White Sox

John Danks, White Sox can't keep pace with David Price, Tigers


John Danks, White Sox can't keep pace with David Price, Tigers

You knew John Danks’ formula couldn’t be successful forever.

Following 13 straight innings in which he pitched out of every jam, Danks found a mess he couldn’t avoid on Saturday night.

Miguel Cabrera homered and the Detroit Tigers rallied for five runs in the fifth inning as the White Sox lost 7-1 in front of 28,368 at U.S. Cellular Field. Following a 10-hit shutout in Houston on Sunday, Danks allowed five earned runs and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings while David Price struck out 11 to help the Tigers snap an eight-game losing streak. The White Sox send Jeff Samardzija against Detroit’s Alfredo Simon in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon.

“I made a bad pitch to Miggy and he’s the best hitter in the game,” Danks said. “I felt good. I felt like (Geovany Soto) and I were both doing a good job of navigating the lineup. For whatever reason the ball got up. They were able to put the bat on the ball and find some holes. It’s just a lot of hits in one inning.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

When he bested the Astros at Minute Maid Field last Sunday, Danks became the first major league pitcher since Carlos Silva in 2004 to pitch a shutout with at least 10 hits allowed.

Danks (3-5) applied the same formula Saturday and it worked early on. The left-hander stranded two runners in the first, third and fourth innings as he pitched around four hits and two walks. Dating back to Sunday, Danks posted 13 scoreless innings in spite of 14 hits allowed and three walks.

He didn’t have as much luck in the fifth, however.

Cabrera blasted a 1-1 cut-fastball out to center with a man aboard, his first homer since May 24, to give the Tigers a 2-1 advantage.

“It kind of unraveled at that point,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I thought he was getting the ball up. He would get ahead and just couldn't put them away.”

James McCann followed singles by Yoenis Cespedes and Nick Castellanos with an RBI double and Josh Wilson and Jose Iglesias each had two-out RBI singles to chase Danks and make it a 5-1 game. Detroit finished the inning with seven hits off Danks, who threw strikes on 64 of 91 pitches.

“They were able to flip it out there and keep the line moving,” Danks said.

[MORE: White Sox bullpen coming around with improved health of Nate Jones]

While the White Sox had plenty of early hard contact against Price (5-2), they couldn’t keep pace against the former American League Cy Young winner.

The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on doubles by Emilio Bonifacio and Alexei Ramirez. But Price buckled down and minimized the damage as he mixed good fortune and a bit of dominance.

Whereas he needed his defense to stop a pair of Jose Abreu hot shots in the first and third innings, Price did it on his own later. He wiped out a leadoff Adam LaRoche single in the fourth inning with a double play off the bat of Gordon Beckham. Then he began a string of seven straight strikeouts with a whiff of Geovany Soto. Price struck out Avisail Garcia three times.

“We hit well but they were in a good position to catch the ball,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “We hit him very well in the beginning of the game, we just didn’t get lucky.”

Detroit added on to their lead with RBI doubles in the seventh and eighth innings by Iglesias and J.D. Martinez off Hector Noesi, respectively. The Tigers finished with 18 hits, including four by Wilson.

Price limited the White Sox to five hits in a complete-game effort.

“We just ran into David Price tonight and that’s about all you need to know,” Danks said. 

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.