White Sox

Charlotte 3B Nick Delmonico could provide White Sox an 'interesting' option

Charlotte 3B Nick Delmonico could provide White Sox an 'interesting' option

Though he isn’t listed among MLBPipeline.com’s top 30 White Sox prospects, Nick Delmonico’s improved bat should help him reach the majors sometime this season.

Aided by a large reduction in strikeout percentage, the Triple-A Charlotte third baseman is off to a nice start.

Delmonico entered Sunday hitting .301/.363/.458 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 91 plate appearances. He only has struck out in 13.2 percent of his plate appearances this season, down from 21.5 percent for his career. The more pertinent question seems to be whether or not Delmonico can defend well enough to stick at third base. MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis described Delmonico as more of a “bat-only” prospect who was pushed off the prospect list by the club’s slew of acquisitions this offseason.

“You could definitely argue him on a White Sox top-30 list,” Callis said. “I just went for guys who have a little more upside. But he’s been pretty good for them since they’ve gotten him and he was a dude coming out of high school. He got paid a pretty hefty bonus coming out of high school.

“He’s some kind of prospect, I’m just not exactly sure what he is."

The White Sox also played Delmonico, 24, at first base this spring to improve his versatility. But he’s mostly stuck to third during the regular season with only one appearance at first so far. A sixth-round pick out of high school in 2011 who received a $1.525 million signing bonus, Delmonico has the ability to make dazzling plays at third. He made made a falling grab on top of the tarp in an April 22 contest and later started a 5-4-3 double play with a diving stop. But Delmonico also has room for improvement as he’s made six errors in 52 chances this season.

“He’s a solid defender out there,” Charlotte manager Mark Grudzielanek said. “He’s gonna be a really good big leaguer. He’s shown why he is. He has all the ability …

“He’s one of those guys. He’s an everyday guy. He puts the barrel on the ball. He gets it done at the plate. He’s going to give you a quality at-bat every night out. It’s fun. He’s an exciting player out there and can leave the park at any time. He’s been getting it done.”

The bat and personality drew Delmonico rave reviews from the White Sox major league coaching staff this spring. Delmonico’s 72 spring plate appearances was second on the team and he hit .266/.347/.594 with five homers and 13 RBIs. He also struck out only 12.5 percent of the time.

“Can hit the ball out of the ballpark,” manager Rick Renteria said in late March. “Gives you good at-bats. There’s something to him about his personality and the way he carries himself, which is infectious, which we like. I think he’s made a great impression in camp.”

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Delmonico has carried over the enthusiasm he showed in spring training to Charlotte. He said he’s put an emphasis on defense and wants to stay at third.

“I feel really comfortable,” Delmonico said. “That’s my favorite position and I’ve been working hard at it.

“Everyday I want to be the best I can be over there. It’s not every day you’re going to hit, but every day you’re going to have a chance to make a play to help out your team. For me defense is most important.”

If he makes up enough ground, Delmonico gives the White Sox another potential third baseman. Even if he doesn’t, his left-handed bat should give Renteria another option with pop.

“Is he an everyday player?” Callis said. “I’d like to see a little more before I believe that. He’s interesting. I just don’t know what to make of him.”

Ozzie Guillén hates Nick Swisher, with his whole heart

Ozzie Guillén hates Nick Swisher, with his whole heart

If you didn't know, Ozzie Guillén has strong opinions and that includes former players he dealt with.

On the White Sox post-game show, host Chuck Garfien asked Guillén who he disliked more, Carlos Gomez or Nick Swisher.

"Oh my God, nobody can compare that with Nick Swisher," Guillén responded. "I hate Nick Swisher with my heart."

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Guillén declined to elaborate, but then added: "I think he hates me back, there's nothing wrong with that."

And finally Ozzie gave some kind of reason.

"I never talked to him, I was managing him, but I don't like the way his attitude was all fake. And I don't like fake people."

Then Chuck pointed out Swisher was only with the White Sox for one year and Guillén had thoughts about that to.

"It was one year too long," Guillén said.

Guillén doubled down and said he thinks others players would agree if they were honest, while clarifying he didn't hate him as a person and thought he was a good player.

The White Sox way wasn't the Swisher way, and there was friction.

Ozzie also admitted he might of misused Swisher.

"I played him center field and batting first or second, that guy has to be in right field batting tenth."


White Sox end streak, stay confident: 'We are going to do the pushing around'

White Sox end streak, stay confident: 'We are going to do the pushing around'

The White Sox winning streak is over.

So why was Danny Mendick so chipper after a 1-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night?

His three hits might have had something to do with it. He was just about the only offense the White Sox mustered against Adrian Houser and a pair of relievers.

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But it seemed to stem more from the different feeling surrounding this year's White Sox team.

Mendick got a taste, however small, of the rebuilding years at the tail end of the 2019 season. After Yoán Moncada and Tim Anderson and Lucas Giolito and Eloy Jiménez broke out the way they did during that campaign, Rick Hahn's front office complemented them with a host of impact veteran additions during the offseason. Throw it all together, and these White Sox have the look of a potential contender, something backed up by the way they played during their six-game win streak.

That's over now, though Wednesday's game had the same kind of playoff feel that the first two games against the Brewers did on Monday and Tuesday nights. The White Sox might not have played any games that felt like these in the last three years. Now there have been three in three nights.

So yeah, something's changed.

"I’ll tell you what, just the energy in the clubhouse," Mendick said Wednesday, asked about the difference between 2019 and 2020. "When we show up to the field, there’s more confidence.

"It’s not like we are going to get pushed around. It’s more like we are going to do the pushing around.

"Everyone is just prepared. Everyone shows up to the field ready. They know the opponent. We know what they are going to bring. I feel there’s just more, how do I say this, more education. We have more veterans. We have guys who are really focused on baseball, and it brings a lot to everybody."

RELATED: White Sox manager Rick Renteria finally has talent — and knows what to do with it

The six-game win streak turned the White Sox slow 1-4 start around in a hurry. In this shortened, 60-game season, every game means so much and even modest winning or losing streaks could tug the entire season in one direction or the other. The White Sox went from getting their brains beat in by the class of the AL Central to the third best record in the American League as of Wednesday morning.

They've showed what they're capable of, too. They blew out the Kansas City Royals, scoring a combined 20 runs and knocking out a total of 35 hits in back-to-back wins last weekend. Then they went to Milwaukee and won a pair of nail-biters, getting clutch hits from José Abreu and Jiménez to back strong efforts by the bullpen Monday and Giolito on Tuesday.

Wednesday, it was one of those newly arrived veterans, Dallas Keuchel, who shone. He logged seven one-run innings, the first White Sox starter to pitch in the seventh inning this season. If it weren't for the unusually cool conditions on the South Side, the outcome might have been different. Luis Robert and Moncada dialed up back-to-back deep fly balls in the eighth inning that both could have easily gone as go-ahead homers on a normal summer night.

The clutch hits could have kept on coming. And the knowledge of being competitive — the "belief," as Giolito keeps putting it — prevented the White Sox from feeling down after another fine effort Wednesday. It will likely do so every night for the remainder of this short season.

"The thing that probably has impressed me the most is the resiliency of the club," Hahn said Wednesday. "Obviously, those of us who have watched this team over the last several years, and certainly in the early phase of the rebuild, knew that feeling that you would get early or midway through games where you would feel the lead was perhaps insurmountable. I think looking at this club through the first 10 or 11 games so far, it feels like we're not out of any ballgame, regardless of what the deficit may be.

"I think that's a great testament to not just the veterans that have been brought in, but the growth of the young guys and the mentality I'm sure you've all picked up on going back to (spring training in) Glendale."

Part of the reason additions like Keuchel, Yasmani Grandal and Edwin Encarnación looked so good during the winter was the playoff experience these guys have. While the White Sox core doesn't know what it's like to win at the big league level — not even Abreu does, who played for six losing White Sox teams before signing a new multi-year deal in the offseason — these guys do. They're all veterans of pennant races and playoff runs that go all the way to the end of October. Keuchel's got a World Series ring on his resume.

Experience with the highs and lows of a winning season might not be quite as valuable in this most unusual of seasons. But before the White Sox can be championship contenders, they actually need to do some winning. After a combined 284 losses in the last three seasons, even a six-game winning streak can mean a lot.

But whether they won or lost Wednesday, it didn't seem like the result was going to sway their belief. These White Sox are here to compete and live up to the high expectations they set for themselves dating all the way back to the end of an 89-loss season in 2019.

"We've been hot, and eventually it's going to come to an end. But man, we were right in the ballgame. That's all we can ask for," Keuchel said. "Game in, game out, we know that we're going to be in those contests.

"If we can win series, that's a playoff recipe."