White Sox

Healthy White Sox not seeking a statement vs. Royals

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Healthy White Sox not seeking a statement vs. Royals

Whether it was their goal or not, Kansas City made an awfully strong statement to begin the season.

While the White Sox received plenty of plaudits for their whirlwind offseason, the Royals had a relatively quiet winter and lost key players James Shields and Billy Butler. The result was prognosticators picking the White Sox to win the AL Central at a far higher rate than the Royals, despite Kansas City's 2014 run to the World Series.

[MORE: White Sox rookie Carlos Rodon ready for next chance]

So a three-game sweep in which the Royals dismantled the White Sox served as a reminder of just how good the Western Missouri club could be.

But the White Sox didn't have ace Chris Sale or setup man Jake Petricka for that series. 2014 No. 3 overall pick Carlos Rodon wasn't in the majors yet, either. Those three guys are here for the four-game series with Kansas City that opens Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field, but the White Sox aren't approaching it like they need to make a major statement to the reigning American League champions.

"I’d like us to play better than we did the last time against them," manager Robin Ventura wryly said. "Statement series, that’s probably a bit much, but you want to play good baseball -- that’s the statement you want to make. I think guys are swinging it a little better and pitchers are doing well and that’s the stuff you really look for. I’d rather us play better baseball than make a statement to them. I’d rather make a statement for ourselves."

Center fielder Adam Eaton said the idea of statements or getting fired up for series like this is overblown -- "It doesn’t matter who’s out there, it could be a high school team, we want to take three out of four," he said -- even if the 11-4 Royals have come firing out of the gate.

[MORE: Jeff Samardzija earns first White Sox win]

At 6-8, the White Sox have leveled out since Kansas City throttled them to open the season. Getting Sale -- who's starting Thursday night against Royals ace Yordano Ventura -- has been the biggest boost. And it's one the White Sox will need to avoid another string of thorough defeats over the next few days.

"They’re very athletic and they’ve been playing well so you have to be able to use everybody and everybody needs to kind of be in their spot and be available," Ventura said. "It’s big for us to have Chris back at any time, but especially when you’re going up against a team and the way we started with these guys. You always want to feel complete when you’re competing with somebody as good as these guys."

White Sox prospect Luis Robert on fire fresh off promotion to Triple-A

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USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Luis Robert on fire fresh off promotion to Triple-A

Luis Robert has been promoted twice in 2019, but nothing has slowed down his red-hot season.

The 21-year-old Cuban has only played in five games for Triple-A Charlotte, but has skipped past the adjustment period and has been productive in all five.

After collecting two hits, a walk and two stolen bases on Monday, Robert is hitting .429/.500/.810 for the Knights. He has reached base at least twice in every game with Charlotte.

Robert has shown some versatility in his game as well. He hit four extra base hits in his first three games, including two home runs in his first game for Charlotte. In the last two he has added three stolen bases. One of the stolen bases on Monday didn’t require a slide.


With Eloy Jimenez coming into his own for the White Sox and Dylan Cease one start into his major league career, Luis Robert is the clear gem of the White Sox system currently. The outfielder is ranked as the No. 5 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline.

Charlotte’s BB&T Ballpark is known as a hitters’ park and Triple-A plays with the same baseballs that have been under fire lately for being juiced for hitters in the majors. It makes sense that Robert would put up big numbers, but it’s still an impressive start that has White Sox fans antsy for his call-up.

It’s just five games and the White Sox haven’t been in any rush with their top prospects, but Robert is showing that he isn’t that far away from being ready for MLB pitching.

 

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White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Reed: 'It's good to be someplace where you feel wanted'

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Reed: 'It's good to be someplace where you feel wanted'

Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey speak with new White Sox slugger A.J. Reed.

Could he be the left power DH the White Sox have been searching for? (1:20)

Reed talks about why he feels relieved and reborn getting this opportunity with the White Sox (8:05), what's prevented him from being the major league player he wants to be (9:15), why the Astros gave up on him (14:00) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

 

White Sox Talk Podcast

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