LOS ANGELES -- While the overall eye test would suggest the White Sox defense has improved from 2013, the numbers would indicate a less than precipitous jump forward.
Entering play Tuesday, the White Sox ranked second to last in the American League with a .979 fielding percentage, landing ahead of only Cleveland at .974. Their 47 errors also fell second behind Cleveland's 56, and there were only three AL teams with 40 or more errors.
Physical mistakes are going to happen, as they did to Conor Gillaspie and Gordon Beckham on Monday night during a five-run sixth, in which all five runs were unearned behind Jose Quintana. But manager Robin Ventura still believes his team has improved in this discipline.
"We kind of cleaned up some of the stuff we had last year, throwing to the wrong base," Ventura said. "Physical stuff, you are going to see on occasion. You are not going to see most nights where Gordon has a night like that.
"Conor's, it's just a bad time to happen. That's part of playing and it's not fun to have happen. You have to be able to withstand that, too, mentally, to be able to be a better defensive team."
Ventura doesn't see a situation where the defensive shortcomings can snowball as they did last year.
"You stay focused on what you are doing and trust them," Ventura said. "Something a year like last year helps you with is you are still able to get over that hump and guys can see the other side of it. I think if we continue to do the same thing this whole time, it would be different."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.