GLENDALE, Ariz. -- First-year manager Robin Ventura will have decisions to make sooner rather than later, and the early goings from spring training have allowed him to familiarize himself with some of the young prospects the White Sox have acquired and developed over the years. In some cases, Ventura is seeing some players throw for the first time in person. Right now, it’s all about first impressions.
“Today we had a different group out there throwing so you get to see the guys we got in the trades, (Nestor) Molina and (Simon) Castro,” Ventura said on Friday after the second day of pitchers and catchers workouts. “It's nice to be able to see them throw and really see what your scouting department sees. And going on the backfield watching the catchers hit, to see young kids that you haven't necessarily seen a whole lot of, (Michael) Blanke and (Josh) Phegley are out there hitting, Tyler (Flowers). It's nice to see guys swinging the bat well.”
Ventura said that comparing what he reads on scouting reports to what his eyes see is one thing.
“But when you get them all in a line like that it’s rapid fire,” he said. “You try to pay attention to one or two just to see him for an extended period of time.”
Pitchers went through two separate throwing sessions on Friday and were broken up into four fielding groups. There will be several spots to fill in the bullpen, where Zach Stewart, Dylan Axelrod and Hector Santiago are vying for the long reliever role. For all the speculation about who might fill what role, and all the times Ventura has addressed the media as the club’s manager, it’s only been these last two days during which he’s been able assess the talent in person.
“That's the great part about going out the last couple days, you see some quality arms,” Ventura said. “Who knows how it's going to shake out, but it's nice to see the kind of arms we're coming into camp with. Maybe a little bit under the radar, but for us we're excited about them.”