White Sox

Sox Drawer: Reinsdorf 'stunned' about Minoso decision

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Sox Drawer: Reinsdorf 'stunned' about Minoso decision

DALLAS -- What was Jerry Reinsdorfs reaction when he learned that Minnie Minoso wasnt elected into the Hall of Fame?

Im stunned, said the White Sox chairman, who appeared at the press conference at the baseball winter meetings in person, hoping the 16-member Golden Era committee would give Minoso the 12 votes needed for induction. Minoso received nine.

"I really thought hed get 16 votes, Reinsdorf said. But I wasnt in the room. I didnt hear the deliberations. I was on a committee a year ago, and the discussions were great a year ago when we talked pros and cons on certain guys. Its hard to criticize the people who were there when I wasnt there myself. I dont understand it.

Reinsdorf wasnt the only one upset about the news. So was Roland Hemond, the former White Sox GM who was on the voting committee, and is not supposed to express his feelings about the voting results. However, Hemond couldnt hold back his true emotions saying, Im disappointed.

The expression on his face showed a whole lot more.

In his 17-year major league career, Minoso batted .298, scoring 1,136 runs, driving in 1,023 with almost a third of his 1,963 hits going for extra bases. He won three Gold Gloves and finished in the top 10 for A-L MVP five times. But it was his trailblazing status as the unofficial Jackie Robinson of Latin America that has many in the baseball community feeling he belongs in Cooperstown.

Orlando Cepeda (a Latin Hall of Famer) spoke out on this many times about how Minnie was the trailblazer, Reinsdorf said. Minnie was the guy who opened the door for all the Latins who came behind him. Minnie not only had the misfortune to be black, but he couldnt speak English.

After the announcement was made, Reinsdorf immediately contacted Minoso, who wasnt surprised by the news.

I dont think he really expected it. I think he knew that it might not happen. Ive known Minnie for over 30 years, Ive never seen him to be anything except up, Reinsdorf said. He was his usual classy self and basically shrugged his shoulders, thanked us for his support and said life would go on.

Will Minoso ever get in?

Possibly, but he might have to wait a while. The Golden Era Committee doesnt vote again until 2014.

However, Minnie will certainly have someone in his corner: Reinsdorf.

"If Im still around in three years, Im certainly going to do all I can to try to help him.

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.