Rookie Daniel Webb allows no runs in first outing for White Sox
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter March 9, 2014 10:44PM
Updated: March 9, 2014 11:39PM
PHOENIX — Rookie Daniel Webb got through his first inning this spring, allowing a couple of hits but striking out John Jaso to leave runners on second and third.
Webb, 24, who has a chance to make the Opening Day roster and might even be in the mix to be the closer, missed a week to be with his family after his mother passed away on Feb. 27 at her home in Paducah, Ky. Sandra Webb, a wife and mother of four, was 54.
“Being back here keeps my mind off it,’’ Webb said. “It’s good to be back and see everybody. I’m ready to get going.’’
Petricka in the mix
If Webb and Jake Petricka are in contention for a bullpen spot, Petricka — who showed well after an August call-up — isn’t stressing over what the Sox decide.
“I’ll let those things play out,’’ Petricka said. “Either way, end of March, I have to prepare to pitch for somebody.’’
Petricka, 25, tossed a perfect inning Sunday against the Athletics, striking out Jake Goebbert. He had a 3.26 ERA in 191/3 innings last season and posted a 1.17 ERA at Class AAA and a 2.06 ERA at Class AA.
“I faced big-league hitters in live games last year, and I know I can pitch at that level,’’ he said.
Petricka handled whatever pressure came with his first go-around with ease.
“I actually didn’t have too many nerves,’’ he said. “The crowd would get into it, and it would make you feel good. Not a bad nervousness, I was more like this is what it’s supposed to be — fun, energy in the crowd.’’
Jose Abreu has two hits in 14 plate appearances, a double and homer that produced four runs. But he hasn’t whiffed yet, which can’t be a bad sign.
“It would be great to go 162 [games] without striking out, wouldn’t it?’’ hitting coach Todd Steverson said. “I’d say it’s good discipline. That’s what we’re looking for out of everybody. If you have a power-hitting first baseman who strikes out 60, 75 times and puts it in play the rest of the time, you’re going to have a good player. For me, that’s the kind of discipline I’m looking for. Hopefully, that rubs off on the other 8-12 guys.’’
This and that
Jose Quintana, who left Saturday’s game after facing two batters when he was struck on the shin by a batted ball, appears to be on pace to make his scheduled start Thursday.
“I feel a little bit of pain, but it’s normal for the first day,’’ Quintana said. ‘‘Tomorrow it will be OK.”
◆ Infielder Jeff Keppinger (sore shoulder) is improving but still limited to DHing. Keppinger, who signed a three-year, $12 million contract before last season, had shoulder surgery on Sept. 26. “It’s been slower than you would think, but it continues to get better,’’ manager Robin Ventura said.