Sox rookie pitchers just keep on walking
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter September 1, 2013 8:29PM
Updated: October 3, 2013 6:22AM
BOSTON — A day after pitching coach Don Cooper’s “walks suck” rant, White Sox pitchers kept it up. Eight walks — especially four by rookie starter Andre Rienzo — stood out in a 7-6 loss Sunday to the Red Sox.
Rienzo lasted three innings. Rookie Charlie Leesman walked four, too, but got away with a high walk total for the second time in as many outings.
“We have some young guys who will have to learn while they’re here,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “Sometimes it doesn’t look pretty, and you have to learn from it and keep going. That’s for us to keep preaching and making it get better.’’
Eye on September
With Leesman joining the team as a September call-up and Erik Johnson likely following in the next couple of days, rest for starters is in the plans.
“It’s more than likely that guys will get an extra day here and there just to put a guy in there and see what he can do,’’ Ventura said.
“As far as pitch counts, you go by the game and how they’re feeling. There’s no set number on keeping them under a certain amount of pitches. It’s just more of where they’re at and what they look like in the game, and you go from there.’’
Rest for slumping Beckham
Leury Garcia played second base and batted second, giving Gordon Beckham a day off. Beckham is 7-for-50 in his last 13 games, dropping his average from .313 to .283.
“You can see him getting frustrated,’’ Ventura said. “It’s just a day to kind of take it off his mind.’’
Ventura said Beckham hasn’t felt comfortable at the plate.
“But you got to figure out a way to get it back,’’ he said. “Sometimes you go too far and do too much and go back to square one. So that’s probably where he’s at right now.’’
The fleet Garcia was 1-for-5 (infield single) with a stolen base and two strikeouts.
The right stuff
Avisail Garcia was back in right field after starting two of the last three in center. Coach Daryl Boston, a former outfielder, said the 6-4, 240-pounder looks comfortable in center, “but talking to him, he’s more comfortable in right.’’
Boston will need to see more of Garcia in center to be convinced he can be an every-day player there.
“He’s athletic enough to handle it,’’ Boston said. “Center is about being able to take charge. He can cover the ground and make the throws. It’s a matter of being in the right position.’’
Most view Garcia as a right fielder because of his body type, Boston said.
“Center field for me is somebody like Lance Johnson who can go gap to gap,’’ Boston said. “I’m not saying he can’t, but physically, he’s someone who’ll have to grow on me.’’
Ties that bind
Matt Thornton has allowed two runs in 92/3 innings since the Sox traded him to Boston. Thornton missed 20 days with a right oblique strain. He has made seven consecutive scoreless appearances.
“It was hard when it happened,’’ Thornton said of the July 12 trade. “It’s 71/2 years of my life and my career. My daughter was born in Chicago. In ’08 we made the playoffs, and I saw a lot of great individual accomplishments — [Mark] Buehrle’s perfect game and no-hitter, [Jim] Thome’s 500th homer.’’