White Sox

Did Jose Abreu's red-hot bats help Yoan Moncada have a career night?

Did Jose Abreu's red-hot bats help Yoan Moncada have a career night?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Yoan Moncada used a bat red-hot Jose Abreu gave to him in batting practice and produced the first three-hit game of his career.

The rookie tripled and singled twice in six trips as the White Sox trounced the Kansas City Royals 11-3 at Kauffman Stadium. Moncada also nearly drew a walk but didn’t get the benefit of the doubt from plate ump Ryan Blakney in a fourth-inning strikeout.

Moncada attributed part of his performance to feeling loose after talking to Abreu, who nearly had his second cycle in three days. Abreu finished a homer shy of the feat.

“When you are around a guy like him you feel confident because he will always be there for advice,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “I felt very confident and loose today. I don't know why, but he made an order of bats for me and I was swinging those bats today. It was the bat I used during the game and I felt really good. Just little things like that he does for us has a good impact on us.”

Moncada’s big night started early when he ripped an RBI triple down the right-field line in the first inning to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. The three-bagger came off a Jason Hammel slider and exited Moncada’s bat at 109 mph.

Moncada carried a .143 average on sliders into the at-bat.

An inning later, Moncada lined a Hammel fastball the opposite way for an RBI single to left.

The second baseman then completed his night with a single off a left-handed pitcher, a liner to right. Moncada brought a .159 average with a .518 OPS into the at-bat lefty Ryan Butcher.

“We’ve talked about Moncada’s trying to do some hitting with offspeed pitches, secondary pitches,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Today he did that. Couple of knocks from both sides of the plate.”

Moncada has impressed the White Sox with the way he’s stuck to his patient approach throughout his first seven weeks with them. All parties feel that if Moncada sticks with his approach he’ll produce more consistently.

Perhaps all he needs is for Abreu to stay hot. Moncada has enjoyed Abreu’s hot streak over the last month. He was rooting for the slugger to complete his second cycle with a homer — Abreu drew a walk in the ninth.

Moncada also played a part in making sure Abreu had the chance to accomplish the feat again. Had he not beat out a potential double play ball, Abreu wouldn’t have hit.

That was probably a good thing for Moncada from a trash talking standpoint.

“He would have made a lot of fun of me,” Moncada said. “I told him before the game I would get on base every time for him to drive me in. He did it a few times and that was good.”

Moncada wasn’t the only White Sox rookie to star on Monday. Reynaldo Lopez earned his first White Sox victory with six-plus innings pitched (three earned runs). Center fielder Adam Engel also went 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and a hit by pitch.

White Sox adjust 40-man roster — including adding Eloy Jimenez — ahead of Rule 5 Draft deadline

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USA TODAY

White Sox adjust 40-man roster — including adding Eloy Jimenez — ahead of Rule 5 Draft deadline

The White Sox made some adjustments to their 40-man roster ahead of Monday's deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft.

Rules stipulate that a player who signed when he was 18 or younger and has played five seasons of professional baseball is eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft if he is not on his team's 40-man roster. Because of that, the White Sox — like the rest of the teams in the league — made some moves Monday to protect certain players.

The White Sox announced Monday afternoon that they purchased the contracts of infielder Casey Gillaspie from Triple-A Charlotte, outfielder Eloy Jimenez from Double-A Birmingham, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and pitcher Ian Clarkin from Class-A Winston-Salem and outfielder Micker Adolfo from Class-A Kannapolis.

Simultaneously, pitchers Chris Beck and Tyler Danish were outrighted to Charlotte.

The most notable name on the list is of course Jimenez, the highly ranked outfielder acquired from the Cubs in July's trade that sent Jose Quintana to the North Side. Jimenez was a no-brainer to be protected after he slugged 19 homers and hit 22 doubles with 65 RBIs in his 89 games in the minors last season, splitting time between Birmingham and Winston-Salem in the White Sox system and Class-A Myrtle Beach in the Cubs' system. Jimenez is ranked as the White Sox No. 1 prospect by MLB.com.

Gillaspie was acquired in the trade that sent Dan Jennings to the Tampa Bay Rays. The brother of former White Sox infielder Conor Gillaspie, he hit 15 homers and 20 doubles in 125 games all at the Triple-A level. Gillaspie is ranked as the White Sox No. 11 prospect by MLB.com.

Basabe, the White Sox No. 17 prospect, was in last offseason's Chris Sale trade and hit .221 with five homers and 12 doubles at Winston-Salem. Adolfo, the White Sox No. 14 prospect, was signed as a free agent in 2013 and hit .264 with 16 homers and 28 doubles at Kannapolis. Clarkin, the White Sox No. 22 prospect, was acquired in the seven-player trade with the Yankees in July and posted a 2.60 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 86.2 innings of work at the Class-A level.

The 27-year-old Beck posted a very high 6.40 ERA in 64.2 innings out of the White Sox bullpen last season. Danish made just one appearance with the big league club last season, getting his first major league win in the second game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers.

Three months till baseball's back as White Sox announce spring training schedule

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USA TODAY

Three months till baseball's back as White Sox announce spring training schedule

Only three more months till the White Sox are back in action.

The South Siders announced their spring training schedule Monday, with Cactus League play commencing Feb. 23 out in Arizona.

The White Sox have the unenviable task of opening the exhibition schedule against the defending National League champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers playing hosts to the Pale Hose in Glendale. The White Sox will be the visitors, though they share the Camelback Ranch facility with the Dodgers, so they'll still be in their home ballpark. Their first official home game comes two days later, in a Feb. 25 matchup against the Cincinnati Reds.

The White Sox will face off against the Cubs in three "Cactus Crosstown" games on Feb. 27 and March 10 in Mesa and on March 16 in Glendale.

And in a cool wrap to the preseason, the White Sox will square off against their own Triple-A affiliate March 26 in Charlotte. The game against the Knights should be a fun watch considering all the future White Sox expected to make their way to the big leagues over the next couple seasons. The Knights' roster could be loaded with highly ranked prospects depending on how things shake out.

Here's the full schedule: