White Sox

Back from Arizona, Dylan Covey ready to go when White Sox need him

Back from Arizona, Dylan Covey ready to go when White Sox need him

Dylan Covey threw about 85 pitches in an extended spring training game Saturday in Arizona and said he feels confident heading into what could be his major league debut later this week. 

The White Sox are still deciding whether Covey will start Friday or Saturday against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field, but the anticipation is the Rule 5 pick from the Oakland Athletics will pitch in Minneapolis. 

While most pitchers worked on specific things -- pitches, mechanics, etc. -- during spring training, Covey felt he had to focus on getting outs as he pushed to make the White Sox Opening Day roster. As a Rule 5 pick, Covey would've been placed on waivers and offered back to the A's if he didn't make the White Sox major league roster out of spring training (the same would be the case if he ever were to be removed from the White Sox major league roster this season, outside of a stint on the disabled list). 

"We’re glad he’s feeling more comfortable in terms of being able to work on certain things and not worry about trying to make a club," manager Rick Renteria said. "Hopefully that pays some dividends for us moving forward."

With the A's backed up with pitchers across their minor league system, Covey saw making the White Sox roster as his best shot at breaking through in the majors. An example of his out-focused efforts: He had to largely ditch one of his go-to pitches -- his split-changeup -- because it wasn't working well during spring training. 

Covey's simulated games in extended spring training this month allowed him to re-introduce that pitch and get a feel for it again. With the pressure of making a major league roster off Covey, he's been able to do what most other pitches did during February and March and work on some things to get him prepared for his first start next weekend. 

“I've been able to really focus on (the split-change) my last couple sim games,” Covey said. “It's a lot better than it was in spring training. … I feel like my stuff is refined now in where I want it. I feel like I'm ready to go.” 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Inside the White Sox draft room with Nick Hostetler

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: Inside the White Sox draft room with Nick Hostetler

Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey speak with White Sox scouting director Nick Hosteler inside the team's draft room at Guaranteed Rate Field.

How accurate are the mock drafts? (2:45) Can Andrew Vaughn meeting the lofty expectations? (6:40) Bobby Witt Jr's unique background (8:30), why this draft could bring a face of the franchise type player the top (11:15), and what it's like in the war room on draft day (12:30). Do they have a consensus pick yet? (13:45) Do they need to stock up on pitching? (17:35)

Is Nick Madrigal meeting expectations in Class-A? (26:40) Hostetler's sleeper pick from last season that White Sox fans should watch (30:00) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Expect the unexpected: A triple play, a Charlie Tilson grand slam and a White Sox win over the Astros

Expect the unexpected: A triple play, a Charlie Tilson grand slam and a White Sox win over the Astros

Expect the unexpected.

After the way the first two nights went for the White Sox during their four-game stay in Houston, the expectations weren't high going up against Gerrit Cole. Cole entered the game as baseball's strikeout leader, with 93 of them in his first 60.2 innings this season. After White Sox hitters struck out a combined 27 times in the games started by Brad Peacock and Justin Verlander, it figured to be more of the same.

But that's not how baseball works.

The White Sox got solo homers from Eloy Jimenez and Jose Abreu for an early lead on Cole, but it was what they did in the field that got the baseball world buzzing. They turned the first triple play of the 2019 season in slick fashion. It was the White Sox first triple play since the 2016 season, when they turned three of them.

Normally, a triple play would be hands down the highlight of the night. But after the Astros pushed three runs across against Ivan Nova in the bottom of the fourth inning, the White Sox staged a stunning comeback against the typically dominant Cole.

They started the sixth with four straight hits, with Yona Moncada's single tying the game and James McCann, with another successful moment in the cleanup spot, doubling in the go-ahead run. Four batters and two outs later, Charlie Tilson, not exactly known for his power, smacked a grand slam, his first career homer, to bust things open.

Tilson became the first White Sox hitter whose first career homer was a grand slam since Danny Richar back in 2007. It's been a very nice stretch for Tilson, who came up from Triple-A Charlotte early this month. He's slashing .304/.339/.393 in 2019, now with one home run.

So by the end of the evening, the White Sox got a triple play, a Tilson grand slam, not one but two Jimenez home runs and a win over the best team in baseball — in Houston, no less, where the White Sox last win came in September 2017. Outside of a mighty positive night from Jimenez, who has two two-homer nights in just 24 games in his career, these might be oddities with little big-picture applications for this rebuilding organization. But a fun, eventful night for the record books is surely welcome.

Mercy.

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