Giolito feels work from offseason paying off early in camp

No. 11 overall prospect hoping to see better results in 2017

Giolito feels work from offseason paying off early in camp

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Lucas Giolito likes the way the ball is coming out of his hand, a noticeable difference even through just one week of Spring Training pitching with the White Sox.

"Much better than last year," said Giolito, MLB's No. 11 overall prospect, per MLBPipeline.com. "I made a lot of positive changes in the offseason trying to simplify things -- get back to basics, let the ball kind of come out of my hand instead of forcing it. And it's feeling very good."

Giolito admitted to not pitching the way he wanted once given a chance with the Nationals in 2016. He developed a few issues with mechanics, and made it worse by trying to force things instead of relaxing and trusting his stuff.

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"So, this year, I did a lot of dry work in the offseason, a lot of things where I could just feel my mechanics off the mound," Giolito said. "For me, it's about being able to repeat and stay in line. I'm focusing on those two keys, and everything falls in place after that.

"If things start to fall toward the third-base side, or you're leaning toward home plate, it's easy to get out of whack. It's hard to correct it on the fly when you're tall. For me, I keep my head back and it's good."

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Danish feeling strong

Tyler Danish underwent season-ending surgery on his left knee last August. But based on how he felt after throwing two innings of batting practice Tuesday, he's approaching full health.

"I'm perfect," Danish said. "I had two innings today and walked into [White Sox head athletic trainer Herm Schneider's office] after and said, 'I might not be coming in here every day anymore.' I'm very close. I'm throwing the ball well."

Danish, who is the White Sox No. 21 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com, explained he's getting a couple of more inches on his stride after getting the procedure done.

"I can get out over the ball a little bit more," Danish said. "Everything has been great so far."

The maturation of Anderson

In White Sox starting shortstop Tim Anderson, manager Rick Renteria sees a young player who has grown quite a bit as a Major Leaguer since his debut last June 10.

"Pretty interesting. He's pretty happy, he's loose, he's comfortable," Renteria said. "He's starting to get a bit more comfortable with everything, the whole aspect that surrounds the game of baseball.

"He goes out there, and we talked about him just being a leader by example. He doesn't have to say much, but I said, 'You can if you want, but just be a leader by example by going about your business,' and I think he's going to continue to develop and be a pretty good piece."

Anderson, who hit .283 with 37 extra-base hits over 431 plate appearances in '16, gives Todd Frazier credit for helping him the most.

"It's unreal," Anderson said of Frazier. "Whatever's on his mind, he's going to say it. You never know what you might hear. He keeps you on your toes, and he made me feel very comfortable last year."

Third to first

• Renteria liked what he witnessed from Zack Burdi's bullpen session on Tuesday.

"Pretty impressive. He had a couple of balls get away in the total sequence, which gets hairy," Renteria said. "But for the most part, down in the zone, both sides of the plate. Mixed in some changeups, which for him are still high velocity. But he looked good."

• Relievers Juan Minaya and Anthony Swarzak also drew praise from Renteria. Those two are part of the mix for the final two bullpen slots behind David Robertson, Nate Jones, Zach Putnam, Dan Jennings and Jake Petricka.

"We obviously have an extended amount of time to give ourselves an opportunity to look at them and get comfortable with them and allow them to get comfortable with us, which is a good thing," Renteria said. "We'll see how they perform during the spring and see how it fits."

• Aside from the stress reaction in Charlie Tilson's right foot, Renteria reports everyone is healthy in camp.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.