White Sox

Todd Frazier has monster night in White Sox win over Rangers

Todd Frazier has monster night in White Sox win over Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas -- So much for Todd Frazier's sub-.100 slump over his previous nine games.

The Chicago slugger hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the 12th inning for his second homer of the game, powering the White Sox to an 8-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.

Frazier, whose average had dropped to .194 because of a 3-for-35 slide, had four hits and a career-high six RBIs to help the White Sox win after the bullpen blew leads in the eighth and ninth innings despite a majors-leading 1.82 ERA coming in.

"It felt good. It felt really good," Frazier said. "With experience, you understand that it's going to come around. Just glad it came today and in extra innings."

Last year's All-Star home run derby winner in front of the home crowd in Cincinnati, Frazier hasn't stopped hitting long balls during his slow start. He has 10 since the offseason trade, two behind Robinson Cano's AL lead at the start of the day.

His go-ahead blast to left came off left-hander Cesar Ramos (0-2).

"We ran into a guy that got hot tonight," said Texas manager Jeff Banister, who was ejected in the ninth after arguing from the dugout following a pitch called a ball for closer Shawn Tolleson. "That was tough."

Dan Jennings (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th and 11th as the White Sox won their fourth straight in a series opener between teams coming off three-game sweeps. Jennings got an inning-ending double play from Mitch Moreland with the bases loaded in the 10th.

"Danny was on a tightrope there, gets a ground-ball double play," manager Robin Ventura said. "Great job by the defense. After that, he held 'em enough that our lineup comes around."

The AL Central-leading White Sox beat Texas for the sixth consecutive time going back to last season after a sweep in Chicago in April.

Chicago closer David Robertson had a shot a save and a win but couldn't get either one, allowing a tying double to Ian Desmond in the eighth and a tying single to Hanser Alberto in the ninth.

Avisail Garcia and Austin Jackson had three hits apiece and teamed up for a go-ahead play in the ninth before the Rangers pulled even for the second time. Garcia scored for a 4-3 lead on Jackson's suicide squeeze bunt that turned into a hit when nobody covered first for the Rangers.

Frazier's ninth homer gave Chicago a 2-0 lead in the sixth. He had a run-scoring single for a 3-1 edge in the eighth.

Rougned Odor's team-leading seventh homer for Texas leading off the sixth ended Miguel Gonzalez's one-hit shutout, and his leadoff triple in the eighth sparked the game-tying rally.

After Adrian Beltre's single scored Odor, Robertson came on for a four-out save. He didn't even get the first one, allowing Desmond's double that scored pinch-runner Drew Stubbs.

Desmond's line drive fooled left fielder Jerry Sands, who had replaced Melky Cabrera after Cabrera was ejected by home plate umpire Laz Diaz for arguing a called third strike in the sixth.

Banister also was tossed by Diaz after a two-strike pitch from Tolleson was called a ball and Alex Avila followed with a singled when the White Sox took the lead in the ninth.

REPLACING DANKS

Gonzalez made the second Chicago start in the No. 5 spot that opened last week when the White Sox released John Danks, a 2003 first-round pick by Texas who spent 10 years with the White Sox after a trade.

Called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Charlotte, the 31-year-old right-hander retired 11 straight hitters from the first to the fifth. Gonzalez gave up three hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings in his second start of the season.

Erik Johnson got the first shot at replacing Danks last week, also getting called up from Charlotte before allowing four runs on eight hits in five innings of a 7-3 loss to Boston and going back to the minors.

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: Avila returned at catcher after missing two weeks with a right hamstring strain. He went 1 for 4 with two walks.

Rangers: RF Shin-Soo Choo (right calf strain) says he will spend four or five days in Arizona before a decision on a possible rehab assignment. He's been on the DL since April 10.

UP NEXT

White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon (1-4, 4.36) allowed one run on five hits with 10 strikeouts in six innings in his only previous start at Texas in 2015. It was a no-decision.

Rangers: LHP Derek Holland (3-2, 5.40) makes his first start since allowing 11 hits and 11 runs in 2 2/3 innings at Toronto, raising his ERA from 2.48 through his first five appearances.

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.”