Miguel Gonzalez at home with White Sox after late arrival in 2016

Miguel Gonzalez had 12 family members in attendance for his first Cactus League appearance of the year Sunday.He posed for pictures on the field before the game and even gave his grandfather a tour around the training facility at Camelback Ranch. "I...

Miguel Gonzalez at home with White Sox after late arrival in 2016

Miguel Gonzalez had 12 family members in attendance for his first Cactus League appearance of the year Sunday.

He posed for pictures on the field before the game and even gave his grandfather a tour around the training facility at Camelback Ranch.

"I showed him around a little bit, and he was excited," the White Sox pitcher said. "He was like a little kid when they go in for some candy."

Gonzalez expects many more family and friends to be in attendance when he pitches for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic next month. The games will take place in Estadio Charros de Jalisco, near his hometown of Guadalajara.

"In Mexico, there’s going to be a lot more than that, that’s for sure," Gonzalez said. "More than anything (I’m excited) to get together with the guys I played with in Mexico when I played winter ball down there. Obviously the family, I get to see my family, I don’t get to see them all the time."

Sox left-hander Jose Quintana was also tuning up for his start for Colombia against Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, and so Gonzalez pitched in relief Sunday. He treated his pregame preparation the same way, and finished with two scoreless innings, with one hit and one strikeout.

"I’m a little ahead of the game right now," Gonzalez said. "I started a little earlier this year in the offseason to work out, thinking I wanted to go to the WBC and get ready for that, but I think the most important thing right now is getting ready for April 1 with the White Sox."

Gonzalez was pleased to say Sunday that the Sox have become a second home to him.

Last year at this time, Gonzalez was in spring training with the Orioles, but they released him before the season, and he signed with the Sox on a minor-league deal.

Though he had his "ups and downs" in the first half after making his Sox debut April 25, he was happy with how he settled in late in the year. He finished with a 3.73 ERA over 135 innings in 24 appearances, including 23 starts.

"Second half was a better season for me, and you always want to finish strong," Gonzalez said. "Hopefully I can keep that going and minimize damage when I need to."

While plenty of additions went the wrong way for the Sox last year, Gonzalez as a fifth starter was a pleasant development. Manager Rick Renteria said it wasn’t necessarily a surprise to the Sox, however.

"It was probably a surprise (for others) because maybe people just didn’t have any expectations," Renteria said. "But when you talk to him and see him prepare and see him pitch, he’s pretty focused. He enjoys what he does. He’s very relaxed. But really he has an intent to go out and attack the strike zone.

"He’s a strike thrower, stays down in the zone, mixes his pitches well. He’s a veteran pitcher that has an idea of what he needs to do to get through the ballgame."

ckane@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @ChiTribKane

Caption Miguel Gonzalez, Jose Quintana on their 2017 Cactus League debuts

White Sox pitchers Miguel Gonzalez and Jose Quintana react after their 2017 Cactus League debuts on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, after an exhibition against the Rockies. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

White Sox pitchers Miguel Gonzalez and Jose Quintana react after their 2017 Cactus League debuts on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, after an exhibition against the Rockies. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Miguel Gonzalez, Jose Quintana on their 2017 Cactus League debuts

White Sox pitchers Miguel Gonzalez and Jose Quintana react after their 2017 Cactus League debuts on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, after an exhibition against the Rockies. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

White Sox pitchers Miguel Gonzalez and Jose Quintana react after their 2017 Cactus League debuts on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, after an exhibition against the Rockies. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

Caption White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie on sitting out early spring games

White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie on sitting out early spring games. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune) 

White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie on sitting out early spring games. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune) 

Caption White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon talks about first bullpen

White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon avoids teammate's distracting grunts, talks about first bullpen. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon avoids teammate's distracting grunts, talks about first bullpen. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

Caption White Sox catcher Zack Collins on his Catcus League debut

White Sox catcher and 2016 draft pick Zack Collins reacts after his Cactus League debut on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

White Sox catcher and 2016 draft pick Zack Collins reacts after his Cactus League debut on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Carson Fulmer on pitching two scoreless innings in spring opener

White Sox pitcher Carson Fulmer reacts after throwing two scoreless innings in the team's exhibition opener against the Dodgers on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

White Sox pitcher Carson Fulmer reacts after throwing two scoreless innings in the team's exhibition opener against the Dodgers on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

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