Sox’ Welington Castillo more worried about pitch execution than holding runners
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It was a big game Monday for White Sox catcher Welington Castillo — and not just because of his go-ahead home run in the eighth inning.
Also in the eighth, Castillo threw out the Royals’ Hunter Dozier trying to steal second. It was the first time a Sox catcher had thrown out a baserunner this season.
But as Castillo pointed out Tuesday, controlling the running game isn’t just on the catcher.
‘‘Holding runners is huge, especially with that type of team that we’re playing [the Royals],’’ Castillo said. ‘‘It’s an aggressive team. It’s part of my job to try to make a good throw, but at the same time, [the pitchers] need to give me the time to throw him out. We’ve been working really hard together.’’
That said, Castillo is also aware that some pitchers might not be comfortable with the slide step, and that can’t get in the way of throwing strikes.
‘‘I’m the type of guy that I’m going to say, ‘If you don’t feel comfortable doing the quick slide step, don’t do it,’ ’’ Castillo said. ‘‘I’m more worried about executing the pitch. . . . Even if it’s part of my job because I need to throw that guy out, if I don’t throw [the ball], that’s fine.
‘‘That’s not going to be really good for us, but if you feel comfortable lifting your leg high and you’re going to execute the pitch, I’m good with that.’’
Working in the field
Four hours before the game, Eloy Jimenez was out taking fly balls, sinking liners and pretty much anything else a left fielder might encounter.
Manager Rick Renteria said Jimenez was working on his jumps and routes, on getting behind the ball and on so-called ‘‘do-or-die’’ plays, in which a game would end if a catch isn’t made.
Renteria also said he has given Jimenez examples of how fellow outfielders Adam Engel, Leury Garcia and Daniel Palka go for the ball.
‘‘The one thing he is doing — and I think you notice it now — he is doing a lot of work,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘He’s taking a lot of balls off the bat.’’
A step forward?
Palka entered the game 0-for-29 this season, but the Sox hope he took a step forward when he drew two walks and was hit by a pitch Monday.
That Palka was able to do that and tire the opposing pitcher was something Renteria saw as encouraging — and valuable.
‘‘Those are little things,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘I know they don’t get into the categories that are listed for processing positives attributed in a game, but for all of you guys who watch the game of baseball and know the game of baseball, you know the value that holds.’’
There were no such positives Tuesday. Palka went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a double-play grounder to fall to 0-for-32.