Buehrle savors Opening Day nod
February 25, 2011 10:12PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Mark Buehrle will start his ninth Opening Day for the White Sox, and the assignment is every bit the big deal it was his first time.
‘‘It’s a great honor,’’ Buehrle said Friday before the Sox took the field for spring-training workouts at Camelback Ranch.
They open their season at Cleveland on April 1.
‘‘It’s like an All-Star appearance,’’ Buehrle said. ‘‘A lot of people say it gets old, but I don’t know how it can get old. It’s a build-up from the offseason with all the offseason moves we made. It’s going to be a great atmosphere, and I’ll try to get us on the right foot.’’
Buehrle, 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA on Opening Day, had a clunker at Progressive Field in 2008 when he was tagged for seven runs in 12/3 innings.
‘‘Oh, it was an ugly one,’’ manager Ozzie Guillen said. ‘‘Please don’t do that again.’’
Friday’s workout was devoted to bunting, rundowns and other fundamentals, but Guillen doesn’t like going overboard time-wise.
‘‘This is not Instructional League,’’ he said. ‘‘This is not the minor leagues. This is a big-league camp. I got that from Bobby Cox. The drills we have to do is because it’s a reminder. But we’re not coming here to teach.’’
Guillen did take a moment to work with Gordon Beckham on his bunting. But he said he offered a suggestion, not a ‘‘here’s how it’s done’’ spiel.
Work on fundamentals doesn’t begin and end in spring training.
‘‘During the season, people think we don’t practice. Yes, we do. Everybody practices everything,’’ Guillen said.
Mark Teahen, who’s competing with rookie Brent Morel for the starting third base job, left for home Friday to deal with a family issue. He’s expected back in a day or two.
Venezuelan right-hander Miguel Socolovich, who was a combined 7-6, 3.33 in classes AA and AAA last season, has impressed Guillen and pitching coach Don Cooper.
‘‘He’s making me watch him,’’ Cooper said.
So is 160-pound right-hander Freddy Dolsi, who pitched in 48 games for the Detroit Tigers in 2008 and 2009. He gave up a home run to Manny Ramirez at Comerica Park on his first major-league pitch in 2008.
Dolsi was 3-7, 4.91 at Class AAA Charlotte last season.
‘‘He’s got good stuff, and he’s throwing as well as I’ve seen him throw,’’ Cooper said.
Left-hander Charlie Leesman has been mentioned as a candidate to make the team, but Cooper said he likely will require more seasoning in the minor leagues.
Jake Peavy opted for long toss and light throwing off the mound as part of his throwing program today.
◆ Left-hander Chris Sale is ranked 20th and Morel 85th on Baseball America’s list of 100 top prospects released this week.
◆ Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf celebrated his 75th birthday Friday.