To Donnie Veal, making White Sox’ roster is a big deal
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org March 28, 2013 10:35PM
Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox
While it will come as no surprise when left-hander Donnie Veal officially makes the White Sox’ Opening Day roster, it’s a big deal to Veal.
A second-round Cubs draft pick in 2005, Veal broke camp Wednesday with a major-league team for the first time in four years. He did it in 2009 after the Pirates plucked him from the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft but was set back by a bum elbow. He had elbow surgery in June 2010.
“I was hurt after that and in the minors for a few years, so this feels awesome,’’ said Veal, 28, who had a 1.38 ERA in 24 appearances with the Sox in a confidence-boosting 2012 season. “It was nice to see all the hard work pay off. It was reassuring to know that you belong.’’
Veal joins lefties Matt Thornton and Hector Santiago and right-handers Addison Reed, Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom and Jesse Crain — if he’s able — in the bullpen on the Opening Day roster.
Crain will test his healing adductor when the Sox play Milwaukee in exhibitions Friday and Saturday. If Crain needs more time, Brian Omogrosso is the leading candidate to take Crain’s spot.
Catcher Hector Gimenez, corner infielder Conor Gillaspie, utility infielder Angel Sanchez and outfielder Dewayne Wise made the team as bench players.
Sox are No. 11
The Sox are valued at $692 million, listed as the 11th-most valuable franchise in baseball, according to Forbes’ annual valuations. A year ago, they ranked 10th with a value of $600 million.
While attendance has declined in each of the last six seasons, to 1,965,955 last year (24th among 30 teams), the Sox’ value is tied to much more than ticket sales. They pay a modest $1.5 million in fixed rent plus $3 to $7 for every ticket sold above annual attendance of 1.9 million, and they keep all ticket, concessions, parking, merchandise and signage revenue. The team slashed most ticket prices and some parking fees for the upcoming season.
The Sox’ lease with the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority runs through 2029. The Sox were purchased by Jerry Reinsdorf in 1981 for $20 million.
This and that
Shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who suffered a shoulder contusion from being hit by a pitch Wednesday, didn’t go for follow-up treatment Thursday, which is believed to be a good sign.
◆ Santiago is expected to start in Friday’s exhibition against the Brewers. No. 3 starter Gavin Floyd starts Saturday with fifth starter Dylan Axelrod following in relief.