White Sox

Carlos Rodon’s flexibility allows White Sox to consider extra rest for Chris Sale

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Carlos Rodon’s flexibility allows White Sox to consider extra rest for Chris Sale

ST. LOUIS — By skipping Carlos Rodon’s turn in the rotation, the White Sox may also be able to give Chris Sale an extra day of rest.

Manager Robin Ventura said Wednesday he and pitching coach Don Cooper were considering bumping Sale’s next start to Monday against Toronto and starting Rodon Sunday against Baltimore, affording Sale five days of rest between starts. Sale is healthy and didn’t come to Ventura and Cooper requesting the extra day, but the White Sox feel it could be beneficial to the left-hander who tied Pedro Martinez’s major league record for most consecutive starts with 10 or more strikeouts Tuesday night.

“This is just Coop and I kicking it around to take care of him and make sure he’s fresh and keep him going the same way,” Ventura said. “We’ve spent enough time looking at Carlos, inserting him and moving him and everything else and you want to do that with Chris. He deserves it.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: The remarkable stats behind Chris Sale's dominance]

Sale, who has a 2.87 ERA and a major league-leading 141 strikeouts, has averaged 116 pitches and a little under 7 2/3 innings over his last eight starts. Thanks to an off day Monday, Sale went five days between starts leading into his 12-strikeout masterpiece against St. Louis Tuesday night.

Ventura likes having the option — thanks to off days and the plan to periodically rest Rodon — of giving Sale that extra day, if possible.

“When we’ve done it for him, it sounds crazy but he’s always bounced back and pitched maybe a little better,” Ventura said. “That probably sounds odd but he has looked stronger and fresher when he gets an extra day.”

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get a Chris Sale jersey right here]

What isn’t part of the decision is Sale’s impending All-Star berth, and he’s made a strong case to start the game in Cincinnati July 14. His schedule isn’t ideal, though, no matter when he starts — if he goes Sunday or Monday, his final start before the All-Star break would be July 10 or 11 against the Cubs.

Ventura acknowledged Sale deserves to pitch in the All-Star Game, but lining him up to have a better chance of appearing at Great American Ballpark isn’t the team’s focus.

“For the importance of the game they probably want the best guys to pitch and he’s one of them,” Ventura said. “But our decisions are based on us and where we’re at. Because Carlos has had extended time off you can slip him Sunday or Monday.”

Welington Castillo on board with the reasoning behind his Monday benching and the identity Rick Renteria is trying to establish

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AP

Welington Castillo on board with the reasoning behind his Monday benching and the identity Rick Renteria is trying to establish

And that’s why you always run hard to first base.

Rick Renteria didn’t use a one-armed man to teach his team a lesson Monday night, but he used a relatively extreme measure, benching one of his few veteran players to send a message that lack of hustle won’t be tolerated on this rebuilding White Sox team.

In fact, it won’t be tolerated anywhere in this rebuilding White Sox organization.

That’s the hope, at least.

Welington Castillo stood at home plate while his popup fell into the first baseman’s glove during the sixth inning of Monday night’s loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles, and because of it he didn’t go back out with his teammates for the seventh inning. It was the latest in-game benching by Renteria for a similar offense. Avisail Garcia was sat down during spring training, and Leury Garcia at the end of the team’s previous homestand.

This kind of reoccurring strategy might seem a tad strange, a manager enforcing hustle regulations to pro players during a season in which his team entered play Tuesday with baseball’s worst record. But part of rebuilding and development is establishing a cultural identity, and Castillo seemed on board with Renteria’s strategy, as well as the end goal of these punishments.

“That’s something that he always says, that’s something that he’s not going to let pass,” Castillo said Tuesday. “He always says you’ve got to run the bases hard no matter what. And for some reason, I was just frustrated, I wanted to get the job done. I saw the ball was going to be fair, and for some reason I did not run. I think that the decision that he made was the right decision. That’s not me, and I’m not going to do it again.”

Castillo was brought in this past offseason to provide some veteran experience to what is otherwise a very young squad of South Siders. Coming off career years both offensively and defensively, Castillo seemed to be an addition that would benefit this club in the short and long term. He could be here all the way through the 2020 season, when the White Sox could see their talented minor leaguers arrive and open the organization’s contention window.

And therein lies the importance of what Renteria did Monday. Castillo would figure to be veteran enough to be past such punishments. But if he buys in to Renteria’s style and passes it along to the young guys when they come up, then Renteria will have achieved what he wanted: for this to be the standard of the present and the future.

“The same rule that is for the young guys is for the veteran guys, too,” Castillo said. “We are a team, we are a family. One thing is for me, and the same thing has to be for everybody because we are a family, we are a team. Sometimes that’s good that that happens, and we’ve just got to learn from that.”

“We’re trying to eliminate habits if they’re there. Accidents you understand, but we’re trying to continue to create the identity of the White Sox organization as to how we’re going to go about doing things,” Renteria said. “They accept it, they understand it, and when we take an action I think for the most part they are accountable to what goes on.”

Daily White Sox prospects update: Eloy Jimenez homers, Seby Zavala goes to the DL

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Daily White Sox prospects update: Eloy Jimenez homers, Seby Zavala goes to the DL

Here's your daily update on what the White Sox highly touted prospects are doing in the minor leagues.

Double-A Birmingham

Eloy Jimenez hit his eighth home run of the season in a 7-3 loss. Zack Collins and Matt Rose each had a hit, a walk and a run scored. Ian Clarkin gave up five runs and walked five in his five innings. Seby Zavala, who leads the Southern League with 10 homers, went on the disabled list with a wrist injury.

Triple-A Charlotte

Jordan Stephens had a good second outing at the Triple-A level, allowing just one earned run in his 6.1 innings. He allowed five hits and walked two, striking out four batters. In his two starts with Charlotte, he's got a 2.19 ERA with three earned runs allowed in 12.1 innings. Charlie Tilson doubled in the 12-6 win. Thyago Vieira gave up two runs in his lone inning of work, and his ERA stands at 5.85 on the season.

Class A Winston-Salem

The bats seem to have gone a tad cold for the Dash, who suffered a 4-1 loss. The top five hitters in the lineup — Joel Booker, Alex Call, Blake Rutherford, Micker Adolfo and Gavin Sheets — combined to go 2-for-18.

Class A Kannapolis

Lincoln Henzman gave up four earned runs in five innings, allowing a pair of home runs. Luis Gonzalez and Evan Skoug each had a hit in a 5-3 loss.