3/13/2014 8:38 P.M. ET
Semien learning how to prepare for utility role
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
TEMPE, Ariz. -- If Jeff Keppinger begins the 2014 season on the disabled list because of tightness and soreness in his throwing shoulder, then Marcus Semien could be the next man into the infield mix. He's not alone in the competition.
Matt Davidson still could break camp and join Conor Gillaspie at third, but that move would leave the White Sox without a utility infielder off the bench. So, Semien and Leury Garcia, who both can play across the infield, appear to be the most logical candidates.
One big question for the White Sox is whether they prefer Semien to play every day in the Minors or take on a utility role so early in his career. Semien can handle that utility job at the big league level, putting an emphasis on early work to stay sharp.
"The way you prepare is in batting practice and in the cages and really simulating game situations while you are in BP," Semien said. "That's the best you can do. If you are not getting at-bats, then kind of bring a situation up and execute it like that."
Semien has played seven games at shortstop during Spring Training, with five at third and one at second. He takes a pragmatic approach to breaking camp with the team, knowing either White Sox decision can benefit his career.
"It's great to start your career in the big leagues, start the season in the big leagues, if you can," Semien said. "If not, make the most of your situation. Maybe get more at-bats in the Minors if you are playing more and get better."
Quintana late to ballpark, unsettled on mound
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The seven runs on six hits allowed by White Sox hurler Jose Quintana over three innings against the Angels in Thursday's 8-6 loss had little to directly do with his left shin contusion sustained on Saturday off of a Gerardo Parra first-inning line drive.
Exiting after just two batters from that game, though, cost Quintana some needed Spring Training work, preparation the southpaw intends to get to over the final two weeks. It actually was the cutter causing Quintana the most problems at Diablo Stadium, with the Angels knocking him around for six runs on five hits in the second inning alone.
"My cutter was not working good today. I need to practice that. It's Spring Training, but I need more preparation," Quintana said. "I need to practice all of my pitching situations.
"If you have a bad start, it's better right here in Spring Training. I need to continue my preparation to be ready for the season."
Quintana threw approximately 60 pitches on Thursday, with a target of 80 to 85 pitches for his next start Tuesday against the A's. Manager Robin Ventura mentioned that Quintana got stuck in traffic and arrived late to the ballpark, so he might have felt out of sorts from the start.
"He was up and in the zone. I think he just felt rushed," said Ventura. "Everything was up, and they had some pretty good swings in there."
Lindstrom looking to pitch in games next week
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Matt Lindstrom has yet to pitch in a Cactus League contest after being scratched from the opening game because of a left oblique strain. But he's getting closer.
The right-hander had what White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper termed "a nice little sideline" on Thursday, and after a day off Friday, will throw another sideline Saturday. Lindstrom could then be ready for a game by Tuesday or Wednesday next week.
"We are not done yet," said Cooper of Lindstrom's return. "We have another sideline, but it's certainly pointed in a good direction."
"I was excited that I could get downhill and throw my pitches for strikes," Lindstrom said. "I was anticipating it maybe not going as well as it actually did because I haven't been off the mound for a week or so. I wouldn't say surprised that I was throwing a lot of strikes, but I'm happy with the way it went."
Lindstrom was supposed to throw a bulpen session last Tuesday but never made it to the mound after aggravating the injury while playing long toss. He felt much better Thursday, operating at about 80 percent.
There was no need for Lindstrom to go all out in his first real injury test. But Saturday's throwing session will be ramped up a bit.
"Today, he found the lower gear just to get the work in and take it out for a test run, and everything works," Cooper said. "Next time, we'll probably go with a little heavier workload, a few more pitches and maybe get after it a little bit more. And then we will see where we are at."
"I'm confident in my ability to throw strikes, but that adrenaline, when you get on the mound facing other teams, it gets kicked up a notch and then you have to be able go 100 percent," Lindstrom said. "Hopefully, two, three or four [games]. I would have liked to have had a normal Spring Training, but things happen."
Belisario fans two in Cactus League debut
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Ronald Belisario's White Sox Cactus League debut was worth the wait.
The right-handed reliever, whose arrival was delayed three weeks in trying to get a visa to depart Venezuela, pitched a scoreless sixth during the Angels' 8-6 victory over the White Sox on Thursday. Ian Stewart singled off of Belisario, who struck out two, including Carlos Pena.
"Everything was working good except my splitter," Belisario said. "But the first outing, I mean, I'll work on that for my next one and hopefully it will be better."
Belisario was working while he was in Venezuela, and feels as if he came to camp almost ready to go.
"For him, getting in here late, and him throwing, he knows how to pitch," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "We're not asking him to go six innings. We'll see how he feels tomorrow, but he'll probably run back out there fairly soon to double up on him because he hasn't been here from the start."
Third to first
• Aaron Rowand and Mike Ditka will make guest appearances at White Sox Cactus League games this weekend at Camelback Ranch. Rowand, who played with the White Sox from 2001-05 and was an integral part of the '05 World Series championship, is visiting Friday with his family. Ditka, who led the Bears to a decisive victory in Super Bowl XX, will visit Saturday. He is in town visiting his restaurant in the Vee Quiva Hotel and Casino in Laveen, Ariz.
• Dylan Axelrod will start Friday's Cactus League game against the Indians, with Erik Johnson pitching in a Minor League game. The White Sox don't want to work Johnson against a division rival who he could face as early as the second week of the season. Mitchell Boggs will throw two innings on the Minor League side.
• Nate Jones remained unscored upon in three Cactus League contests with his one inning of work in Thursday's loss.