White Sox

White Sox designate Hector Noesi, recall Scott Carroll

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White Sox designate Hector Noesi, recall Scott Carroll

Hector Noesi was happy to be a member of the White Sox starting rotation earlier this season. He didn’t take his demotion to long man/spot starter nearly as well.

The White Sox designated Noesi for assignment on Thursday and recalled Scott Carroll from Triple-A Charlotte. Noesi -- who is earning $1.95 million this season and eventually lost his spot in the rotation to Carlos Rodon -- went 0-4 with a 6.89 ERA in 10 games (five starts) in a half season full of starts and stops.

The White Sox have 10 days to trade, waive or release, Noesi.

“Just the way the role evolved, it’s a better option for us to have Scotty in that role,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s better suited for that spot. I think for Hector he’s probably more a starter than he is a long relief guy. You end up bringing Scotty back and be able to give Hector that chance that if he can get somewhere else and get a shot at it he can.”

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Noesi started the team’s April 10 home opener. With several early days off, the White Sox skipped the fifth starter and Noesi didn’t pitch again until April 21. His next scheduled start was wiped out by rain, which pushed Noesi back to possibly working in Baltimore, only for the first two games there to be cancelled. Noesi was disappointed to be removed after 73 pitches in his May 2 start in Minneapolis and was hit by a line drive and knocked out of his May 9 outing, at which point Rodon took over. He made two relief appearances in between and on May 25 made his final start, since appearing in three games as a long reliever.

Having pitched in that role for part of 2014, the White Sox feel like Carroll is better suited to handle the unpredictability of the role. They still plan to monitor Rodon’s workload -- though he is scheduled to start Saturday -- which could lead to a start or two for Carroll. Carroll is 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 17 1/3 innings this season.

He was optioned to Charlotte during the May 28 doubleheader in Baltimore and fared well for the Knights, going 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA in three starts.

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Demoted so Chris Beck -- who went on the disabled list at Charlotte Thursday with right elbow inflammation -- could start the second game, Carroll isn’t afraid to say he wasn’t happy about the move.

“I haven't been told anything but I imagine (long man/spot starter is) probably what it is,” Carroll said. “It was very disappointing (to go down). I think any time you do a job that you're asked to do and then you perform at that level that you're capable of and what's expected of you and the numbers don't shake out in your way, it's kind of disappointing. But you just have to go with it and keep my innings up and pitch well and get back up here.”

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

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AP

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

GLENDALE, Ariz. — On a day when Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada took live batting practice for the first time this spring, off in the distance was a lanky White Sox prospect standing in the outfield grass.

But Alec Hansen was doing more than shagging flies. He was watching both hitters very closely.

“I was looking to see how much pop they had,” Hansen said of Abreu and Moncada. “I kind of look at that to see the difference in power between minor league ball and the major leagues. It’s nice to see it’s not a huge difference. That makes me feel a bit more comfortable.”

At 6-foot-8 — actually 6-foot-8-and-a-half, according to his spring training physical — Hansen is a big man with big plans for his baseball career. He might be quiet on the outside, but he has booming expectations for himself on the inside.

“I want to be the best,” Hansen said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

The best? The very best?

That’s what Hansen aspires to become, though later in our conversation, he did dial back a notch, settling for becoming “one of the best.”

Either is fine with manager Ricky Renteria, who is overseeing these uber-confident White Sox prospects and accepts their lofty expectations.

“I think their mindset is where it’s supposed to be,” Renteria said. “None of these kids are concerned or consumed with the possibility of failure. Much more they’re consuming themselves with the understanding that they might hit some stumbling blocks, but they’re going to have a way to avoid overcoming them and push forward and be the best that they can be.”

In his first full season in the White Sox organization, Hansen led the minor leagues with 191 strikeouts. He’s proud of that accomplishment but admitted something: He’s not that impressed because he didn’t do it where it really matters — in the major leagues.

When you watch Hansen pitch, it’s easy to see that the talent is there. His coaches and teammates rave about his ability. With his enormous size and power arm, he is loaded with strengths.  

Though there is one weakness that Hansen acknowledges he needs to work on.

“Sometimes I have a tendency to think too much and worry. I think worrying is the worst thing that I do just because I want to be perfect,” Hansen said. “I think everyone wants to be perfect, some more than others, and I worry about things getting in the way of achieving perfection.”

To Hansen, that doesn’t mean throwing a perfect game. He actually takes it one step further.

He wants to strikeout every single hitter he faces.

“I love striking people out,” Hansen said. “Not having to rely on anyone else and just getting the job done myself and knowing that the hitter can’t get a hit off me. That’s a great feeling. That they can’t put it in play. Like a line drive out. That’s terrible.”

At some point, Hansen will have to lower these impossible expectations for himself. This is an imperfect game. There’s no place for nine-inning, 27-strikeout performances. Players end up in the Hall of Fame because they learn how to succeed with failure.

In the meantime, Hansen is here in big league camp watching and learning anything and everything.

“I’m a good observer. I listen. I don’t really talk too much. I’m a pretty quiet guy. I like to sit back and observe and see how these guys go about their business. Just trying to be at their level, hopefully one day surpass them.”

Surpass?

“It’s kind of hard to surpass some of these guys. I mean, they’re at the tip-top, like the pinnacle of the sport,” Hansen said. “I guess you could say, to get on that level and then be one of the best in the league.”

He might be on his way.

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.