White Sox

Derek Holland gets rocked as White Sox fall to Tigers in series opener

6-2_bad_derek_holland_ap.jpg
AP

Derek Holland gets rocked as White Sox fall to Tigers in series opener

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers didn't get as much rest as they might have wanted Thursday on their day off, but it was enough to get them hitting again.

In their first game after a 4-7 road trip that included four games in a 48-hour stretch in Chicago, the Tigers had a season-high 11 extra-base hits in a 15-5 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.

"We got in early Thursday morning, so it wasn't ideal, but the bats certainly came alive," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It was good to see our big guys swinging the bat again."

Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez combined for five hits, all for extra bases, and six RBIs in eight at-bats.

Martinez went 3-for-5 with a double, triple and homer, but flew out to right in the seventh inning to miss out on Detroit's first cycle since Carlos Guillen in 2006. Martinez missed the first 33 games of the season with an ankle injury, and is hitting .297 with a .797 slugging percentage in 20 games.

"He's been unbelievable," Ausmus said. "He had a little lull on the road trip, but other than that, he's been as good as any hitter in baseball."

Michael Fulmer (6-3) allowed a season-high five runs and seven hits in seven innings. The Tigers had been shut out in his past two starts.

"I'll give up five and take a win over giving up one and taking a loss any day of the week," he said. "I'm not worried about my game. I'm just happy we got a win."

White Sox starter Derek Holland (4-5) allowed eight runs and eight hits, including three homers, in 2 1/3 innings.

"This one is totally on me," Holland said. "I was fighting my mechanics all night, and everything I threw ended up over the plate. That's a great offense, and they are going to hurt you when you make that many mistakes."

The Tigers took the lead in the first when Nicholas Castellanos walked and scored on Cabrera's RBI double. Two batters later, Martinez made it 2-0 with a double to left-center field.

Cabrera hit a two-run double in the second inning to become the 39th player with 1,000 extra-base hits, including active batters Adrian Beltre, Albert Pujols and Carlos Beltran.

Leury Garcia's RBI single pulled the White Sox to 5-1 in the third, but Holland allowed homers to Martinez and Hicks in the bottom of the inning to give the Tigers a seven-run lead.

Michael Ynoa replaced Holland and gave up a single and a triple before leaving with soreness in his right quad.

The Tigers led 10-1 before Chicago scored three runs in the fifth. Castellanos made it 11-4 with an RBI in the bottom of the inning, and Detroit added three more runs in the sixth.

[VIVID SEATS: Get your White Sox tickets right here]

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: Ynoa will be evaluated on Saturday before a decision is made on his roster spot. ... RHP Jake Petricka (strained lat) was scheduled to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday night, while RHP James Shields (strained lat) is expected to make a rehab start for Charlotte on Saturday.

Tigers: DH Victor Martinez left the game in the fifth inning with flu-like symptoms. ... RHP Anibal Sanchez, who has been starting in Triple-A Toledo in an attempt to revive his career, left Friday's start with a left-leg injury.

UGLY START TO A TRIP

The White Sox were playing the first of nine games on a three-city, ten-day road trip, and manager Rick Renteria acknowledged it wasn't the ideal start.

"This is going to be a tough trip, so you want the first game to be better," said Renteria, whose team will also visit Tampa and Cleveland.

BOYD HEADING FOR TRIPLE-A

The Tigers optioned starting pitcher Matt Boyd to Triple-A Toledo after the game, and will recall LHP Daniel Stumpf from the Mud Hens on Saturday. Boyd is 2-5 with a 5.69 ERA in 11 starts, and has gone 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in his last four games.

"I have no one but myself to blame for this," Boyd said.

With a day off on Monday, the Tigers won't need a fifth starter until June 10.

AVILA STILL STANDING PAT

Tigers general manager Al Avila spoke to the media Friday afternoon, saying the team is still committed to trying to win the AL Central title this season, and that no decisions will bemade about selling until closer to the trade deadline.

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (3-5, 6.99) is scheduled to start for Chicago on Saturday in the second game of the weekend series. Gonzalez is 0-4 with a 6.56 ERA in his last four road starts, but beat Detroit on May 28 in Chicago.

Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmerman (4-4, 6.47 ERA) will pitch for the Tigers, six days after losing to Gonzalez and the White Sox. In that start, he allowed seven runs and eight hits in five innings.

White Sox right field search: Joc Pederson, Nicholas Castellanos, Marcell Ozuna and ... Yoshitomo Tsutsugo?

White Sox right field search: Joc Pederson, Nicholas Castellanos, Marcell Ozuna and ... Yoshitomo Tsutsugo?

Right field, designated hitter and starting pitching.

The White Sox, despite handing out the richest contract in team history already this offseason, have yet to address any of their previously stated positional needs. (OK, maybe Yasmani Grandal ends up factoring into the solution at DH.)

That's not for lack of trying, though, with the team offering more money to Zack Wheeler than he took to stay on the East Coast and pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies. They've been linked to Madison Bumgarner since Wheeler made his decision Wednesday.

The White Sox will surely continue to pursue starting-pitching help, but what's going on in their search for a new right fielder? The need is arguably the most critical on the roster and is certainly pressing after a mixture of players combined for some of the worst production in the game there last season. There are options, and supposedly the White Sox are looking at a few of them.

Earlier this week, we heard the White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers were in "preliminary trade talks" surrounding Joc Pederson, who the South Siders reportedly tried to acquire last offseason. Pederson played more left field than right field last year for the NL West champs, but he had a career year at the plate, with new highs in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, home runs, hits and RBIs. There's only one year of team control remaining on the 27-year-old's contract, but the White Sox would be getting a big-time upgrade in their lineup — and a left-handed one, at that.

That same report, from USA Today's Bob Nightengale, also mentioned the White Sox expressed interest in Nicholas Castellanos, perhaps the best hitting outfielder on the free-agent market. Castellanos was stellar last season, leading the major leagues with 58 doubles. He was particularly good after being acquired by the Cubs in a midseason trade, slashing .321/.356/.646 with 16 home runs and 21 doubles in 51 games for the North Siders. Castellanos long terrorized White Sox pitching while with the division-rival Detroit Tigers, and he's the kind of impact bat that would bolster the middle of the lineup. But he comes with defensive questions that Pederson does not — minus-9 Defensive Runs Saved in 2019, compared to five for Pederson as a right fielder.

The White Sox were reportedly interested in the other top outfielder on the free-agent market, Marcell Ozuna, early in the offseason. A little older than Pederson and Castellanos, he's just a couple years removed from a dominant 2017 campaign, when he slashed .312/.376/.548 with 37 homers and 124 RBIs for the Miami Marlins. Since being dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals, Ozuna hit .263/.327/.452 with 52 homers and 177 RBIs in two seasons. He played left field exclusively in his time with the Redbirds.

Now, enter Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who White Sox Talk Podcast aficionados will remember from a discussion in mid October. The Japanese import has been posted, and according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi, the White Sox are among four interested teams. Tsutsugo was described by reporter Jim Allen as "a quality bat in Japan, but he’s really not the elite bat," which might raise concerns. A left fielder, Tsutsugo brings good on-base skills and slashed an incredible .322/.430/.680 with 44 homers during the 2016 season. But his defense seems to be an issue in left, with Morosi writing "scouts question whether Tsutsugo has the range to be an average defensive left fielder in the majors." If that's a concern at his actual position, might there be even further worries moving him to a different spot in the outfield? Perhaps the White Sox could be eyeing him for that aforementioned vacancy at DH. He's also a lefty, which would bring some balance to the lineup.

But it's a different nugget in Morosi's report on Tsutsugo that should catch White Sox fans' eyes. Morosi added that "the White Sox likely won’t attempt to sign Tsutsugo immediately, while waiting for decisions from free agents Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna."

Now, we already heard the White Sox connected to those two top-of-market players, but their potential interest in Tsutsugo hinging on what Castellanos and Ozuna have to say could illustrate just how seriously they're considering either of those heavy-hitting free agents. Or maybe all three are secondary targets should a trade with the Dodgers fail to materialize (again).

Whether talking about Ozuna or Tsutsugo, it's unlikely the White Sox would do any rearranging in their outfield to keep them in their current positions. They've discussed Eloy Jimenez as a long-term left fielder, talking multiple times about his improving defense out there (where he sparked more than a few grimaces with his play during his rookie season). For those who see what they consider an easy fix by just moving Jimenez to the DH spot and allowing someone else to play left, manager Rick Renteria went as far as saying this summer that "it would be, I think, derelict on my part and on our part as an organization to limit the ability for him to play on both sides of the baseball." So don't expect Jimenez to move any time soon.

Like with everything these days, the White Sox seem to have plenty of options to consider. With offseason activity coming a bit faster than it did in recent years, perhaps the Winter Meetings, which begin Monday in San Diego, will provide an answer as to which way they'll end up going.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

White Sox free agent focus: Splurging for Stephen Strasburg

White Sox free agent focus: Splurging for Stephen Strasburg

Baseball free agency is heating up as the weather gets colder. This week we are breaking down 10 potential free-agent targets for the White Sox ahead of the Winter Meetings.

Stephen Strasburg, RH SP, Nationals

Age: 31

2019 salary: $38,333,333

2019 stats: 209 IP, 3.32 ERA, 251 K, 56 BB, 161 hits (24 HR)

What Strasburg would bring to the White Sox

Strasburg was one of the most hyped draft picks when the Nationals took him No. 1 overall in 2009. He has elite strikeout stuff, but endured a Tommy John surgery early in his MLB career in 2010. Since then, the Nationals have played it cautiously with Strasburg. He has only gone over 200 innings twice in his career, although 2019 was one of those years when Strasburg led the National League with 209 innings.

His ERA has been under 3.8 every year of his career and he hasn't shown any signs of dropoff in his arsenal. He was also a stud in the playoffs this fall with a 1.98 ERA, 47 strikeouts and four walks in 36.1 innings.

Strasburg would vault straight to the top of the White Sox rotation. If he can continue to shoulder a full-season workload, which is a fair question because Strasburg averaged 145 innings per year from 2015-2018, Strasburg is a top 10 pitcher in baseball.

What it would take to get him

Strasburg opted out of the final four years and $100 million on a seven-year, $175 million contract to enter free agency so he's expecting to get more than that. He could be in line for a record-setting contract for a pitcher, although Gerrit Cole could top him within the same offseason.

Look for Strasburg to get more than $30 million per year on a long-term contract.

Why it's not realistic for the White Sox

Until the White Sox win the bidding war for a top-end free agent, the assumption will be that they won't. Strasburg is a premier pitching talent coming off a World Series MVP. He will be expensive and many teams will be interested in him.

There's also the fact that Strasburgh might not want to leave the Nationals anyway. He has been in the nation's capital his whole career and most early indications are that both parties want to sign a new deal.

Latest rumors

Report: Nationals think they have a better shot at keeping Stephen Strasburg over Anthony Rendon

Nationals owner Mark Lerner says team can’t afford Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon