White Sox

White Sox top Angels on Rios' walk-off blast

835085.png

White Sox top Angels on Rios' walk-off blast

Alex Rios got the White Sox headed in the right direction on Friday night. Then he sent them home.

The White Sox right fielder delivered a game-winning two-run home run to lift the White Sox to an 8-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels in front of 32,060 at U.S. Cellular Field. Rios second homer of the game and 18 th this season was the White Sox first walkoff of the season.

Matt Thornton (4-6) earned the victory as the White Sox bullpen combined for 4 13 shutout innings.

Rios homered just over the leap of Angels center fielder Mike Trout with pinch-runner Jordan Danks aboard.

Fridays contest got out to a slow start when Angels manager Mike Scioscia protested a call in the first inning. Scioscia believed Paul Konerko ran inside the base line on a potential double play and argued the call for five minutes to no avail. Konkerko reached on a fielders choice on the play and reloaded the bases.

The White Sox took advantage of the delay against a cold Greinke to rally from a 1-0 deficit. Rios tied the game with an RBI single -- though Adam Dunn was thrown out at the plate on the play. A.J Pierzynski followed with a three-run homer -- his 19th -- to give the Sox a 4-1 lead.

White Sox starting pitcher Philip Humber didnt hang on to the lead for very long.

He walked Angels catcher with two outs in the second inning and Mike Trout followed with a two-run homer to make it 4-3. An inning later, Humber walked Kendry Morales and Alberto Callaspo with two outs and gave up RBI singles to Howie Kendrick and Maicer Izturis to give the Angels the lead.

All six runs given up by Humber -- who allowed 10 hits and four walks in 5 23 innings -- came with two outs. Albert Pujols homered with two outs in the sixth to put the Angels ahead 6-4.

Greinke also had trouble maintaining the lead.

The right-hander, whom the White Sox tried to acquire before the Milwaukee Brewers traded him to the Angels last Friday, settled down after he allowed two singles in the second inning. He retired 11 of 12 batters into the sixth inning until Rios hit a solo homer -- his 17th -- to cut the lead in half. Greinke then allowed the White Sox to tie the game in the seventh when Alejandro De Aza had an RBI ground-rule double to score Alexei Ramirez.

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with Frank Thomas

frank_thomas.jpg
AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with Frank Thomas

White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas came on the podcast to talk with Chuck Garfien about his past, baseball's present and the future of the White Sox. He talks about his first major league hit (a stand-up triple!), how fame affected him when he was a player, his appearance on David Letterman in the 1990s and more. 

Plus, what was wrong with the baseball this past season? Thomas has some ideas and tells Garfien how many home runs he would have hit with that baseball in his prime. He talks about working with Alex Rodriguez at FOX and what it was like whenever girlfriend Jennifer Lopez came to visit in the studio.

Thomas praises the White Sox rebuild and reveals an idea he presented to GM Rick Hahn about where all the top prospects should play this upcoming season. He describes what it was like going to Roy Halladay's funeral, if he sees the White Sox signing Manny Machado in 2019 and much more.

Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here:

Up close, White Sox see same big potential Cubs forecasted for Dylan Cease

capture.png

Up close, White Sox see same big potential Cubs forecasted for Dylan Cease

The Cubs made the Jose Quintana deal knowing it would have been more difficult to give up Dylan Cease if he was already performing at the Double-A level, and that the White Sox organization would be a good place to continue his education as a young pitcher.

While Eloy Jimenez keeps drawing ridiculous comparisons – the running total now includes Kris Bryant, Miguel Cabrera, Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz – Cease is more than just the other name prospect from the deal that shocked the baseball world during the All-Star break.

“We still project him as a starter,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said during this week’s GM meetings in Florida. “He certainly has the stuff where it’s easy to envision him as a potential dominant reliever. But to this point – for the foreseeable future – we deal with the starting and continue to develop him as a potential front-end arm.”

The Theo Epstein regime still hasn’t developed an impact homegrown pitcher, but that hasn’t stopped the Cubs from winning 292 games, six playoff rounds and a World Series title across the last three seasons, while still being in a strong position to win the National League Central again in 2018.

Without Quintana and his affordable contract that can run through 2020, Epstein’s front office might have been looking at the daunting possibility of trying to acquire three starting pitchers this winter.

While surveying a farm system in the middle of a natural downturn, Baseball America ranked seven pitchers on its top-10 list of prospects from the Cubs organization: Adbert Alzolay, Jose Albertos, Alex Lange, Oscar De La Cruz, Brendon Little, Thomas Hatch and Jen-Ho Tseng.

So far, only Alzolay, an Arizona Fall League Fall Star with seven starts for Double-A Tennessee on his resume, and Tseng, who made his big-league debut in September, have pitched above the A-ball level.

Cease – who went 0-8 with a 3.89 ERA for Class-A Kannapolis in his first nine starts in the White Sox system – has a 100-mph fastball and a big curveball and won’t turn 22 until next month. That stuff allowed Cease to pile up 126 strikeouts against 44 walks in 93.1 innings this year, putting him in the wave that includes Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Michael Kopech and Alec Hansen.

“Ideally, we have a lot of guys we project to be part of the future, very good, championship-caliber rotation,” Hahn said. “In an ideal world, there’s not going to be room at the inn for all of them. You only have five in that rotation and some of these guys will wind up in the bullpen. In reality, as players develop, you’re going to see some attrition.”

One spot after the White Sox grabbed Carlos Rodon with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, the Cubs did Kyle Schwarber’s below-slot deal, using part of the savings to buy out Cease’s commitment to Vanderbilt University ($1.5 million bonus for a sixth-rounder) and supervise his recovery from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Cease was never going to be on the fast track to Wrigley Field, and now the White Sox hope he can be part of the foundation on the South Side, where it’s easier to sell a rebuild after watching the Cubs and Houston Astros become World Series champions.

“It doesn’t change really for us internally in terms of our commitment or focus or our plan or our timeline or anything along those lines,” Hahn said. “I do think, perhaps, it helps the fan base understand a little bit about what the process looks like, where other teams have been and how long the path they took to get to the ultimate goal of winning a World Series (was). In Chicago, many fans saw it firsthand with the Cubs.

“There are certainly more and more examples in the game over the last several years to help sort of show fans the path and justification for what we’re (doing).”