White Sox’s Lucas Giolito Keeping Focus Simple After ‘Hardship’ In Debut Big League Stint

(CBS) When he was traded from the Nationals to the White Sox in early December in the Adam Eaton deal, right-hander Lucas Giolito found out in the same way so many do nowadays.

“Heard about it through Twitter,” Giolito said.

And his first thought?

“Immediate positive reaction,” Giolito said.

The 22-year-old Giolito had an eventful 2016, when he was dominant in the minors but didn’t perform the way he wanted in his debut stint in the big leagues. In 21 1/3 innings with the Nationals, he compiled a 6.75 ERA and also didn’t feel comfortable with his mechanics like he usually did.

So as 2017 spring training has opened up for the White Sox in Glendale, Ariz., Giolito has been talking with pitching coach Don Cooper and focusing on keeping a simple focus.

“For me, it’s just get back to basics, keep it really simple,” said Giolito, who’s MLB.com’s No. 12 prospect. “I’d say last year, I overcomplicated things a little too much in my head, got a little out of whack. I’m looking forward to keeping it as simple as possible and getting back to what makes me successful.

“I experienced a lot of hardship in the big leagues last year. I didn’t pitch well at all. I got hit pretty hard. So I learned a lot from that. I took a lot away just dealing with adversity, being able to make adjustments on the fly, slowing things down when things are speeding up. I’m going to try to take everything I’ve learned and apply that and be a little bit better this year.”

Giolito’s goal is to earn a starting rotation spot out of spring training, though starting the season at Triple-A and getting called up later in the year appears more likely.

“Coming up and not doing well, it really helped me mature a lot in a short period of time,” he said. “I’m looking to put it all together this year.”

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