03/13/11 10:05 PM ET
Flowers showing great improvement
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
Well, the 25-year-old White Sox catcher gets the nod if manager Ozzie Guillen has a vote.
"He's a different guy," said Guillen. "He swings the bat better and [he's] more comfortable [at the plate]. Behind the plate, he's outstanding.
"I'm pretty excited and happy for this kid from one Spring Training to another. I talked to everybody about it. We talk about him. Hopefully, no matter where he goes, he keeps it up playing that way so people can see him and count on him for the future."
If Flowers entered Spring Training with a roster spot open behind the plate, then he clearly would be getting Major League consideration. Even six hits in his last 11 Cactus League at-bats won't knock incumbent A.J. Pierzynski or Ramon Castro from the White Sox.
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"I don't know," Flowers said. "We'll see when that day comes. I'm just trying to go day to day and see what happens."
Flowers has worked extensively with hitting coach Greg Walker and Charlotte hitting coach Tim Laker during the past few weeks, putting in extra early work, and has witnessed major dividends.
"That early work is definitely helping," said Flowers, who drew two walks and scored two runs in Sunday's 11-8, "B" game victory over Cleveland. "Also getting a couple of hits doesn't hurt, building a little confidence. It kind of keeps you scrapping to get more information and understand a little bit more why this is working and why other things don't.
"It's simplified a lot of things. We are down to just a couple of moves right now and trying to be consistent with that day in and day out."
Danks feels as good as results would indicate
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers only were able to muster one hit off John Danks over five innings during a 6-1 victory for the White Sox on Sunday at Camelback Ranch. Danks also fanned two and walked three, as he took another step toward his Game 3 regular-season start in Cleveland.
"I feel like I can throw most my pitches," said Danks, who threw another 12-15 pitches in the bullpen after he exited from the game. "There were a couple of instances where I got lucky, but for the most part I felt good. I was able to throw the ball in to righties a lot better than I have all of camp.
"It showed with all the broken bats -- I think there were like two or three broken bats. Everything is progressing right on track. That's where I need to be."
Danks also showed pride in the strong Spring Training performance turned by his younger brother, Jordan, who hit a grand slam during Sunday's 11-8 "B" game victory over the Indians.
"Yeah, he's having a great camp," said John of his brother, who had two hits and a run scored Sunday morning. "I think he's progressing and getting closer to where people thought he would be at this point. I'm thrilled to death with how he's doing. He's getting better."
Guillen muses about Morel, closer
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After getting a two-day break, third baseman Brent Morel returned to the White Sox lineup on Sunday and knocked out two hits in the 6-1 victory over the Dodgers. Manager Ozzie Guillen thought Morel was pressing a bit in Thursday's night game at the D-backs, leading to the brief respite.
"He's fine," said Guillen of Morel, who is now hitting .200 but with just two strikeouts in 25 at-bats. "We gave him a couple of days off to work on his hitting and his approach. As a kid, you are going to be kind of anxious. I don't say panicking, but he tried to overdo stuff to try to impress people.
"We talked to him about backing up and make sure you are yourself. He at least feels more comfortable swinging the bat today. Like I say, guys aren't going to make the ballclub ... If someone hits .600, that opens our mind. But if it's what we need, that's what we are going to get."
Guillen praised Lastings Milledge for the way he has been playing, especially with his outfield defense. Matt Thornton pitched the ninth in Sunday's victory, and while Guillen cautioned not to read anything into that move, he still seems to prefer Thornton as his closer.
It's a decision Guillen wants to arrive at after the next staff meeting later this week.
"Thornton is a personal opinion," Guillen said. "But as a setup man, there's no one better than him.
"There's one thing in mind. Give him a new job or keep him what he was and put [Chris] Sale [as closer]. But I got to listen to my pitching coach, I got to listen to what [general manager Ken Williams] wants, the coaching staff has an opinion."
Third to first
The White Sox will make more roster moves on Monday. Look for Shane Lindsay to survive the cuts, as he continued to impress with two scoreless innings and two strikeouts in Sunday's 11-8 "B" game victory over the Indians. ... Eduardo Escobar had two doubles and one RBI in the "B" game, and then replaced Omar Vizquel at shortstop in the Cactus League game after Vizquel homered in the fourth off Hiroki Kuroda. Escobar made two errors but walked and scored a run. ... Stefan Gartrell drove in five runs and hit two home runs in the "B" game, including a mammoth clout for his second blast.