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Notes: Madrigal's eye; Mercedes keeps crushing

@scottmerkin
March 10, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There were no concussion issues for Nick Madrigal after the White Sox second baseman took a ground ball just above the left eye in the eighth inning of Monday’s game with the Reds. But Madrigal was out of action for precautionary measures on Tuesday, sporting a pair

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There were no concussion issues for Nick Madrigal after the White Sox second baseman took a ground ball just above the left eye in the eighth inning of Monday’s game with the Reds.

But Madrigal was out of action for precautionary measures on Tuesday, sporting a pair of sunglasses when talking to the media.

“Today we’re kind of making sure everything is fine and then kind of taking it easy,” said Madrigal, adding he had a little shiner under his eye. “There’s no rush right now. Just kind of taking it a day at a time. Today, just kind of knocking down the swelling and tomorrow I should be good. We’ll see what happens.

“I feel good. A little sore, but nothing serious right now. I’ve gone through some tests, everything looks good. Just one of those plays that I thought might have hit a little bad hop, got me in the face. Just part of the game. I’m not mad or anything. It’s just one of those things. I’m kind of bummed right now, but I’ll be good probably tomorrow or the next day.”

Madrigal was thankful the ball didn’t hit him squarely in the eye and reported no vision issues. The focus for Madrigal has been getting ready for Opening Day, wherever the No. 4 White Sox prospect eventually starts. He’s not worried about a 6-for-27 showing on offense during Spring Training, featuring six singles, and hasn’t been trying to do a little extra to prove he belongs as the White Sox starting second baseman from the season’s outset.

“I’ve always tried to show these guys what I can do,” Madrigal said. “My style is to just go out there and be one of the guys to help the team win on a daily basis. There’s no added pressure or anything.

“I know a lot of people have kind of asked me that because things haven’t been going the best out there, but I feel good. I feel like I’m seeing the ball well. I just haven’t gotten the results I’ve wanted. I’m not doubting my game or anything like that. Ultimately, I’ve got to be ready for Opening Day. That’s where it really counts.”

Mercedes mashing his way to Chicago
After Yermin Mercedes’ two-out, two-strike home run in the ninth inning put Monday’s White Sox contest into a 3-3 tie, the gregarious catcher delivered a message to his growing cult following via his @ymercedes73 Twitter account.

“See you soon Chicago,” Mercedes tweeted amid the social media hoopla focused on his team-leading fourth Cactus League homer. The catcher built like an NFL fullback has fun with his fans but has a 26th-man meaning on the White Sox roster behind his message.

“Yes, because I want to be in Chicago. I’m working hard for that,” Mercedes said. “Every time I post on Twitter or Instagram I say, ‘I see you in Chicago.’ I’ll see you soon because I want to be there with my teammates.”

Mercedes uses a leg kick in his swing but seems to quiet it down with two strikes. It still allows him to hit the ball a long way.

“Just trying to make contact, like see the ball better,” Mercedes said. “My normal leg kick I just try to swing hard, like crush the ball. When I have the two-strike approach, I try to make contact, put the ball in play.”

They said it
“Yeah, definitely a tough question. Being through the spring right here, I’d like to think I can compete with the best of the best. That’s what we all want to be. The best of the best. If I do my thing, I can fit in.” -- Andrew Vaughn, the No. 2 White Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline, on whether he feels Major League ready presently.

“He gave me the reins today and said that if I wanted to shake anything or throw anything, it's up to me. Just go out there and be comfortable. I didn't want to shake, so that's a good sign. Aside from that, he's like butter back there, so it's pretty easy to throw to a guy like that.” -- Michael Kopech, who threw a scoreless first in his first start since Sept. 5, 2018 due to Tommy John surgery and rehab during a 9-2 loss to Texas Tuesday, on throwing to Yasmani Grandal.

Up next
Lucas Giolito, the White Sox projected Opening Day starter on March 26, will make his second Cactus League start overall at the Rockies on Wednesday with a first pitch of 3:10 p.m. CT. Fans can follow along on Gameday. Giolito will be followed by Gio González, penciled in currently as the team’s fifth starter, and reliever Jace Fry, who both will be making Cactus League debuts. González has been sidelined by shoulder discomfort, while Fry’s is a back issue.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.