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New faces bring new hope

Sun-Times sportswriter Daryl Van Schouwen. January 27 2012 | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

Sun-Times sportswriter Daryl Van Schouwen. January 27, 2012 | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

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Updated: May 14, 2014 12:33AM

OAKLAND, Calif. — The White Sox took an 11-0 beating Tuesday, lost their fourth game in a row and fell three games below .500, which is looking like too lofty a goal for a team that was 36 below last season.

Don Cooper hates losing as much as the next pitching coach, but for him it’s somewhat easier to endure this season.

“Losing still sucks, but this year is a whole different ballgame for me,’’ Cooper said before the Sox and 29-year-old rookie Scott Carroll got clobbered by the Oakland A’s. “Because even when we lose a ballgame, it’s different. We’re doing it with energy, life, grind, enthusiasm, fight, hustle. And we’re younger.’’

Cooper has had his hands full overseeing a pitching staff operating with two-fifths of what he started with on Opening Day because of injuries (Chris Sale, Felipe Paulino) and ineffectiveness (Erik Johnson) and a bullpen that took three weeks to get situated. A long list of developing pitchers under his watch makes Cooper’s job description different than what he’s been accustomed to. The Sox almost always have been built to win during Cooper’s 12-year career.

This one is being built to win in 2015 and beyond. In the meantime, Cooper is finding the work environment — in large part created by players who are not under Cooper’s watch — better than last year.

“We were going through some development last season, and we were taking it on the chin every day,’’ Cooper said. “It’s more difficult having young guys and you’re trying to get them experienced and better when you’re taking it on the chin 99 times.’’

Carroll (1-3, 5.24 ERA) took one on the chin Tuesday, allowing six runs and 11 hits in five innings. It was the second bad outing for the 29-year-old minor-league lifer after two good starts. The A’s got three of their four doubles against him in a four-run fifth, which also included a Josh Reddick homer. Brandon Moss homered against Frank Francisco and Matt Lindstrom.

A’s lefty Drew Pomeranz (3-1, 1.14) threw five easy innings, allowing three harmless singles.

The Sox will be better equipped when they get Chris Sale back from the disabled list — perhaps to face the New York Yankees at the end of next week — as well as leadoff man Adam Eaton on Sunday.

“We’ve always competed for divisions and champions, and then things got stale,” Cooper said. “We got older, slower and relied on the home run. But now with [hitting coach] Todd [Steverson] and the new guys … [Jose] Abreu, this guy changes the whole ballgame. This guy got everybody excited in the clubhouse. What a great addition, and he’s making this transition a whole lot nicer. And Eaton. He’s life, he’s energy, he’s trouble for the opponent.

“It’s kind of a new era for the White Sox.”


Jose Abreu (sore left ankle) was the designated hitter for the fifth consecutive game Tuesday. He likely will sit out Wednesday or Friday, allowing for a two-day rest with a day off Thursday. “There’s nothing structurally that you’re concerned about,’’ manager Robin Ventura said.

Abreu became the seventh player in major-league history to hit 14-plus homers in his first 40 career games when he homered in the ninth inning Monday.

◆ Second baseman Micah Johnson, who was leading the Southern League with a .329 average, was promoted to Class AAA Charlotte.


Twitter: @CST_soxvan

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