Sox fall to A’s, 6-5 but Delmonico stays hot

Busy day: López found himself pitching through traffic, but all in all a nice debut. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)


Mr. Captain, Tim Anderson, had a little fun going into the game this afternoon just to remind everyone that the White Sox are playing a game in Iowa later this season.

All that farming earned Anderson a day off today, and among regulars, he wasn’t alone. The starting lineup was a mesh of everything. Reynaldo López was on the bump to start, with Luis Robert and Edwin Encarnación as the only other everyday starters in the lineup. Danny Mendick, Zack Collins, and Adam Engel all appear to be bench bats, though any could be pushed back to Charlotte. Nick Madrigal could push Mendick back to Charlotte, but odds are he won’t due to service time. Gavin Sheets, Nicky Delmonico, and Cheslor Cuthbert rounded out the depth, as well as the lineup.

However, maybe Delmonico heard us just call him depth, and that pushed him to continue his spring hot streak.

Delmonico hit his first homer of his spring, a couple batters after Luis Robert singled up the middle on the first pitch of the game. Robert would also steal second a couple of pitches later.

On the pitching side was López, a guy who needs to show improvement very quickly this season. It seems like today was a “work on the breaking ball and hope it goes well” type of day. It seemed like the curve was López’s breaking pitch of choice, but honestly without the straight-on camera for webcasts, it could have just been a loopier slider. Whatever the case, López’s results were no different from any other year. His breaking pitch was in the dirt a lot of the time, but it also got some outs and bad contact, including a decent number of grounders, which López needs. His control just was not there, and who can blame a guy for not having command of breaking balls in his first spring training start.

López finished his day with a lot of threes: three innings, Ks and hits, and one run.

Delmonico singled n his second at-bat to push his spring batting average past .400. Maybe the Sox didn’t need to trade for Nomar Mazara after all? Encarnación, Sheets, and Mendick all failed to reach base. Encarnación actually has not collected a hit yet in any of the fake games. Collins continues to get walks and in this game actually had a single — but he still has more walks (six) than hits (two).

Madrigal and Engel were the ones having the most fun after the first inning, at least from a batter’s perspective. Engel went 2-for-2 and scored a run off of a bloop Madrigal single. Madrigal still hasn’t showed anything besides the uncanny ability to hit singles, which is the biggest knock against him.

Meanwhile, the relievers did not provide any relief. Adalberto Mejía, who was doing fine so far this spring, hit a wall. He was only able to get one out and left the game with the bases loaded. Carson Fulmer was on the mound when two earned runs were charged to Mejia off of a jam to center. Fulmer did not have his best stuff today overall in his 1 ⅔ innings. Evan Marshall, on the other hand, did look good. He breezed by an inning of work and left the game for potential future closer Tyler Johnson.

Unfortunately for Johnson, White Sox legend Ryan Goins had his number. With a couple runners on base, Goins grabbed a couple of RBIs with a single to right field; Johnson was lifted shortly after. So, overall, the pitching was not great today. But it’s March 3, and everybody is working on particular things.

Among the replacement hitters, a few guys were ready to take over; in particular, Andrew Vaughn.

It was not a great route by the right fielder, but Vaughn is hitting .417 now after the double to the opposite field. Even if his spring is a huge success, the odds of Vaughn breaking with the team are zero, but maybe a strong spring leads to a start in Birmingham and a path to MLB by season’s end — or at least a 2019 Robert-like advancement schedule. Whatever happens, Vaughn can hit. Although he made the game interesting, the White Sox could not finish a spring comeback, as the A’s shut the door in the ninth.

The White Sox visit the Brewers tomorrow at 2:05 CT. Joltin’ Joe Resis has your SSHP coverage.

 

Podcast 17: Yolmer Sánchez, and more Cactus chat


Effervescent engagement editor Ashley Sanders hops on the podcast with Brett Ballantini to talk (natch) the dear, departed Yolmer Sánchez. Also, learn about Ashley’s road to Sox fandom and persistent tryout for a “boys” baseball All-Star team. Finally, we wrap with some Cactus talk, including the amazing February of Yermín Mercedes and Carson Fulmer’s last stand.

I don’t know how many times I need to keep saying this, but hell yes we’re on Apple Podcasts.

Look, it’s spring training, OK? White Sox fall to Padres, 3-1

Mark Buehrle, is that you? Don Cooper looks on as Dallas Keuchel readies himself for his first appearance of the spring. Also, that glove. I need that glove. Dallas, care to help another lefty out? (Janice Scurio/South Side Hit Pen)


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Hey, look, it’s spring training.

What else do you need to hear? We saw a solid, four-inning start from seafoam-green glove owner Dallas Keuchel, who gave up one run on six hits, striking out one and walking one. However, the White Sox fell to the San Diego Padres at Camelback Ranch on Monday afternoon, 3-1.

Though yours truly is especially guilty for being over-excited by the lineup announcement — what, Moncada and Anderson as a 1-2 punch? Abreu batting third? Honestly, I’m still biting my fist — the offensive production seemed to take Monday off. No one seemed to be able to figure out Padres starter Chris Paddack.

Yeah, it’s spring training, and it’s probably not too ideal to unpack a game like this, but, heck, let’s do it anyway.


Chris Paddack happened, OK?

What was Paddack’s deal anyway? If I can be any clearer on this, well, he might be good. Paddack is carrying over a 2.9 bWAR from his rookie season last year, where he went 9-7 with a 3.33 ERA — and a 0.981 WHIP. This afternoon, Paddack did not fall behind in the count at all; he seemed to stay ahead of hitters consistently and especially took advantage of notoriously impatient hitters, namely Tim Anderson early in the first inning.

 

Though I was hoping to see some reprieve once Paddack was removed, the Padres bullpen didn’t waver, holding the Good Guys to one solitary earned run off of five hits. Eloy Jiménez accounted for 28% of hit production for the White Sox, going 2-for-3.

Because I’m legally required to talk about Yermín Mercedes in anything I write now, I must mention that Mercedes legged out an incredible infield single in the eighth.

The ninth inning offered some classic RBDQ dramatics as Adam Engel reached on a wild pitch third strike, advancing to second on the play.Luis González singled, scoring Engel, accounting for the solitary White Sox run, but the rally was unfortunately stifled when Danny Mendick grounded into a double play, ending the game.


Some good things did, in fact, happen

We got to see some flashy defense by Anderson, Leury García, and Daniel Palka. Anderson especially helped Keuchel get some of his nine ground ball outs with some fantastic defensive work. I think this is a bright spot worth pointing out, given Anderson is frequently criticized for his defense, which he’s intended to improve over the offseason. This second inning play by Palka had me especially rolling:

James McCann might be better at framing? I caught him doing this exercise before game time, and he might have pulled a strike or two back into the zone:

We also saw a handful of solid outings from the pen: Aaron Bummer, Steve Cishek, and Kelvin Herrera gave up no hits in their respective one-inning performances.


Keuchel was fine, honestly

Though the first inning might have been worrisome, Keuchel had an overall solid outing. He’s continuously said that he feels like he’s ahead of schedule, and gave us four decent innings and could have probably eaten more if this was a regular season game, like he’s wont to do. He held the Padres lineup to soft contact; nothing was really hit hard from my casual observation sitting in Section 117 at Camelback Ranch.

It’s good to remember to never fall out of love with a veteran during spring training.


Other sundry items

I was able to catch a little bit of the B game vs. the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday morning, where I saw Kodi Medeiros throw a few innings to Seby Zavala, who airmailed a throw late in the game, failing to throw a baserunner out. Andrew Vaughn, Nick Madrigal, Blake Rutherford and Luis Basabe were able to get some work in, while Brewers pitchers Adrian Houser and J.P. Feyereisen attempted to do the same. The White Sox dropped that game to the Brewers, 2-0.

It’s spring training, y’all.

The spring fun continues at Camelback Ranch tomorrow. This time, the White Sox send Reynaldo López up against the Oakland Athletics; they’ll be sending Chris Bassitt our way. The game is scheduled for a 2:05 CST start, and Darren Black has the SSHP coverage.