White Sox

Three days off did not help, as White Sox not named Reynaldo Lopez had a hideous night in Oakland

Three days off did not help, as White Sox not named Reynaldo Lopez had a hideous night in Oakland

Despite three straight days without baseball, the White Sox did not come back from their long weekend looking their freshest.

It was a real ugly night in Oakland as the White Sox dropped the series opener with the A's by an 8-1 score. With a non-existent offense and a mistake-prone defense, anyone not named Reynaldo Lopez had a bad all-around evening at the Coliseum.

Lopez was good with 10 strikeouts and just two runs allowed in his six innings of work. He's got a 1.42 ERA and has been hands down the team's best starting pitcher in the early going this season. He did give up a home run and walk four batters, and he wasn't exactly efficient, throwing 106 pitches in six innings. But he limited the damage and did his job, giving his team a chance to win.

But the White Sox offense, struggling as it is, had no chance against Daniel Mengden. He came in with a 6.19 ERA and hadn't made it out of the sixth inning through his first three starts, but the White Sox made him look like a Cy Young candidate Monday, mustering just one run (a solo homer from Jose Abreu in the ninth inning of an eight-run game) on six hits over eight-plus innings.

Things fell off the rails in the bottom of the seventh, when the White Sox committed a trio of errors — including two on the same play — helping the A's to a few more runs. A soft ground ball bounced off the heel of Abreu's glove, and two batters later, Luis Avilan got the bases-loaded double-play ball he needed, only for the grounder to go right through Tim Anderson's legs at shortstop. To make matters worse, Leury Garcia whiffed while attempting to scoop up the ball in left field. Those two errors on the same play brought home two runs, and another scored when Anderson converted a much more difficult double play on the next hitter. A fourth error came in the eighth, when Adam Engel overthrew second base.

The bullpen also added to Monday night's woes, allowing four earned runs in two innings. That won't help the White Sox place in the relief-ERA standings. They entered Monday's game with a 5.35 bullpen ERA, which ranked 27th in baseball. That ERA jumped to 5.98 Monday.

Back to the bats, though. The numbers are getting pretty hard to look at. The White Sox went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position Monday, adding to woes that stretch back more than a week. In their last eight games, the White Sox are 7-for-65 with runners in scoring position and have stranded a total of 63 base runners.

They also continued an upsetting trend of not scoring runs for Lopez, who seems to have become the new Jose Quintana when it comes to pitching well and receiving little to no run support. The White Sox offense has scored a total of three runs in the three games Lopez has started this season.

The White Sox came home from their first road trip at 3-2. They've gone 1-7 since and have been outscored 40-20 in those eight games.

Daily White Sox prospects update: Eight more strikeouts for Michael Kopech

Daily White Sox prospects update: Eight more strikeouts for Michael Kopech

Here's your daily update on what the White Sox highly touted prospects are doing in the minor leagues.

Triple-A Charlotte

Michael Kopech made another strong start, striking out eight batters and allowing just one run and one hit in six innings of work. He's up to 29 strikeouts in four starts this season with his ERA down to 2.14 as fans and observers alike wonder when he'll reach the big leagues. Charlie Tilson had two hits, a walk and a stolen base in a 2-1 loss.

Class A Winston-Salem

Micker Adolfo homered in each game of a doubleheader and now has five home runs on the season. Dylan Cease started one game, a 4-3 loss, and allowed no earned runs but last just 3.2 innings as he both walked and struck out six. Gavin Sheets went 3-for-3 with a double in that game. In the other, a 9-3 win, Adolfo had a double to go along with his homer and finished with five RBIs. Luis Alexander Basabe, Alex Call and Joel Booker combined for five doubles in that game.

Double-A Birmingham

Zack Collins had two hits, including a home run, with a walk, two RBIs and a run scored. Ian Clarkin gave up six runs in just four innings as his ERA leaped up to 4.57. Eloy Jimenez was hitless but had a walk and an RBI in a 9-8 loss.

Class A Kannapolis

Luis Gonzalez had a hit and Evan Skoug had a walk in a 3-0 loss.

Robinson Cano sees superstar potential in Yoan Moncada

Robinson Cano sees superstar potential in Yoan Moncada

The greats know greatness.

Looking across the field this week at Yoan Moncada, 8-time All-Star Robinson Cano not only saw a lot of himself in the White Sox second baseman, he believes he was witnessing a future baseball star. 

“I can see a guy who’s going to be a superstar in this game,” Cano said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago on the White Sox Talk Podcast. “He can field, he can throw, he can hit. In the first game against us, he was a hit away from the cycle. He can hit right now. Imagine when he’s in the league two or three years and is facing the same guys for the last couple years. Then you have a different approach. The guy that I see, you just got to give it time and keep working hard because I think he’ll be a superstar.”

Cano had heard the comparisons between himself and Moncada, but until this week, he had never seen his protege play baseball in person.

The two of them hadn’t even met until Monday when they encountered each other at of all places—second base. Moncada had just doubled for his second hit of the night. That gave Cano a close look at the swing that happens to be identical to his.

“I was watching that the other day on second base and I was like, ‘Wow, it’s the same swing,’” Cano said.

Growing up in Cuba, Moncada idolized Cano. He didn’t just play the same position and copy his swing, he wore Cano’s jersey number and even named his son after him.

“It’s something you can’t describe because as a player it’s the first time that’s happened where you see a player name their kid after you,” Cano said.

Despite their similarities, Cano admits there are some differences that favor the young Moncada.

Who hits the ball harder?

“I would say him. He’s stronger.”

And speed?

“He’s got something I never have. He can run. I was slow, always.”

Moncada’s biggest problem right now is strikeouts. He has 38 this season, second most in baseball. Cano, who has only 14, provided some advice for Moncada.

“The only thing I can give him for that is making the game simple and try not to swing so hard,” Cano explained. "The thing is when we swing too hard and try to hit a homer, we chase pitches. When you try to stay simple, try to make contact and use the whole field that’s when you can minimize the strikeout.”

Cano was 22 in his rookie season. Moncada is currently 23. A player’s first few seasons in the majors is mainly about learning and maturing, which Moncada is essentially doing every time he comes to the plate. Often times his talent just takes over like it did on Wednesday when he homered in the first pitch he saw against Felix Hernandez. After that, he struck out three times.

Moncada’s offensive game has so far been quite boom or bust. Over time that should level out. When it does, look out. 

In the meantime, more wisdom from Cano:

“Sometimes as a kid, you want to go out and all you think is about putting out numbers compared to playing the game that you know how to play. You need to let the numbers come to themselves, not try to get a hit every time, or I’ve got to hit a homer or want to swing hard. Just go out and try to win a game.”

Cano didn’t learn this on his own. It helped having former Yankees teammates like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield show him not just how to play, but how to win.

“When you have someone who can help you in this game, that’s the best thing to happen to a player,” Cano said. “When someone can be there for you and say, “In this situation I think you’re wrong.’ Someone who can tell you something you don’t want to hear.”

For Moncada, one of those players right now is Jose Abreu.

“Having a guy like (Abreu) who can help is good especially since they’re from the same country.”

At one point during Wednesday’s game, Moncada and Cano crossed paths between innings. They smiled at each other before going their separate ways. Cano to second base where the 35 year-old is in the twilight of his career. Moncada to the White Sox dugout where most of his career awaits.

“He’s going to be great in this game,” Cano said about Moncada. “He just needs to stay healthy and keep working hard. People don’t realize that this game is more about time.”

That was Cano's way of saying: be patient White Sox fans. A "superstar" is here. His time will come.