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nut_stock
01-31-2002, 08:41 PM
White Sox Notebook

Pitchers to be watched carefully

Thursday, January 31, 2002

By Joe Cowley
Staff writer

The message has been delivered to White Sox players over and over by trainers and coaches.
"From the first day of spring training, we tell these guys that if you feel anything wrong you
don't mess with your career," pitching coach Nardi Contreras said. "But lots of times it's the
competitiveness and the ego of the players that get in the way."

Injuries crippled the Sox's chances last year, and they want to make sure that doesn't happen again. Especially with an American League Central Division that looks wide open in 2002.

Of the seven season-ending injuries to Sox pitchers last year, team officials suggest at least three might have been preventable. Jim Parque, Kelly Wunsch and Rocky Biddle all felt pain in their shoulders at some point but kept it to themselves. The only indications the coaching staff had of the injuries were in the performances. Parque's was the most obvious, as the velocity on his fastball took a serious dip. The left-hander usually hits 90-91 mph on the radar gun, but was at 83-84 the first month of last season. "Veterans know what to do," Contreras said. "They know their bodies. These kids want to be in that situation. They want to be making all that money, so they go out and try to pitch through pain."

Remember me?

Sox fans didn't get to see much of right-handed pitcher Antonio Osuna last season. After being acquired from the Dodgers last March 18, Osuna was on the disabled list and out for the year with a bad shoulder less than a month later.
He could be the anchor for an already deep bullpen this season, however. "He looks great," Contreras said. "He even asked us if he could pitch in winter ball last month. We obviously said no."

If the left-handed Wunsch struggles in his return, the Sox could turn to Osuna to get left-handed hitters out.

Not your average Joe

Outfielder Joe Borchard may be the best prospect in the Sox's organization, but unless he does something "special" in spring training he will likely begin the season in Triple-A Charlotte. The club's No. 1 pick in the 2000 draft hit .295 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI for Double-A
Birmingham last season, but fanned 158 times in 515 at-bats. "I would really like to see him get some more minor-league at-bats to start the year," general manager Ken Williams said. "We'll continue to play him in center field and watch his
development."

Daver
01-31-2002, 08:59 PM
Originally posted by nut_stock
White Sox Notebook


"From the first day of spring training, we tell these guys that if you feel anything wrong you
don't mess with your career," pitching coach Nardi Contreras said. "But lots of times it's the
competitiveness and the ego of the players that get in the way."




Am I the only one that finds it hysterical that Nardi was quoted on this after telling Rocky Biddle to pitch hurt last year?

:firenardi