Jose Quintana shelled in Cactus finale; White Sox’ roster almost set
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The White Sox had a flat finish to their Cactus League season Thursday, losing 10-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Sox pitchers gave up 16 hits. Left-hander Jose Quintana got knocked around for eight including four doubles in only two innings of work, giving up six runs. Zach Putnam gave up three hits and a run in one inning and Kyle Drabek allowed three runs on three hits, although the runs were unearned because of an error at first base by Conor Gillaspie.
“I threw a lot of strikes, but I missed a few breaking balls, especially ahead in the count,’’ said Quintana, who struck out three and walked none. “When this happens, you get doubles and good swings. But I feel great, and I don’t think about it. I think now about the season.’’
On the plus side, Matt Albers and left-hander Dan Jennings each pitched two scoreless innings.
Jose Abreu went 1-for-3 finishing the spring with a .508 batting average and hitting safely in his last 16 games.
The Sox had one minor scare when second baseman Micah Johnson was shaken up after diving to his right on a single allowed by Quintana. Johnson appeared to hurt his right side, and was visited by trainer Brian Ball but stayed in the game.
The Sox finished the spring with an 11-17-3 record.
Roster not quite set
The Sox left the desert for Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday with one final piece in the bullpen waiting to be set this weekend.
They figure to open with a seven-man pen: Closer David Robertson, right-handers Putnam, Albers, Javy Guerra and Drabek and lefties Zach Duke and Jennings. Maikel Cleto struggled this spring (11.74 ERA) and has been outperformed by Drabek, who was placed on the 40-man roster when the Sox acquired him on waivers.
Here’s who’s certain for Opening Day: Starters Jeff Samardzija, Jose Quintana, John Danks and Hector Noesi, catchers Tyler Flowers and Geovany Soto, infielders Jose Abreu, Adam LaRoche, Micah Johnson, Carlos Sanchez, Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez and Conor Gillaspie, infielder-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio and outfielders Melky Cabrera, Adam Eaton, Avisail Garcia and B.J. Shuck.
The Sox play an exhibition against their AAA affiliate Friday night before heading to Kansas City for Monday’s opener (3 p.m.). The team will hold a workout at Kauffman Sunday afternoon.
Ventura “happy” with camp
Chris Sale (foot) and Jake Petricka (elbow) will start the season on the disabled list, two significant losses, although Sale figures to miss only one start. When Petricka returns is more of an unknown. Aside from those, manager Robin Ventura was pleased with camp.
“I’m happy,’’ he said. “The biggest thing is everybody for the most part is ready to go. We do have some nicks here and there that you would like to see cleaned up health-wise but for the most part we feel like we’ll be complete in a couple of weeks.’’
The second base competition
Johnson seems to have won the Opening Day job at second base, although Ventura isn’t confirming. If that’s the case, Carlos Sanchez – who out-hit Johnson .436 to .339 – earned a nice consolation prize by making the team, although he may be on the bubble when Sale comes off the DL.
Sanchez, who uses a team translator during interviews, leaned on Johnson to do the job Thursday morning. Johnson speaks fluent Spanish.
“I’ve been working hard every day to reach my goal,’’ Sanchez said. “I’m excited.’’
Sanchez isn’t as fast as Johnson and some project him as a utility player. He’s a switch-hitter who can play more positions than Johnson.
“I want to work on my base stealing, I want to steal more bases,’’ Sanchez said.
Johnson also talked about making the Opening Day roster as a rookie.
“It’s a blessing,’’ Johnson said. “It makes you think about all the Little League games you had and all the people who helped you get here. It’s awesome.’’
This and that
Brad Penny and Scott Carroll were reassigned to minor league camp and are headed to AAA Charlotte.
*Former Sox outfielder Brian Anderson, 33, who was given a shot at a comeback in minor league camp, was released.