White Sox

White Sox bats support Jose Quintana in skid-snapping win over Tigers

White Sox bats support Jose Quintana in skid-snapping win over Tigers

DETROIT -- The White Sox have provided few runs to support Jose Quintana the last four seasons. But lately, a lack of home runs for Jose Abreu has been the team’s bigger issue.

One led to the other on Thursday afternoon as Abreu snapped a 32-game homerless streak and the White Sox provided Quintana with a season-high for runs in a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in front in front of 33,023 at Comerica Park. Abreu’s two-run shot during an early five-run rally was his first in 137 plate appearances.

Avisail Garcia also homered in support of Quintana, who pitched 7 1/3 strong innings to lead the White Sox to their first road win of the season in 12 games against the Tigers, Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals.

“I think that’s actually better than Q getting some runs, they’re both right up there,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It has been a long time and somewhere in there it has been dragging on (Abreu). His swings today were great, he’s been hitting a lot of balls right on the nose, which is a good sign for him.”

Abreu’s homer bookended a second-inning rally against Jordan Zimmerman that provided Quintana with a commanding lead. Already ahead 4-1 and on the heels of a 10-pitch walk in his first plate appearance, Abreu ripped a 90-mph fastball to left for a two-run homer and a five-run lead.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

When he returned to the dugout, Melky Cabrera, who earlier singled in a run, forced Abreu into giving him an impromptu piggyback ride in the dugout. The homer was the first for Abreu since June 23 at Boston.

“We were just happy and we were celebrating that moment,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “It was a long time.

“It was always in my mind. It was a tough time for me because I never experienced something like that in my career. I (have had) bad stretches when I didn’t hit homers, but not like this. …

“I feel relieved.”

Unfamiliar with such a lead, Quintana pitched well. It allowed him the chance to relax “a little,” but not too much against a powerful Tigers lineup. He attacked the strike zone and was extremely efficient after a rough first inning, which ended with a fantastic relay from Cabrera to Tyler Saladino to Omar Narvaez to throw out Nick Castellanos at home. Quintana, who threw strikes on 69 of 93 pitches, retired 15 of 17 starting in the second inning.

He ran into some difficulty in the seventh inning when he allowed three straight singles for Detroit to get within 6-2. But Quintana retired the next three batters, including Kinsler, to prevent further damage.

He allowed three earned runs and eight hits, walked one and struck out three as he improved to 9-8.

“Sometimes when you get a lot of runs, you can relax a little,” Quintana said. “(Abreu’s homer) was really good for us and really good for him. It’s exciting. Everybody had a lot of energy today, especially when it was hot. It was good. Everybody did a great job today.”

The White Sox offense didn’t waste any time against Zimmerman, who lasted only 1 2/3 innings. They scored a run in the first inning on Justin Morneau’s bases-loaded sac fly to capitalize on Zimmerman’s wild streak. He hit Tim Anderson to start the game and later walked Abreu. Anderson scored on Morneau’s sac fly to left and exited the game with a bruised left hand. X-rays were negative and the White Sox rookie shortstop is listed as day to day.

An inning later, Garcia put the White Sox back in front 2-1 with a 430-foot solo home run to center. Zimmerman never recovered as he allowed a Narvaez single and walked Saladino. Cabrera’s one-out single pushed across a run to make it 3-1 and Adam Eaton followed with a sacrifice fly.

“They jumped on (Zimmerman) pretty good and that inning just kept going,” Ventura said. “You didn’t really know where it was going, but a lot of good at-bats in that lead up to the homer that topped it off. A lot of good at-bats along the way.”

Would potential bargains like Mike Moustakas or Carlos Gonzalez make sense for White Sox?

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USA TODAY

Would potential bargains like Mike Moustakas or Carlos Gonzalez make sense for White Sox?

The 2017-18 baseball offseason continues to be, well, the 2017-18 baseball offseason, even with spring training games being played in Arizona and Florida.

A bunch of names remain on the free-agent market, including All-Star players who thought they would be in for big multi-year contracts. But as teams continue to deny the wishes of guys who expected to get big deals, the suggestion that those players might end up needing to take one-year offers if they want to play during the 2018 season is becoming a more common talking point.

So with potential bargains to be had for some pretty big-name players, do the White Sox jump into the waters and try to lock up a potential future piece on the cheap? Though they aren’t expected to contend this season, the White Sox have been mentioned in a pair of recent reports surrounding a pair of All-Star position players: Mike Moustakas and Carlos Gonzalez.

MLB.com's Jon Morosi wrote last week that the White Sox are a potential fit for Moustakas, who has sat and watched as former Kansas City Royals teammate Eric Hosmer received a huge contract from the San Diego Padres. Moustakas set a new Royals record last season with 38 home runs but has yet to find a team.

The White Sox, connected to Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado earlier this offseason, seem to have a current big leaguer or highly ranked prospect locked into almost every position on the diamond for the foreseeable future, but third base isn't necessarily one of them. Jake Burger was last year’s top draft pick, though there’s speculation he could slide over to first base. The team still envisions him as a big league third baseman, for what it’s worth.

Moustakas is 29 and already has seven big league seasons under his belt, including a pair of All-Star appearances and a pair of trips to the World Series, including the Crowns’ championship back in 2015. His 38 homers and 85 RBIs in 2017 were both career highs. He slashed .272/.314/.521, the final of those three numbers the best mark of his career.

Moustakas has rarely hit for average or reached base at too high a clip, though those recent power numbers would be intriguing at a hitter-friendly park like Guaranteed Rate Field, where he has 10 career dingers, 26 career RBIs and a .249/.308/.456 career slash line as a visitor.

Certainly Moustakas would be a buzz-worthy addition, and if the White Sox could get him for a good value thanks to this slow-moving market, that adds incentive to bring him aboard. A short contract would have even more incentive for the rebuilding White Sox, who would have the option to either sign him to a long-term deal or deal him away in a deadline deal depending on his immediate production levels.

But for fans hoping the White Sox will spend big on a third baseman in one of the next two offseasons — Machado is a free agent next winter, and Colorado Rockies star Nolan Arenado is set to hit the market the winter after next — slotting in an outside addition at the hot corner now could impact those plans.

Gonzalez is a completely different story, a three-time All Star during his 10-year big league career who is just three seasons removed from a 40-homer campaign in 2015. The 32-year-old Gonzalez also has a trio of Gold Gloves to go along with his 215 career home runs. FanRag’s Jon Heyman listed the White Sox as a possible landing spot for CarGo this weekend.

But his walk year in Colorado was not a very good one by his standards. In 136 games for a Rockies team that ended up in the playoffs, he slashed .262/.339/.423, all those averages way down from his usual level of production. And his power numbers plummeted to 14 homers and 57 RBIs after he combined for 65 homers and 197 RBIs in 2015 and 2016.

The good news for the White Sox is that down year makes Gonzalez far more affordable. Should he command only a one-year contract, the White Sox could take a flier, stick him in the outfield — which still has an unresolved spot with few strong offensive options for center field — and trade him should he bounce back in a big way. Or, at 32, perhaps he’s a guy the White Sox could opt to keep around should he prove valuable and the rebuild continues to move along ahead of schedule.

Gonzalez seems the less risky move at this point, as Moustakas could still be looking for a multi-year contract. But the White Sox have plenty of financial flexibility and flexibility in their decision-making should they add either guy and he proves worthy of a midseason deal or a long-term look.

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.