3/3/2014 7:32 P.M. ET
Flowers shouldering load in catcher competition
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Tyler Flowers feels good.
Not perfect, mind you. But the frontrunner for the White Sox's starting catcher's job sees a noticeable difference in his shoulder, compared to its sore state prior to season-ending surgery last September.
"Oh, yeah. Definitely. Definitely," Flowers said. "I'm sure there's going to come a point where it creeps back up for a little bit. Then it will subside and the whole pattern, which I'm sure everybody deals with, you are uncomfortable for a week or two and then good for a month and it comes back."
Flowers launched the White Sox's first Cactus League homer during Sunday's 9-7 victory over the Rangers in Surprise. It was a drive to right-center, showing off the opposite-field power that can make Flowers an asset beyond his solid game-calling.
But it's having a viable chance to nail opposing baserunners that has Flowers encouraged, even though he knows there still might be some soreness in his future.
"From other guys I talked to who had similar surgery, there are good days and bad days," Flowers said. "I think now the bad days are going to be very tolerable and manageable, as opposed to before.
"There were some days where I wasn't sure if I could throw it to second. Glad to have that, anything major, taken care of. Everything else is more maintenance right now and just staying on top of it and keeping it strong and trying to get it in shape."
Paulino's arm responds after debut outing
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The best news for Felipe Paulino coming from his Cactus League debut on Sunday was that the right-hander felt nothing but normal soreness on Monday's day after.
Now the White Sox hurler, who had ulnar collateral ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow on July 3, 2012, and then had a cyst removed from his shoulder last September, can focus on normal Spring Training starter stuff. One area of focus for Paulino is putting away hitters after getting ahead in the count.
"Stuff out of his hand is good enough, but we've got to command it more and more," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. "He got ahead in the count. He was poor and really unacceptable in put-away situations.
"He left a bad breaking ball in the zone. He got the guy by the neck and we let him out of it. Once you get ahead of the guy, you should really have him."
Cooper believes that if Paulino keeps getting ahead of hitters as he did Sunday, they will get them out.
"It also gives us direction on what to work on. It might reinforce some of the stuff we are already talking about," Cooper said. "I'm ok with him. He moves on to the next one. It's all good. Now we have better direction with him."
Quintana aiming for 200 innings in 2014
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Reaching 200 innings during the 2013 season was a goal set by Jose Quintana prior to the start of the campaign. It's just a starting point for his 2014 targets during Quintana's third year as a starter.
"I want the same innings this year or more," said Quintana, after allowing two runs on two hits over three innings during the White Sox 9-7 victory over the Royals Monday at Camelback Ranch. "I want to help the team every five days.
"You know, stay in the game and keep working right now. I want every start seven or more innings. I want the same season like last year, but I want better this year."
Quintana followed a similar offseason plan as last year by staying away from upper-body work and focusing on cardio and weight work for his legs. His goal is to stay flexible and build up endurance.
Lindstrom to test oblique strain in bullpen session
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If Matt Lindstrom got to choose, he would throw Tuesday's bullpen session to test his mild left oblique strain and then return to Cactus League action later in the week.
"I don't want to do another one," said Lindstrom with a smile, after it was mentioned that White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper talked about Lindstrom potentially throwing two bullpens before a return. "I want to do one and make sure I feel good and then we will take it from there.
"Just kind of wait and see what tomorrow is like. I'm anticipating nothing is going to go wrong because I've been doing those tests and strength exercises that I couldn't do if there was a problem."
Lindstrom has not pitched in a Cactus League game after being scratched from Friday's appearance due to the oblique. He hopes that fact will change shortly after Tuesday's side session.
"It's making sure I don't feel it again," Lindstrom said. "Bullpen tomorrow and get some downward angle and start getting in some games."
Keppinger could get in game this weekend
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jeff Keppinger's throwing shoulder is improving enough that he could get on the field this weekend, manager Robin Ventura said following Monday's 9-7 victory over the Royals at Camelback Ranch.
"Every day it's a little bit better strength wise," said Ventura of Keppinger. "He might get in to DH kind of thing just to get some at-bats.
"Swinging the bat, he's fine. So more waiting on when he's ready to throw and he says it's getting better every day. Probably looking more toward the weekend."
Ventura said that Keppinger would probably play at second base to reduce the length of the throw when he first plays in the field. He added that it's arm strength hampering Keppinger, as he works his way back from a debridement of his right shoulder last Sept. 27.
"He didn't feel like he could get it across the infield," Ventura said. "It's getting better."
Third to first
• Minor League outfielder Micker Adolfo has a minor strained muscle in his left wrist, but should be back without restriction in a couple of days. Adolfo signed for $1.6 million as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic last July, marking the largest amount ever spent by the White Sox for an international signing.
• Gordon Beckham was scratched from Monday's starting lineup with tightness in his right leg.
"It's too early in camp to kind of push anything," Beckham said. "It's kind of a fluke thing that I'm not playing today. It's not really a big deal."
• White Sox Minor League camp opens Wednesday at Camelback Ranch.
• There is no timetable for the return of reliever Daniel Webb, who went home last weekend due to a death in his family.
"Again, we are going to go by what he needs," Ventura said.
• Lindstrom got to know Orioles public relations director Monica Barlow over his 34 games with Baltimore in 2012. He expressed his sincerest condolences concerning Barlow's passing Friday at age 36 due to lung cancer.
"That's sad, tough to hear. You don't really come to grips with reality when something like that happens," Lindstrom said. "My condolences go to her family and the people of Baltimore. I know all those guys in the clubhouse loved working with her and she was awesome."