White Sox

Chris Beck to debut Thursday, Carlos Rodon returns Friday


Chris Beck to debut Thursday, Carlos Rodon returns Friday

TORONTO -- Chris Beck is in, Carlos Rodon is back and Hector Noesi may not be gone for long.

That’s the status of the White Sox rotation as manager Robin Ventura announced Beck would start the second game of a doubleheader Thursday while Rodon makes his next turn on Friday. Ventura also offered that Noesi, who was hurt by his defense in a 110-pitch effort on Monday, could get another start next week but is headed back to the bullpen for now.

“It’s a possibility (Noesi) would get another start somewhere in the next week, but as of right now, how it goes, he would be ready to go again probably Friday or Saturday,” Ventura said.

[MORE: More rest coming for Avisail Garcia]

In an effort to reduce Rodon’s workload, Noesi started in his stead on Monday. When he pitches again on Friday in Houston, it will have been nine days since Rodon’s last turn on May 20. The White Sox hope to keep Rodon’s 2015 inning total in check, though they haven’t stated a magic number. The belief is they’d like to limit their rookie left-hander to 150-160 innings.

With Chris Sale starting the opener on Thursday in Baltimore, the White Sox have elected to turn to Beck for Game 2. They will call him up as their 26th man -- something they also did on May 9 vs. Cincinnati. But unlike that game, when Beck warmed up in the bullpen, this time he’ll appear.

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

Beck, the No. 12 prospect in the organization according to MLB.com, is 3-2 with a 3.30 ERA in eight starts at Triple-A Charlotte this season.

“We got good reports on him,” Ventura said. “You might as well see what he’s got. We’ve gotten great reports on him, so we feel it’s a good time for him to come up and start and start that process.

“Control-wise he’s done great. When you start trying to figure out who’s going to throw that game, and you get reports on guys who are in the minor leagues and you see stuff, he’s been throwing as good as anybody. What he did in spring, as well as what he’s done now, you give him this opportunity.”

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

White Sox prospect Luis Robert headed to the Arizona Fall League to get more playing time after injuries limited to 50 games in 2018.

He just got hurt in the Arizona Fall League.

Robert is playing with the Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL and left Friday's game with an injury.

It's not clear what the injury was, but Robert walked off on his own power. He also has pulled out of the Bowman Hitting Challenge (a modified home run derby) that will take place Saturday.

Robert, the No. 4 White Sox prospect and No. 44 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was 1-for-3 in Friday's game before exiting. He has hit safely in all four games in the AFL, going 5-for-17 (.294) with a walk and three strikeouts, but no extra base hits.

The 21-year-old is the third youngest player on the team and the AFL is a respected offseason league for prospects. A good showing from Robert would be a sign that he is beginning to develop his talent into playable tools.

The injury could be minor so no need to ring the alarm bells yet, but the AFL season is barely more than a month long. Even a short-term injury could prevent him from making up for some of the lost playing time from the 2018 minor league season.

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?


Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

The White Sox have a hole or two to plug in their starting rotation. Could Sonny Gray be an answer?

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that he's looking to trade Gray away from the Bronx this winter.

Gray isn't as attractive an add as he was a few years back, when he was coming off a sensational 2015 campaign that saw him post a 2.73 ERA and log 208 innings. He went to the All-Star Game and finished third in the AL Cy Young vote that year.

Since, he's been less successful. He made just 22 starts with the Oakland Athletics in 2016 and had a 5.69 ERA. The following season, he started with a strong 3.43 ERA in 16 starts for the A's before the midseason trade that sent him to the Yankees, where he made 11 starts with a 3.72 ERA. This season didn't go too well, earning Gray a move to the bullpen. He finished with a 4.90 ERA in 30 games, only 23 of those being starts. He threw just 29.1 innings over his final 10 appearances of the season, three of which were starts. He had a 5.26 ERA with 50 walks in 113 innings as a starter in 2018.

Those numbers won't leap off the page (in a positive way) for anyone, but there's no doubt that a potential deal for Gray would be a low-risk move for the White Sox. For a team looking to add 40 percent of a starting rotation, being able to do so cheaply — be it from a dollar or prospect standpoint — would be a good thing, especially if the strategy ends up being to simply add one-year fill-ins while Michael Kopech recovers from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease makes his way to the major leagues.

However, Gray's 57-walk total from the 2018 season could be something the White Sox would want to stay away from. After all, White Sox pitchers led the AL with 653 walks this season. They also had five of the top 21 walk-issuing pitchers in the Junior Circuit: Lucas Giolito led the league with 90, James Shields was third with 78, Reynaldo Lopez was fifth with 75, Hector Santiago was 15th with 60, and Carlos Rodon was 21st with 55. Gray slotted in right ahead of Rodon.

But Gray has obviously produced results in the past, and whether the White Sox are looking to simply plug the holes in the 2019 staff or potentially find a sign-and-flip candidate for the 2019 trade deadline — he's slated to hit free agency after the 2019 season — Gray could fit that bill. One thing's for sure: He's available.