White Sox

White Sox hope Melky Cabrera can build off Tuesday's baby step

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White Sox hope Melky Cabrera can build off Tuesday's baby step

During the White Sox 4-2 win over Houston on Tuesday night, Melky Cabrera walked.

Normally, that wouldn’t be noteworthy. But it was the first walk Cabrera drew in 103 plate appearances, a run dating back to mid-May.

Sandwiched between those games in which he took a walk — May 15 and June 9 — was a stretch in which the outfielder hit .202 with a .424 OPS and only two extra-base hits. Coincidence or not, in Cabrera’s at-bat following his walk he ripped a two-run double off Astros reliever Chad Qualls that ultimately turned out to be necessary to keep the White Sox ahead.

“(He was) probably not swinging that well,” manager Robin Ventura said. “And when you’re not swinging well, you tend to expand the zone somewhat and you’re not able to make contact.”

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get a Melky Cabrera right here]

Cabrera didn’t earn his three-year, $42 million contract from the White Sox by drawing a ton of walks — he has only a 7.1 percent walk rate over his 10-year career. He’s had good seasons in which he didn’t walk much like in 2011, when he had an .809 OPS with Kansas City despite a career-low five percent walk rate.

But with Cabrera not making as much hard contact this year as he has in the past, his lack of free passes has become a little more glaring. He’s hit sixth in four of his last five games, including Wednesday night’s series finale against Houston, and has a paltry .233/.272/.269 slash line on the season.

Ventura hopes Cabrera’s walk on Tuesday is a sign he’s getting more comfortable at the plate and will snap out of his season-long slump soon.

“He’s swung it better the past couple days,” Ventura said, “and being able to hit it hard or take a walk is definitely a step in the right direction.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Ryan Pace’s offseason begins. Josh Sitton and Jerrell Freeman are gone, but what will he do with Kyle Fuller?

Plus, Rick Hahn joins Kap from Glendale, Ariz., to discuss the state of the White Sox rebuild, how tough it is to keep their best prospects in the minors and why Jose Abreu is so important for his young team?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

The White Sox three outfield prospects are creating a lot of buzz at spring training.

On this edition of the podcast, Micker Adolfo tells Chuck Garfien about a conversation they all had about one day becoming the starting outfield for the White Sox. Adolfo talks about his longtime friendship with Eloy Jimenez, his impressions of Luis Robert, Luis Basabe and the White Sox future.

But first, it's a conversation with MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez who has great insight on many of the White Sox players: Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. He tells an amazing story about why Jimenez decided to sign with the Cubs when he was a teenager, how much Abreu is revered in Cuba and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.