White Sox

Indians cool off Carlos Rodon as White Sox lose

Indians cool off Carlos Rodon as White Sox lose

The White Sox offense was coming off two of its more productive nights of the season.

Carlos Rodon had been darn near unhittable for more than a month.

The Cleveland Indians figured out a way to solve both issues on Wednesday night. Josh Tomlin and the Indians bullpen combined on a six-hitter and Cleveland had several timely hits to send the White Sox to a 6-1 loss in front 15,808 at U.S. Cellular Field. Rodon allowed six earned runs as a personal five-game winning streak came to an end.

“Losing is never great,” Rodon said. “This one is going to stick with me for a while until I face them again. I’m looking forward to that chance for sure. But live to fight another day, right? Move on. Short memory in this game. That’s the plan. I get home and just relax. It happens.”

Having not lost before Wednesday since July 31, Rodon clearly is in a better space than he was as he headed into the All-Star break. He has rediscovered the form that made him the No. 3 overall pick of the 2014 amateur draft, overpowering hitters and pitching out of the few tight spots in which he found himself.

Rodon managed to do the same at times on Wednesday as he stranded runners in scoring position in the first and third innings. His third-inning jam began with a double and a walk and yet Rodon — who had a 1.85 ERA in 43 2/3 innings from Aug. 6-Sept. 9 — escaped it without a scratch.

But he wasn’t as lucky in the fourth and sixth innings.

Rodon, who walked 10 of 178 batters in his previous seven starts (5.6 percent walk rate), issued a pair of one-out walks in the fourth. Jose Ramirez made him pay for the bout of wildness when he tripled in two to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead. Brandon Guyer then singled in Ramirez to put the Indians ahead by two runs.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Rodon also wiggled out of a first-and-third, no-out jam in the fifth inning against Cleveland’s 3-4-5 hitters.

But the workload caught up with him in the sixth inning. Ramirez and Guyer singled and Rodon’s first-pitch changeup to Coco Crisp caught too much of the plate and he ripped it for a three-run homer.

Rodon allowed more earned runs (six) than he had in five August starts.

“When he first started out, it was coming out of his hand great,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You didn’t really expect the inning where he walks two guys and gets himself in trouble. But that stuff is going to happen on occasion, and you want to limit that and not give them any free chances, especially because the last couple of days they haven’t scored a ton of runs. You’re giving them opportunities, and they’ve been a team that has really seized on that. He left the door open for them to do some damage. They can get it quick, and they did tonight.”

The White Sox offense didn’t fare much better against Tomlin.

Adam Eaton tripled in a run in the third inning to put the White Sox ahead 1-0. But that was all they would manage against Tomlin, who allowed a run and four hits in five innings. Tomlin struck out Tim Anderson and retired Melky Cabrera on a fly out to strand Eaton and the White Sox never threatened again.

White Sox are considering five players for the third pick in the MLB draft

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USA TODAY

White Sox are considering five players for the third pick in the MLB draft

While more key White Sox prospects are making the jump to the majors and progressing through the higher levels of the minors, the farm system is still due to get another significant prospect.

That’s because the White Sox hold the third pick in the draft, which is six weeks away on June 3. This is the highest pick the White Sox have had since the team took Carlos Rodon No. 3 overall in 2014. Last year the White Sox had the fourth pick and took Oregon State infielder Nick Madrigal.

Nick Hostetler is the White Sox director of amateur scouting, which means he is the face of the White Sox draft. In an interview with James Fegan of The Athletic, Hostetler said the White Sox have “dwindled our list down to about five” players they could take with the third pick.

So who could those five players be? This year’s draft class is position-player heavy at the top, which is something Hostetler later admits, but he did said there is “a pitcher still in our mix.” Given that, it sounds like four position players and a pitcher.

MLB Pipeline has six position players topping its rankings while Baseball America had batters occupying the top nine spots. Baseball America added that “four players seem to have put themselves into a tier among their own.” In that group is Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, Cal first baseman Andrew Vaughn and two high school shortstops, Bobby Witt Jr. and C.J. Abrams. FanGraphs and ESPN have the same top four in some order.

Rutschman was Madrigal’s teammate at Oregon State last year when the Beavers won the College World Series. He is the consensus top-rated prospect with Pipeline, BA, ESPN and FanGraphs all putting Rutschman No. 1.

After that things vary a little bit with Vaughn offering comical offensive numbers the last two years for Cal. He had a 1.350 OPS last year as a sophomore and has a 1.219 OPS so far this season.

Witt and Abrams are prep shortstops noted as good athletes. Witt’s father was the third overall pick in 1985. Abrams is known for his elite speed and went to the same high school in Georgia (Blessed Trinity Catholic) as former White Sox players Tyler Flowers and Matt Skole.

Finding out the pitcher Hostetler was referring to is trickier, although TCU left-hander Nick Lodolo is having a dominant junior season with 77 strikeouts, a 2.20 ERA and a WHIP just under 1 in 65 1/3 innings.

The draft is only six weeks away, but things can change quickly as these players wind down their season. Still, these are names that will continue to be named towards the top of the draft.

 

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Eloy Jimenez set to miss a few games after White Sox place him on bereavement list

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USA TODAY

Eloy Jimenez set to miss a few games after White Sox place him on bereavement list

Eloy Jimenez will get a couple days away from baseball to be with his family in the Dominican Republic following the passing of his grandmother.

The White Sox placed Jimenez on the bereavement list and brought up Nicky Delmonico from Triple-A in his place. Jimenez has returned to his hometown of Santo Domingo.


He must remain on the bereavement list for at least three days so he will miss at least all of the three-game series in Baltimore that starts Monday night.

Jimenez takes a knee before his first trip to the plate each game and wears red batting gloves in memory of grandfather. He told Chuck Garfien that story on an episode of the White Sox Talk podcast.

After a surge in his second week in the majors that saw his batting average rise to .319 and his OPS hit .828, Jimenez has hit a bit of a rough patch. He is 3-for-31 in his last eight games, although that does include a home run Wednesday in Detroit. Overall, Jimenez is hitting .231/.286/.372.

Delmonico joins the White Sox for the first time in 2019 after starting the season with Triple-A Charlotte. He is hitting .286/.382/.540 for the Knights. The 26-year-old played 131 games with the White Sox between 2017 and 2018. He struggled with the team in 2018 after showing some potential when he was first called up the year before.

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