Dan Hayes

No respect? Jose Abreu slighted for AL Silver Slugger Award


No respect? Jose Abreu slighted for AL Silver Slugger Award

It’s not as bad of an oversight as Joey Votto, but White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was overlooked for the American League Silver Slugger Award on Thursday.

First baseman Eric Hosmer received the honor over Abreu, who outslugged his Kansas City counterpart .552 to .498.

Previously a Silver Slugger winner in 2014, Abreu’s production was his best since his rookie campaign. Abreu finished the year with a .304/.354/.552 slash line with 33 home runs and 102 RBIs in 675 plate appearances. Hosmer hit .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers and 94 RBIs in 671 plate appearances.

Abreu also had a massive edge in total bases as he led the AL with 343. Hosmer finished 12th overall in total bases with 300.

Abreu also finished with an edge in both park adjusted-production categories. Abreu had a 140 OPS-plus to Hosmer’s 132 while Abreu had the slight edge in weighted Runs Created plus, 114-113.

The National League race was an even bigger omission as Paul Goldschmidt topped Votto, who finished with a whopping 1032-966 edge in OPS. 

Why the White Sox believe Chris Getz is the right man for a critical role in the team's rebuild


Why the White Sox believe Chris Getz is the right man for a critical role in the team's rebuild

Buddy Bell’s recent departure without being replaced shows just how much confidence the White Sox have in Chris Getz.

One of two assistant general managers, Bell left the White Sox after 14 seasons last week to join the Cincinnati Reds as a vice president/senior advisor.

Bell, who grew up in Cincinnati and played three seasons for the Reds, said he felt comfortable leaving in part because the White Sox are in good hands with Getz, who is entering his second season as the team’s player development director.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn agreed with Bell’s assessment of Getz, who said he gained a better understanding of the role after working alongside Bell. As the White Sox see it, Getz is the right person to run a department that will play a critical role in their future.

“Chris is a great fit,” Hahn said. “Not only is he an excellent baseball man, but he is a very fine communicator.

“Similarly, as a recently retired player, his level of empathy and understanding of what our players are going through as they develop is an asset. The fact that he’s very open to new ideas also helps ensure that we are looking down all possible avenues to help maximize player performance.”

Getz worked in player development, amateur scouting and major league operations for two seasons in the Kansas City Royals’ front office before joining the White Sox in October 2016. The introduction he received in KC had Getz confident he’d learn the rhythm of day-to-day operations of his new role.

Still, Getz knew he’d have plenty to learn from Bell, a five-time All Star and six-time Gold Glove winner who’d gone on to coach and manage before moving into the front office. What impressed Getz most is how open-minded Bell is to new ideas.

“His handling of people, players is really, really impressive,” Getz said. “Anyone who has true leadership qualities, you try to grab those and make it part of your style. Some of that happens through effort, and some of it happens through osmosis.

“He’s a really disciplined guy, passionate guy. He just cared so much and all those things, I hope I’ll never kind of let that leave me.

“What I’ve learned from that is surround yourself with as many people with different ways of thinking and different abilities, it just makes us all better.”

Though he said it felt “weird” to leave the White Sox, Bell told Reds reporters that the gains made by Getz let him know it was the right time.

“He’s a phenomenal piece,” Bell said. “He’s very smart, and he’s got a great feel for players and staff. I felt like this is a good time for me to maybe possibly go someplace else.”

Hahn is impressed by Getz’s communication, whether with managers, minor league coordinators or the heads of other departments. Getz said his daily routine during the season includes speaking to each of his minor league managers as well as other trusted evaluators. Between learning day-to-day operations and getting familiar with all 200 players in the system, Getz feels confident in his ability to oversee one of the top farm systems in baseball.

“There’s a lot of moving parts,” Getz said. “Just needs that kind of come up every day and you only have 25 slots and you’ve got to make this work. There’s a lot that goes into it. It demands a lot of focus throughout the season. It can be a grind, but once again you kind of figure out a rhythm to it and the people you can lean on and things like that.

“Each day presents something new, but you’ve got to wake up and be excited to take it on, too. There’s going to be challenges, but you’ve got to be looking forward to fixing things some times. And when the day is over — ‘I felt like I attacked that well and accomplished what I wanted.’ The more I take that approach, when you look back, I think it was a good season and we made a lot of progress here.”

Could local product Charlie Tilson still fit into White Sox plans?


Could local product Charlie Tilson still fit into White Sox plans?

Charlie Tilson is back on the White Sox 40-man and also finally on the field.

The Winnetka-product returned to action Saturday in the Arizona Fall League and has appeared in three games. Tilson missed all of the 2017 season as he tried to rehab from a torn left hamstring suffered in August 2016. He’s 0-for-10 with two walks in the AFL.

The outfielder was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on Thursday along with reliever Zach Putnam, who had reconstructive elbow surgery in late June. The White Sox also declined a $3.5 million club option for veteran catcher Geovany Soto, which brings the 40-man roster to 34 players.

What Tilson’s re-emergence means for his future with the White Sox will depend on how his body responds.

Tilson was initially cleared for baseball activity in late September after a long season of setbacks. Acquired from St. Louis in a deal for Zach Duke in July 2016, Tilson first suffered a stress reaction in his foot during spring training. After that, Tilson suffered a stress fracture in the navicular bone of his right ankle.

Both injuries kept Tilson — who also missed the 2012 season with a separated right shoulder — off the field this season and effectively wiped out his chance to win the everyday job in center field.

Tilson’s absence opened the door for Jacob May and Adam Engel. After winning the job in camp, May struggled and demoted to Triple-A Charlotte. The speedy Engel took over and proved an outstanding defender in center over 97 games in his rookie season. But Engel would need vast improvement upon the .166/.235/.282 slash line he produced in 336 plate appearances this season to become more than a defensive specialist.

While the team hopes Luis Robert is its everyday center fielder of the future, the Cuban product has yet to play his first game on U.S. soil. Prospect Blake Rutherford also could figure into those plans, but he’s yet to play above Single-A Kannapolis.

That could give Tilson another crack at an opportunity with the White Sox if he can stay healthy. It’s a big if given all the injuries he has suffered. But with few options ready to immediately grab hold of the job, the window still could be there for Tilson.