White Sox

Jose Abreu, Adam LaRoche pace White Sox to win over Halos

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Jose Abreu, Adam LaRoche pace White Sox to win over Halos

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It took a few minutes and help from New York but Jose Abreu eventually was rewarded on Thursday night.

Replay officials determined after 140 seconds that Abreu’s liner past third base did in fact strike the left-field line and awarded him with a two-run double. That’s just the kind of night it was as the White Sox offense finally woke up en route to an 8-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Jose Quintana delivered six strong innings and Abreu drove in three as the White Sox avoided a four-game sweep at the hands of the Angels. Adam LaRoche homered in the victory.

“I had my doubts,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “But thanks to (Mike Kashirsky) and the replay crew it was good.

“That was the breaking point in the game for us and we gave Quintana very good run support tonight. Finally it was a good inning for us.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The White Sox already held a 4-1 advantage when Abreu stepped in with runners on the corners and one out. Abreu worked the count full and smoked an 83-mph changeup from Angels starter Nick Tropeano down the line only for third-base umpire Dana DeMuth to rule it foul. But replays quickly showed the ball hit the chalk and White Sox manager Robin Ventura asked for a review. After 2 minutes, 20 seconds Abreu was awarded second base and both runners scored, including Tyler Saladino all the way from first base because he was running on the pitch, Ventura said.

“It can get to a point where you feel like you’re not getting a break here and there,” Ventura said. “That’s part of having replay, you can actually take a look at it. It’s a pretty big play that’s overturned and goes your way.

“Guys swung the bats tonight right out of the gate with Adam (Eaton) hitting a double and getting on the board. Just a nice job of going to the plate and making stuff happen.”

Abreu’s double was the big blow in a five-run inning that helped the White Sox awake from a week-plus long slumber and break a 1-all tie. They had scored three or fewer runs in seven of their past eight games.

But LaRoche singled through the shift to start the fifth inning ahead of an Alexei Ramirez single. Geovany Soto’s two-strike bunt for a single loaded the bases with no outs and Carlos Sanchez singled in a run to make it 2-1. Shane Victorino inexplicably threw home on Eaton’s sacrifice fly, which allowed one to score and the other runners to move into scoring position. Saladino got an RBI because of Victorino’s miscue as Soto scored from third on a blooper that just fell in to make it 4-1. Abreu, who had an RBI groundout in the first, knocked Tropeano out of the game with some help from his friends in the clubhouse.

[MORE: Rick Hahn on White Sox season: 'We're all disappointed']

The White Sox sent 10 men to the plate in the fifth inning but they weren’t done.

Avisail Garcia doubled off Cam Bedrosian to start the eighth inning and LaRoche crushed a two-run homer to right center to make it 8-2. It was only LaRoche’s second multi-hit game since July 8 and his first of the month.

Quintana enjoyed the abundance of run support.

Whereas he gave back a 1-0 first-inning lead on an RBI double by Mike Trout, Quintana didn’t relinquish the five-run cushion. Albert Pujols singled in run to make it a 6-2 game in the bottom of the fifth but Quintana got C.J. Cron looking to strand a pair of runners.

Quintana allowed two earned runs and eight hits in six innings as he improved to 7-10.

“We haven’t had a bunch of those,” LaRoche said. “We are always searching for that. Take some pressure off the pitchers and takes a little stress off of our manager --- all these one- and two-run games. We haven’t been able to put a bit one together and tonight we did.”

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

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USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

PHOENIX, Ariz. — One of the White Sox prized prospects will be on the shelf for a little while.

Outfielder Micker Adolfo has a sprained UCL in his right elbow and a strained flexor tendon that could require surgery. He could avoid surgery, though he could be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Though he hasn’t received the same high rankings and media attention as fellow outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, Adolfo is considered a part of the White Sox promising future. He’s said to have the best outfield arm in the White Sox system.

Adolfo had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .264/.331/.453 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 112 games with Class A Kannapolis.

Adolfo, along with Jimenez and Robert, has been generating buzz at White Sox camp in Glendale, with a crowd forming whenever the trio takes batting practice. Earlier this week, the three described their conversation dreaming about playing together in the same outfield for a contending White Sox team in the future.

As Cactus League play begins, how many spots are actually up for grabs on the White Sox roster?

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AP

As Cactus League play begins, how many spots are actually up for grabs on the White Sox roster?

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Some teams have it easy, with their 25-man rosters seemingly locked into place before spring training games even start.

The White Sox actually have a lot more locked-down spots than you might think for a rebuilding team, but this spring remains pretty important for a few guys.

The starting rotation figures to be set, with James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Miguel Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer the starting five. Carlos Rodon, of course, owns one of those spots once he returns from injury. But the date of that return remains a mystery.

From this observer’s viewpoint, eight of the everyday nine position players seem to be figured out, too: Welington Castillo behind the plate, Jose Abreu at first base, Yoan Moncada at second base, Tim Anderson at shortstop, Yolmer Sanchez at third base, Nicky Delmonico in left field, Avisail Garcia in right field and Matt Davidson as the designated hitter. More on the omission of a starting center fielder in a bit.

Omar Narvaez would be a logical pick to back up Castillo at catcher, and Tyler Saladino is really the lone reserve infielder with big league experience, not to mention he’s a versatile player that can play anywhere on the infield.

Leury Garcia also figures to be a lock for this 25-man roster. But will he be the everyday center fielder, as he was for a spell last season? He played 51 games in center in 2017 but battled injuries throughout the year. I think Leury Garcia will end up the starting center fielder when the season begins because of his bat. His .270/.316/.423 slash line isn’t going to make anyone do cartwheels, but it’s better than the offensive struggles of Adam Engel, who started 91 games in center in 2017 and slashed .166/.235/.282. Engel would still be a solid inclusion on the bench because of his superb defense, but to create that big a hole in the everyday lineup is tough.

How could that position-player group change? Keep your eyes in center field, where there are a couple other guys who could force their way into a roster spot this spring: Charlie Tilson and Ryan Cordell. Tilson has had a tremendous amount of trouble staying on the field since coming over to the White Sox in a 2016 deadline deal, but that hasn’t dampened the White Sox hopes for him. And Cordell got name-dropped by general manager Rick Hahn during SoxFest, when the GM said he’s received multiple calls about Cordell since acquiring him last summer. Cordell put up good numbers at the Triple-A level prior to a significant injury last year.

But the main battles figure to be in the bullpen. At times this winter, as the White Sox kept adding players to that relief corps mix, that the whole thing seemed wide open. But when you think about it, maybe there are only one or two open spots.

You’d have to think these guys are pretty safe bets to make the team: Juan Minaya, Gregory Infante, Nate Jones, Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan. Though Hector Santiago was just recently acquired on a minor league deal, he’s really the only long man of the group, and he could sub in if there’s an injury to a starting pitcher. That leaves two spots between the group of Aaron Bummer, Danny Farquhar, Jace Fry, Jose Ruiz and Thyago Vieira — not to mention guys signed to minor league deals like Xavier Cedeno, Jeanmar Gomez and Bruce Rondon.

Bummer had a 4.50 ERA in 30 big league games last year. Farquhar had a 4.40 ERA in 15 games. Vieira has gotten attention as a flame-thrower, but he’s got just one big league game under his belt, something that might or might not matter to the rebuilding White Sox. Guys like Gomez, who has 40 career saves including 37 just two years ago, and Rondon, who had multiple shots at the Detroit Tigers’ closing job in the past, could vault themselves into the mix as potential midseason trade candidates.

Then there's the question of which of those guys will be Rick Renteria's closer. Minaya had closing duties after most of the bullpen was traded away last summer. He picked up nine saves and posted a 4.11 ERA in his final 17 appearances of the campaign. Look to Soria, though, a veteran with plenty of closing experience from his days with the Kansas City Royals. If he's given the opportunity to close and succeeds, he could fetch an intriguing return package in a potential deadline deal.

But now it's game time in Arizona.

“The fun part of playing the game of baseball is playing the game of baseball," Renteria said earlier this week. "We prepare. I think they all enjoy what they’re doing in terms of their preparation. They take it seriously, they focus. But ultimately like everything that we do in life, I guess it’s a test. And the games are a test for us on a daily basis. And how we are able to evaluate them and take advantage of the opportunities that we have to see them in a real game situation is certainly helpful for us.”