White Sox

White Sox set 25-man roster

white-sox-set-25-man-roster.png

White Sox set 25-man roster

CATCHERS

No. 27 Dioner Navarro

Bats: S  |  Throws: R

Ht: 5-9  |  Wt: 215

Age: 32  |  Service Time: 9.091

Well-traveled veteran catcher has plenty of personality and a little bit of pop in his bat. One of two new players behind the plate.

 

No. 31 Alex Avila

Bats: L  |  Throws: R

Ht: 5-11  |  Wt: 210

Age: 29  |  Service Time: 6.061

Another experienced backstop who has played for a winning team in all but one season and has handled several elite pitchers in Detroit.

 

INFIELDERS

No. 79 Jose Abreu

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 255

Age: 27  |  Service Time: 2.00

Managed to become only second to post 30-homers, 100-RBIs in first two seasons despite limited protection in 2015.

 

No. 15 Brett Lawrie

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-0  |  Wt: 210

Age: 26  |  Service Time: 4.055

High energy infielder is making transition to second base. Club is hopeful move to hitter friendly ballpark could result in power surge.

 

No. 7 Jimmy Rollins

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 5-7  |  Wt: 175

Age: 37  |  Service Time: 15.015

Speedy, steady and professional, and a proven winner, he provides much-needed leadership in middle of the diamond and a bridge to prospect Tim Anderson.

 

No. 18 Tyler Saladino

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-0  |  Wt: 200

Age: 26  |  Service Time: 0.087

Versatile defender showed his value when he excelled at third base in ’15. Team is hopeful his bat improves upon .602 OPS in second season.

 

No. 21 Todd Frazier

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 220

Age: 30  |  Service Time: 4.071

Home Run Derby champ brings energy, attitude and professional approach to the middle of the order and a strong glove to the hot corner.

 

OUTFIELDERS

No. 26 Avisail Garcia

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-4  |  Wt: 240

Age: 24  |  Service Time: 2.167

Has had a strong spring after making several changes to stance and approach. Club’s chances improve if his bat develops and he drives the ball.

 

No. 1 Adam Eaton

Bats: L  |  Throws: L

Ht: 5-8  |  Wt: 185

Age: 27  |  Service Time: 3.030

Could be an All-Star if he replicates the .834 OPS he posted from May 5 on in 2015. Dynamic offensive player could be even better defender in corners.

 

No. 53 Melky Cabrera

Bats: S  |  Throws: L

Ht: 5-10  |  Wt: 210

Age: 31  |  Service Time: 9.148

Had to be a big relief to the front office when his OPS improved by 139 points to .782 in the second half. Offense needs similar showing all season.

 

No. 10 Austin Jackson

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-1  |  Wt: 205

Age: 29  |  Service Time: 6.000

Rick Hahn’s patience paid off by adding this defensive dynamo to what was the worst outfield in baseball. Should see bat boosted by move to hitter’s park, too.

 

No. 20 J.B. Shuck

Bats: L  |  Throws: L

Ht: 5-11  |  Wt: 195

Age: 28  |  Service Time: 2.111

Knows his role. Provides excellent energy and ability to play all three spots off bench. Had an .820 OPS (49 plate appearances) in non starts.

 

No. 41 Jerry Sands

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-4  |  Wt: 225

Age: 28  |  Service Time: 1.142

Has been dominant against LHPs and could play a valuable role. Big power. Needs to bridge gap against righties to see significant playing time.

 

STARTING PITCHER

No. 49 Chris Sale

Bats: L  |  Throws: L

Ht: 6-6  |  Wt: 190

Age: 27  |  Service Time: 5.061

One of baseball’s best pitchers set a franchise-record with 274 strikeouts last season. Always a threat to put together a Cy Young-type season.

 

No. 62 Jose Quintana

Bats: L  |  Throws: L

Ht: 6-1  |  Wt: 220

Age: 25  |  Service Time: 1.133

The steadiest and best pitcher nobody’s heard of outside of Chicago. Has produced 13.4 WAR and a 3.40 ERA in 606 2/3 innings over past three seasons.

 

No. 50 John Danks

Bats: L  |  Throws: L

Ht: 6-1  |  Wt: 210

Age: 28  |  Service Time: 7.00

Has worked to shore up mechanics and sounds as confident as he has in a few years. Improvement over 4.71 ERA in 2015 is needed for Sox to succeed.

 

No. 55 Carlos Rodon

Bats: L  |  Throws: L

Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 235

Age: 23  |  Service Time: 0.168

Has ability to be an elite pitcher as evidenced by final eight starts of season. Has learned importance of fastball command and has wicked slider.

 

No. 38 Mat Latos

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-6  |  Wt: 245

Age: 28  |  Service Time: 6.079

Perhaps the biggest wild card for the team’s fortunes is his health. If he’s on, he’s a steal and they’re likely to be in contention all summer.

 

RELIEF PITCHER

 

No. 65 Nate Jones

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-5  |  Wt: 220

Age: 30  |  Service Time: 4.000

The stuff from Nasty Nate has been downright vile this spring as he continues to show he’s fully recovered from Tommy John and his hip issues.

 

No. 33 Zach Duke

Bats: L  |  Throws: L

Ht: 6-2  |  Wt: 210

Age: 32  |  Service Time: 9.054

Has great stuff from all different angles and struck out 9.8 per nine last season. Gives bullpen veteran presence and is top option for lefty hitters (.604 OPS).

 

No. 30 David Robertson

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 5-11  |  Wt: 195

Age: 30  |  Service Time: 7.070

Was unhappy with 2015 performance despite converting 34 of 41 saves (83 percent). Has averaged 12 strikeouts per nine for his career.

 

No. 34 Matt Albers

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-1  |  Wt: 225

Age: 33  |  Service Time: 8.141

Unsung hero of bullpen down the stretch, has been outstanding when healthy. Sinkerball gives bullpen yet another consistent weapon.

 

No. 57 Zach Putnam

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-2  |  Wt: 220

Age: 28  |  Service Time: 2.135

Split-fingered fastball is one of best pitches in the bullpen. Strikeouts have been a plus. But he needs to cut down on mistakes to be a consistent force.

 

No. 52 Jake Petricka

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-5  |  Wt: 220

Age: 27  |  Service Time: 2.044

Another ground-ball machine. He struggled in the second half with a 5.12 ERA after converting 14 of 18 saves the season before.

 

No. 43 Dan Jennings

Bats: L  |  Throws: L

Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 210

Age: 28  |  Service Time: 2.171

The second lefty out of the ‘pen, he posted a 1.35 ERA over the final 33 1/3 innings of his season. Fastball velocity has been down this spring.

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

0219_alec_hansen.jpg
AP

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

GLENDALE, Ariz. — On a day when Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada took live batting practice for the first time this spring, off in the distance was a lanky White Sox prospect standing in the outfield grass.

But Alec Hansen was doing more than shagging flies. He was watching both hitters very closely.

“I was looking to see how much pop they had,” Hansen said of Abreu and Moncada. “I kind of look at that to see the difference in power between minor league ball and the major leagues. It’s nice to see it’s not a huge difference. That makes me feel a bit more comfortable.”

At 6-foot-8 — actually 6-foot-8-and-a-half, according to his spring training physical — Hansen is a big man with big plans for his baseball career. He might be quiet on the outside, but he has booming expectations for himself on the inside.

“I want to be the best,” Hansen said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

The best? The very best?

That’s what Hansen aspires to become, though later in our conversation, he did dial back a notch, settling for becoming “one of the best.”

Either is fine with manager Ricky Renteria, who is overseeing these uber-confident White Sox prospects and accepts their lofty expectations.

“I think their mindset is where it’s supposed to be,” Renteria said. “None of these kids are concerned or consumed with the possibility of failure. Much more they’re consuming themselves with the understanding that they might hit some stumbling blocks, but they’re going to have a way to avoid overcoming them and push forward and be the best that they can be.”

In his first full season in the White Sox organization, Hansen led the minor leagues with 191 strikeouts. He’s proud of that accomplishment but admitted something: He’s not that impressed because he didn’t do it where it really matters — in the major leagues.

When you watch Hansen pitch, it’s easy to see that the talent is there. His coaches and teammates rave about his ability. With his enormous size and power arm, he is loaded with strengths.  

Though there is one weakness that Hansen acknowledges he needs to work on.

“Sometimes I have a tendency to think too much and worry. I think worrying is the worst thing that I do just because I want to be perfect,” Hansen said. “I think everyone wants to be perfect, some more than others, and I worry about things getting in the way of achieving perfection.”

To Hansen, that doesn’t mean throwing a perfect game. He actually takes it one step further.

He wants to strikeout every single hitter he faces.

“I love striking people out,” Hansen said. “Not having to rely on anyone else and just getting the job done myself and knowing that the hitter can’t get a hit off me. That’s a great feeling. That they can’t put it in play. Like a line drive out. That’s terrible.”

At some point, Hansen will have to lower these impossible expectations for himself. This is an imperfect game. There’s no place for nine-inning, 27-strikeout performances. Players end up in the Hall of Fame because they learn how to succeed with failure.

In the meantime, Hansen is here in big league camp watching and learning anything and everything.

“I’m a good observer. I listen. I don’t really talk too much. I’m a pretty quiet guy. I like to sit back and observe and see how these guys go about their business. Just trying to be at their level, hopefully one day surpass them.”

Surpass?

“It’s kind of hard to surpass some of these guys. I mean, they’re at the tip-top, like the pinnacle of the sport,” Hansen said. “I guess you could say, to get on that level and then be one of the best in the league.”

He might be on his way.

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

0218-dylan-covey.jpg
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.