White Sox

The All-Chicago team, 1960-1969

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The All-Chicago team, 1960-1969

By Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz
CSNChicago.com

This spring, we at Cubs Talk and White Sox Talk have decided to unify Chicago's two baseball teams into one in an effort to pick out the best players to grace each side of the city over the last 50 years. Each Wednesday during spring training, we'll roll out a different All-Chicago team, with today's version being the best Cubs and White Sox players from 1960-1969. Be sure to check out our 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999 and 2000-2011 teams if you haven't already.

Tony: The 1960s were tough years for us. My parents were only children during the time but grew up with these guys, so I wanted to honor that. In some areas, there were shoo-ins, like Santo at third or Billy Williams and Ernie Banks. There were quite a few of Hall of Famers that played during this time.

JJ: My dad grew up a Cubs fan close to Wrigley Field while my mom grew up a Sox fan, so I've heard about plenty of these players. Of course, I'll be the first to admit I never saw any of them play, so we're relying pretty heavily on stats here.

Tony: Starting pitching was especially difficult. There were a good 10-12 guys that were deserving, so at least half of those were going to be cut. Pitching was definitely at a premium in this decade. The bullpen was easy -- just three Sox pitchers. The Cubs had some decent guys, but that's all they were -- decent. Meanwhile, Wilbur Wood was simply fantastic, as was Hoyt Wilhem.

JJ: That Juan Pizarro didn't make this cut speaks to the pitching depth the city had in the 1960s. Of course, pitching was pretty easy to find later in the decade with the raised mound. Plenty of these guys easily would've made the relatively-thin 1970s rotation.

Tony: Center field was another tough choice, begging the question: Why has it been so hard for Chicago to find a good, reliable centerfielder that sticks around for more than a couple seasons? Throughout all these lists that we've done, CF has been the only position where we've consistently struggled to find a clear candidate.

JJ: No kidding. In the last 51 years, only two Cubs center fielders have totaled double-digit WAR (Adolfo Phillips, Rick Monday -- although Brian McRae should count with 9.9 WAR). For the Sox, there are five, although only one of them played more than five years with the team. Check back next week for our All-City team from 1960-present to find out who gets the nod.

And now, to the roster:

C: Randy Hundley
1B: Ernie Banks
2B: Nellie Fox
3B: Ron Santo
SS: Luis Aparicio
LF: Billy Williams
CF: Jim Landis
RF: Floyd Robinson
DH: Roy Sievers

Bench: Minnie Minoso
Bench: Pete Ward

SP: Fergie Jenkins
SP: Joe Horlen
SP: Dick Ellsworth
SP: Gary Peters
SP: Tommy John

Closer: Hoyt Wilhem
Righty reliever: Eddie Fisher
Lefty reliever: Wilbur Wood

Now that all the decade-specific rosters are set, check back next week for the All-Chicago team of the last 50 years!

Daily White Sox prospects update: Four-hit day for Eloy Jimenez

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Daily White Sox prospects update: Four-hit day for Eloy Jimenez

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

Double-A Birmingham

Eloy Jimenez had four hits, including a pair of doubles to boost his batting average to .322 on the season. Seby Zavala hit his 10th home run of the season and drove in a pair of runs in the 7-2 loss. Spencer Adams got the start and allowed four runs but also struck out nine in just 4.2 innings of work.

Class A Kannapolis

Luis Gonzalez had two doubles and Evan Skoug had two hits in a 3-2 win. Big leaguer Carlos Rodon made a rehab start and struck out six, allowing one run in five innings.

Triple-A Charlotte

Charlie Tilson had a hit and Thyago Vieira threw a scoreless inning in an 8-4 loss.

Jace Fry, who still hasn't allowed a hit, is penciling his name into the White Sox bullpen of the future

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USA TODAY

Jace Fry, who still hasn't allowed a hit, is penciling his name into the White Sox bullpen of the future

The White Sox best reliever through the first 42 games of this rebuilding season? Undoubtedly, it’s been Jace Fry.

With Rick Renteria’s bullpen hardly the most reliable relief corps the game has ever seen, Fry has been a revelation, starting his 2018 campaign with 7.1 scoreless innings over six appearances.

And now things are getting a bit more dramatic for the 24-year-old lefty, a guy who’s been through a pair of Tommy John surgeries. He pitched some high-leverage ball in Saturday night’s 5-3 win, sitting down all four hitters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings while protecting a two-run lead.

“I was ready the whole game, just waiting for my name to be called,” Fry said. “But it was awesome getting in there in the eighth inning, even getting the first guy in the ninth inning. After I got him I was kind of hoping he’d let me keep going.”

Renteria uses his bullpen in a non-traditional manner, one that perhaps he thinks is a way of the future or one that’s a result of his lack of dominant options out there. Whichever it is, he doesn’t really have a closer but rather a host of guys he uses in those high-leverage situations, whenever they might come during the late stages of a game. Joakim Soria, Nate Jones and Bruce Rondon have all been used to get big outs late in games, and Rondon threw a scoreless seventh Saturday, with Jones getting the game’s final two outs for the save.

But it could be argued that most difficult outs were recorded by Fry, who put away the visiting Texas Rangers’ fourth, fifth and sixth hitters before getting the seventh hitter to strike out to start off the ninth.

Renteria steered away from dubbing Fry one of his new high-leverage guys after the game, but why wouldn’t Fry be in that mix? All he’s done since joining the big league squad earlier this month is get outs. He’s got 10 strikeouts, hasn’t allowed a hit and has just two walks as the lone blemishes on an otherwise perfect season line.

“It just happens to be that it was the eighth inning and the ninth that he pitched,” Renteria said. “I think he’s looking very comfortable in those. It happens to be the eighth and ninth we needed him. He’s been very, very effective. He’s been commanding the strike zone very well, confidently approaching his hitters. He’s got pretty good stuff.

“He’s able to command the zone. Along with that nice breaking ball he’s got to lefties and righties, it’s pretty effective. But he’s continuing to show you he’s capable of coming in and getting some pretty good hitters.”

Fry has been a rarity this season in that he’s appeared to be a candidate for a long-term spot in the White Sox bullpen. Jones would perhaps be the only other guy coming close to qualifying for that, mostly because of his team-friendly contract that keeps him under control a few more years, but he’s had some rough moments, even with his ERA dropping to 3.50 on Saturday.

Fry, though, is young and is dealing at the moment. He even got a shoutout as a potential long-term piece from general manager Rick Hahn earlier this week.

“Take Jace Fry, someone we haven’t mentioned when we’ve had this conversation the last couple of weeks,” Hahn said Thursday, discussing the positives he’s seen during this developmental season. “He’s shown up here and shown that he’s made some progress in his last stint in the minors and now, at age 24, seems like he’s ready to take that next step, and pencil his name in as part of what we’re building here going forward.”

There’s a lot of season left, and no one’s expecting Fry to keep batters hitless and opposing teams scoreless from now through the end of September. But this is a nice development for the rebuilding White Sox at the moment, a guy who’s giving them at least one name to put into that bullpen of the future.

How long can he keep this thing going? As long as he keeps getting ahead of hitters.

“Having the success is awesome, but I realize it’s the plan, the plan of attack,” Fry said. “I’m going out and throwing Strike 1 and getting ahead. Actually doing it, seeing it and having the process work definitely creates more confidence. Once you go back to the blueprint of baseball, Strike 1 is everything.”