3/9/2013 8:25 P.M. ET
Wise on Mo: laid-back guy, great teammate
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Even before Mariano Rivera announced he would be retiring at the end of the 2013 season during a Saturday morning news conference, Dewayne Wise was discussing his career prowess against one of the greatest closers in the game with teammate Keenyn Walker.
Two singles in two at-bats.
"I was telling [Walker] that I would choke up like this much because you know you are going to get that cutter inside," said Wise, showing how he would move his hands about one-quarter up the bat against Rivera. "It's amazing that a guy can have that much success throwing one pitch.
"You know what you are going to get. It's tough because he had that pitch to perfection. He could throw it on both sides of the plate."
Wise was teammates with Rivera last season, when the closer's year ended after nine games due to a torn ACL in his right knee that he injured while shagging fly balls. Rivera was characterized by the White Sox outfielder as a laid-back guy and a great teammate.
"A lot of young guys kind of watch how he prepared himself, go about his business every day," said Wise of Rivera. "I noticed some young guys would go up and talk to him about pitching.
"Obviously, he is one of the best ever to play the game at that position. He was good for the game."
Danks gets work in, but not happy with results
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The calendar reads March 9 as the date of Saturday's 11-9 White Sox loss to the D-backs.
So the three earned runs John Danks allowed on seven hits over 2 1/3 innings mean little more than 56 pitches of work for the left-hander on this blustery afternoon at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. But Danks actually got a little regular-season work done during his struggles.
In the second inning, Danks loaded the bases with one out on two singles and a walk. He then proceeded to strike out cleanup hitter Paul Goldschmidt on a 3-2 changeup and retired Eric Chavez on a popup to shortstop Alexei Ramirez to escape unscathed.
"That's definitely something I'll take away from today," said Danks, who threw 32 of his 56 pitches for strikes. "But I'd like to limit those bases-loaded, less-than-two-outs situations."
Danks' command wasn't as sharp as his Cactus League debut on Monday against the Giants, but he was pitching in slightly colder conditions. The southpaw, who is working his way back from Aug. 6 arthroscopic shoulder surgery, felt good on the mound and enjoyed the atmosphere of playing in front of 12,468 at Salt River Fields.
"I just wish I could have had better results," Danks said. "No one wants to go out there and get hit around, but in the grand scheme of things, the most important thing today was just being healthy and getting the pitches in. I felt good. I wasn't throwing as hard as I anticipate when it's all said and done.
"But I threw all four pitches. There wasn't any restraints, just go out there and pitch. I'd be lying to you a little bit if I said it didn't chap me getting hit around."
Thornton feels fine despite poor outing
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Here's the good news coming from White Sox reliever Matt Thornton's two-thirds of an inning during Saturday's 11-9 loss to the D-backs: He felt good on the mound despite allowing six runs on five hits and one walk.
And now here's the better news, delivered by a smiling Thornton.
"I'm just glad we don't play Arizona in the regular season this year," Thornton said. "The results were terrible, but I got my work in. My breaking ball was good. My changeup was terrible. My fastball location I thought was OK. But you can't worry about the results in Spring Training."
Thornton honestly felt that the two worst pitches he threw resulted in his two outs. And with Thornton missing one live batting practice session early in camp due to triceps soreness, it might take him a few appearances to get the location he wants.
"He's coming back from being off awhile," said White Sox manger Robin Ventura of Thornton's second appearance. "It's just a good wakeup call."
"In the first few outings, you're trying to work on things. From the middle of camp to the end of camp, you're trying to bring it all together," Thornton said. "So I'm not really paying attention to results, good or bad, right now. They were very bad today. Physically, I feel awesome. This is the best I've felt in a long time."
Thompson not concerned about hitless spring
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Trayce Thompson, rated by MLB.com as the No. 2 prospect in the White Sox organization, has gone hitless through his first 11 Spring Training at-bats. Those numbers are virtually meaningless when analyzing the progress made by the outfielder from one March to the next.
"I just feel I know more as a hitter. I feel like I'm smarter," Thompson said. "I feel like I know what pitchers are trying to do to me more so than last year, when I was still trying to figure everything out a little bit.
"That being said, I'm not anywhere close to where I think could be. I'm just trying to go up there and learn as much as I can."
As for his present numbers, Thompson said that he wasn't even sure where to find Spring Training statistics.
"It's just a process. I mean, it's not necessarily all about what I do in Spring Training," said Thompson, who will start the 2013 season with Double-A Birmingham. "I've had good Spring Trainings and then I had slow starts to the year. We'll see if that's the opposite this year. I'm just going up there trying to get my timing down and I'm trying to get my at-bats in.
"Hopefully I'll be where I want to be and be peaking out toward the end of Spring Training. Even during the season, I try not to pay attention to my stats as much. Once you get looking at numbers, it's too much of a head game. You have to go out and play, and whatever happens at the end of the season, it's what happens."
Third to first
• Paul Konerko singled to lead off the second in Saturday's 11-9 loss to Arizona, extending his streak of consecutive at-bats with a hit to seven. He lined out to center in the third, but then launched a three-run homer in the fifth. Konerko has four homers and eight RBIs in Cactus League action.
"The thing that is most impressive about him is he doesn't really try to do too much," said White Sox outfielder Trayce Thompson of the captain. "You see these guys that hit mammoth home runs, he has just as much power as them, but he just lets the pitcher supply all the power. That's how he hits 30 bombs every year. For him at his age to do what he's done, it's pretty impressive."
• Konerko, Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez and Tyler Flowers will be part of the White Sox lineup at Camelback Ranch against the Reds on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. CT. Gordon Beckham, Jeff Keppinger and Dayan Viciedo are part of the group making the trip to Peoria to face the Mariners at the same time.
• There was no thought of bumping John Danks or Matt Thornton from their Saturday appearances, despite the game-time temperature being 50 degrees.
"We play in cold weather," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "So they've got to get used to it."