Posts Tagged ‘#WhiteSoxBaseball’

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Tim Anderson is putting his legs — and wallet — to good use on and off the field.

The 25-year-old White Sox shortstop is donating $500 each time he steals a base this season, with proceeds going to his anti-violence foundation, he announced in an Instagram post. Anderson leads Major League Baseball with 12 stolen bases.

“With EVERY stolen base I swipe this season, I personally pledge $500 to help steal away from senseless violence within our communities,” he wrote in the post Wednesday.

In conjunction with his donations, he started a pledgeit.org drive seeking $25,000. As of Thursday afternoon, it had raised $1,665.

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Chicago White Sox slugger Eloy Jiménez and pitcher Nate Jones have both been placed on the 10-day injured list, the team announced Sunday.

Jiménez, who has three home runs so far this season, was injured during Friday’s game when he sprained his ankle while jumping for a fly ball at Guaranteed Rate Field. The outfielder has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, and will miss at least 10 days due to the injury.

Jones, who has an 0-1 record and a 3.48 ERA in 13 games this season, was placed on the injured list with inflammation in his right elbow, according to the team.

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Everybody likes to ask the same question this time of year: How many wins?

In the days leading up to Opening Day, I and everyone else that pays attention to the White Sox have answered that question with best guesses and informed predictions. But all of them have one thing in common. No matter the number, the White Sox win total is not expected to be enough to clinch a postseason berth.

And the truth is that expectation exists because the White Sox are still in the thick of their rebuilding process. And these things take time. On the other side of town, the Cubs had five straight fifth-place finishes before their ascent in 2015. Down in Texas, the Houston Astros averaged 104 losses for four straight seasons before making the playoffs in 2015, then missed the postseason again in 2016 before their championship season in 2017.

Rebuilds take time.

So if the White Sox are most likely destined for another season of development at the major and minor league levels, what does success look like?

Well, for starters, the players in that White Sox clubhouse don’t want to hear about patience and another rebuilding season any more than any anxious member of the fan base. In the early days of spring training, the voices in the clubhouse were talking about focusing on the present as much as the future, about winning now.

“There’s a point in time where it’s s**t or get off the pot, man. I mean, there’s a point where you’ve got to make a turn,” Carlos Rodon, the team’s Opening Day starter here in Kansas City, told Our Chuck Garfien last month. “I’ve been on teams like this before, not in the big leagues, but during my younger baseball career, where they’re OK or weren’t good at all, and there’s a point where the team turned and we became great or just winners. We just came together and it just happened. It’s got to happen soon. We’ve got to start picking up some ground. This is about winning, and I get the whole ‘there’s a process to winning,’ and I agree a hundred percent with Rick (Hahn), but it’s time.”

“We’re about winning here,” starting pitcher Lucas Giolito said last month. “It’s not about trying to win. It’s not ‘Oh we’re feeling it out.’ It’s about winning now. That’s pretty much it. That’s the most fun, when you’re winning. That’s the mindset now. I’m all about it.”

“I want to win every day,” shortstop Tim Anderson said at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. “I’m not worried about the future, I’m worried about right now.”

And so success, for these players, looks like wins. And there’s reason to believe there will be a significant increase in those after the White Sox won just 62 games a season ago. Top-ranked prospect Eloy Jimenez has arrived from the minor leagues and should make a big impact in the middle of the order. Offseason additions in the bullpen (Alex Colome and Kelvin Herrera) and in the lineup (Jon Jay and Yonder Alonso) have undoubtedly made this roster better. Dylan Cease, the No. 3 prospect in the organization, should arrive before the season concludes, providing a summertime jolt to the starting rotation. If Rodon, Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez can find more consistency on that starting staff, if Anderson and Daniel Palka can improve their batting averages and on-base percentages after putting up some good power numbers last season, if the White Sox can take advantage of playing against the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers a combined 38 times.

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The White Sox made a notable outfield cut Saturday, sending Nicky Delmonico to Triple-A Charlotte not long after Eloy Jimenez signed his new six-year deal.

Rick Hahn wouldn’t 100-percent confirm during the press conference whether or not Jimenez would be on the team’s Opening Day roster, but the new deal eliminates the service-time conversation surrounding Jimenez and allows him to make his major league debut when the regular season starts next week in Kansas City.

If Jimenez is going to end up on the Opening Day roster, the White Sox will need to make room for him. That could mean cutting another outfielder in addition to Delmonico, but not necessarily. More on that in a bit.

Delmonico might have had a tough time making the Opening Day roster even if Jimenez would’ve started the season in the minor leagues. The White Sox outfield is a crowded one after the offseason addition of veteran Jon Jay. The presence of Adam Engel, Daniel Palka and the versatile Leury Garcia made it difficult to envision a place for Delmonico, who had a disappointing, injury-filled season in 2018 after showing promise at the end of the 2017 campaign.

It seems as if, eventually, the White Sox could have to move another one of those aforementioned outfielders to make room for Jimenez, who figures to be the team’s everyday left fielder in 2019. But that decision could be delayed until mid April thanks to a bunch of built-in off days at the start of the regular-season schedule.

White Sox 8, Royals 0 / Royals 5, White Sox 2

Tim Anderson is very popular among players – White Sox players. Others around the game continue to take issue with him.

The latest came in Saturday’s nightcap. The exuberant Anderson led off the game with a home run and hollered as he broke out of the box. Royals catcher Salvador Perez took exception.

After Anderson touched home, Perez said he told Anderson: “I’ve hit some homers, too. I keep running the bases. I don’t get loud like you. That’s the only thing I tell him. Keep doing what you’re doing, bro. Have fun. It’s a game, you know. That’s it. He was mad about that.”

A relaxed Anderson said after the game: “I’m a leadoff guy so my job is to get my teammates going. It’s not about them, it’s about my teammates. I play the game with a lot of energy, lot of confidence. Just having fun.”

After Perez reached second base in the bottom of the inning, he and Anderson got close enough to rate each other’s breath. Both benches emptied but there was no pushing or shoving. And, eventually, the two shook hands.

“For my side, I think it’s over,” Perez said. “I’m not the kind of guy (to say): We’re gonna hit you. No, no, no. I don’t want him to do it again (or) we have to make some decisions. He can come in (Sunday) and play hard and have fun. We’re going to have fun, too. I don’t think we have any problem. What happened tonight is done. We have to be professional.”

Abraham Almonte then hit a grounder that Anderson could not handle; it was ruled a hit because Anderson got screened. The Kauffman Stadium crowd howled in delight at the miscue.

After Eric Skoglund struck out Anderson in the third, the two looked at each other. Anderson shook his head while walking back to the dugout.

Perhaps the Royals are still steamed from Opening Day when Anderson had the nerve to enjoy hitting two home runs.

Pitchers Justin Verlander and Marcus Stroman also have taken offense to Anderson, with Stroman saying in August: “I don’t understand why he would be running his mouth walking back to the dugout. It made zero sense to me.”

A lot of the unwritten rules regarding celebrations make zero sense to fans.

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Carlos Rodon may not be a “star” in the traditional sense of the term. But he is a former No. 3 pick playing in a big media market, and he holds a high rank in the “Better Than You Think” club.

On the surface, there’s the 3.90 ERA that Rodon has put up in his 304.1 innings with the Chicago White Sox. Most recently, he managed just a 4.04 ERA in 165 innings as a sophomore in 2016.

But from another perspective, Rodon was the equal of the American League’s Cy Young winner last season. He matched Rick Porcello’s 3.89 xFIP, a stat that prioritizes strikeout and walk rates while normalizing home run rates.

This was the lefty’s reward for striking out over a batter per inning (9.2 K/9) while drastically improving his walk rate from his rookie season, going from a 4.6 BB/9 to a 2.9 BB/9. What’s more, these and Rodon’s home run rate improved from the first half to the second half.

Lo and behold, the 24-year-old was a different pitcher down the stretch. His pitch selection evolved from a sinker-heavy approach to a multidimensional attack with more four-seamers, sliders and changeups.

Rodon will look the part of a top-of-the-rotation starter if he picks up in 2017 where he left off in 2016, showcasing strong command of wicked stuff. Even better, the results should also be there.


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