3/10/2014 8:06 P.M. ET
Ventura not issuing verdicts on defense yet
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- One of the best defenses in baseball in 2012 turned into one of the worst defenses in '13 for the White Sox. So with the Spring Training attention being paid in getting the details sharp -- from regular infield to cut-off drills -- manager Robin Ventura was asked Monday if he'll know this discipline has improved by the time the team breaks camp.
"When we play games and we don't make errors, then I'll know," Ventura said. "So far, we are different. We have different people out there that potentially, it looks better.
"We thought we were OK last year and it didn't work, so you continue to work at it and that's what we do. We'll continue to work at it until you become very good at it."
Ventura believes some of the defensive shortcomings are physical, and some of it is mental. He also feels that needed focus was lacking at times in '13, but the best way for a manager to affect that focus is continue working for improvement.
"Eventually they have to do it. The coaching staff is not playing. They are the ones who have to get it," Ventura said. "You have to have both of [physical and mental] to be good at it and you have to want to be able to do it."
Viciedo focused on helping White Sox
PHOENIX -- Here is what Dayan Viciedo is thinking about as the White Sox approach the final two weeks of Spring Training: how does he get better as a player and how does that improvement help the White Sox succeed?
Viciedo also is cognizant of the opportunities given to him by the White Sox since agreeing to a four-year, $10-million deal before the 2009 season, and doesn't see himself anywhere else but Chicago. He's not thinking about possibly having a greater opportunity in terms of playing time somewhere else, if one of the rumored trades actually went through.
"I don't think about other opportunities or what other opportunities may be. Baseball is baseball," said Viciedo through translator and White Sox director of public relations Lou Hernandez. "But my opportunity and what I have to do is right here right now, doing what I'm doing and helping this team.
"You don't think about other opportunities. Whatever happens in the future happens. But what I'm thinking about is right here right now."
The ball still jumps off the bat when Viciedo makes contact, and he has the ability to carry an offense for weeks, or even a month at a time. The issue for Viciedo is consistency and not swinging wildly while expanding his strike zone.
It's about adjustments, according to the slugger, who turned 25 on Monday. It's also about better pitch selection per White Sox manager Robin Ventura.
"He has talent. We know he can hit and everything else," Ventura said. "But you know it's about making decisions at the plate and zeroing in the strike zone and not chasing balls. Right now, people are making him chase and any time you chase, they are going to continue to let you chase. Eventually you are either going to get it or not.
"Experience teaches you that and studying and learning what pitchers are trying to do to you and how they do it and why they do it. Some people get it and some don't. But he's smart enough to get it. I think he is young and that's part of growing and learning. Not everybody gets it their first year or two. He's better now than he was two years ago as far as just learning the strike zone."
Lindstrom optimistic about oblique injury
PHOENIX -- There is no timetable for Matt Lindstrom to get into Cactus League action and test his left oblique strain that has kept him off the mound since he was scratched from his first appearance. But after playing catch Monday and going through a strenuous workout in the training room, Lindstrom has a sense the injury is getting better.
"Tomorrow we're going to go through my mechanics and actually get downhill," Lindstrom said. "But today was more like crow-hop, making sure I was getting over my front leg.
"Those guys told me there's going to be some soreness down in that rib cage area and so I'm just kind of battling through that. So far, so good."
Lindstrom was making progress last Tuesday when he had a setback and was shut down. The problem for the closer candidate is balancing the oblique pain with how good the ball feels coming out of his hand.
"I'm not tentative, but I'm not real confident in it just yet," Lindstrom said. "It's one of those things where you want to fire it in there as hard as you can, but you don't want it to do what it did last time and take a step back. Just being cautious. But as far as the work I'm doing in the training room, I feel real strong.
"We're just making sure I can get back on the mound. I don't want to be thinking about it when I'm out there, that's for sure. I think that's the most important thing. The frustrating part for me is my body feels awesome, my arm and legs and everything."
Quintana not expected to miss start
PHOENIX -- Jose Quintana threw a bullpen session on Monday morning under the watchful eyes of pitching coach Don Cooper and bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen, and seems ready to go for his scheduled start Thursday in Tempe against the Angels.
There was some doubt as to whether Quintana would make his turn after taking a Gerardo Parra line drive off of his left shin in the first inning of Saturday's game with the D-backs.
"It feels really good today. My leg is better," said Quintana, showing no ill effects from the shin contusion. "I'm ready for the next start."
Not only will Quintana stay on turn, but he will probably be pushed a little deeper into this next start. Quintana only lasted two batters after that Parra line drive prematurely ended his day.
"Hopefully get him a few more innings and stretch him out to get him stronger," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Quintana, who figures to slot into the No. 3 spot in the rotation. "With him losing a couple of innings the other day, he has to catch back up. He should be fine by then to get him out there to get his innings."
Third to first
• The 'B' game lineup for Tuesday morning in Goodyear features Micah Johnson at second, Carlos Sanchez at third, Andy Wilkins at first, Tyler Flowers at DH, Alex Liddi at shortstop, Jared Mitchell in left, Thompson in center, Hector Gimenez behind the plate, Blake Tekotte in center and Miguel Gonzalez as a second DH. Teams pretty much set their own rules in these games.
• Ventura likes the left-right hitting balance currently on the White Sox roster, adding that he doesn't see a present need to add another left-handed hitter.
• The White Sox traded right-handed pitcher Zach Stewart, who made 28 starts for Triple-A Charlotte in 2013, to the Braves for cash considerations.