White Sox

LIVE: White Sox trail Yankees, 9-0

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LIVE: White Sox trail Yankees, 9-0

Thursday, April 28, 2011Posted: 10:10 a.m.
Associated Press

The Chicago White Sox had plenty of problems in their last game against a pitcher who was a former division rival. Facing another in succession probably won't be any easier.

The New York Yankees will send ace CC Sabathia to the mound Thursday night when they try to salvage a four-game split against the visiting White Sox.

New York (13-8) avoided a third straight loss behind Bartolo Colon in Wednesday's 3-1 victory. The 37-year-old right-hander, who spent his first six seasons in the AL Central with Cleveland and was with the White Sox in 2009, gave up one run over eight superb innings.

The White Sox (10-15) continue to struggle on offense with nine runs over their last six games, and it could be difficult for them to get untracked against Sabathia (1-1, 2.73 ERA).

The left-hander earned his first victory Saturday at Baltimore by yielding three runs over a season-high eight innings in a 15-3 rout. He was pitching on five days' rest because Friday's game was rained out.

"Maybe that extra day did help him," manager Joe Girardi said. "I saw him (Friday) and he looked OK, but you know he had a low-grade fever and wasn't feeling great."

Sabathia spent nearly his first eight seasons with the Indians, and has beaten the White Sox more than any other opponent. He's 16-4 with a 3.82 ERA against Chicago, although he's 2-0 with a 5.14 ERA in three outings with the Yankees.

Numerous Chicago hitters have fared poorly against him, including Paul Konerko (.233), A.J. Pierzynski (.167) and newcomer Adam Dunn (.200).

Ramon Castro has started at catcher in place of Pierzynski in four of Chicago's five games against left-handers. Castro is a .211 hitter and 1 for 9 against Sabathia.

Manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected in the first inning Wednesday for arguing a called third strike against Konerko. He immediately took to Twitter during the game, calling the ejection pathetic and saying it would cost him a pricey fine.

"I said, 'Don't let those guys intimidate you,'" Guillen said. "He got the right to kick me out because when I went out, when he could hear what I had to say, he had to kick me out of the game."

The Yankees have scored six runs in this series. Robinson Cano's three-run homer in the first inning was all they managed Wednesday.

Mark Teixeira is 1 for 9 in the series, Alex Rodriguez is 2 for 12 and Nick Swisher is 0 for 8 to bring his hitless streak to 13.

Chicago's starters have a 2.05 ERA in this series, with each pitching at least seven innings.

Edwin Jackson (2-2, 4.88) will try to continue that success and avoid a third straight loss after the White Sox won his first three outings. Jackson gave up a season-high eight runs over 5 2-3 innings Saturday in a 9-0 loss at Detroit.

"Jax just didn't have a slider at all," Pierzynski said. "It was just spinning up there, and usually it is his best pitch."

Jackson is 2-5 with a 4.81 ERA in 11 career starts against the Yankees. Derek Jeter is 11 for 31 against him and Rodriguez is 9 for 22, but Cano is 6 for 27.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

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USA TODAY

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

The White Sox freed up a spot on their 40-man roster Sunday, outrighting pitcher Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte.

Covey pitched in 18 games last season, making 12 starts for the South Siders. Things did not go well, with Covey turning in an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings.

While there was an outside chance that Covey could have provided at least some starting-pitching depth heading into the 2018 season, the team's recent additions of Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago — not to mention Covey's results from last season — wiped out that idea.

At the moment, the White Sox starting rotation figures to look like this by Opening Day: James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, with Santiago seeming like a good option to provide depth as the long man in the bullpen.

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Sunday marked the first surprise of White Sox spring training, courtesy of first baseman Jose Abreu.

“This year, I’m going to try to steal more bases,” Abreu said through a translator.

This might have sounded like a joke, but Abreu was completely serious.

On paper, he’s not exactly Rickey Henderson. In 614 career games, Abreu has only six stolen bases. However, the slimmed-down first baseman does have some sneaky speed. His six triples last season ranked third in the American League. So there are some wheels to work with.

“I like the challenge. I think that’s a good challenge for me. I’m ready for it,” Abreu said.

How many steals are we talking about? A reporter asked sarcastically if a 30-30 season is in the offing? Abreu didn’t exactly shoot down the possibility.

“Who knows? When you fill your mind with positive things, maybe you can accomplish them,” Abreu said. “The mind of a human being works in a lot of different ways. If you fill your mind with good things, good things are going to happen.”

The morning began with Abreu walking to the hitting cages with his Cuban compadres Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, who the White Sox signed last summer. He held his first workout on Sunday. At the White Sox hitters camp last month, Moncada took Robert under his wing, showing him the ropes, even telling Ricky Renteria, “I got him.”

But Sunday, Abreu was in charge, holding court with the three of them in the cage. Abreu watched closely as Robert hit off a tee, giving him pointers about his swing.

“I just like to help people,” Abreu said. “When I started to play at 16 in Cuba, I had a lot people who hounded me to get better. At the same point, I want to give back things that I’ve learned and pass that along to other people. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not expecting anything else. I’m just glad to help them and get them better.”

What kind of advice has he passed along to Robert?

“Since I came to this country, I learned quickly three keys to be a success: Be disciplined, work hard and always be on time. If you apply those three keys, I think you’re going to be good. Those are the three keys I’m trying to teach the new kids, the young guys,” Abreu said.

Abreu lost about 10 pounds during the offseason. He said he hopes to learn more English in 2018. He also arrived at spring training sporting a scruffy beard which he grew while he was in Cuba so he “could be incongnito.”

Abreu likes his new look. Moncada thinks he should shave it off.

“If the organization doesn’t say anything, I’m just going to keep it,” Abreu said.

Well, so much for that.

Moments after Abreu spoke with the media, Renteria told reporters that Abreu will have to “clean it up a bit.”

The two will find a compromise. Come to think of it, maybe Abreu and the White Sox should do the same about a contract extension in the near future.

Yes, he’ll be 33 when his contract expires in two years, but there have been no signs of a decline with his performance. Instead, Abreu is only getting better both offensively and defensively.

Heck, now he wants to steal bases, too.

After Renteria, Abreu is the leader of this team. He commands ultimate respect inside the clubhouse. He’s become another coach to Moncada, Robert and others. He’s a huge brick in the present and too big of an influence and cornerstone to not have around in the future.

“I hope to play my entire career in the majors with the White Sox,” Abreu said Sunday. “But I can’t control that.”

At some point, a decision will have to be made whether to keep Abreu or trade him. In the meantime, ask yourself this question: What will bring more value to the White Sox, getting a high-end prospect or two in return not knowing if they’ll ever succeed in the majors? Or keeping your best player, the heart and soul of your team, allowing him to show your future stars the way while they’re developing in the major leagues?

Seems like an easy decision to me.