GLENDALE, Ariz. – White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez’s offensive numbers have steadily declined since 2010, and the 31-year-old understands that using the entire field when hitting might help bump his average and on-base percentage.
“My game is not going to change,” Ramirez said through a team translator. “But I’m aware I need to hit the ball the other way a little more and try to do that.
“The way I prepare, every year you learn something different. The way I prepare for pitchers and use strike zone discipline, [and] a little more patience at the plate, that’s some things I’ll continue to get better at.”
Ramirez said he doesn’t have any lingering wrist pain after a collision with center fielder Alejandro De Aza on July 27 at Texas. He admitted the inflammation in his wrist caused it to hurt the rest of the season.
“I feel very good,” Ramirez said. “What happened last year, I learned from it. It’s more of an experience for me and I feel very good and I don’t think it’s going to happen again.”
Bullpen construction: Manager Robin Ventura’s bullpen is almost set, returning nearly intact.
Ventura praised right-hander Brian Omogrosso, particularly for the versatility he provides. Omogrosso, 28, made his first big league appearance last season and ultimately pitched in 17 games with a 2.57 ERA out of the bullpen.
“Omo showed that he can come up and pitch and be very effective,” Ventura said. “Again, it’s comfortable for me if he happens to end up in Triple-A or wherever he ends up. You realize you have a guy you can call on and fits a certain role and can come up and compete.”
Danks shaves head for cause: For the past four years, pitcher John Danks, whos cousin Cooper had cancer, has had his head shaved at the beginning of spring training.
It’s all for a good cause, though. Every year, one of Danks’ teammates does the shaving, to help raise awareness for St. Baldrick’s, a childhood cancer charity which helps fund research.
Fellow starting pitcher Chris Sale was the designated barber this year.
“It’s such a great cause for anybody going through a time like that,” Sale said. “Just to put a smile on their face or bring light to their day anyway you can. It’s always awesome.”
• Meghan Montemurro covers the Cubs and White Sox for Shaw Media. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @InsideTheCubs and @Sox_Insider.