White Sox

Back with White Sox, Jake Petricka searching for groove

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Back with White Sox, Jake Petricka searching for groove

After missing time with a forearm injury, Jake Petricka still isn’t entirely up to speed in terms of mechanics and feeling sharp.

The day after he made his 2015 debut, the White Sox reliever said he’s healthy and in a good spot. He just needs a little more fine-tuning.

Petricka -- who had 14 saves and a 2.96 ERA in 2014 -- threw balls on nine of his 18 pitches in a scoreless inning on Wednesday, walking one batter and giving up a hit.

“Normal soreness so it’s a great feeling,” Petricka said. “Just got to get back in the groove from last year.”

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

One part of Wednesday’s appearance had flashes of 2014 as Petricka got out of trouble with a double play. He induced 12 double plays last season, which was tied for third-most among American League relievers. But Petricka also felt like his mechanics aren’t quite where he prefers.

Manager Robin Ventura expects that given Petricka missed the end of spring training and had only faced hitters twice before Wednesday. That’s why he wanted to Petricka to pitch for the first time with a big cushion.

“Yesterday you’re making sure to get him in there to see what it looks like,” Ventura said. “You can see he was a bit erratic at first and that’s the stuff you would go through in spring training and he hadn’t had all that many appearances. You’re kind of feeling it out as you go.”

“It’s not as smooth as he normally is when he goes out there. But at the end you saw some of the swings that guys had … It was more like what you’re used to seeing with him so it was a good adjustment.”

[MORE: Adam LaRoche still adjusting to new life in American League]

Petricka watches film after every game. He noticed a slight difference from Wednesday, a “small fix” he intends to make with pitching coach Don Cooper.

“There’s a little pause yesterday,” Petricka said. “Take away the pause and it will probably fix everything else. Little things like that.

“I just have to find that groove I had last year and I know everything else will take care of itself.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 1

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 1

We asked you to ask us anything about the White Sox and you delivered in a big way. We got so many questions, we had to do two different podcasts! Among the questions here in Part 1: should the White Sox send Yoan Moncada to Triple-A? What players will be traded before the deadline? Who are some sleeper prospects in the minors? Will Jordan Stephens be called up before Michael Kopech? Should Juan Uribe be a team ambassador? What's our all-time White Sox team from 2000 to the present and many more.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Rick Hahn says 'there will be many' promotions for White Sox prospects this week

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USA TODAY

Rick Hahn says 'there will be many' promotions for White Sox prospects this week

The White Sox have a number of highly-rated prospects performing well in the minors and some of them will be on the move within the system in a matter of days.

General manager Rick Hahn talked to reporters ahead of Monday night's White Sox game in Cleveland, a 6-2 loss, and gave the news. Well, sort of.

He didn't include names, but he did say that "there will be many" promotions after the minor league all-star games for Double-A and both Single-A teams take place on Tuesday.

Hahn added that Chris Getz, the White Sox player development director, will address the media before the White Sox host Oakland on Thursday about the moves.

If the all-star games are a reason to wait, it's safe to think some of the players involved will be playing in those games. So who could be on the move?

Double-A Birmingham has six all-stars: Eloy Jimenez, Zack Collins, Seby Zavala, Danny Mendick, Dane Dunning and Ian Hamilton. Jimenez is the name everyone wants to see on the move. He has torched the Southern League since getting off to a late start to the season due to injury. Hahn was asked about Jimenez, but didn't tip his hand as to whether he would be one of the promotions.

Dunning has been good in Double-A (2.78 ERA, 65 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings), but was already promoted this season so he may not be on the move again.

Single-A Winston-Salem has five all-stars: Dylan Cease, Luis Alexander Basabe, Joel Booker, Bernardo Flores and Matt Foster. Cease, 22, could be due for a promotion with a 2.89 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings. There's also that outfield logjam the Dash, which won the first-half division title, have had all season.

Other than Basabe and Booker, Blake Rutherford and Alex Call are also noteworthy prospects being forced to split time in the Dash's outfield. If Jimenez is moving up to Triple-A, one or two names from this group could be on the move to take his spot in Birmingham.

This would especially make sense if highly-touted outfield prospect Luis Robert, who was supposed to be in Single-A Kannapolis for a short period before joining the Dash, is ready to move up as planned. Robert is hitting .289/.360/.400 in 13 games with the Intimidators.

Birmingham, Winston-Salem and Kannapolis were all off Monday. The various all-star games will take place Tuesday and the three teams will be off again Wednesday. The promotions could be announced Thursday ahead of Getz's scheduled media availability.