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Hoge's White Sox Notebook: Gillaspie Taking Advantage Of New Opportunity

By Adam Hoge-

GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS) When the San Francisco Giants sent Conor Gillaspie to the White Sox at the start of spring training, it was a move made for the benefit of all three parties involved.

The White Sox needed depth at third base, Gillaspie needed playing time, and the Giants were just looking to get anything for the former top prospect who was out of options.

Mid-way through spring training, Gillaspie -- pronounced "Gillespie" -- is certainly taking advantage of his new opportunity.

After two more hits -- including his second triple of the spring -- in Sunday's 7-3 loss to the Reds, Gillaspie is now 8-for-22 (.364) on the spring. He's also played pretty good defense, which has always been the criticism of his.

"He's just getting a lot of playing time right now," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I think before we got him he wasn't getting as much playing time. We're just sticking him in there and you can tell he likes to play. He's doing a good job."

Ventura said he likes how Gillaspie has tough at-bats and a "pretty simple game."

"He's no non-sense," the manager said. "Just comes to play every day so you don't see him as a guy with a lot of maintenance. He does a lot of things well too so that's a good combination to have."

It appeared Gillaspie made a base-running mistake when he didn't tag up from third on a fly ball, but Ventura said that call was made by third base coach Joe McEwing, even though Gillaspie would have likely scored.

"I'd rather not have some tight collisions at home plate, with my history," Ventura said. "So I'm OK with that."

Ventura was of course referring to the infamous broken leg he suffered sliding into home plate during a 1997 spring training game.

At this point it looks like Gillaspie has the edge over Brent Morel to make the 25-man roster. Morel has options and the Gillaspie still has remaining potential.

Keppinger Scratched

Gillaspie was originally scheduled to play first base against the Mariners in the White Sox's other game Sunday, but third baseman Jeff Keppinger was a late scratch with irritation in his right shoulder.

Ventura said Keppinger was "just feeling sore" and could have played. A White Sox spokesperson said Keppinger could DH Monday against the Rockies, but won't throw until Wednesday. Tuesday is a scheduled off-day.

Floyd Up-And-Down In Start

Gavin Floyd started Sunday's game against the Reds at Camelback Ranch, striking out five while also allowing seven hits and four earned runs in just three and a third innings.

Still, after the game, he was upbeat about accomplishing what he wanted to Sunday.

"I felt like I made some good steps from my last start," Floyd said. "Command the fastball, try to tackle them with that, and tackle them with all my pitches. Felt real good out there."

Not all pitchers are using all their pitches at this point in the season, but Floyd said he used the fastball, slider, sinker, curveball and change.

"It's a great stride," he said. "I think I improved from my last start and got into the fourth inning, which I think we wanted to do. Got my work in, feel great and felt like I made a good step forward."

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