March 17, 2011
And as Sale said afterwards, “Any time you go out there and get three outs and don’t give up any runs, you’ve got to be happy.”
Not so fast, Cooper countered a few minutes later.
“He’s still having location problems. Not throwing the fastball away from left-handers and getting it in to right-handers, and the breaking ball is not getting in enough,” Cooper said. “He’s leaving a few too many pitches out over the plate.
“But he’s got the day off, then we’ll work on it.”
Sale will lay low on Friday, then throw the “educational” bullpen session on Saturday.
“There’s still some things we need to work on,” Sale acknowledged, adding, “It will be an exciting week, but I hope this was the start of getting out of the funk I’ve been in.
“A couple of those balls were hit pretty good, on first-pitch fastballs. I could’ve done without getting the bases loaded, but I think we took another step forward, something to build on the next time.”
4th spot on the bench
There are eight players vying for this last bench spot alongside Ramon Castro, Mark Teahen, and Omar Vizquel. What’s sad, if not unsurprising, is that some of the best performers in camp come from this group of players, fighting for their major-league lives.
The Pick: Lastings Milledge
The pick could easily be at least five of the other seven players, but Milledge brings a “wow” factor to the White Sox that could prove crucial in the case of a prolonged slump or injury. The onetime first-rounder has proven nearly as sound defensively as Brent Lillibridge and Alejandro De Aza and is every bit the baserunner. He also brings more pop as evidenced by his pair of home runs on Thursday to bring his Cactus league total to four.
Fundamentally (bunting), he might trail the competition, but the White Sox have enough bunters on the roster. It also helps that as the fifth outfielder (given that Teahen will likely see a healthy chunk of time spelling Carlos Quentin in right), Milledge balances the bench as a right-hander, which gives him an advantage over De Aza. Perhaps the biggest advantage Milledge has over the competition is five walks against five strikeouts—all of the other aspirant outfielders are much heavier on the Ks.
More battles at the link.