White Sox

White Sox keeping tabs on Tigers' moves

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White Sox keeping tabs on Tigers' moves

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Like any other team this time of year, the White Sox are mostly consumed with improving their own roster.

But general manager Rick Hahn admits he is acutely aware of what the Detroit Tigers have done this offseason. The Tigers signed free agent outfielder Torii Hunter last month and are expected to get Victor Martinez back after he missed all of last season with an injury.

Detroit also is in talks to sign their free agent pitcher, Anibal Sanchez, and has been the subject of other speculation. Hahn said hes very aware of what the defending American League champions have done. But he also noted hes happy with how the White Sox, who were in first place for 117 days last season and won 85 games, stack up against their rivals.

We have to be aware of what were chasing, Hahn said. It certainly factors into the team we want to build. We cant look at ourselves and say, as we look around our room and talk to our scouts and coaches and look at our clubs and say maybe were an 80-82 win team. We cant think in good faith thats going to capture the Tigers, given what theyve accomplished and the players theyve added.

Fortunately, we dont look at ourselves that way. We like our team. We like the fact were bringing back Jake Peavy. We like the fact Chris Sale will be a year deeper into his career. Our bullpen will have experience under their belt from last year, that well add our opening day starter from last year John Danks who really didnt factor in much from last year. So we factor in ourselves much better. But we still have some areas we need to improve to compete with the Tigers.

The must-listen Nicky Delmonico White Sox Talk Podcast

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USA TODAY

The must-listen Nicky Delmonico White Sox Talk Podcast

While taking part in the White Sox hitters camp in Glendale, Ariz., Nicky Delmonico joined Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey on the podcast to talk about his impressions of Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. But that was only the beginning. 

Delmonico went in-depth about his first major league season, doing hot yoga this winter with Jake Burger, the one White Sox player he expects to have a big season in 2018 (the answer might surprise you), losing a big bet to Tim Anderson.

Plus, Delmonico helps us give away a pair of 3-day passes to Sox Fest and much more.

Listen to the latest White Sox Talk Podcast right here:

Is Luis Robert so good that he'll start the season at Double-A?

Is Luis Robert so good that he'll start the season at Double-A?

Just how good is Luis Robert?

Well, that's the problem. Us on the outside, we don't know exactly.

The White Sox obviously love him, willing to give him big bucks to come play a starring role in the rebuild. Rick Renteria raved about Robert last month at the Winter Meetings, getting White Sox fans all excited by hyping Robert's speed, fielding skills and power.

But as good as the scouting reports sound, is Robert really so good that he'll go from never playing a game in the United States to the higher levels of minor league baseball right away?

That eyebrow-raising possibility was floated Tuesday.

Robert unsurprisingly has plenty of confidence in his own abilities and told The Athletic's James Fegan at the team's hitters' camp in Arizona that his goal is to make it to the big leagues sometime in 2018.

But perhaps the more interesting comment came from Chris Getz, the White Sox director of player development, who said Tuesday that Robert could potentially start the season at either of the White Sox two Class A affiliates, Kannapolis or Winston-Salem, or even at Double-A Birmingham.

Robert is just 20 years old, and he's yet to play a game of minor league baseball in the United States after spending his teenage years playing in Cuba. In fact, his only action since joining the White Sox has been 28 games in the Dominican Summer League. He did fare quite well in that handful of contests, slashing .310/.491/.536 with three homers, 14 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and a sparkling 22-to-23 walk-to-strikeout ratio. But that's not really the point.

The White Sox are in no rush with Robert, or any of their highly touted prospects, for that matter. Not expected to compete for a championship in 2018, there doesn't appear to be any reason to elevate Robert to the highest levels of the minors so quickly without first getting him some experience in the lower levels.

Of course, Getz even mentioning the possibility of Robert starting the season at Birmingham should also show just how good the team thinks Robert is right now. So maybe Robert's major league dream for 2018 isn't as crazy as it sounds?