White Sox

Brett Lawrie on second base: 'Ease up and just chill'

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Brett Lawrie on second base: 'Ease up and just chill'

OAKLAND, Calif. — He plays with an intense energy, but Brett Lawrie said he had no difficulty making the final play of Monday’s White Sox victory.

A converted second baseman, Lawrie was in the correct position and looked smooth as he scooped Yonder Alonso’s grounder in shallow right field and easily fired to first base for the final out of a 4-3 victory over the Oakland A’s.

Lawrie, who has been confident he could make the move back over from third base if he got enough quality repetitions in spring training, said he didn’t notice the roar from the sellout crowd of 35,067 at Oakland Coliseum when Alonso’s grounder got past the dive of Jose Abreu, who had ranged to his right.

“Time to slow it down, ease up and just chill,” Lawrie said.

[MORE: Robin Ventura: Nate Jones is 'really important' for White Sox]

The White Sox have to feel pretty relaxed about how Lawrie, who played second base in the minor leagues, has looked in making the switch back. He has more than enough athleticism to make the conversion.

It’s just a matter of getting enough opportunities, manager Robin Ventura said. Lawrie had plenty in spring and delivered a clean brand of baseball. He committed no errors among his 53 chances and was involved in 12 double plays in 106 innings.

“He doesn’t necessarily look like a third baseman trying to switch over,” Ventura said. “He’s looked fine.

“He’s going to have good range. That’s not necessarily the issue. It’s getting used to it over there and getting as many reps as you can. As far as athletic stuff, he’s very athletic and has plenty of range.”

Lawrie’s range helped him produce 35 Defensive Runs Saved at third base over his first three seasons. And he’s seemed to have no trouble going to his left on grounders throughout the spring and the first game. Lawrie also made a nice leading throw on the final play to pitcher David Robertson, who was covering first on the play.

“Once I saw Brett catch it I knew we were going to get him out,” Robertson said. “If it gets in the hole it’s a hit. But he was right there positioned for it and it turned into an easy out.”

Though Abreu’s diving attempt briefly brought the crowd to life, Lawrie said the play was made easier by the first baseman’s presence. He credited Abreu for the way he attacks the ball — “some first baseman will bail … he wants the ball,” Lawrie said.

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Lawrie spent last season playing for the A’s and knew Monday’s crowd was louder than most. Though the stadium featured a raucous atmosphere, Lawrie said it didn’t faze him — especially by that point in the game.

That made it all the easier for Lawrie to chill.

“It’s not like it was the first inning or anything,” Lawrie said.

Lucas Giolito has some fun with the not so dark side of his Twitter history

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USA TODAY

Lucas Giolito has some fun with the not so dark side of his Twitter history

White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito isn't having a great season, but at least it looks like his Twitter account could pass a background check.

A Twitter user dug through some of Giolito's tweets from his teenage years. He didn't find much in the way of hateful, mean or angry tweets. Instead, he found candy, touch tanks at the aquarium and animated movies.

The tweet got plenty of attention on the platform, leading Giolito to comment on it. Giolito took the joke with a good sense of humor and made a joke at his own expense.

This kind of makes you wonder what else would qualify as Giolito's "dark side." Maybe this will spawn a series of Lucas Giolito facts like the very tame version of Chuck Norris or The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Michael Kopech, Eloy Jimenez lead Charlotte Knights on NBC Sports Chicago

Michael Kopech, Eloy Jimenez lead Charlotte Knights on NBC Sports Chicago

Tonight, White Sox Triple-A affiliate Charlotte (44-52) will go head-to-head with the Pawtucket Red Sox (45-49) on NBC Sports Chicago at 6 p.m.

Top pitching prospect Michael Kopech (2-5, 4.88 ERA) faces William Cuevas (5-3, 3.21 ERA) at BB&T Ballpark. The flame-throwing Kopech is coming off an 11-strikeout performance in his last start when he completed six innings of work and allowed only four hits and one earned run.

Kopech has been inconsistent for the Knights this season, but leads the International League with a whopping 122 strikeouts. He had a forgettable month of June, when he went 1-4 with a 5.46 ERA, but he looks to be getting on the right track recently.

Charlotte’s batting lineup is highlighted by White Sox No. 1 prospect Eloy Jimenez, who has performed well since his promotion from Double-A Birmingham in mid-June. The powerful hitter has a .283/.348/.483 slash line with three home runs in 60 at-bats with the Knights.

Reliever Ian Hamilton (2.71 ERA), who is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 18 White Sox prospect, has served as the team’s closer since his June promotion to Triple-A. The 23-year-old has converted four of five save opportunities with Charlotte, making him a player to monitor during tonight’s game. He has 10 strikeouts with only two walks in 9 2/3 innings.