GLENDALE, ARIZ. — Hello again from Spring Training! Today we were are Camelback Ranch, where the Sox tied the Cubs, 4-4. Hey, at least it wasn’t a loss.
We got to the complex early today, so there are lots of cool things to report. There were some good, bad, and ugly, and with my glass half-full approach this year, I’m going to start with all the positives.
Drills, drills, and more drills. We spent about 45 minutes watching the guys defend pop-ups — yelling loudly AND waving their hands — so here’s hoping that Adam Haseley doesn’t send anyone to the IL this season. There were also plenty of running and throwing drills.
The Sox bullpen arms were just excellent again today. The only run in 5 2⁄3 innings was surrendered by Davis Martin, who pitched three of the five. Other than the home run he gave up, Marin looked good, striking out four with nice movement and reaching 97 mph on his fastball.
Gregory Santos is surely making a case for himself on this roster. He pitched 1 1⁄3 and struck out four, maintaining his perfect ERA and reaching 100 MPH on at least one pitch.
Eloy Jiménez was back and doubled in his first at-bat. It was good to see him return from the World Baseball Classic and be 100% healthy.
Adam Haseley had himself a game, going 3-for-3 with an RBI. He was present for the defensive drills session, so I’m hoping he took plenty of notes.
Just when you thought Romy González was probably out of the picture to start with the team in Chicago, we might not be able to count him out quite yet. He hit a missile of a homer today, hustled out a ground ball that should have been a double play — and thus driving in a run — and played really good defense.
Unfortunately, I’ve got to mention the not-so-good parts of the game. Other than Eloy, the bats of the rest of the regular starters were just flat off of Cubs pitching that was anything but spectacular (it was a split-squad day for them, on top of them just being ... the Cubs). I’m hoping that some of these guys traditionally take a really long time to get going, specifically Andrew Benintendi. For the biggest contract in franchise history, he has yet to impress.
Last and least, Clevinger pitched 3 2⁄3 innings and did not look great. The end.
Sights and Sounds from the Complex
The absolute BEST part of the day was hearing the amazing Nancy Faust back at the organ! Hearing her play takes me right back to Old Comiskey Park. Not only did I enjoy her wonderful music, but I also met her! She is literally the sweetest human and just so humble.
There were quite a few players today signing and chatting with fans. Since the Sox took away Sox Fest, it was really nice to see them up close and talk with them about the season. Micheal Kopech said he’s ready to go and feeling good!
The big lefty Garrett Crochet was also out and about. It was great to see him looking healthy, and boy, is he TALL in person!
I also need to give another shout-out to Jake Burger. That guy stops for every single fan he sees. Because we saw him yesterday, we didn’t stop him for his autograph or a photo, but I am really rooting for that dude. He is truly a man of the people.
Finally, both Rick Hahn and Ken Williams were mingling with fans. Initially, I was going to have to roast Rick here because when I called his name, he started walking over, then changed his mind and went to talk to someone else. However, he came back around and over to where we were and talked a bit, and signed my ball. He joked that he “just reduced the value of my ball.” He’s probably not wrong, but what the heck? You only live once. Ken was very friendly and visited for a bit with us “older” fans. I thought to myself, “Boy, he’s aged,” and then I realized, yeah, haven’t we all?
It’s been an absolute blast being at Spring Training. Unfortunately, tomorrow it’s back to the tundra of Illinois. Next week, I’ll be writing up a column on the overall experience at Spring Training and encouraging everyone to put it on their bucket list!
Who was the MVP of today’s 4-4 tie with the Cubs?
This poll is closed
Adam Haseley: 3-for-3, R, 2B, CS, participated in don’t-kill-guys-on-popups drills before the game
Erik González: 3-for-3, 2B, RBI
Romy González: 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, R, K, 2 LOB
"The Gonzálezes": Don’t make me choose
Gregory Santos: 1 1⁄3 IP, 4 K
Reynaldo López: IP, 2 K
Ken Williams: Mildly smiling for a selfie!
Rick Hahn: Rallying an earlier blowoff with a self-deprecating autograph
Melissa Sage-Bollenbach: Capturing it all for us for two days straight
Who was the Cold Cat of today’s 4-4 tie at Camelback Ranch?
This poll is closed
The starter, with 3 ER and 2 HR in 3 2⁄3 innings
Oscar Colás: 0-for-3, 2 K, LOB
Elvis Andrus: 0-for-3, K, 2 LOB, GIDP
Hanser Alberto: 0-for-3, K. LOB