Sox' De Aza, Rios back from World Baseball Classic
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox will be starting the season without two injured pitchers, John Danks and Jesse Crain, but they got two outfielders back on Thursday.
"Probably, (De Aza) will give me a hard time, but they had a great team from top to bottom," Rios said. "They had a great lineup and their pitching was good, too. It was weird because you expect him to play on your team."
De Aza was thrilled to get a chance to represent his country.
"Yeah, I enjoyed it," De Aza said. "It was something that you don't see very often. Thank God they gave me the chance to go there and play."
Both players were in the Sox' lineup in Thursday's Cactus League game against the Brewers.
De Aza led off the first inning with a single and came around to score on Rios' double.
In the White Sox' 8-3 win over Milwaukee, De Aza was 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored and Rios was 2-for-3 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI.
"They're ready to go, I guess," said Sox manager Robin Ventura. "They've logged some innings. It's nice just to have them back. You get a little more of a flow of how the lineup would go if that's the way you roll it out. It's just nice to have them back. They had a good time but they got enough work and they look fine."
The WBC offers more intense competition than typical Cactus and Grapefruit league games, but Rios said the experience hasn't given him an edge.
"It's not an easy event because of the travel, and you don't get to work as you do in spring training because of the schedule," said Rios, who batted third Thursday. "But when you start doing the games, it's unbelievable because of the pride."
Chris Sale still has one more exhibition start, likely Tuesday against the Rangers.
The White Sox' ace pitched against the Brewers Thursday and was dominant, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings.
"I finished up around 74 or 75 pitches and threw 25 more in the bullpen to get my pitch count up," Sale said. "It was an efficient day."
Sale has made 4 Cactus League starts and thrown 19 innings. He said his arm feels great.
"So far, so good. Knock on wood," Sale said. "I feel loose and I feel like my arm is bouncing back the way I want it to. With the programs we have here, it helps us out. I follow that, lean on these guys and go out there every fifth day."
After Thursday's win, the White Sox optioned outfielders Jordan Danks and Blake Tekotte to Class AAA Charlotte.
There are 34 players left in camp — 18 pitchers, three catchers, nine infielders and four outfielders.
On Wednesday night, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, executive vice president Kenny Williams, assistant hitting coach Harold Baines and several members of the organization gathered at a local movie theatre to watch the advance screening of "42."
Reinsdorf is a Brooklyn native and he remembers watching Jackie Robinson break baseball's color barrier while playing for the Dodgers at Ebbets Field.
"Brooklyn was the perfect place for the first black ballplayer," Reinsdorf said after the movie. "It was a melting pot. I've got to see this picture again. This was just awesome.
"(Robinson) was not the best ballplayer I ever saw but he was the most exciting ballplayer I ever saw."
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