White Sox

Alex Rios kept peace when Chris Sale went to Royals clubhouse

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Alex Rios kept peace when Chris Sale went to Royals clubhouse

Chris Sale didn’t deny on Friday that he went to the Royals clubhouse in anger after Thursday’s brawl and several sources said Alex Rios maintained the peace.

One of five players ejected from a contest the Kansas City Royals won 3-2 in 13 innings, Sale traveled the main tunnel from the home clubhouse on the third base side over to the visiting clubhouse on the first base side.

Reportedly, Sale’s intent was to confront Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura, who exchanged words with White Sox leadoff hitter Adam Eaton at the conclusion of the seventh inning. Even though he wasn’t there, Kansas City pitcher Edinson Volquez, who also was ejected, said teammates confirmed Sale knocked on the clubhouse door. At some point, Rios, who played with Sale from 2010-13, intervened and calmed down the three-time All-Star.

[MORE: Brawl builds bonds: White Sox look for a spark]

“All emotions are running high at that point,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I just found out about it. You got to have a conversation and you move on from there. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and nothing happened.”

Sale was asked about the incident and said he wants to move on — “We’re not boxers, we’re baseball players,” he said. The left-hander said on Thursday night he didn’t even know he had been ejected from the game until an inning later. Asked about potential suspensions stemming from the incident, Sale said the club would handle it and move forward.

“I mean, there’s really nothing to talk about,” Sale said. “It is what it is. What’s done is done. It’s all in the past. Baseball’s a day-to-day sport. Every day is a new day. So anything that happened yesterday, we’re ready to win a ballgame today and we’re just ready to put this all behind us. Come in every day ready to win and that’s what we’re ready to do.”

This isn’t the first time Sale has been attached to a high-profile incident.

Last September, benches cleared after Sale hit Detroit’s Victor Martinez in a strange series of events in which the pitcher insinuated Martinez was cheating.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

During the 2013 season, Sale also hit Prince Fielder with a pitch during a tense July game in Detroit in which he later apologized to both the batter and Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

Jeff Samardzija, Lorenzo Cain and Ventura were also ejected from Thursday night’s game. Tensions have been brewing between the two clubs since Opening Day when Samardzija hit Cain with a pitch after giving up a home run to Mike Moustakas. The two clubs have combined to hit eight batters in their first four meetings of the season.

“There were other guys there to cool (Sale) down and nothing happened,” Robin Ventura said. “I think those are things that guys react and are emotional and other guys are able to head it off and do it just like guys do on the field. There are guys out there trying to make it peaceful, and there were guys that weren’t. Everybody reacts different in those situations.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Chris Getz on Luis Robert, Dylan Cease, Nick Madrigal and more!

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Chris Getz on Luis Robert, Dylan Cease, Nick Madrigal and more!

Chuck Garfien gets the inside info about some of the top prospects in the White Sox organization from director of player development Chris Getz.

They talk about the wow factor of Luis Robert, what he's working on before being promoted to Triple-A, if he can make the majors in 2019, what kind of major league player he will be and more (3:45)

-Why Nick Madrigal has the "it" factor and why he might have been disappointed with Getz at the start of the season (10:10)

-Why Zack Burdi has struggled this season and a great sign of things to come (16:30)

-Why Kyle Kubat is so highly thought of in the White Sox farm system (18:20)

-How close Dylan Cease is to the major leagues (20:15) and more.

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

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Jon Jay finally joins White Sox after months battling injury

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AP

Jon Jay finally joins White Sox after months battling injury

Jon jay is finally ready for his White Sox debut.

The veteran outfielder was recalled from his rehab assignment and activated from the 60-day injured list Monday, joining the team's active roster for the first time this season ahead of their three-game series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Jay has been on the injured list since the season began in late March, bothered by an injury that at various times was attributed to his hip, back, groin and leg. He's been working his way back since the end of spring training and recently completed a rehab assignment split between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. All in all, he played in 16 minor league games and got 63 at-bats, posting a .333/.354/.365 slash line.

Jay was brought in during the offseason to provide veteran leadership in the White Sox clubhouse, as well as to bring on-base skills to the lineup and a defensive presence to the outfield. Being injured this whole time, obviously Jay has been unable to provide anything on the field. But there's still plenty of baseball left to play, and the White Sox would surely love to insert him into the lineup on a regular basis. Manager Rick Renteria hinted even during spring training that Jay might not be an everyday player, though Jay's outfield versatility could allow Renteria to try out many different kinds of lineups.

That being said, Leury Garcia has been a pleasant surprise as the team's everyday center fielder. Garcia's .285 batting average and .324 on-base percentage both rank fourth among the White Sox qualified hitters. With Eloy Jimenez entrenched in left field, Jay could become the team's third regular outfield. That job has belonged mostly to Ryan Cordell in recent weeks, though he's struggled at the plate with a .224/.287/.336 slash line in 49 games this season. We'll have to wait and see how Renteria plans to use Jay, who missed the team's first 75 games of the campaign, but he included the veteran in Monday night's lineup as his starting right fielder.

While many fans chose to associate Jay's signing with the team's failed attempt to land mega free agent Manny Machado during the winter, Jay was a Gold Glove finalist last season and owns a career .352 on-base percentage over nine years in the big leagues. He's earned rave reviews as a clubhouse presence, including from his time with the Cubs during the 2017 season. There's still plenty he can bring to these White Sox over the next few months.

To clear room for Jay, the White Sox designated starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne for assignment. The team brought him in as a minor league free agent and used him to aid their depleted rotation. But things didn't go so well, with Despaigne tagged for 14 runs in 13.1 innings in his three starts with the White Sox.

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