|MINNESOTA ( NOLASCO )|
CHI WHITE SOX ( SALE )
|919||MINNESOTA||+155||Ov 7,-110||+155||Ov 7,-115|
|920||CHI WHITE SOX||-165||Un 7,-110||-165||Un 7,-105|
|3/31/2014||NOLASCO(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)|| |
|4/2/2014||CORREIA(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||PAULINO(R)|| |
|4/3/2014||HUGHES(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)|| |
|4/4/2014||PELFREY(R)||@ CLEVELAND||SALAZAR(R)|| |
|4/5/2014||GIBSON(R)||@ CLEVELAND||CARRASCO(R)|| |
|4/6/2014||NOLASCO(R)||@ CLEVELAND||MASTERSON(R)|| |
|4/7/2014|| ||OAKLAND|| || |
|4/4/2014||JOHNSON(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)|| |
|4/5/2014||DANKS(L)||@ KANSAS CITY||CHEN(L)|| |
|4/6/2014||SALE(L)||@ KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|4/7/2014|| ||@ COLORADO|| || |
|MINNESOTA: MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The number is staggering. In the past three years, the Minnesota Twins have lost 291 games. Ninety-nine in 2011. Ninety-six each of the last two seasons.|
A team that was once viewed as a model for succeeding and competing with modest financial resources has been an afterthought for too long now. They have finished last in the AL Central twice and were fourth last season.
So the Twins shed their frugal ways in the offseason, shelling out $73 million to bring in Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes to bolster a lagging rotation. They also brought back manager Ron Gardenhire on a two-year deal and moved Joe Mauer from catcher to first base in an effort to protect their franchise player from injury.
''They made a statement: `We don't want to see this again. We don't want to go through this again this summer,''' Gardenhire said.
The Twins said goodbye to longtime first baseman Justin Morneau late last season when general manager Terry Ryan traded him to the Pirates in a stretch-run deal. There weren't many other changes to an offense that has struggled to score runs, but the upgrades to the rotation have given the holdovers some peace of mind that they won't have to score seven runs a game to have a chance to win.
''It's night and day to be honest with you. Terry went out and spent some money on some good arms in Nolasco and Hughes,'' second baseman Brian Dozier said. ''Hughes had a bad year last year but is an All-Star pitcher and I think moving to this park will help him a lot. I think just getting out of New York to be honest with you. ... So we needed to address our pitching staff and Terry did that, and I'm happy about it.''
|CHI WHITE SOX: CHICAGO (AP) - From rock bottom last season to contention this year? The Chicago White Sox see no reason why it can't happen.|
They're ready to put last season's 99-loss wreck behind them and make a jump at least back to respectability, if not a run at the AL Central title.
They see a team with solid pitching, a new slugger in Jose Abreu and renewed vigor. Now, all they have to do is back it up.
''You have to pitch, you have to hit, you have to score,'' said manager Robin Ventura, entering his third season. ''You have to play defense. You have to do all of them in our division. Detroit has won it the last few years. They have a combination of everything. Unless you do that, you're not going to be close. We proved that last year.''
They had the pitching part down last season. The rest? Well, that's where things got dicey.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (MINNESOTA-CHI WHITE SOX) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Twins-White Sox Preview* =========================
By JACK McCARTHY Associated Press
Minnesota (0-0) at Chicago (0-0), 4:10 p.m. EDT
CHICAGO (AP) - Paul Konerko will likely be watching from the bench for the start of what figures to be his 16th and final opening day with the Chicago White Sox on Monday.
And the 38-year-old first baseman is comfortable with that decision, which ends a streak of 15 consecutive opening-day starts.
Konerko's new role is as a right-handed-hitting platoon player at designated hitter. With the Minnesota Twins starting right-hander Ricky Nolasco, left-handed-hitting Adam Dunn will start.
"I just think it's the way it should be," Konerko said Sunday as both teams conducted voluntary workouts. "It's just not part of the blueprint of what we're going to do here. ... It's pretty simple. There's a plan and roles of when guys play and when they don't."
A six-time All-Star, Konerko agreed in December to a $2.5 million, one-year contract. White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Konerko made the choice to stay with the platoon.
"In talking to Paulie, it's not an easy decision," Ventura said, "but when you go over how you're going to do this and make this work, he made it clear this is kind of what he signed up to do."
Left-hander Chris Sale (11-14, 3.07 ERA) starts for the White Sox. He was surprised by Konerko's decision but said he respected it.
"I think he should be out there," Sale said. "What he's done for this city, what he's done for this team, who he's been throughout his career, I think he's earned that. But what he says, goes."
Starting his second White Sox opener, Sale faces Nolasco in only the third time opening-day meeting between the teams and the first since 1993.
After a lengthy and severe Chicago winter, Monday's forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a 65-degree temperature.
The White Sox are coming off a 63-99 season, their poorest record since 1970. Their projected lineup features five players making their opening-day debuts, including Cuban slugger Jose Abreu, who signed a $68 million, six-year contract.
"I don't really know where I'm going to be hitting, but it doesn't matter," Abreu said through a translator. "To be honest with you, that's irrelevant. I'm ready to hit wherever they put me. I'm here to help the team."
Minnesota (66-96) committed $73 million to sign Nolasco (13-11, 3.70 for Miami and the Los Angeles Dodgers) and Phil Hughes in an effort to rebuild its pitching.
"It's important to get off to a good start," Nolasco said. "I know they've been struggling the last couple years, but we've been working hard as a staff trying to go out there do quick, efficient innings, get us back in the dugout and try to swing the bats."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Nolasco is ready for the season.
"Ricky's game on," he said. "I'm not worried about him one bit. He'll go until he tells us he's tired. He's very sure of what he needs to do to win."
Despite snow piles and a frozen field earlier this month, Roger Bossard's groundskeepers got the playing surface ready at U.S. Cellular Field.
"I'm impressed," Ventura said. "We thought there'd be an iceberg out in left field with all the reports we got. ... But we knew Roger would pull it off this off."
|Last Updated: 10/21/2014 9:01:49 PM EST|