De Aza, Rios back Thursday from World detour
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org March 20, 2013 11:52PM
World Baseball Classic - Championship - Puerto Rico v Dominican Republic
Updated: April 22, 2013 12:19PM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Center fielder Alejandro De Aza and right fielder Alex Rios are due back Thursday from the World Baseball Classic.
Without them, the Sox haven’t had a feel for who they are, so they’re glad to have their probable leadoff hitter and No. 3 hitter back with nine games left before Opening Day.
“We don’t have two guys in our starting lineup, so I don’t think we really know yet,’’ second baseman Gordon Beckham said.
Beckham (3-for-4), who doubled to left-center and singled Wednesday against Brandon McCarthy after hitting a home run against Homer Bailey the day before, feels like he’s in a good enough place to begin the season, but he’s not quite there yet.
“There are some things I want to accomplish in this last week, but I feel good about where I’m at,’’ he said. “I want to bunt a bit, run a bit and make sure I’m seeing my pitches, having a plan and executing the plan.’’
Right-hander Brian Omogrosso has had a strong spring — no earned runs in seven appearances — after posting a 2.57 ERA in 17 appearances and 21 innings as a rookie last season. Should Jesse Crain not be ready to start the season with the team, Omogrosso and former Dodger Ramon Troncoso — 1.69 ERA in a Cactus League-high 10 appearances — would be considered.
“I put myself in the position I want to be in right now,’’ said Omogrosso, who pitched a scoreless inning Wednesday. “I know how numbers work out and how this roster is set up. I’m just happy to be a Plan B and be somebody who is ready and waiting.’’
Omogrosso was more of an unknown last year who admits he put a lot of pressure on himself in camp.
“Comfortability is different this year,’’ he said. “[Pitching coach Don Cooper ] knows what I can do; things like that ease the other things. You feel like one of the guys now.’’
Crain took another step toward getting back, pitching in a minor-league game. He gave up one run and two hits, throwing 23 pitches in one inning. Crain was not available to reporters.
Viciedo sits one out
Left fielder Dayan Viciedo’s right quad acted up when he pulled into third base after hitting a triple Tuesday against the Reds. Viciedo came out of the game and didn’t play Wednesday. He felt much better after getting treatment and took batting practice.
“I feel good, and I feel like maybe [I’ll play Thursday],’’ he said. “I’ll get a chance to play. But I’m definitely not going to push it before I need to. It’s nothing major. It’s something I should be able to work through.’’
Adam Dunn, who made seven starts in left field the last two years, got the start in Viciedo’s place. Dunn was anxious because he hadn’t used an outfielder’s glove before Wednesday’s workout, so his was far from broken in.
Dunn charged hard on a single and threw out Rod Barajas from second. Not to take anything away from the 6-6, 285-pound Dunn’s throw, but his lack of quickness might have factored into Barajas being on second with a double instead of a single, though.