White Sox

Adam Eaton vents frustration to White Sox coaches


Adam Eaton vents frustration to White Sox coaches

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Surprised he wasn’t in Saturday’s White Sox lineup, Adam Eaton had closed-door meeting with coaches Mark Parent and Daryl Boston.

Best described as a spirited, 10-minute discussion, Eaton, who went 2-for-5 with two runs scored in Friday’s loss, expressed his frustration at sitting out for the second time in three games.

With Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer currently pitching at an All-World level, Parent said he liked how J.B. Shuck matches up better. Parent, who is filling in for manager Robin Ventura this weekend, suggested Eaton would return to the lineup on Sunday and also said the discussion -- one he didn’t seem to mind -- surrounded the center fielder’s defensive positioning.

“Yeah, he was surprised,” Parent said. “He feels like he should be playing every day, great. So does everybody else or they wouldn’t be here. He’s a big guy that we count on. We need him. He had a good game at the plate (Friday).

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“I don’t care -- I told coaches I wasn’t happy. But you want to know the guy wants to be in there.”

Parent had a similar discussion with Jose Abreu about being the designated hitter on Saturday in order to get Adam LaRoche in the field and perhaps back on track at the plate. One aspect Eaton might not have been alarmed by was another discussion with Boston about positioning. The White Sox believe Eaton’s strength is going back on the ball. They have previously advised him to play a shallower center field. In Friday’s loss, Eaton, who also had a spectacular tumbling grab, appeared to misread an RBI base hit to shallow center.

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“These are our guys,” Parent said. “You’ve got to keep encouraging, keep trying to play better and talk to them about it. D-Bo having a discussion with Eaton today … We’ve had that discussion numerous times. Well, let’s have another one, so we have another one.”

Archer’s start played perhaps just as big a role. The Rays right-hander has struck out 38 batters and walked none in his past three starts. Though Eaton still hasn’t hit a stride similar to 2014, he has improved over the past five weeks, raising his on-base percentage from .241 to .290. Eaton has a .316 OBP since May 5, a number the White Sox would like to see improve even more -- just like the rest of the team’s offense.

“We don’t want him to have a setback against a guy that’s on fire,” Parent said. “I’m sure my discussions with Adam aren’t over for the day. But that’s great, you want a guy that wants to play.”

In stellar return from injured list, only Yoan Moncada's pride hurt in embarrassing tumble

In stellar return from injured list, only Yoan Moncada's pride hurt in embarrassing tumble

On the day he returned from a weeks-long stay on the injured list with a hamstring strain, the sight of Yoan Moncada face-planting coming out of the batter's box was enough to make an entire fan base hold its breath.

Fans weren't alone, either. Asked if his heart skipped a beat when Moncada hit the ground in the seventh-inning, manager Rick Renteria went a step further.

"Two beats," he laughed.

Moncada was fine, it turned out, hurting nothing but his pride on that embarrassing tumble. The longest lasting effect will be the continued ribbing from his teammates. Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez wouldn't let him hear the end of it before, during or after the third baseman's postgame meeting with the media.

"They've been all over me about that," Moncada said through team interpreter Billy Russo. "They say I have weak legs and I need to more work in the gym.

"Everything's good. I have a scratch on my knee, but it's OK."

Other than that on-field folly, Moncada was stellar in his first game back from the IL. He blasted a homer into The Goose Island in his second trip to the plate, a two-run shot that kind of busted things open in what was a dominant 6-1 victory over the visiting Texas Rangers. He added a double in his third at-bat.

Moncada's 2019 slash line is up to .303/.359/.545 after picking up those two extra-base knocks Thursday night, continuing a breakout season that's seen him go from 217 strikeouts in 2018 to the White Sox best hitter a year later.

The 2019 season is about the development of the young, core guys much more than it is about the win-loss record at the end of the year. Moncada is one of those young, core guys, and his big season has been one of the things that has fans and onlookers thinking about 2020 as the year that could see the White Sox move from rebuilding mode to contention mode.

Moncada and the rest of these young White Sox have a handful of weeks remaining in the 2019 to create some momentum for 2020. While offseason additions, the return of a healthy Michael Kopech and the eventual arrivals of top-ranked prospects Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal will have plenty to do with changing the landscape over the coming months, Moncada and Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez and James McCann and Jose Abreu and Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease can move the ball closer to the goal, to borrow a sports metaphor from a different sport, with their efforts over the next month and change.

For Moncada, the easiest way to do that is to simply stay on the field.

"I think our goal right now is just to stay healthy and play as free as we can," he said before Thursday's game. "Just try to do the things we know we can do and just take advantage of being healthy and being on the field.

"I think we're going to have a strong finish to the season and hopefully we're going to carry that to next season."

Fans know that importance, too, still waiting for the young trio of Moncada, Anderson and Jimenez to all play together in a full game for the first time since late June. That was supposed to happen Thursday, before Jimenez was scratched from the lineup with some mild hip soreness that neither general manager Rick Hahn nor Renteria seemed too concerned about.

But that heightened alertness for the health of these young, core players caused that brief second of panic when Moncada hit the dirt Thursday night.

Thankfully for the White Sox, Dr. Renteria got to the bottom of things rather quickly.

"It looked awkward, but you could tell he stumbled out of the box," Renteria said. "He was staying down there for a little bit. That’s when I started getting concerned.

"But when I go out there, he gets up right away. I said, 'You are little embarrassed right now, aren’t you?' He said, ‘No, it’s my knee.’

"I said, ‘You are embarrassed.' And he started smiling. That’s all it was. He was fine."

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Behind the scenes with Lucas Giolito


White Sox Talk Podcast: Behind the scenes with Lucas Giolito

Fresh off his complete game shutout against the Twins, Lucas Giolito goes in-depth with Chuck Garfien about his impressive victory and all that went on behind the scenes.

-What it was like striking out White Sox killer Nelson Cruz to end the game (7:30)

-How he beat a Twins team that's trying to hit a home run almost every time they come to the plate (10:00)

-What it will mean to get 200 strikeouts this season (11:10)

-What's different about the baseball (14:40)

-How he's helped Evan Marshall get in touch with actor Jason Segel (16:10)

-Making it a priority to beat the Twins to win a series against them (17:40)

-What he's doing mentally before each game that's different this year (18:30) and more.

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast


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