White Sox 9, Padres 6
Farewell, Cactus League
Leury Garcia homered and minor-league catcher Xavier Fernandez hit his second long ball in two games as the Sox completed the Cactus League with a 9-10 record. Michael Kopech struggled in his tuneup for his start Sunday in Detroit.
“Everybody would like to have more time but nobody has,” manager Tony La Russa said of the short camp. “We’re as ready as we can be. The guys worked hard.”
Banks, Sousa make team
Bennett Sousa and Tanner Banks will make their first Opening Day rosters as the second and third left-handed relievers behind Aaron Bummer.
A 10th-round Sox draft pick in 2018, Sousa “turned some heads, opened some eyes,” assistant general manager Chris Getz said. “He’s got the ability to get both sided hitters out, which is very valuable in the game nowadays.”
Banks, 30, is a surprise selection. A lifetime minor-leaguer drafted in the 18th round by the Sox in 2014, “his stuff really jumped,” Getz said.
Banks struck out 11 and walked two while allowing four runs in 7⅔ innings this spring.
The 28-man Opening Day roster has not been announced.
Another newcomer to the bullpen will be right-hander Kyle Crick, who finished a pristine spring with his seventh scoreless relief appearance in as many outings. Crick has a 3.44 career ERA with 44 appearances with the Giants and Pirates over five seasons.
Garcia will be the Opening Day shortstop. He’s no Tim Anderson, but he’s the longest-tenured Sox, so having the distinction of playing his favorite position will be a nice moment.
Anderson is serving a two-game suspension for bumping umpire Tim Timmons during a bench-clearing melee in Detroit last September.
“I’ll take care of it for him,” Garcia said. “I love it, I love the position. That’s the position I played coming up in minor-league baseball.”
“We all know what we want and where we want to be at the end of the season. We have some injuries right now, and with guys we really need. But we have enough guys to compete.”