- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Gavin Floyd solidified his spot in the Chicago White Sox rotation on Friday with a solid performance against the Chicago Cubs. Floyd, who was considered trade material this offseason, is now looked at as an important part of the Sox pitching staff.
“He looked great today,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He has been getting better and better every time out. When he has the command that he had today he is awfully tough to hit.”
Floyd threw five-plus innings, giving up just a lone run to the Cubs’ split-squad lineup.
“I felt like everything was working pretty good today,” Floyd said “I threw some changeups in there that were pretty good. I was using everything, which is a really good place to be (now.)”
Floyd will either be the fourth or fifth starter to open the season, depending on how quickly John Danks gets back to his pre-shoulder surgery form.
Sox manager Robin Ventura said that he was unsure if Sox infielder Jeff Keppinger would return to the team on Saturday or Sunday. Keppinger left the club on Thursday to attend to some personal business. He had missed a week with a sore right shoulder. Ventura will have him in the lineup upon his return.
Jesse Crain was on the mound in a minor league game on Friday when he took a line drive off of the right hip. Ventura said Crain was checked out by the training staff and reports were good. Crain had not pitched against any real competition since late February due to a groin strain. Crain should be able to go again in the next couple of days.
The Sox now have 41 players remaining in camp: 21 pitchers, three catchers, 11 infielders and six outfielders.