White Sox

LIVE: Errors, walks put White Sox down 10-4

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LIVE: Errors, walks put White Sox down 10-4

Friday, April 29, 2011
Posted: 11:42 a.m.

Associated Press

The Chicago White Sox find themselves in the midst of an ugly stretch with a punchless offense mostly to blame.

John Danks knows all too well of his team's struggles to score runs.

Despite five solid outings, Danks tries for his first win of the season as the White Sox return home to open a four-game set with the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.

The White Sox (10-16) batted .199 over their recently completed 3-8 road trip, during which they were outscored 51-23 after falling 12-3 to the New York Yankees in Thursday's series finale.

"It's been a bad couple of weeks," first baseman Paul Konerko said. "It's been bad up to this point as a whole this season, but that doesn't mean tomorrow has to be (the same way). It's way too early to get discouraged or to say, 'OK, this is the team for the season.'"

Alex Rios, who went 0 for 3 before leaving with a toe injury, recorded just two hits in 34 at-bats (.059) during the trek. Slugger Adam Dunn went hitless in four at-bats Thursday and saw his average drop to .162.

Chicago, loser of 12 of 15, has averaged 2.6 runs and failed to record a win during the five games Danks (0-3, 3.27 ERA) has started.

The left-hander, who has gone at least six innings in every start this year, gave up three runs and nine hits during Sunday's 3-0 loss at Detroit.

"It's unfortunate, because he's been pitching great every outing, and we're not helping him," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Not at all, and it is a shame."

Danks hasn't gone winless in April since his 2007 rookie season, and a matchup against Baltimore (10-13) could help extend that feat. He is 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA in his last four starts against the Orioles, allowing one run or less in three of them.

It's been the Orioles starters, though, who have impressed of late, going at least six innings and compiling a 3.23 ERA over the last nine contests.

Baltimore had won back-to-back games against Boston prior to falling 6-2 on Thursday. Brad Bergesen threw six strong innings but the bullpen allowed four runs for the second time in as many nights.

While Orioles relievers have compiled a 10.06 ERA over the last five games, closer Kevin Gregg has thrived of late. He's converted three straight save opportunities while recording four nearly perfect innings, allowing one walk over that span.

"It's the end of April, (and I'm) just getting in the swing of things," Gregg told the Orioles' official website.

Jake Arrieta (2-1, 4.94) has lasted six innings and allowed three runs or less in four of his five appearances this year, including Sunday's 6-3, 11-inning loss to the Yankees in which he gave up three runs and five hits and struck out a career-high nine.

The right-hander surrendered four runs and seven hits over four innings of his only career start against the White Sox, an 8-0 loss at U.S. Cellular Field on Aug. 26.

Rios, who homered in that game, has gone deep 16 times against the Orioles over his career - his highest total versus any club. His status for Friday, though, is unknown.

Adam Jones, Baltimore's leader with five home runs, has one hit in 15 at-bats against Danks while Vladimir Guerrero, a career .319 hitter, is 4 for 21 (.190).

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Reported promotion of Zack Collins adds another piece to White Sox rebuilding puzzle

Reported promotion of Zack Collins adds another piece to White Sox rebuilding puzzle

The White Sox rebuilding puzzle is getting closer to completion.

Zack Collins is reportedly en route to the major leagues, according to a report from Miami talk-show host Andy Slater. That adds another one of the White Sox highly rated prospects to the growing list of them at the big league level as the franchise’s contention window looks set to open relatively soon.


Collins was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2016, selected with the No. 10 pick that year out of the University of Miami. Currently ranked as the No. 11 prospect in the farm system, he’s always been praised for his offensive abilities. Last season at Double-A Birmingham, he finished the year with a .382 on-base percentage and launched 15 homers, also winning the Home Run Derby at the Southern League All-Star Game.

In 48 games with Triple-A Charlotte this season, Collins owns a .258/.382/.497 slash line with nine homers, nine doubles, 38 RBIs and 35 walks.

Collins has been lauded as a big bat, but there have been questions about other parts of his game as he’s risen through the system. From the day he was drafted, there were questions about his defensive ability, leading to speculation that he might one day end up at a position besides catcher. He’s also racked up the strikeouts in the minors, with 396 of them in 322 games over his four minor league seasons.

But the White Sox haven’t wavered in their confidence that Collins can be a big league catcher, and it looks like that’s the position he’ll fill should the White Sox call him up before the start of next week’s Crosstown series with the Cubs. Welington Castillo was removed from Sunday’s loss to the New York Yankees with back tightness. The team said Castillo will be reevaluated on Monday. With this report of Collins’ promotion, it looks like Castillo could be headed to the injured list.

Another top prospect reaching the majors adds another tangible example of rebuilding progress. Fans have been clamoring for the promotions of Dylan Cease and Luis Robert all season long, and while Collins might be a little further down in the rankings than those two, this should still please fans who, even in a season filled with positives, want to see a more rapid advancement toward the rebuild’s ultimate goal.

Collins will perhaps benefit from a lack of pressure, what with James McCann in the midst of a potentially All-Star season as the White Sox primary catcher. The White Sox could perhaps continue to lean on McCann, allowing Collins to ease into the major leagues.

But just like Michael Kopech last August and Eloy Jimenez in March, Collins’ mere arrival is a step forward in this process, one that should please fans immensely.

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Yoan Moncada continues battle with back issues

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USA TODAY

Yoan Moncada continues battle with back issues

Yoan Moncada's battle with his back issues might not be as over as we thought.

The third baseman made his return to the White Sox starting lineup Sunday following a four-game layoff due to a mild back strain. But his return didn't last long. After a fourth-inning strikeout in his second plate appearance of the 10-3 loss to the visiting New York Yankees, Moncada was removed from the game with what the team announced as upper back tightness.

Moncada is described as day to day. The White Sox have an off day Monday ahead of the start of a two-game Crosstown series at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.

"He's doing good. I think I'm not the only one who noticed his grimace in the swing. It made no sense to continue to expose him to that," manager Rick Renteria said after Sunday's game. "All indications are he should be ready to go on Tuesday.

"Didn't seem to put him in any predicament. Hopefully it didn't set him back. All indications are that hopefully he'll be back on Tuesday."

Moncada was removed from Monday's game against the Washington Nationals with what was initially described as back spasms. Renteria updated the verbiage to a back strain in the following days. Moncada missed Tuesday's game against the Nationals, went through a Wednesday off day and then missed the first three games of the four-game weekend set with the Yankees. His return lasted all of four innings Sunday before he was taken out again.

"Just watching the swing, watching the finish, which is what I was concerned with, getting through the ball. He's ready to get through the ball, it's just the finish. He's feeling a little something there," Renteria said. "You can't replicate it in any drill work. We've tried to do it. Everything he did was good. All the work he did was good.

"Everything we tried to do to replicate it, it wasn't existent until you get into the game, then you know. That's why I think it was a good — I don't know if you want to call it a test, but it was a test. We wanted to see where he was at. Didn't make any sense to continue to push him. Get him ready and calm it down and get him ready for the series against the North Siders."

Moncada wasn't the only White Sox hitter removed from Sunday's game. Welington Castillo, who was the designated hitter, was taken out with what the team announced as lower back tightness. Renteria confirmed after the game that Castillo's injury came on his swing in the second inning, a line drive off the center-field wall that ended up as only a single. Castillo will be reevaluated during the off day Monday.

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