White Sox

Amid slow start, White Sox Adam Eaton gets confidence boost Monday

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Amid slow start, White Sox Adam Eaton gets confidence boost Monday

A rough start means Adam Eaton hasn’t been very easy on himself.

In discussing his slump last week, the White Sox outfielder and leadoff man said anyone who spent a minute inside his head would run for the hills.

Eaton is very critical of his play and often seeks areas of improvement even when he succeeds. He wants to prove he’s worthy of the five-year, $23.5-million contract extension he received from the White Sox last month and that it hasn’t changed his work ethic.

You can only imagine how much Eaton has beaten himself up this season as he carries a .149/.216/.191 slash line into Tuesday’s 7:10 p.m. game against the Cleveland Indians.

Conversely, Eaton believes Monday’s contest, in which he walked twice and singled during a four-run rally in the ninth inning, should give him the boost he’s needed through the season’s first dozen games.

[MORE WHITE SOX: White Sox rally for four runs in final at-bat to top Indians, 4-3]

“It does the world for me, personally,” Eaton said. “But to keep the line moving and be part of a team when (we rally), it goes along way with me. I want to help this team win any way, shape or form. I want to help these guys and I want them to like me up there at the top of the order. I really care what they think and want to continue to please them.”

His latest performance is another sign that Eaton has begun to rediscover his game.

It’s pretty evident Eaton has begun to see the ball better over the last three days.

He drew his first walk of the season on Saturday, a second on Sunday and two more on Monday.

Though he’s mostly felt good at the plate, Eaton thinks pitchers have executed well when he’s up, often leaving him in counts that don’t favor hitters. Eaton has only six strikeouts in 51 plate appearances but only has a .171 average on balls in play. His career BABIP is .324, according to Fangraphs.com.

“My numbers don’t speak for how well I feel up there and how hard I’ve worked in the offseason,” Eaton said. “It’s very frustrating when I bust my tail all offseason and it doesn’t correlate in the first two weeks of the season. I hope everyone knows I’m working my ass off to get better.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Perhaps Monday’s easing of the tensions will do Eaton some good. Before the game, manager Robin Ventura cited Eaton’s play on the bases as a sign he has tried to make too much happen instead of letting the game come to him.

Eaton has run into three outs, all as a result of aggressive play. While he’s normally aggressive, Eaton has pushed it in each instance and cost his team an out.

“You need to relax, be calm,” Ventura said. “When a guy struggles, that’s part of what happens in a guy’s brain. They try and make up for it by trying to get an extra base when you don’t need it or stealing a bag when you don’t need to. You have to be patient. Play the game, and understand the situations.”

Eaton demonstrated his ability to slow things down in the ninth inning against Cleveland Indians closer Cody Allen. With runners on first and second and one out, Eaton quickly fell behind in the count 0-2. He thought Allen would try to get him to chase his knuckle curveball and watched two balls to even the count.

Then he lined a 94-mph fastball to left field to load the bases for Melky Cabrera, who singled in the winning run.

“Even if I don’t get a hit there, and hopefully I square one up or something happens, I’ve still had a good day at the plate,” Eaton said. “There’s some good thoughts there and I was happy with it overall.”

White Sox to make Guaranteed Rate Field first stadium with protective netting that reaches foul poles

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USA Today

White Sox to make Guaranteed Rate Field first stadium with protective netting that reaches foul poles

In today's episode of Extremely Easy Decisions, the White Sox have made perhaps one of the easiest: 

According to at least one reporter, the decision has been in the works for a couple months now, even pre-dating the Cubs-Astros incident from last month: 

It'll be the first MLB stadium that has protective netting that stretches out all the way to both foul poles, so kudos to the White Sox for not waiting around any longer. An easy decision, made easily! Turns out it's just that simple after all. 

White Sox officially promote Zack Collins to major league team as Welington Castillo goes on IL

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USA TODAY

White Sox officially promote Zack Collins to major league team as Welington Castillo goes on IL

Zack Collins is a big leaguer.

Multiple reports indicated that Collins would be promoted ahead of Tuesday's Crosstown game against the Cubs, and that's exactly what the White Sox did, announcing the move Tuesday morning.

Additionally, the team placed Welington Castillo on the injured list with a strained left oblique. He left Sunday afternoon's game against the New York Yankees with what the team announced as lower back tightness.

While Rick Renteria has yet to speak on the matter, the catching situation figures to be not too dissimilar from what it's been, with James McCann getting the bulk of the playing time while appearing as the designated hitter on days when he doesn't catch. Collins will likely take over Castillo's catching duties and also see time as the DH.

Collins' arrival marks another step forward in Rick Hahn's rebuilding project. The 2016 first-round pick is ranked as the No. 11 prospect in the White Sox loaded farm system. Praised for his offensive abilities, Collins finished the 2018 season with a .382 on-base percentage and launched 15 homers at Double-A Birmingham. This season, he posted a .250/.374/.482 slash line with nine homers, nine doubles, 39 RBIs and 36 walks in 50 games at Triple-A Charlotte.

Adding another future piece to the mix at the major league level only makes the opening of the contention window in 2020 look more realistic, as Collins will join Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Tim Anderson and, eventually, Dylan Cease with a sizable amount of major league experience heading into that campaign.

Collins' promotion doesn't figure to be a temporary one that comes to an end once Castillo is healthy. Hahn and Renteria have spoken on multiple occasions about how they don't want to call these top prospects up and have to send them back down. It's happened before, of course, most recently with Carson Fulmer, the White Sox top pick in the draft before they selected Collins. But it's a road they'd rather not go down and an explanation they've given for keeping highly rated prospects such as Jimenez and Michael Kopech in the minors as long as they did.

There are questions about Collins' game, mostly on the defensive side of things. But the White Sox feel he's ready for his first taste of the major leagues, adding another piece of the rebuilding puzzle to the big league squad.

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