Pitchers get jump on reporting date

February, 16, 2011
Padilla By Doug Padilla
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- One day before Chicago White Sox pitchers and catchers are expected to report to spring training for their first official workout, most of the group was already present Wednesday.

[+] EnlargeMatt Thornton
Jerry Lai/US PresswireMatt Thornton is a leading candidate for the closer job.
Nearly everybody got in a workout as well, except for Mark Buehrle, who dropped off a few things and left with his two kids, asking if he could meet with the media on Thursday.

Most everybody else was up for talking, though, including starters John Danks, Edwin Jackson and Gavin Floyd, who became a father for the first time this winter and proudly showed off photos on his phone. Gordon Beckham was also on hand in advance of Tuesday’s reporting date for position players.

Among the big topics of discussion was the likelihood that this camp will be void of outside distractions, unlike last year.

“There’s always things that happen in baseball and just focus on what you can do,” Floyd said. “This team didn’t get discouraged or distracted over things that happened last year. I think we’ll all have the same mentality and desire to win and focus on the things we need to focus on. We’ve always had that.”

Manager Ozzie Guillen would up firing his son last spring over Twitter messages critical of the club, and the emotions surrounding the incident led to a season-long feud with general manager Kenny Williams.

Williams and Guillen started to patch up their relationship at the end of last season and continued to renew their bond in the offseason. At the same time, Williams was getting serious by putting together a bold spending plan that chairman Jerry Reinsdorf ultimately approved.

Instead of going young, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski were re-signed and Adam Dunn was added to the fold.

“I think we have a different attitude,” Beckham said. “Throughout the organization from Jerry down, there is a different attitude here. We’re here to play and here to compete. That will be the most important thing.”

Closer on a closer: For now, the White Sox are planning on a closer-by-committee situation, but the belief is that it won’t stay that way all season.

“I think it should be one guy,” said left-hander Matt Thornton, one of the leading candidates for the job. “You have that focal guy at the end, designated as a closer. He can’t throw every single game so you have other guys fill in, like any other team does.

“It’s one of those things where you need to have everyone work to that point. He’s the guy throwing the ninth inning and everyone else works to get the ball there based on situations and matchups and stuff.”

Sergio Santos, Chris Sale and Jesse Crain will also be considered for the role.

Tee time: Guillen made just a brief appearance at the team’s spring training complex, stopping by just long enough to pick up his golf clubs.

Guillen played a round with bench coach Joey Cora and posted this video of Cora's swing.

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.



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Chris Sale
12 2.20 198 168
BAJ. Abreu .319
HRJ. Abreu 35
RBIJ. Abreu 104
RA. Ramirez 79
OPSJ. Abreu .978
ERAC. Sale 2.20
SOC. Sale 198