Notes: Sisco appreciates straight talk
Anderson confident in roster spot; memorable dinger for Perez
TUCSON, Ariz. -- When Andrew Sisco finished his 1 1/3 innings of relief work during Wednesday's "B" game against Colorado at the Kino Sports Complex, the left-hander had a golf cart ride waiting for him back to the White Sox clubhouse.
But Ken Williams, who was operating the cart, wasn't exactly giving Sisco the lift out of the goodness of his heart. The White Sox general manager had a very direct point to make to Sisco, and it wasn't of the positive nature.
"You know I would much rather have Kenny be honest with me than to blow smoke ...," said Sisco of his brief but emphatic talk with Williams. "That's not how they do things over here. You get a lot of respect on the players' side because they deal with us that way.
"I want to know where I'm at. If I stink, you need to let me know. Don't try to coddle me. I'm 24 years old. I've been playing pro ball for six years and I've heard it all."
Sisco wasn't exactly awful on Wednesday, but it was a glitch in the fourth inning that seemed to truly draw Williams' ire. After Colorado hitters reached base on a single and an Andy Gonzalez error with one out, Sisco walked Erick Almonte to load the bases.
An option exists during "B" games to roll over or extend an inning if the specific pitch count has not been reached, for example. But Williams would not allow any rollover to take place for Sisco.
"Don't call any more [bleeping] rollover innings," said Williams to the White Sox coaches on hand for the "B" game, as he drove up in his cart. "Make them get out of [the jams] themselves."
It didn't take long for Sisco to respond, forcing an inning-ending, around-the-horn double play. The 6-foot-10 left-hander has not allowed a run over three Cactus League appearances this spring, and he didn't exactly hang his head over Wednesday's less-than-stellar performance.
Yet, Sisco understands that he needs to work on staying ahead in the count and then making good pitches to finish off hitters once he gets ahead. Sisco also understands Williams' anger, and more performances like Wednesday could weaken his position as an apparent roster lock.
"This is the Major Leagues and this is a competitive team. If you don't play well, someone else will," Sisco said. "The way I look at it, until you've retired and hung up your spikes, you don't get to take a day off.
"He just wants to see me pitch more to my ability. There's obviously a gap from where I'm playing now to where I'm capable of playing. That's what Spring Training is about, making sure that when we leave here, I'm 100 percent the pitcher I'm capable of being; there aren't still things I'm working on April 2."
Outfield scramble: With Scott Podsednik recovering from late January sports hernia surgery ahead of schedule, Brian Anderson's roster spot suddenly seems a bit more precarious. But when asked if he thought of himself as part of the 25-man roster as of Wednesday, Anderson answered in the definitive affirmative.
"Yeah, for sure. I don't see any reason why I wouldn't be," said Anderson, who is hitting .348 over 23 Cactus League at-bats and stands as the team's best defensive outfielder.
One reason working against Anderson is manager Ozzie Guillen's desire to have his young center fielder start every day for Triple-A Charlotte, as opposed to coming off the bench two or three times per week. Darin Erstad appears to be entrenched as the second starting outfielder alongside Jermaine Dye, and if Podsednik finds himself ready for Opening Day, Anderson would be competing with Luis Terrero and Eduardo Perez to serve as one of the right-handed hitters off the bench.
Anderson understands Guillen's line of thinking. But he also believes there is more to be gained by staying in the Major Leagues, even with the White Sox solely taking advantage of his strong defense, than starting for the Knights.
"Obviously, Ozzie has been around the game a lot longer than I have, so I have to respect what he says," Anderson said. "But on a personal level, I think I would be better off being in the big leagues and being able to experience and learn from other players.
"That's their decision, and I'll respect whatever decision is made. It doesn't mean I have to agree with it, but I'll respect what they say. I personally don't want to go [to the Minors]. I don't think anyone wants to go. I don't know how I would feel until the day it happens."
Swing and a strange drive: Perez probably will never forget his third home run hit as a member of the White Sox.
Starting as the designated hitter against Milwaukee left-hander Chris Capuano, Perez launched a three-run blast in the first inning of his team's 11-8 victory. Perez never finished the home run trot, as he pulled up around first base with a strained right calf and left the game. Paul Konerko encouraged the young bat boy to finish Perez's home run, but it was Andy Gonzalez who pinch-ran and got credit for the run scored, tipping his helmet in jest as he crossed home plate.
"The home run and the RBIs count, but no run scored," said Perez of the ruling on his drive. "That's what I heard."
According to Perez, he's seen enough players go down from severe injuries such as calf tears where he was almost immediately able to discern that his problem is more day-to-day.
"It felt like a charley horse, so I didn't want to risk anything," Perez said. "I just stopped immediately."
Good and getting better: Although he allowed three runs on four hits in the first inning against Milwaukee, Jon Garland termed his fourth Cactus League appearance as the best he has felt all spring.
"After an inning, sitting down and coming back out, it didn't take me too long to get loose," said Garland, who allowed seven hits and one walk over four innings. "It didn't bother me too bad, and that's definitely a good sign."
Garland tried to convince pitching coach Don Cooper to work another inning and said his arm strength is there. His plan is to continue having work done to get rid of the deep knot in his right shoulder.
Around the horn: Right-handed pitcher Lance Broadway, left-handed hurler Heath Phillips, Gonzalez and non-roster infielder Junior Spivey were the biggest names of the 14 cuts announced Wednesday by the White Sox. First baseman Casey Rogowski also was among the group optioned to Charlotte. ... Joe Crede was hit by a Greg Aquino pitch in the sixth inning and slammed his bat down after the connection. But Crede labeled the result as a bruised right palm and said X-rays would not be necessary. ... Guillen's crew has hit 25 home runs and yielded 13.
Up next: The White Sox have their lone off-day this spring on Thursday, followed by Round 2 of the Cactus League rivalry with the Cubs on Friday at 3:05 p.m. CT. Both Mark Buehrle and Broadway are scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game Thursday morning.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.