White Sox Spring Training, Day 15
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Of course, the day we win two split-squad games, my computer runs out of juice (maybe because I was sittting in Mesa watching that game live while watching our game with the Dodgers on MLB.tv) and I can’t post a summary.
By now you know we pounded out a 15-3 win over the Cubs in Mesa (thanks to Carlos Quentin and his two home runs) and we beat the Dodgers, 8-4. The best tweet from a fan yesterday said it all in Mesa : Qx2
With the two split squads, fans saw a few players running around with no names on their backs and fairly high numbers … in the 80s and 90s.
I’ll try to explain.
When Major League camp opens in February, each team has 40 roster players and how ever many non-roster invitees (from their minor league system). At the same time, we also hold a special early instructional league for a select number of minor league players. They work out opposite of the big league camp (if we work on in the morning and then play in the afternoon, the take over our practice fields later in the day). So from a staff perspective (managers, coaches, trainers, strength, etc., most everyone is here, either working in big league camp, instructional or both).
Right now, if you see a player join the big league team to help us fill out numbers on a roster, he was pulled for that group of early instructional players. Some of it is determined by position and need on a given day, some of it is to reward someone who has worked hard over the offseason or in early camp.
Official minor league camp starts on Wednesday, so all of our other players will arrive, the early instructional players will join them, and then as we make cuts at the big league level, they will move to the minor league clubhouse and join their appropriate team/work group.
Fans tend to focus on the big league side of spring training, but once minor league games begin, you can go to our back fields on any given day and see two of our minor league teams playing minor league teams from other organizations (games generally at 1 pm). That’s what it means when we say a big league player played in a minor league spring game. Often we would do that so that a hitter gets a lot of at-bats, or a pitcher gets work on a certain day, or even to hide a pitcher from a team (we used to do that with Keith Foulke so that AL teams didn’t get too familiar with his changeup).
Hope that explains somewhat.
They say it only rains 40 days a year in The Valley of the Sun. We just seem to be here for eight of them.