White Sox

Avisail Garcia’s walk-off single ends suspended White Sox game

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Avisail Garcia’s walk-off single ends suspended White Sox game

The White Sox mobbed Avisail Garcia only about 30 minutes before they’ll play again.

Garcia’s two-out walk-off single netted the White Sox a 3-2 win over Kansas City in the continuation of Friday’s suspended game, which was halted in the top of the ninth due to rain. With two out against Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera, Melky Cabrera walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jose Abreu was intentionally walked, setting up Garcia’s afternoon heroics and the White Sox first win over Kansas City this season.

"With the new speed-up rules and everything, you can get used to when you're on the winning end," manager Robin Ventura joked. "It's bizarre, any time you resume a game it's weird, it has a weird feeling. The guys are even starting the game I'm sure it's uncomfortable for them. But for us, it's good to get a win, get it started like that."

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David Robertson struck out the side in the top of the ninth inning, though Abreu's two-out error allowed Kendrys Morales to reach and ended the closer's streak of 18 consecutive batters retired. Robertson 20 pitches and said he'd be available in a save situation in Sunday's regularly-scheduled game, which will begin at 2:05 p.m.

"It's no different for me," Robertson said of his pregame routine. "I went out of the bullpen, threw my normal little warm-ups and just came in. The only thing different is standing in the dugout and coming out. It's like you're going out for a second inning."

Right-hander Daniel Webb was promoted from Triple-A Charlotte for the second game, as MLB’s rules allow for a 26th player to be used in a doubleheader situation. With the suspended game only needing one inning to conclude, Hector Noesi -- who could've been in the long-relief mix had the suspended game pushed into extra innings -- is in line to start Monday's game in Baltimore.

[MORE: White Sox eyeing Carlos Rodon, Scott Carroll for spot starts]

Kansas City got its first two runs Friday on a third- and fifth-inning RBI singles by Alcides Escobar and Paulo Orlando, respectively. Tyler Flowers’ RBI groundout in the fourth and Melky Cabrera’s seventh-inning sacrifice fly tallied the White Sox two runs.

Jose Quintana turned in his best start of 2015 Friday night, throwing seven innings of two-run ball with five strikeouts, one walk and seven hits allowed.

Saturday's rained out White Sox-Royals game will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader July 17 with the first game starting at 1:10 p.m. and the second at 7:10. Tickets and parking passes from Saturday's game will only be honored at the 1:10 p.m. game, and Jose Abreu Rookie of the Year blankets will be given out at the 1:10 p.m. game as well.

James McCann leads charge for White Sox in running for starting spots in MLB All-Star Game

James McCann leads charge for White Sox in running for starting spots in MLB All-Star Game

Major League Baseball released a second voting update for All-Star Game starters and three White Sox players are still in the mix.

The top three spots at each position (and top nine in the outfield) are all that matter for now, with those players advancing to MLB’s new Starters Election. James McCann is the only member of the White Sox to sit in one of those spots for now.

McCann is second at catcher behind Gary Sanchez of the Yankees. He is nearly 800,000 votes behind the Yankees backstop.

Jose Abreu was in third in the last update at first base, but has fallen behind Carlos Santana of the Indians. Luke Volt, another Yankee, leads with C.J. Cron of the Twins in second. Santana is just under 43,000 votes ahead of Abreu.

Tim Anderson is still in fourth at shortstop. Jorge Polanco of the Twins and Carlos Correa of the Astros are comfortably in the top two spots. Gleyber Torres, yet another Yankee, is just over 45,000 votes ahead of Anderson for third.

There aren’t any other White Sox within striking distance of the top three. Yoan Moncada remains in eighth among third basemen.

Polls close Friday at 3 p.m. CT.

 

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Breaking down Eloy Jimenez's improvement

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USA TODAY

Breaking down Eloy Jimenez's improvement

When Eloy Jiménez returned from the Injured List in late May and rejoined the White Sox lineup, he went on the road to Houston and Minnesota and he struggled to the tune of a .148 batting average and .148 on-base percentage, with four hits (three went over the fence), 11 strikeouts and no walks.

For the season, his slashline was .217/.259/.406 with five walks and 36 strikeouts. He was swinging at 49.8 percent of all the pitches he saw (a bit above the 46.7 percent league average); he was swinging at 38.8 percent of pitches outside the zone (quite a bit above the 30.9 percent league average).

He returned to the comfort of Guaranteed Rate Field on May 27 and took a pair of walks. From that point forward, things started to look a lot better… and the results were in line with that observation.

Eloy Jiménez this season:

  PA AVG OBP SLG BB K Swing % Outside zone swing %
Through May 26 112 ,217 .259 .406 5 36 49.8 38.8
Since May 27 71 .297 .366 .594 7 18 45.9 30.8

Not only has he improved quite a bit, but that 30.8 outside the zone swing percentage is second only to Yonder Alonso’s 29.9 percent mark among White Sox with at least 40 plate appearances since May 27. Jiménez hasn’t been chasing nearly as many bad pitches lately.

Those pitches he has been laying off of have for the most part been the low and away stuff, as indicated by his swing charts below. First, his swing rates before getting hurt and then since he came back from injury.

These charts are from the catcher’s perspective, and from what you can see, he has done a much better job of laying off the low and away pitches. Look at the three zones furthest low and away. There’s a big difference.

Start of the year through May 26:

Since May 27:

Through May 26 he swung at 33.8 percent of pitches (51 of 151)  low and away and out of the zone. Since May 27 he has swung at 14.5 percent of those pitches (10 of 69).

It’s only an 18-game sample, so there will certainly be more adjustments made to combat Jiménez, but I believe we’re watching Eloy begin to mature into the middle of the order force as he was advertised.

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