White Sox

White Sox want base runners to maintain aggressive approach

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White Sox want base runners to maintain aggressive approach

The White Sox want their base runners to maintain an aggressive mindset and not be timid, which means they tow a fine line.

They believe aggressive running benefits them overall and that the club has trended in the right direction this season even though they still have the third-most outs on the bases in baseball, according to baseball-reference.com.

But while they want their players to stay aggressive, they also want sound decision-making on the bases because the team’ plays in a number of close games. Of their first 123 games, 68 have been decided by two runs or fewer.

With the White Sox trailing by three runs on Monday, an aggressive call by Avisail Garcia resulted in the final out of the sixth inning as he tried to stretch a single into a double. Garcia would have been safe on the play but slid past the bag and was tagged out at a time when the White Sox were in serious need of base runners.

[MORE: Inside Look: The real Harold Baines]

“If you make it, it always looks good, being aggressive,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “There's a good amount of being aggressive and there's also the amount, when you're out, nobody ever likes it when you're out.

“You have to kind of think through that.

“We're aggressive that way, our guys know that. You don't want to just sit there and give away outs, but you definitely want to be aggressive, you want them to have to play it all the way out.”

With 39 games to go the White Sox have run into 56 outs on the bases. Only the Los Angeles Angels and Tampa Bay Rays, tied with 57, have more. Given how their offense has struggled most of the season, the White Sox have been OK because a successful aggressive call potentially could set up an inning when bats have gone silent. Ah the same time, the White Sox know an aggressive approach can be costly in a bunch of tight games so they’d like smart choices.

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When Garcia went last night, it was Rusney Castillo, who hasn’t played very much and who’s arm they likely respect more afterward. Even so, Garcia beat the throw only to slide past the base.

So while Ventura wants his players to exercise caution, he doesn’t want them to overthink the matter and lose some of their aggression in the process, either.

“You don't want to be gun shy about it,” Ventura said. “I think because he comes off the bag on that one, I don't want him to shy off and not be aggressive. You don't want to take that away from him.

“We like being aggressive. I think they made some good choices, you have to be able to stay on the bag.”

Jose Abreu has already begun mentoring Luis Robert

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu has already begun mentoring Luis Robert

As the White Sox have added young Cuban stars in the making in Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, Jose Abreu's long-term role on the team has shifted.

The 31-year-old first baseman has been looked at as something of a mentor for the two young Cubans. He seems to be delivering on that so far.

Abreu picked up Moncada from the airport when he first was called up to the White Sox last July. Now he's helping Robert in the batting cage.

The Cuban trio is expected to play a big part of the White Sox future in the coming years. 

Robert has already stated his goal of making it to the majors this year to join Abreu and Moncada, but that may be an overly ambitious goal. Either way, plenty of eyes will be on him throughout 2018 as he marches towards the White Sox roster and his Cuban teammates.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Tim Anderson opens up about his struggles in 2017 and why he wants White Sox fans "to know the real me."

Anderson dives into his personal tragedy from last season when his best friend was murdered in Alabama. 

He talks with Chuck Garfien about the dark days that happened, how counseling helped him, his new leadership role in 2018, if he'll draw more walks this season, "bringing swag to the South Side" with Yoan Moncada and much more.

Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here: