White Sox

Red-hot Jose Abreu finishes home run shy of second cycle in three games

Red-hot Jose Abreu finishes home run shy of second cycle in three games

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jose Abreu is locked in like its 2014 again.

About the only thing White Sox slugger hasn’t done of late is complete that pesky second cycle. But otherwise he’s performing similar to how he did when he was the unanimous American League rookie of the year.

Abreu finished a home run shy of yet another cycle on Monday night only two days after he achieved the feat for the first time in his career. He batted with two outs in the ninth inning of an 11-3 White Sox victory over the Kansas City Royals with a chance to accomplish the feat once again but drew a walk against reliever Trevor Cahill. Abreu finished 4-for-5 with a double, triple, walk and two RBIs as he continued a torrid stretch.

“We were sitting in anticipation watching the at-bat,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It would have been unique to see something like that happen again.

“He’s been swinging the bat very, very well. Great at-bats, great approaches. He’s doing everything he needs to do to give himself a chance.

“He has been a pretty good tear of late.”

Though he’s had his moments, Abreu hasn’t been this good since his rookie season. With two singles already under his belt, Abreu tripled in a run in the sixth inning on Monday, his career-best 74th extra-base hit of the season. An inning later, Abreu doubled with one to give him 75 extra base hits and an unheard of second shot at the cycle about 48 hours after he legged out a triple in the eighth inning to complete the first one.

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About the only question left is whether or not Abreu -- who entered Monday with a 1.208 OPS in 33 September plate appearances -- would have another chance. Rookie Yoan Moncada, who had the first three-hit game of his career, ensured that when he legged out a grounder to second to avoid hitting into an inning-ending double play.

Abreu’s teammates made sure he wasn’t oblivious about the possibility as he headed to the plate.

“I knew because everybody around me was telling me, ‘Go for the homer, go for the homer,’ ” Abreu said through an interpreter.

Abreu said he primarily looked for a changeup from Cahill. He got one on the righty’s second offering and fouled it back. Abreu fouled off two more pitches before he ultimately drew an eight-pitch walk.

The slugger is 10-for-13 with two doubles, two triples, three homers, eight RBIs and two walks in his past three games. He’s hitting .306/.358/.564 with 31 homers and 92 RBIs in 603 plate appearances this season.

“My routine right now is working pretty good,” Abreu said. “I also have to thank the guys because they have been doing their job too and that has helped me perform and get the results I have right now.”

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: