stretching that the Sox did, with quite a few coaches helping, as well as many random pieces of equipment. In the past, I’ve observed players sort of taking it easy with their pregame prep in this regard, but they were all very active in participating today. So let’s cross our fingers for no or limited injuries!
Getting the early work in.
Melissa Sage-Bollenbach/South Side Sox

So, even though the Sox couldn’t pull off a win today, there were definitely some positives to take away. Overall, I’m still a bit worried about our offense and inability to score runs. As of today, the South Siders have a -10 run differential. So while they are keeping their opponents from scoring big, they can’t seem to run into very many themselves.

It’s off to Camelback Ranch tomorrow, for round two of the White Sox and Cubs. Even though these games don’t count, these matchups are always fun, regardless.

Oh, and one more thing. Jake Burger is just an awesome dude. Here’s a selfie he took with my son, Sage, after signing his autograph.

Jake Burger, man of the people.
Melissa Sage-Bollenbach/South Side Sox

Just kidding, one last thing. Here’s a closeup of Oscar. Kid is a BEAST! Oh, and he spent a ton of time signing the kids’ autographs.

Beast mode.
Melissa Sage-Bollenbach/South Side Sox

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