02/15/2013 6:55 PM ET
Gimenez arrives, begins preparing for backup role
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Hector Gimenez resolved visa issues regarding his travel, and the switch-hitter was in camp Friday catching bullpen sessions. Gimenez only missed three days in this extended Spring Training and seems to have a strong hold on the backup spot behind starter Tyler Flowers.
"Last year, him coming up at the end of the year, you got a good view of what he can do," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Gimenez, who hit .455 in 11 at-bats for the White Sox. "He's a switch-hitter. Again, he has quality at-bats. He knows how to play. He's a good receiver behind the plate.
"That's something that he really showed us last year. It was something that going into this year, you look at and those are the things that stood out for us."
'Best interest' for Thornton to skip Classic
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Thornton thoroughly enjoyed his World Baseball Classic experience in 2009, when he pitched in five games for Team USA.
That great level of enjoyment wasn't enough to stop Thornton from turning down an offer to play for Team USA this year when his agent was asked about the left-hander being part of the provisional roster.
"Just one of those things that it was a choice I made," Thornton said. "I felt with the workload I've had over the last four or five years and the way I felt at the end of the year, the way I was struggling in back-to-back outings, it was something in my best interest and the team's best interest to avoid this year.
"I loved the WBC. I had a blast. Getting to meet guys you normally don't get to play with and be a part of Team USA and that kind of thing, it was an honor. It was a tough choice. It wasn't easy for me to say no. It took me a few days to make that choice. I felt it was in my best interest to avoid."
At 36, Thornton begins his seventh year with the White Sox in quite possibly the best shape of his career. He enters 2013 as the franchise's all-time holds leader, fourth on the franchise's list of appearances at 472 and is the all-time appearance leader among White Sox relievers.
The White Sox have a $6 million option or a $1 million buyout for Thornton in 2014, but the southpaw wasn't worried about anything past the bullpen he threw Friday. As for how long he wants to play beyond this season, Thornton has an idea when it will be time to go.
"It definitely gets harder as your kids get older and stuff," Thornton said. "You see guys that I know now that have kids who are 8, 9, 10 years old. You hear Jake [Peavy] talking about how much he misses his kids all the time. It's a lifestyle that's not easy.
"At the same time, I love the game of baseball. I love competition and going out there and the preparation in the offseason. I still love working hard getting ready for the season. When I start to avoid the preparation part is when I think that's when I'll realize I'm ready to phase out. I had one of the best offseasons of my career this offseason.
"Obviously, wearing the White Sox uniform for rest of my career would be something I would love to do," Thornton said. "But that's definitely out of my hands."
Danks upbeat day after bullpen session
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The fact that John Danks had a little fun with the media concerning the state of his left shoulder after playing catch Friday showed just how well things are going for the hurler in his ongoing efforts to get back to the rotation.
After throwing an 11-minute bullpen session on Thursday, his first on the mound in front of the full White Sox brass since Aug. 6 arthroscopic surgery, the next day bounce-back process was just as important in the recovery. Danks delivered nothing but good news.
"I was able to get through an upper-body workout, so I guess that's a good sign," Danks said. "So far, so good.
"That was one of the biggest problems before surgery was the ability to bounce back. It's just another level, being able to bounce back and fit in again."
Danks throws his second bullpen on Sunday, on the day White Sox position players officially report. He's scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on March 4.
"I'll get a couple days in between and there's no need to rush it," Danks said. "I'm feeling good."
Peavy organizing charitable music event
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There won't be a second Woodjock concert involving Jake Peavy following up his 2010 event in Scottsdale. But Peavy spoke Friday about a charity event, which might be on a little smaller scale but still should be quite entertaining for White Sox fans, to take place this summer in Chicago, possibly in June or July.
It's an event that would benefit the Jake Peavy Foundation and sounds as if it could take place at Joe's Bar on Weed St.
"You know I love music," said Peavy with a smile. "We're finalizing the date now and we will have a cool event. It will be something that people will be excited to be a part of and will be fun for music lovers.
"This will be open to the public and it will be different. I don't know what we're going to call it, maybe Jake Peavy and Friends, but we'll have. … I'm sure some of us will participate and we'll play a little bit of music, but we'll have some guys who play music for a living that will make it a little worth your while to come on out.
"It will all run through my foundation and my foundation branches off into so many different directions with cancer research, Autism Speaks, the team focus for underprivileged children," Peavy said. "And we will also include the foundations of the artists that will be with me as well."
Along with Barry Zito, Peavy has been hosting an annual private event during Spring Training through Strikeouts for Troops. That event strictly is for the military, their families and as many baseball players and musicians as they can find.
This event in Chicago, featuring a mix of music, will have a little tighter focus than Woodjock and can be put together by the people running his foundation "without me having to devote so much time to it," according to Peavy.
"That was the biggest thing, and I wanted to get the season under way and get everything smoothly running and I wanted to do something in the town I play in as well," Peavy said. "I'll tell you, I'm as passionate about music as I am about baseball, and down in my home in Alabama I have built this amphitheater and I'm in the process of having this studio going in.
"Those are some of my closest friends in the world, the people who write music and produce music and actually play it. To be able to tie that in a little bit with baseball and then also raise money through that cause is an awesome feeling. It's always fun for me."
Third to first
• Adam Dunn arrived at camp on Friday. The new father missed SoxFest to be with his wife, Rachel, who was giving birth to their third child.
• Ventura notices more than a physical difference in a healthy Brent Morel.
"He looks different in a lot of different ways," Ventura said. "Mentally, it's less of a strain on him every day to come in and just to be able to go out there and play without having to think what's going to happen after."