White Sox

White Sox: Nate Jones continues to make progress in injury rehab

jones-sox-insider-0606.png

White Sox: Nate Jones continues to make progress in injury rehab

Nate Jones’ simulated game went off without a hitch, Matt Albers has started to play catch and Jake Petricka, Daniel Webb and Zach Putnam are throwing well.

Throw in the fantastic start by closer David Robertson and the White Sox are pretty pleased about their right-handed options in the bullpen. Jones threw his fastball between 96-98 mph and also featured a good slider and changeup during a simulated game on Friday in Glendale, Ariz.

“We’re going to have a good problem coming up pretty soon, which we haven’t had in the past,” bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen said. “We’re going to have a surplus and going to have to make decisions on guys on which direction to go.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

If they keep up their current performance levels the White Sox won’t have an easy choice. Over his last 9 2/3 innings, Putnam has 15 strikeouts and a 0.93 ERA while Petricka has a 2.77 ERA in his last 17 games. Webb entered Saturday with six strikeouts in 5 1/3 scoreless innings.

All three pitchers have minor league options to burn if needed. But those choices still appear to be a little bit down the road. Jones, who had reconstructive elbow surgery 10 months and one week ago, still isn’t ready to go on a rehab assignment. Albers still has a pin in his broken finger, though he has begun to make progress, too. And even Jesse Crain has progressed, throwing a 91-92 mph fastball and a good change on Friday, too.

[MORE: Ventura hopes rest helps Cabrera snap out of slump]

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said the level of talk about Jones has begun to increase, which is normally a good sign. Originally the White Sox hoped Jones could return somewhere around the All-Star break.

“He continues to progress and that’s pretty much what I get,” Ventura said. “Things are going well, no setbacks. They’re getting closer and when they do that it’s when you start talking more about it and thinking of realistically having him back with you at some point. But he’s done well. In everything he’s done, he’s checked all those points off that you need to get to and he’d be a nice guy to have.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

justin.png

White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

1121_chicago_white_sox.jpg
USA TODAY

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.

In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.

Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.

Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.

But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.

While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:

4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen