White Sox

White Sox fall to Royals 3-2 in 14 innings

White Sox fall to Royals 3-2 in 14 innings

KANSAS CITY -- David Robertson and the White Sox bullpen failed to put the Kansas City Royals away again on Wednesday night.

Robertson blew a lead in his third straight appearance at Kauffman Stadium and the White Sox eventually fell to the Royals 3-2 in 14 innings in front of 25,188. Lorenzo Cain’s two-out RBI single off Matt Albers sent the White Sox to their sixth loss in nine games. The White Sox, who stranded 12 base runners, have lost four of five meetings in Kansas City this season despite leading into the seventh inning in each game.

“It’s frustrating,” Robertson said. “Guys did a great job of coming back there in the (11th inning), and then I came in and just screwed it all up. I really needed to get it done right there.  I didn’t make enough good pitches. I left balls over the plate. You walk the leadoff guy he’s going to score.

“I’m frustrated with myself, more frustrated that I let the team down. We all needed this one. I have to be better.”

Cain’s two-out single to center off Albers drove in Christian Colon, who started the 14th inning with a single and moved up on a sac bunt. It arrived three innings after Robertson blew his sixth save in 33 tries and fourth in his last eight. Robertson -- who received a four-year, $46-million contract before the 2015 season -- also blew a save here in Tuesday night’s victory and surrendered a six-run, ninth-inning lead to the Royals back in May.

He opened the 11th inning with a six-pitch walk of Eric Hosmer, who advanced into scoring position on Jarrod Dyson’s sac bunt. Salvador Perez then tied it with a one-out double to right center.

Robertson, who had a 3.22 ERA through July 17, has allowed nine earned runs and 11 hits in 11 innings since. Those appearances have all come after Robertson was sidelined for 12 days with a left leg strain.

“Leadoff walks are always going to hurt, especially in a one-run game as a closer,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “That’s the first thing you look at and guys getting good swings at him first pitch. You have to be better, has to be sharper. We’re not telling him something he doesn’t feel.

“Arm wise and velocity wise he’s where he was, just not quite as sharp. The swings lefties are getting on him, maybe the cutter isn’t as big as it’s been and burying it inside.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

Nate Jones also blew a lead in the eighth inning, which cost Jose Quintana win No. 10 despite 7 1/3 dominant innings. Cheslor Cuthbert’s RBI double on the first pitch he saw from Jones scored Paulo Orlando, who chased Quintana with a one-out double.

Quintana wound up with the 58th no decision of his career despite a fantastic outing.

He had the Royals out of sync all evening as he attacked the strike zone and allowed four hits, walked one and struck out five.

Quintana leads the majors in no decisions since 2012 with eight more than Cole Hamels and nine more than James Shields and Wei-Yin Chen.

The White Sox offense did Quintana no favors, either.

Aside from Shuck’s third-inning solo homer, they got nothing against Ian Kennedy. But it wasn’t because the White Sox didn’t have chances.

The White Sox stranded a pair of runners in the sixth, seventh, eighth, 10th and 11th innings, failing to add on to their one-run lead in the first three.

Tim Anderson briefly put the White Sox back ahead in the top of the 11th with a two-out, opposite-field RBI single just over Eric Hosmer’s glove to make it a 2-1 game. But Royals relievers retired the last 10 White Sox hitters they faced.

The White Sox finished 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

“Both teams had a lot of opportunities,” Ventura said. “You feel for Q. Every guy came in after one inning and seemed spent. It was hot out there.

“It’s a tough one when you go 14 and know you had a chance to put it away a couple different times and couldn’t do it.”

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

mickeradolfo.jpg
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?

0223-rick-renteria-rick-hahn.jpg
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.”