It’s never wise to read too much into wins and losses during spring training, but overall play is closely monitored for strength — and weakness.
In the latter category, let’s go back to Glendale, Ariz.
During a March 23 Cactus League game against the Dodgers, the White Sox made 4 errors and were hammered 10-4.
The following day, the Sox were sloppy again and made 2 more fielding miscues in an 8-2 loss to the Royals.
The games didn’t count, but White Sox manager Robin Ventura wasn’t happy about the defensive decline.
“It hasn’t been good,” said Ventura, who during his playing days as a third baseman won six Gold Gloves, five with the Sox. “That’s something that needs to be taken care of before we get out of here. Sometimes I think you get close to getting out of here and some things kind of get pushed aside. We’ll get it taken care of before we leave here.”
If the first three-plus weeks of the season are any indication, the White Sox need to head back to Arizona for more glove work.
Heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field — which was rained out - the Sox have 13 errors in their first 19 games. In the American League, only the Angels (14) had more muffs.
Still trying to get the offense going, the White Sox have little or no room for defensive mistakes.
In Monday night’s loss, relief pitcher Matt Thornton’s throwing error in the eighth inning opened the door for Cleveland’s 2-run rally and eventual 3-2 win.
It might be a little early to worry about the last-place Sox’ slow start, but the defense is an immediate issue.
“As far as us playing defense, you don’t see this coming,” Ventura said after Monday’s loss, the Sox’ fourth straight. “Every night you’re making that one mistake, and at this level it’s going to hurt every time you do it. It can go on for a period of time so until you clean it up, it’s pretty simple.”
In other words, the White Sox need to clean it up quick.
“You work on all of it and do it,” Ventura said. “Again, you have to execute it. And until we clean it up and get consistent with it, it’s hard to win at this level when you keep giving opportunities away.
“The first day, you’re concerned that you don’t like seeing it. But again, it can always get better. Even last year we wanted it to get better. Until you’re perfect at it, you’re not happy.”
Tuesday’s postponement was the second for the Sox on their homestand. Cold and windy conditions wiped out Friday’s game against the Twins.
No makeup dates have been announced for either game.
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