Scott Schoeneweis spent a good part of spring training getting knocked around while he experimented with two new pitches.
So far, the beatings he took were well worth it.
Entering this season 23-27 lifetime as a starter, Schoeneweis worked on developing a cutter and changeup to go along with his sinker and slider during the spring.
The left-hander lost his spot in Anaheim’s rotation in 2002 because of his lack of variety in his pitches, so he was willing to endure a few shaky spring appearances.
“I worked hard in spring training and persevered through a lot of rough outings in the spring,” he said. “I kept telling myself all spring things would pay off when the season began. So far it has.”
Schoeneweis has allowed just seven runs—six earned—and six hits over 19 1-3 innings in three starts this season. He gave up just three earned runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings of Thursday’s 4-3 win over the New York Yankees.
“I’m trying to hit the mitt—real basic stuff that you learn when you’re a little leaguer,” he said. “See the glove and hit the glove and not worry about anything else.”
While Schoeneweis’ new arsenal has helped him become a more efficient starter, his sinker has remained one of his biggest assets. He forced 10 groundouts against the Yankees and has allowed just one home run in his last 21 appearances, a span of 42 1-3 innings.
“I try to make teams hit three or four singles to score a run,” Schoeneweis said. “I was almost entirely a sinkerball guy in the past, keeping the ball down. That makes them hit a lot of balls on the ground.”
The White Sox lost 11-7 to the Indians in 10 innings Tuesday for their second defeat in five games. Magglio Ordonez and Frank Thomas hit back-to-back homers in the first inning, and Paul Konerko added another in the opening frame for Chicago.
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