White Sox

Alex Avila on White Sox: 'Come back tomorrow and make something happen'

Alex Avila on White Sox: 'Come back tomorrow and make something happen'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — They may be reeling from two awful losses, but Alex Avila expects he won’t see any let up from his White Sox teammates.

He’d better not.

Whereas they should be in position to close out a sweep of the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, the White Sox are trying to avoid one after consecutive stunning losses, including allowing seven runs in the bottom of the ninth on Saturday in an 8-7 loss.

Asked how they have to respond, the veteran catcher said his White Sox teammates have little choice — play hard or don’t bother showing up.

“The way you stop it is you come back tomorrow and make something happen,” Avila said. “They’re not going to feel bad for us. So you can’t feel sorry for yourself. It’s an extremely tough loss for sure. That’s a game we should have won. There’s been a few games we should have won. The way we’ve been playing have given a lot of people doubt.

“But guys in here, if they have any shred of doubt in their mind of what they can do, even though we’re struggling, don’t even come. No one’s going to feel sorry for you in this game. Even if you’re struggling, battle your ass off. There’s no room for feeling sorry for yourself and doubting your ability and your team’s ability. We’re going through a tough two-week stretch. The good thing is it’s right now at the end of May here. Try to finish these last few games in May strong and take it into June and see if we can make a better month out of it.”

The White Sox appeared to respond well to Friday’s game, one in which they blew a four-run lead, until the bullpen melted down for a second straight day. Even though none of their big run producers came through, the White Sox pulled ahead 7-1 on the strength of home runs by Tyler Saladino and Avisail Garcia.

But then the impossible happened and the Royals rallied to win a game in which their win probability was 0.1 percent after David Robertson struck out Paulo Orlando to start the ninth inning. Robertson only recorded one more out as he allowed six runs and Tommy Kahnle allowed another in an 8-7 loss.

“I’m not surprised or satisfied the way our team has responded to tough losses,” Avila said. “I expect it. No matter what the situation was the game before, I expect each guy in here to be prepared the very next day. If they’re not, then there’s an issue. Guys have been coming to play every single day and doing their homework and getting prepared for each game. If they weren’t, it’d be an issue. But guys have been doing that and we’re kind of going through one of those spells where instead of finding ways to win, we’re finding ways to lose games. Most teams will go through it or have gone through it. I know the first month we were playing great and the Royals weren’t playing well, the Tigers weren’t playing well and Cleveland wasn’t playing well. It was like, ‘Well, we’re going to run away with it,’ and flipped the script. Things can change pretty quickly over the course of a week or two weeks, even a month. That’s my point on why you have to come and make sure you’re prepared — that doubt in your mind about the day before is gone and you have to be ready no matter what because nobody is going to feel sorry for you.”

Jose Abreu says White Sox are missing key players, need reinforcements

Jose Abreu says White Sox are missing key players, need reinforcements

Jose Abreu is one of the leaders, if not the leader of the White Sox, so when he says something, it’s a fair guess to think it’s representative of a large chunk of the clubhouse.

After the White Sox lost to the Royals on Thursday, a loss which finished off a four-game sweep and extended the team’s losing streak to seven games, Abreu talked to reporters in Kansas City and sounded frustrated. He was asked about the importance of not having Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez, both on the IL, in the lineup.


Anderson took ground balls before the game on Thursday, which was the second straight game he had done so. He is likely nearing his return. Jimenez just went on the IL on Wednesday.

When Abreu was in Cleveland for the All-Star Game, he said he would “sign myself here” if the White Sox didn’t offer him a contract extension. For him to say something that can be interpreted as frustration towards the organization is notable. It’s also worth mentioning that this was said through a translator so it’s possible a subtlety was lost.

It’s not surprising to hear frustration in the middle of a seven-game winning streak for a team that appeared to be showing signs of improvement in the first half of the season. It’s also not surprising for Abreu to potentially be referencing his countryman Luis Robert.

Abreu helped recruit Robert to the White Sox when he was an international free agent leaving Cuba. Abreu and fellow Cuban Yoan Moncada were said to be part of the draw for Robert to sign with the White Sox.

The 21-year-old outfielder entered Thursday hitting .440/.500/.960 with three home runs in six games since getting promoted to Triple-A Charlotte. Despite his incredibly productive season which has led him to shoot up to No. 5 overall in MLB Pipeline’s prospect rankings, general manager Rick Hahn told reporters on Wednesday that they shouldn’t expect Robert to get called up this season though.


Meanwhile, the big league club is missing two key hitters and in the middle of a seven-game losing streak.

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White Sox second half woes continue after getting swept by Royals

White Sox second half woes continue after getting swept by Royals

It’s safe to say the White Sox have not had a good start to the second half of the season.

The first half of the season concluded with a win against the Cubs that improved the White Sox record to 42-44. That was the team’s second-best record heading into the all-star break since 2012 and a 13.5 game improvement from the year before. Dylan Cease’s arrival had also added some buzz to the fanbase.

However, the first seven games of the second half have sucked out a lot of that buzz. The White Sox lost to the Royals 6-5 on Thursday to complete a four-game sweep at the hands of the Royals, the team with the fourth-worst record in baseball. The seven-game losing streak is the longest of the season.

Getting swept in Oakland was one thing. The A’s are currently in one of the wild card spots and Oakland has been a house of horrors for the White Sox.

Getting swept by the Royals is not as easy to swallow. Even after taking these four games, the Royals are 8.5 games behind the White Sox in the standings. This is the Royals’ first four-game winning streak of the season.

White Sox pitching had some stinkers in this current losing skid, but the offense in particular has really struggled. In these seven games, the White Sox have scored 16 runs with just 10 extra base hits.

Sure, Tim Anderson is out and Eloy Jimenez went down in the first inning of the second game in Kansas City, but the offense shouldn’t be this bad.

Anderson is nearing his return and took ground balls before Thursday’s game.


Next up, the White Sox finish off the 10-game road trip with three games at Tampa Bay. Like the A’s, the Rays occupy a wild card spot.

So where are the positives?

Yoan Moncada homered on Thursday, his first since a two-home run game on July 3. It was his 17th home run of the season, matching his total from 2018 with more than two months left in the season. He finished with three hits on Thursday.


Pitching wise, Lucas Giolito had a quality start in the series opener against the Royals, but still took the loss. He will pitch against the Rays. So will Dylan Cease, who will be pitching on normal rest for the first time in his MLB career. Cease had five days between his final Triple-A start and his MLB debut on July 3. He didn’t pitch again until Tuesday.

If that isn’t enough positivity at the end to cancel out all the negativity, just remember Luis Robert is destroying Triple-A pitching.

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