White Sox

The app that's redefining the way White Sox players work out

The app that's redefining the way White Sox players work out

Similar to many other aspects of sports, technology has invaded and improved the White Sox strength and conditioning program.

The White Sox have streamlined their program with the aide of the CoachMePlus application, which allows players to participate in offseason workouts wherever they are.

While the in-season benefits are extremely helpful in creating an electronic, real-time log of a player’s activities, the most significant benefit comes in October. As long as they have an internet connection, players can log in from anywhere to learn what strength and conditioning coach Allen Thomas has designed. The app not only offers a detailed workout plan, it provides video examples of each exercise and a chance to comment and the ability to update the activities completed as they occur.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re from -- if you have internet in the Dominican, it works there just as well,” Thomas said. “All they’ve got to do is pull their iPad up and it’s right there for them. A virtual coach, really.

“Just follow the offseason condition program and they’ll be fine. I’ve never in 20 years had a problem with any player that has followed the program.”

Thomas said the White Sox began to use CoachMePlus, which bills itself as “the leader in Strength and Conditioning and Applied Sports Science provides the most complete tool for safely preparing your athletes for competition” five seasons ago. According to its web site, the company has been in operation since 2007 and it’s many applications are used by other professional teams as well as universities.

One of its most practical uses for the White Sox -- aside from the hydration program they also employ -- is in the creation of an offseason program tailored to each athlete. One of a strength and conditioning coordinator’s biggest fears is that his player shows up to spring training over weight and out of shape.

But with a program individually tailored to each athlete in any language and real-time updates, Thomas knows if players have kept up. He said it has taken several years for players to get accustomed to the idea. But once they’re on board, it’s easy.

Jose Abreu had Thomas help him design a home gym customized to the way the first baseman likes to workout. If Abreu isn’t sure about how to perform an exercise, he can hit the play button on the right side of the screen and a video example pops up.

“It’s a very useful and helpful app because that gives you the regiment you have to do in the offseason and that helps you to be in the best shape possible when you go to spring training,” Abreu said through an interpreter.

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The applications have plenty of value for the White Sox during the season, too.

Paper records for each player’s physical regimen are no more. Weigh-ins, which occur every time a player walks into the clubhouse, are sent straight to the database as Thomas has the scale linked via blue tooth to the application.

“It saves quite a bit of time especially on bi-weekly and monthly reports,” Thomas said. “If I wanted to go look at Abreu’s weight, I can see every one since spring training and it’s charted, a pie chart and a line graph.”

The record-keeping also allows for cohesion between minor league affiliates and the major leagues when a player moves between different levels. When he was promoted in April to fill in for Melky Cabrera on his three-day paternity leave, Willy Garcia’s charts went with him electronically. Thomas then knew the rookie needed to perform a wall series when he joined the team in Minneapolis.

Double-A Birmingham strength coach Tim Rodmaker said the app makes life in the minors, where lengthy travel is the norm, much easier.

“The schedules are hectic,” said Rodmaker, in his 12th season with the organization and third with the Barons. “The travel, the game times, sometimes it’s hard enough just to get a hold of each other beyond text message or a voice mail. So it’s more of a real time, we can log in, especially when we have players changing affiliates, we can check previous workouts and get a sense where he’s going.”

The White Sox have learned what they like and don’t with the app over the past five years.

Similar to how workouts are tailored to individual players, Thomas said the club has worked with the app’s developers to fine tune it to the needs of the White Sox. Given the improved communication and record-keeping, Thomas couldn’t see the White Sox running the department any other way.

“It’s getting to where it’s just like anything --- it takes a little bit of tweaking here and there to getting it to what you want,” Thomas said. “We’ve worked with the developers and they’ve helped us tailor it to what we want. CoachMePlus has been great.”

Lucas Giolito goes to injured list, Sox bring Carson Fulmer and Ryan Cordell up from Triple-A

Lucas Giolito goes to injured list, Sox bring Carson Fulmer and Ryan Cordell up from Triple-A

Lucas Giolito will miss some time after straining his hamstring in Wednesday's game.

The White Sox placed the right-handed starting pitcher on the 10-day injured list ahead of Thursday's series-opener in Detroit. They also brought up relief pitcher Carson Fulmer and outfielder Ryan Cordell to take the roster spots of Giolito and outfielder Daniel Palka, who was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday night.

Giolito exited Wednesday's start after just 2.2 innings after tweaking his hamstring on a third-inning pitch. He was doing quite well in his second start of the season against the Kansas City Royals, with five strikeouts and no hits allowed before his early departure.

Giolito spoke with reporters Thursday morning in Detroit, saying the strain isn't too serious and that he expects to miss just one or two starts.

As for who will start in Giolito's stead, that remains to be seen. His turn in the rotation won't come until Monday's game that begins a series against the Baltimore Orioles. Fulmer arriving from Charlotte, however, points to Manny Banuelos being taken out of the major league bullpen to start in Giolito's place. Banuelos has had success as the White Sox long man so far this season, with a few effective multi-inning outings under his belt. Fulmer hasn't made a start since the White Sox moved him to the Charlotte bullpen last season but could serve as a replacement long man in the short term. This is Fulmer's second call-up this season, he was on the roster for one day earlier this month, pitching three innings of relief against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Meanwhile, Cordell arrives to take the place of Palka, who picked up his first hit of the season Wednesday after starting in a dreadful 0-for-32 slump. He was sent down after the game with the task of figuring things out at the Triple-A level. While the White Sox could have opted to slide Adam Engel into an everyday role in the big league outfield, it appears Cordell might get his shot at more frequent big league playing time. He was in the starting lineup for Thursday's game against the Tigers. Cordell made the Opening Day roster but only got six at-bats (homering in one and doubling in another) and was sent down to receive some more regular playing time, which he might now get in the majors.

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White Sox fans troll Royals for hypocritical bat flip tweet

White Sox fans troll Royals for hypocritical bat flip tweet

On Wednesday, White Sox short stop Tim Anderson hit a home run and had an all-time bat flip in response. It was something that fired up the White Sox fanbase and angered their opponents, the Kansas City Royals.

As a result, Anderson was hit by a pitch in his nex at-bat and a big brouhaha followed which led to some ejections, including Anderson who really didn't do anything to warrant it.

Professional athletes debated it on Twitter, but White Sox fans took to the social media platform to expose the hypocrisy from the Royals when they found this tweet from May of last season.

That's right, the Royals glorifying a bat flip on social media. White Sox fans responded in droves.

A lot if it involved hilarious White Sox GIFs, like Tim Anderson's slow clap.

Or White Sox players staring...

Or an eye roll...

Some went direct, calling it for what they believed it to be.

And as our own Chuck Garfien pointed out, there is a bit of irony surrounding this bat flip from last season.

In conclusion, let baseball be fun and let people flip bats. And if you don't want people to bat flip and celebrate home runs, get them out.

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