White Sox

Trayce Thompson out of White Sox lineup, but not 2016 plans

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Trayce Thompson out of White Sox lineup, but not 2016 plans

White Sox outfielder Trayce Thompson wasn’t in Thursday’s matinee lineup against the Oakland Athletics due to an elbow injury, but his six-week audition nonetheless has vaulted him into being discussed as part of the organization's future.

The 24-year-old Thompson has been a rare bright spot for the lagging White Sox over the last month and a half, hitting .377 with a 1.113 OPS and four home runs in 26 games. That level of production isn’t sustainable for anyone not named Bryce Harper (Thompson has a .423 batting average on balls in play), but he has shown he can compete at the major league level after not necessarily impressing manager Robin Ventura during previous viewings.

[MORE WHITE SOX: Elbow injury shouldn't keep Trayce Thompson out long]

“This is a different player than we saw in spring training, a different player than we saw the last couple of years,” Ventura said. “He’s physically filled out more, he’s stronger. He has a better idea of what he’s doing, and his confidence level is up there too. He realizes, playing here — you don’t really know until you’re up here and you’re playing. Now being up here, it’s a different player than we’ve seen in the past."

There isn’t a clear opening for Thompson in the White Sox 2016 outfield with Melky Cabrera and Adam Eaton under contract and Avisail Garcia, while struggling with an -0.7 WAR entering Thursday, remaining inexpensive in his first year of arbitration.

But Thompson’s flash of potential since being promoted from Triple-A Charlotte Aug. 3 could lead the White Sox to changing their plans. He’s not expected to be out for much longer, after which he’ll resume his efforts to carve out a spot on the 2016 White Sox.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

“Every time he starts doing something (with his elbow), he’ll feel a little something in there,” Ventura said. “I don’t really want him in there if it’s going to change anything about his swing and how he plays. Hopefully (he’ll return) on the road.

“It’s getting better, but we just don’t feel comfortable. He’s willing to go out there and play, but I want him to be 100 percent and get out there and not change anything he’s got going on right now, because he’s been playing great.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Ryan Pace’s offseason begins. Josh Sitton and Jerrell Freeman are gone, but what will he do with Kyle Fuller?

Plus, Rick Hahn joins Kap from Glendale, Ariz., to discuss the state of the White Sox rebuild, how tough it is to keep their best prospects in the minors and why Jose Abreu is so important for his young team?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

The White Sox three outfield prospects are creating a lot of buzz at spring training.

On this edition of the podcast, Micker Adolfo tells Chuck Garfien about a conversation they all had about one day becoming the starting outfield for the White Sox. Adolfo talks about his longtime friendship with Eloy Jimenez, his impressions of Luis Robert, Luis Basabe and the White Sox future.

But first, it's a conversation with MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez who has great insight on many of the White Sox players: Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. He tells an amazing story about why Jimenez decided to sign with the Cubs when he was a teenager, how much Abreu is revered in Cuba and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.