White Sox

White Sox given rude awakening as Yankees dismantle Rodon in loss


White Sox given rude awakening as Yankees dismantle Rodon in loss

The White Sox good fortune is either floating in the Boston Harbor or locked up inside the Green Monster. Regardless of their unknown location, the South Siders didn’t bring any luck with them in their trip back home from Boston as they were knocked around by the Yankees on Friday night, 13-6. 

Coming off a 7-1 road trip, Rick Hahn and the Sox suddenly became potential buyers at Friday’s trade deadline. No impact deal ever came about as the deadline went by quietly but White Sox manager Robin Ventura said after the game he doesn't believe the team's inactivity affected their play tonight.

"We just got beat in a game," Ventura said. "That's part of it. That has nothing to do with yesterday or at noon today."

Carlos Rodon was hit hard early and often in what was another rough start at home for the rookie. After giving up a RBI double to Carlos Beltran in the first, Alex Rodriguez continued his surprising 2015 campaign with an infield single that loaded the bases and scored a run in the second. Mark Teixeira followed up A-Rod with a monster grand slam to center, blowing the game open at 6-0. 

“It was just a backdoor slider,” Rodon said of Teixeira’s home run pitch. “He hit it. He’s a good hitter.”

[MORE: White Sox hang on to Jeff Samardzija, stand pat at deadline]

Jose Abreu responded to Teixeria’s blast by recording one of his own, crushing a 99-mph fastball from Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi to right field for a two-run home run to make it 6-2. The shot was his 18th of the season and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Over that stretch, he's hitting .381 with four home runs and 15 RBI. 

But the Yankees would come roaring back again to put up a crooked number in the fourth. Rodon struggled against New York’s lineup throwing wild pitches and allowing more Yankees to reach base. The lefty was chased in the middle of the inning, recording just 3-plus innings and giving up eight earned runs while striking out four and walking four. Reliever Matt Albers came in and gave up a two-run home run to Teixeria, the first batter he faced. The Yankees would end up scoring five in the fourth inning to give them a 11-2 lead.

Rodon’s last two home starts haven’t been pretty as the southpaw has given up 15 earned runs over seven innings while walking seven and striking out 10.

Ventura noticed Rodon missing his spots on Friday and chalked it up to a lesson for the young hurler as he goes through some rough patches, especially against a veteran lineup.

“They worked it,” Ventura said. “They got some pitches that they could handle and did a number on him. You have to be able to throw it in the strike zone. You can’t be erratic and when you’re up and you’re behind and throwing fastballs and they’re sitting on stuff, that happens.”

The Yankees continued to pad their lead against the Sox bullpen with RBI hits from Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley in the fifth and sixth inning, respectively.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]  

Melky Cabrera kept his hot streak going with a RBI single in the fifth and J.B. Shuck added on a RBI triple in the seventh. Shuck scored shortly after on a wild pitch to bring the score to 13-5 but later left the game with a left hamstring strain. Ventura said after the game a stint on the DL could be in Shuck’s future.  

Adam LaRoche recorded his first four-hit game since September 2012 and pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

The White Sox remain 3.5 games back in the wild card race after Friday’s loss and while the South Siders feel like they are in the thick of things in the playoff hunt, LaRoche is hoping the team isn’t scoreboard watching just yet.

“I would hope we’re not worried about keeping an eye on the team’s in front of us,” LaRoche said. “There’s just nothing you can do about that. We’ll go out and play the way we can and score some runs the way we did this road trip and our pitching can continue to do what they’re doing then you look up in September towards the end and see where you’re at. If it’s good enough, then it’s good enough. If it’s not, you’ll get ‘em next year.”

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries


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?


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.”