White Sox

White Sox fall behind early, lose to Indians


White Sox fall behind early, lose to Indians


CLEVELAND -- A long, rough week for the White Sox ended in similar fashion on Sunday afternoon.

The Cleveland Indians scored three times apiece against John Danks and Zach Putnam to send the White Sox to a 6-3 defeat and clinch a series victory at Progressive Field. Lonnie Chisenhall had a two-run homer and the Indians scored three in the second against Danks, who has lost 13 of 20 decisions. Jose Abreu singled in two runs for the White Sox, who lost for the fifth time in eight tries and open a four-game series with a doubleheader in Detroit on Monday.

“They made (Danks) work,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He gave us an opportunity. He just ran out of innings and pitches.”
Cleveland didn’t get to Danks in the first inning, but he still required 29 pitches to work around a single and a walk.
Danks wasn’t as fortunate in the second inning as Yan Gomes singled ahead of Chisenhall’s two-run blast to right. Abraham Almonte followed with a double and later scored on an RBI single by Francisco Lindor.

Danks threw 56 pitches through his first two innings and needed 110 pitches to complete five innings. With Monday’s doubleheader looming, the White Sox hoped Danks --- who allowed three earned runs and seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts --- could go deeper into the start.

[MORE: Monday's doubleheader to determine when Chris Sale pitches next]

“They weren’t as aggressive early in the at-bat as they had been the last couple of days and I wasn’t able to force them to start swinging,” Danks said.

“You’ve got to tip your hat, they did a good job of fouling off some good pitches and waiting me out and before you know it the pitch count is up there and we’re in the bullpen,” he added. “I needed to go a lot deeper than this.” 

Cleveland gave itself an extra cushion with three doubles in the sixth inning off Putnam. Chisenhall doubled in a run, Lindor had a sac fly and Michael Brantley doubled in another to make it 6-0.

“We tried to climb back into it and then let it slip away a bit,” Ventura said.

The contest ended what has been one of the team’s worst weeks of the season.
They were routed twice, losing by 11 runs on both Tuesday and Friday night. They won on Monday but only after they blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning and topped Oakland in 14.

The White Sox lost Thursday’s game in heartbreaking fashion when David Robertson gave up a three-run homer in the ninth inning. And even Saturday’s victory included another near-blown save by Robertson, who picked off the tying run to end it.
Still, the White Sox made a game of it after Indians starter Josh Tomlin departed.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Abreu’s blooper to shallow right off Zach McAllister scored two in the seventh inning. Alexei Ramirez had an RBI ground out off Bryan Shaw in the eighth to score Trayce Thompson, who had earlier doubled.

The White Sox had earlier chances but never broke through against Tomlin, who also beat them on Sept. 9. Unlike that contest, where the White Sox knocked Tomlin out with a three-run rally in the sixth inning, they didn’t get the big hit on Sunday. Tomlin hit and walked a batter in the second inning but got Tyler Flowers to fly out. He worked around a double and a walk in the fifth as he struck out the side.

“He has been very effective in locating the pitches where he wants to put it,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “For me that’s been the key for him. He’s been very accurate, throwing his pitches in the right spot and where he wants to put it.”


White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey


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


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.