White Sox

Floyd gives up eight in split-squad action

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Floyd gives up eight in split-squad action

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Jamie Moyer threw 92 pitches over four innings, the latest step in his comeback bid, and Dexter Fowler hit a two-run homer to help the Colorado Rockies beat a Chicago White Sox split squad 8-5 on Wednesday.The 49-year-old Moyer, who sat out last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, gave up three runs and seven hits. He walked three and struck out four, facing 22 batters in all.The soft-tossing lefty, who is 267-204 in 24 major league seasons, has a 2.77 ERA this spring and appears to be a strong candidate for the fifth spot in Colorado's rotation. The Rockies are his eighth big league club and he is slated to start again next week in one of their final spring training games.Fowler's homer in the third inning was all the Rockies managed against Gavin Floyd until they scored six times in the sixth. Floyd, penciled in as Chicago's No. 3 starter, gave up eight runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks.Colorado sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth. Carlos Gonzalez and Todd Helton each hit an RBI double before Michael Cuddyer delivered a two-run single. Jordan Pacheco's run-scoring double chased Floyd, who has a 6.32 ERA this spring.Wilin Rosario, who was 3 for 3, had a leadoff double and an RBI single in the inning.
Complete Recap Box ScoreAxelrod struggles in loss to Padres
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Once Edinson Volquez settled down, he sure looked ready for the regular season.Volquez pitched seven solid innings to help the San Diego Padres beat a Chicago White Sox split-squad 13-2 on Wednesday.The right-hander, who will be the Padres' No. 3 starter, allowed two runs and two hits in the first inning, but held the White Sox to no runs and three hits for the rest of his outing."I was way better (after the first inning)," said Volquez, who struggled in the first last year, when he was with the Cincinnati Reds. "I made better pitches the rest of the way."Volquez struck out two and walked three in the longest outing of the spring for the Padres."It was a great outing after the first 20 pitches," Padres manager Bud Black said. "The next 73 were outstanding. It took him a little while to settle in. But once he did, it was a delivery he repeated, repeated his arm slot, repeated his finish. All three pitches were working. The (changeup) really got better as the game went on."Yonder Alonso, Chase Headley and Andy Parrino homered for San Diego, which had 18 hits.Headley hit a two-run drive for his third homer of the spring. He also had a two-run double.Parrino's two-run shot was his fourth homer, and Alonso's solo drive was his first of the spring.White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod allowed three runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked three.Axelrod, who posted a 2.89 ERA in 18 2-3 innings with the White Sox last season, is competing with four pitchers for two bullpen spots."I've had some really good outings and a couple poor ones," said Axelrod, whose ERA is 5.95. "My ERA isn't good, but I feel like a couple innings have gotten away from me, kind of blew up my ERA a little bit. I'm not happy with it, but I'm not terribly disappointed either."Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski had a run-scoring triple and is batting .268 this spring. He likely will be the No. 2 hitter in the lineup."That's all I've been trying to do all spring, not do too much and put the barrel on the ball and let it go where it goes," Pierzynski said. "I've been squaring some balls up, and they've been hitting the gaps and a couple of balls have got out."NOTES: The Padres optioned C Yasmani Grandal to Triple-A Tucson and reassigned pitcher Alex Hinshaw to minor league camp. . Padres 2B Orlando Hudson (groin strain) is expected to play Thursday. He sat out Wednesday's game and has played in one of the team's last 15 games. ... Padres OF Kyle Blanks (left shoulder impingement) took batting practice. He hasn't played since March 18. ... Padres RHP Luke Gregerson (sore back) threw on the side after missing the previous two games and reported feeling good. . White Sox CF Brent Lillibridge exited after four innings but was OK after RF Alex Rios stepped on his foot during a play in the outfield, bench coach Mark Parent said. The White Sox traded minor league OF Christian Marrerro to Atlanta for future cash considerations.

Let's compare birthday boy Dan Pasqua to Daniel Palka

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GOOGLE IMAGES

Let's compare birthday boy Dan Pasqua to Daniel Palka

Daniel Palka was a phenomenon in 2018. But before there was Daniel Palka, there was Dan Pasqua. You might have heard the Palka/Pasqua comparisons on White Sox game broadcasts or within White Sox fan circles. Both are lefty sluggers with a similar build: Palka listed at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Pasqua at 6-foot-0 and 203 ppounds. Both led the White Sox in home runs in their age-26 seasons: Pasqua with 20 in 1988, Palka with 27 in 2018. And hey, they have the same first name and last initial!

Pasqua, nicknamed “The Hammer,” turned 57 years old Wednesday. Let’s learn a few more things about him.

— He was a teammate of John Elway (for four games with Oneonta of the New York-Pennsylvania League in 1982), Bo Jackson (with the White Sox from 1991 to 1993) and Michael Jordan (for four games with Birmingham of the Southern League in 1994).

— He was the 1985 International League MVP with the Columbus Clippers.

— He homered in his MLB debut on May 30, 1985, with the Yankees

— He was Sports Illustrated’s 1987 preseason pick to lead the American League in home runs. He finished with 17, only 32 behind Mark McGwire.

— He hit a Comiskey Park roof shot on May 30, 1989.

— He hit the last triple (and had the last RBI) in Comiskey Park history on Sept. 30, 1990.

— He hit a 484-foot home run, the third-longest by a White Sox player in Guaranteed Rate Field history, on April 27, 1991.

— He finished his MLB career with 117 home runs, tied with all-time great outfielders Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker and Ichiro Suzuki.

And finally, let’s compare Pasqua to Palka statistically. Since Palka had 449 career plate appearances through the end of the 2018 season, here's the duo's numbers through their first 449 career MLB plate appearances.

Could Manny Machado's NLCS shenanigans impact White Sox potential free-agent pursuit?

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USA TODAY

Could Manny Machado's NLCS shenanigans impact White Sox potential free-agent pursuit?

"It's a dirty play by a dirty player."

That was Christian Yelich, the all-but-sure-to-be NL MVP, describing Manny Machado, who's about to become one of the best-paid players in baseball history, after Game 4 of the NLCS, a game in which Machado once again grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Machado's Los Angeles Dodgers and Yelich's Milwaukee Brewers have played four games in this NLCS, and after three of them, the focus has been on Machado. Not because of his bat or his glove but because of lack of hustle and certain methods on the base paths that weren't exactly on the up and up.

After Game 2, he was criticized for not hustling on a ground ball to shortstop. In something straight out of a public-relations person's nightmare, he defended himself by saying that hustling really isn't his cup of tea. During Game 3, he twice attempted to break up double plays by interfering at second base and was, upon review, busted for it the second time. In extra innings in Game 4, he appeared to intentionally drag his leg across Jesus Aguilar's at first base. That play cleared the benches, got Machado called "dirty" in the Brewers' clubhouse and earned him the reputation of postseason villain.

And so Machado's impending free agency gets to be discussed in a brand new light. There's now more baggage attached to the 26-year-old superstar with a fantastic bat and a stellar glove.

The question is: Will the White Sox, one of many teams that could be mulling a contract offer worth hundreds of millions of dollars, care?

As much as it’s talked about building a perennial contender of the future by developing the on-field skills of their fleet of highly touted prospects, the White Sox brain trust has discussed developing a culture, a way of doing things, to go along with all that talent and all that skill. Unsurprisingly that conversation has focused on the oft-used phrase of “doing things the right way.”

Does what Machado has been doing count as “doing things the right way”? It seems easy to assess that it doesn't. It's far more difficult to determine whether it will end up making a difference or not.

Not hustling is one of Rick Renteria's biggest bugaboos. He sat down multiple players on multiple occasions throughout the 2018 season — starting with Avisail Garcia in a spring training game and including a veteran like Welington Castillo as well as a young star like Tim Anderson — for not running to first base on pop ups and line outs and ground outs. Would Renteria's tune suddenly change if Machado and his preference for not hustling arrived on the South Side in what would surely be the biggest free-agent deal in club history?

Renteria got fired up over the issue at the end of July, when he benched Anderson for not hustling on what the shortstop believed was a line out.

“We tell these guys, don’t assume anything. ... It’s as simple as that, and he understands it. He knows it. We’ve talked about it. He comes out of the box, he doesn’t stand there. But we just reiterated to make sure that you allow the umpires to make the calls and you allow the other clubs to go ahead and ask for reviews. We run.”

But asked about not running out his ground ball in Game 2, Machado shared pretty much the opposite philosophy.

"Obviously I'm not going to change, I'm not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle,' and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen," Machado told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. "That's just not my personality, that's not my cup of tea, that's not who I am."

What about Machado's interferences at second base? It was that exact play that sent Anderson into an on-field tiff with umpire Joe West during the second Crosstown series of the season just last month. Javy Baez slid into second base, and Anderson thought Baez did something he shouldn't have, raising his arm to interfere with a double-play turn, that sequence of events ending with Anderson screaming at West on the field. Would Anderson be cool with playing alongside — and potentially vacating his position at shortstop for — an infamous interferer?

And what about being a "dirty player," a villain? The White Sox always seemed fine — heck, they loved it — having one of baseball's greatest irritants in A.J. Pierzynski on the roster. Perhaps no player wore the "villain" title as a badge of honor more than the catcher on the 2005 World Series team. But remember that Pierzynski took the punch, he didn't throw it. Being baseball's version of a "villain" and being a guy who makes dangerous plays that could hurt somebody are two different things.

The point being: Do Machado's actions in this postseason series make him anathema to the "Ricky's boys don't quit" mantra? If the White Sox were to turn a blind eye to the events of this NLCS, would it qualify as a betrayal of their quest to establish a high-effort, high-character culture?

Or do they value that culture so much that they stay away from Machado this offseason?

Here's Rick Hahn from September of last year.

"It’s the culture that Ricky and his coaching staff have been able to create in that clubhouse. I cannot tell you how many various fans have stopped me, or emailed me or mentioned to me that they’ve never been this excited over a 60-win team. Or they’ve never been excited about a team that isn’t going to the playoffs. And I think so much of that is based on how Ricky and the coaches have them playing day in and day out. You see them fighting for 27 outs, you see them prepared every night. Sure, we’re going to get out-manned at portions during this process, but the fight and competitiveness and the style of play is the kind of thing that is going to endure year in and year out. And that is extremely important for us to establish at the big league level for all of us."

Machado's talent would make any team he's a part of more competitive. But for the White Sox, who talk an awful lot about hustling and refusing to quit, perhaps all these postseason shenanigans make it so Machado just isn't their cup of tea.