CHICAGO -- Through 22 innings during the 2013 season, hard-throwing reliever Nate Jones has issued 12 walks. But Jones believes control isn't the problem as much as control early in the count.
"I get in trouble a little bit by falling behind and I need to go out there and attack right away and get that strike one," Jones said. "I mean it really helps out. You can tell the difference this year for that for sure. That's the biggest difference."
Jones admitted to having problems with his slider early in the season, but he believes that issue has been rectified. It's more a focus on being consistent with everything he throws.
"Right now, I feel like I can still get guys out," Jones said.
"He's having a little command issues here and there, but it's not totally atypical from some stuff we've seen from him, albeit not in Chicago, but in the Minors previously," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. "It's a little bit different for someone to work through at the big league level, but we've seen Nate come back from this before in the Minors and we're confident he'll do it here."
Jones retired both hitters he faced, one via a strikeout, in the 11th inning Friday to earn the win.
Beckham's rehab stint stalls because of soreness
CHICAGO -- Gordon Beckham's Minor League rehab stint will be shut down until Wednesday after he experienced soreness in his surgically repaired left hand, where doctors removed a fractured hamate bone.
This action is not being viewed as a true setback for the second baseman, but will delay his return. Beckham did not get any sort of shot in the sore area, but he did have his medication changed
"Initially, when you have this type of surgery, the general timeline is at least six weeks from the surgical date, which is next Tuesday," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn "There was some scuttlebutt that he could be back as soon as this weekend, but that would have been ahead of schedule.
"So we are still kind of on that original time frame. His hand and the ligaments have to heal and get used to their new configuration in there without the specific hamate bone. [White Sox head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] and our doctors spoke with the operating surgeon last night, and this morning came up with this treatment plan for the next couple of days. It's something that happens. It's nothing to be alarmed about."
Beckham is 7-for-22 over five games played for Triple-A Charlotte, including a couple of starts at shortstop. He played second and finished 1-for-4 against Rochester on Thursday, actually texting Hahn before the game to let the general manager know he was getting close to a big league return.
Hahn talked to Beckham after the game, and Beckham had a slightly less positive message at that point.
"He said, 'You know, the pain is still there. It's not going away. Is there a way we can try to knock this out?'" Hahn said. "Herm and I spoke, and they spoke to the surgeon and came up with this new protocol. It's probably just fairly regular ramp-up soreness that we've decided to take a slightly conservative route with."
"It's not anything that's damaging or anything like that," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "He's still feeling something in there. When you take that bone out, stuff can move around as far as nerves and stuff like that. That's more of it than anything."
Sale adamant about pitching on Tuesday
CHICAGO -- The usually eloquent Chris Sale stammered a bit when asked Friday whether he would fight even harder if his Tuesday start was skipped, much like his start was skipped this past Wednesday, because of a mild case of tendinitis in the back of his pitching shoulder.
"Yeah, I want to pitch. I'm gonna pitch on Tuesday. I think that's kind of set in stone," said Sale, before pausing, smiling and finishing his thought. "I want to pitch on Tuesday, and I'll leave it at that."
Sale went through his normal shoulder program Friday and didn't feel anything. He actually asked White Sox head athletic trainer Herm Schneider if he could play catch, but Schneider said to wait until Saturday to throw.
A bullpen session usually would come Saturday before a Tuesday trip to the mound for Sale. But more so than a bullpen session, Sale would like to be able to play some long toss before his next start.
"I'd just like to be able to let it go, ramp it up to as close to 100 percent as I can to just see how it feels throwing 100 percent," said Sale, who started May 17 in Anaheim and worked 7 2/3 scoreless innings, while fanning 12. "I wouldn't call a bullpen [session] a necessity, but I'd like to do it after not being on a mound for 10 days to knock some rust off and get some sharpness back in there."
"Again, Sale was a precautionary move by us," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "He very much wanted to pitch in that game, but after talking to him and the doctors, we just pulled the plug on it to err on the side of caution."
There wasn't a fear that Sale would get hurt by simply trying to pitch through shoulder pain on Wednesday, but the White Sox were worried Sale might change his mechanics to compensate for the soreness. It's the same premise as shutting down Gordon Beckham until Wednesday, as the White Sox don't want the second baseman to return until he's doing things he's capable of doing at close to 100 percent and without pain in his surgically repaired left hand.
"One really nice thing that's been going on here, not just this year, but for the last several is that I think there's a very high level of trust in the players with not only the front office but our medical staff," Hahn said. "They understand how important it is for them to be clear with us about what they are feeling.
"You try to hero through some discomfort while you are rehabbing an injury and all of a sudden, you are looking for a multi-week setback instead of a few games."
Third to first
• The White Sox defense has shown signs of improvement since putting in extra pregame work prior to a May 14 contest in Minneapolis. That's a welcome sight for Ventura, who knows it's hard to win a division without solid defense.
"It's close to impossible. We've already proven that," Ventura said. "We have to play good defense to be able to compete and if the offense does what you think it's going to do, we should be in it."
• There was no White Sox confirmation Friday that Rule 5 selection Angel Sanchez had been placed on waivers, as reported Thursday by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The utility infielder is on a Minor League rehab assignment for Triple-A Charlotte, but he has not played the last two games.
• Hahn showed a bit of good humor when music started blaring during his pregame interview session Friday.
"I always wanted my interview to have a soundtrack," Hahn said.
• Jose Quintana, Sale, John Danks and Jake Peavy are the scheduled starters for the four games against the Cubs next week, with the first two being played at U.S. Cellular Field.