White Sox

Sanchez's clutch triple helps White Sox outlast Tigers in extras


Sanchez's clutch triple helps White Sox outlast Tigers in extras

DETROIT -- Carlos Sanchez has proven to the White Sox how capable he can be with his glove. On Thursday afternoon, the rookie finally showed them what he could do with his bat, too.

Having already made several nice defensive plays, the White Sox second baseman delivered a critical hit when he cleared the bases with a two-out triple in the 10th inning of an 8-7 win over the Detroit Tigers in front of 40,355 at Comerica Park. Sanchez went 2-for-5, including a three-run triple off Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson survived two-bases loaded jams to even the team’s record at 2-2 on the road trip.

“I think it’s going to give him a world of confidence,” leadoff man Adam Eaton said of Sanchez. “For any baseball player, especially a guy who’s not doing all that well at the plate but brings the glove every day, it’s huge.

“It’s a day that we needed it.”

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Though they broke through in a Tuesday night victory, the White Sox have had a shortage of hits in clutch situations in June and it looked like Thursday may be no different.

With one out in the 10th, Chamberlain walked Melky Cabrera and hit Avisail Garcia. But he struck out Alexei Ramirez on three sliders out of the zone before pinch hitter J.B. Shuck had an infield single to load the bases.

Sanchez, who entered the game with a .410 OPS, quickly fell behind 1-2 in the count before he ripped a slider to the wall in right to score all three. It’s the first big hit of the season for Sanchez, who has a decent track record in the minors. Not only did he hit .250 in 104 plate appearances with the White Sox last season, Sanchez owns a .288 career average in the minors.

“My offense hasn’t been good but now it is getting better,” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “I got the big hit today for the team and its important for me and the team also because we won the game.”

They almost didn’t.

Robertson loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 10th and Justin Holaday singled in two runs. One out later, the White Sox intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera to reload the bases for Josh Wilson, who entered the game as a pinch runner for Victor Martinez in the ninth. Robertson struck out Wilson for his 15th save in 19 tries.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Carlos Rodon struck out seven batters over five laborious innings but gave up a pair of two-run homers to Kinsler and J.D. Martinez. Sanchez helped Rodon get out of a first-inning jam when and Gordon Beckham, who started a short, turned a double play against Victor Martinez. Three innings later, Sanchez cut down Nick Castellanos at the plate on a Jose Iglesias grounder with the infield playing in.

But Sanchez’s best play came against Cabrera in the sixth when he snagged a hot shot off the slugger’s bat to start a 4-6-3 double play.

Adam Eaton, who went 2-for-4 with a walk, homered off Alfredo Simon to start the game. The White Sox took a 3-2 lead in the second inning when Cabrera singled and Garcia doubled to deep center. Tyler Flowers also had an RBI single.

The White Sox added two runs in the fifth against Simon on a two-run double by Adam LaRoche. But the Tigers bullpen took over as Bruce Rondon struck out Abreu and LaRoche with two on in the seventh and kept the White Sox scoreless until Sanchez’s heroics.

“Everybody is pulling for him,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You feel good for him that he got a couple of hits today. He has been playing great defense. We turned a couple of double plays there with him, they show up big any time you are keeping them from adding on or getting close to you. Everybody is feeling good for Sanchy right now.”

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries


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?


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.”