White Sox

White Sox record first ever 9-3-2-6-2-5 triple play

White Sox record first ever 9-3-2-6-2-5 triple play

The White Sox turned their first triple play in almost 10 years, and if they don’t for another decade, at least the one they executed on Friday will be memorable for a while.

Just how memorable?

“Besides marrying my wife and the birth of my kid, to be honest with you, that's high up there,” said Adam Eaton, who made the first out by catching a liner in right field. “It was unbelievable. I've never had that much fun on a ball field. I'm very confident saying that. I've never had that much fun on a ball field, and it couldn't have happened with a better group of guys.

“I've never been to the playoffs, but I've never had that type of intensity and overall joyfulness out of everybody. It was truly a team effort.”

Here’s how it went down.

The White Sox had a 5-0 lead in the top of the seventh inning. Jose Quintana was stuck in a jam with the bases loaded. Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland lined out to Eaton in right field, who relayed the throw to Jose Abreu at first, tagging Ian Desmond after multiple attempts.

The White Sox first baseman then hauled the ball over to catcher Dioner Navarro, who threw to shortstop Tyler Saladino, catching Adrian Beltre in a rundown between second and third. Saladino then shifted his attention to Prince Fielder, who was caught and eventually tagged by Todd Frazier between third and home.

It was listed as a 9-3-2-6-2-5 triple play, the first ever according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Five White Sox players were involved, and when the third out was recorded, all nine players were in the infield.

Robin Ventura, who has been a part of a triple play before, hadn’t seen anything quite like this one.

“It's just a great job — great jump by Adam in right field to get it in,” said Ventura. “When you kind of break it back down, it was run perfectly. You get the guy at first base. You get the ball home, get it back to second base and Sal running down and getting it. It's just a heads up play — everybody's pointing and filling in where they're supposed to be filling in. 

“They ran it as well as you could and if anybody on the field deserves to have that happen, it's (Quintana). I think that's a good sign. It's something he's earned with what he's been through."

The triple play just about sealed the game for the White Sox in their series opener against the Rangers, who came into Friday's game on a four-game win streak. Quintana's gem powered the White Sox to their 11th win of the season.

The lefthander was glad he got the win, but it was the triple play that was monumental in this game.

"That was fun. That was fun," Quintana said. "We finished the game in the seventh inning, that was fun. I enjoyed this moment.”

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

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USA TODAY

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

The White Sox freed up a spot on their 40-man roster Sunday, outrighting pitcher Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte.

Covey pitched in 18 games last season, making 12 starts for the South Siders. Things did not go well, with Covey turning in an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings.

While there was an outside chance that Covey could have provided at least some starting-pitching depth heading into the 2018 season, the team's recent additions of Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago — not to mention Covey's results from last season — wiped out that idea.

At the moment, the White Sox starting rotation figures to look like this by Opening Day: James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, with Santiago seeming like a good option to provide depth as the long man in the bullpen.

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Sunday marked the first surprise of White Sox spring training, courtesy of first baseman Jose Abreu.

“This year, I’m going to try to steal more bases,” Abreu said through a translator.

This might have sounded like a joke, but Abreu was completely serious.

On paper, he’s not exactly Rickey Henderson. In 614 career games, Abreu has only six stolen bases. However, the slimmed-down first baseman does have some sneaky speed. His six triples last season ranked third in the American League. So there are some wheels to work with.

“I like the challenge. I think that’s a good challenge for me. I’m ready for it,” Abreu said.

How many steals are we talking about? A reporter asked sarcastically if a 30-30 season is in the offing? Abreu didn’t exactly shoot down the possibility.

“Who knows? When you fill your mind with positive things, maybe you can accomplish them,” Abreu said. “The mind of a human being works in a lot of different ways. If you fill your mind with good things, good things are going to happen.”

The morning began with Abreu walking to the hitting cages with his Cuban compadres Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, who the White Sox signed last summer. He held his first workout on Sunday. At the White Sox hitters camp last month, Moncada took Robert under his wing, showing him the ropes, even telling Ricky Renteria, “I got him.”

But Sunday, Abreu was in charge, holding court with the three of them in the cage. Abreu watched closely as Robert hit off a tee, giving him pointers about his swing.

“I just like to help people,” Abreu said. “When I started to play at 16 in Cuba, I had a lot people who hounded me to get better. At the same point, I want to give back things that I’ve learned and pass that along to other people. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not expecting anything else. I’m just glad to help them and get them better.”

What kind of advice has he passed along to Robert?

“Since I came to this country, I learned quickly three keys to be a success: Be disciplined, work hard and always be on time. If you apply those three keys, I think you’re going to be good. Those are the three keys I’m trying to teach the new kids, the young guys,” Abreu said.

Abreu lost about 10 pounds during the offseason. He said he hopes to learn more English in 2018. He also arrived at spring training sporting a scruffy beard which he grew while he was in Cuba so he “could be incongnito.”

Abreu likes his new look. Moncada thinks he should shave it off.

“If the organization doesn’t say anything, I’m just going to keep it,” Abreu said.

Well, so much for that.

Moments after Abreu spoke with the media, Renteria told reporters that Abreu will have to “clean it up a bit.”

The two will find a compromise. Come to think of it, maybe Abreu and the White Sox should do the same about a contract extension in the near future.

Yes, he’ll be 33 when his contract expires in two years, but there have been no signs of a decline with his performance. Instead, Abreu is only getting better both offensively and defensively.

Heck, now he wants to steal bases, too.

After Renteria, Abreu is the leader of this team. He commands ultimate respect inside the clubhouse. He’s become another coach to Moncada, Robert and others. He’s a huge brick in the present and too big of an influence and cornerstone to not have around in the future.

“I hope to play my entire career in the majors with the White Sox,” Abreu said Sunday. “But I can’t control that.”

At some point, a decision will have to be made whether to keep Abreu or trade him. In the meantime, ask yourself this question: What will bring more value to the White Sox, getting a high-end prospect or two in return not knowing if they’ll ever succeed in the majors? Or keeping your best player, the heart and soul of your team, allowing him to show your future stars the way while they’re developing in the major leagues?

Seems like an easy decision to me.