Ok, maybe it’s not that cold in Chicago. But it’s not warm here at U.S. Cellular Field. It’s currently 36 degrees and with the wind blowing it feels like 31 degrees according to weather.com. It’s supposed to get colder. So this could be interesting. It could actually help out starter Blake Beavan. The wind is blowing in and the ball might not carry as well. That would be big for Beavan, who gave up 23 homers in 26 starts last season.
“He’s a great competitor who likes to step in different situations,” Wedge said. “You look at the weather tonight, it’s our first game here, facing a veteran line-up for the most part, so it’s a good challegne for him. It starts with the fastball and being able to command the fastball. Hopefully, we get him to the point where he’s need to be physically, warmth wise so he throw his fastball where he needs to throw it.”
There is no guarantee the conditions will stop the White Sox from hitting home runs. With temps in the 40s in their first three games against the Royals, the White Sox hit five homers. And U.S. Cellular Field is a very hitter friendly park, especially for right-handed hitters.
“That’s what they’ve done, and that’s been their MO for a while now,” Wedge said. “They’ve got big strong veteran hitters and you have to keep them in the ballpark.”
Players took to the field with beanies over their hats and big coats. Michael Morse wore a full ski mask, while most were not thrilled with the weather. Even Canadian Michael Saunders wasn’t happy.
“I’m one of those soft Canadians, a west coaster,” Saunders told ROOT’s Brad Adam about Canadians embracing such conditions.
Wedge is plenty used to this type of early spring weather having managed in Cleveland and in Triple A Buffalo.
“This is it right here,” he said. “It’s quite the drastic change. I lived it a lot years. This time of the year, this part of the country, you are going have days like this.
You just have to utilize the heaters, make sure guys work to stay loose throughout the course of the game, between innings, in their at-bats, whatever it may be. Just layer up, which you have to do.”
One of those players that you have to be concerned about in this weather is Franklin Gutierrez, who is starting in center field. He’s been battling muscle tightness in his hamstrings. Cold weather doesn’t work well for that sort of tightness. The last thing the Mariners need is for Gutierrez to get injured in this weather.
“He’s grown to be quite the student of his own body because he’s had so many issues,” Wedge said. “I do trust him to take care of himself. But we’ll do a flyby with a few of these guys and remind them what they need to do and pay attention. you have to stay within yourself on days like today.”
Didn’t get to post the minor league stuff because I had a 6 a.m. flight and was trying to catch a few winks. Danny Hultzen and Mike Zunino had fantastic season debuts last night. Hultzen looked strong striking out eight and Zunino had a double, triple and homer. Here’s Mike Curto’s story .
Double A Jackson opened on the road in Jacksonville and lost 5-3. Taijuan Walker got the start and struck out eight, but also gave up two homers.
Class A High Desert lost 10-9 in one of those crazy Cal League games.