3 takeaways from Chicago White Sox camp, including first baseman Andrew Vaughn resting with lower back soreness

Andrew Benintendi began the bottom of the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a bang, hitting a home run to right field.

It was the first homer of the spring for Benintendi, who joined the White Sox on a five-year deal in the offseason.

Jake Burger continued his strong spring at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI in the 6-4 loss at Camelback Ranch. Both hits were singles.

Here are three more takeaways from Saturday at Sox camp.

1. The Sox are erring on the side of caution with Andrew Vaughn, who is day to day with lower back soreness.

The Sox have been resting the first baseman recently.

“Andrew’s going to take a few days off,” Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “He’s had a ton of ABs — I think the last time I checked he had (31) at-bats. He’s played a ton.”

Vaughn last played March 12 against the Los Angeles Angels. He is hitting .323 (10-for-31) with one double, one triple, one home run and four RBIs with two walks and three runs in 11 games.

Vaughn takes over at first base after José Abreu signed with the Houston Astros in the offseason. Vaughn spent most of his first two big-league seasons as an outfielder.

“He’s in a good spot,” Grifol said. “There’s no reason to push him through anything. I’m sure if you asked him if he could play he’d say yeah. But we’re not going to push him through anything right now. He’s had a great camp. He feels comfortable at first base. We like where his swing is at. He likes where his swing is at so we’re good.

2. Michael Kopech was consistent with his curveball in second spring outing.

Kopech aimed for four ups Saturday.

He accomplished that goal, even though he exited after facing the first batter of the third inning. It was a brief break. Kopech returned for the fourth, an option in spring training, and faced one more batter before his day was done.

Kopech allowed one unearned run on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 2⅓ innings.

“The main purpose of (Saturday) was to get four ups, and I got that, happy to do that,” Kopech said. “Obviously it could have been a lot cleaner. I went deep in counts repetitively. I would like to be a little bit more efficient. Clean up that first inning and I probably could have a complete third.

“Got to work on some things. Some stuff was there that I wasn’t expecting to be there and some stuff I was expecting to be there wasn’t there. It was a day to feel some things out. Overall it was a good spring training day.”

Kopech saw good results with his curveball.

“I was trying to get more comfortable throwing my curveball, landing it in the zone,” he said. “Going into the game I wasn’t feeling real comfortable with it. The first inning, it was pretty much the only thing that had some consistency with. Kind of funny how things work out …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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