04/01/12 8:25 PM ET
Production will keep Lillibridge in lineup
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
Make that, roster position, as Lillibridge didn't have to wait until the final few days to find out if he was breaking camp with the team. As for his on-field position, Lillibridge needed to check the lineup pretty much every day to see where he would be located.
There were three games in left field, three in center field and one in right field. He played third base on eight occasions, second base twice and got to shortstop in three different games. Lillibridge even returned to first base for a game last week and will be playing first base again in Monday's Cactus League finale against the Brewers.
Versatility basically stands as the position listed next to Lillibridge's name.
"Going from last year, just trying for at-bats, to where I'm getting more games in this year and they are giving me at-bats, yeah, it's definitely exciting. But I have to produce. I have to do well for them to throw me out there as a bench guy."
In regard to progress made offensively, Lillibridge added that improvement as another reason for his memorable spring.
"This spring has been awesome with the way I've been feeling," Lillibridge said. "I'm getting a lot better at my approach, with stuff I really want to work on. I feel in a great position and ready to get going."
Santiago does not want to overuse screwball
GODDYEAR, Ariz. -- There was a retired screwball pitcher Hector Santiago once met who had a couple of fingers on his pitching hand permanently twisted because of the wear and tear from the pitch. But that particular hurler threw his pitch as a two-seamer, causing the eventual problems, while Santiago throws the screwball more like a circle change.
Santiago also doesn't intend to or need to throw the screwball more than 15 or 20 times in the course of a prescribed 100 pitches. So, he has no worries that this rarely thrown offering could lead to some sort of physical issue.
"I haven't had any kind of different soreness on the way," Santiago said. "The only way I feel like it will affect me is if I try to do it too much.
"If I try to make it better and turn my shoulder over and try to get too much behind it or try to do too much, then maybe," said Santiago, referring to overthrowing the pitch for greater affect. "As long as I stay within myself and throw it the way I'm supposed to throw it, I should be fine."
Jackson headed to Charlotte to find swing
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Conor Jackson has seven years of big league experience, including three highly productive seasons with the D-backs from 2006-08. But after battling his way back from a 2009 bout with a Valley Fever infection and being released by the Rangers during this current Spring Training, Jackson is looking forward to starting the 2012 regular season with Triple-A Charlotte and trying to find his swing.
"It's an opportunity to go down to Charlotte and get some everyday at-bats," Jackson said Sunday morning at the White Sox Camelback Ranch complex, before knocking out one hit in Sunday's 13-10 win over the Reds. "That's something that I need. The past four years have been a struggle to get my swing back playing every four or five days. This is going to be a good opportunity for me.
"I'm not using Valley Fever as a scapegoat for my career. I feel like I've overcome it strength-wise and physically I feel fine and ready to go. Now it's an opportunity to find my stroke again and be a successful Major League Baseball player."
Jackson, 29, has played all but nine of his big league games at first base, in the outfield or as designated hitter. But he will be getting a look at third base during his Minor League stint. He has no idea how many at-bats it will take for him to get in stride, but considers the White Sox a good fit.
"You know, flip a coin here," said Jackson of how many at-bats he'll need, after explaining he had no Major League offers following the Rangers. "I'm starting to feel better at the plate now and it's just a vicious cycle of getting back into the game.
"When you are not getting four or five at-bats per day, it's tough to get your strength back. That's one of the main reasons motivating me to go down to Triple-A and get that opportunity."
Third to first
Dayan Viciedo homered in Sunday's 13-10 victory over the Reds but also had trouble with Joey Votto's first-inning single. Left field continues to be a work in progress for Viciedo.
"It's a new position for me, so I've just been working at it," said Viciedo through translator and White Sox director of cultural development Jackson Miranda after launching his first spring homer. "I just figure as long as I continue to do that in more games, I'll get more comfortable and feel better."
Paul Konerko went 3-for-3 on Sunday and finished Cactus League play with 15 hits in his last 24 at-bats.
Minor Leaguers Jared Mitchell, Trayce Thompson, Conor Jackson, Ryan Kussmaul, Erik Morrison and Andy Wilkins will be joining the White Sox for their two exhibition games in Houston.
The White Sox finished with a 7-4 Cactus League record against American League teams.