White Sox

LIVE: White Sox, Royals knotted at 6-6 in 12th

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LIVE: White Sox, Royals knotted at 6-6 in 12th

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Posted: 11:31 a.m.

(AP) -- After a productive weekend atthe plate for each team, the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Soxwill meet for a two-game set at Kauffman Stadium beginning Tuesdaynight.Kansas City (3-1) lost its seasonopener against the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 on Thursday, but rallied tocapture the four-game series thanks to timely hitting.The Royals closed the weekend with a12-9, 13-inning win Sunday. Matt Treanor hit a three-run homer with twoouts in the 13th and rookie Tim Collins pitched three innings oftwo-hit relief for his first major league victory.
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It capped a dramatic opening weekendfor Kansas City. On Friday, Kila Ka'aihue hit a game-winning homer inthe ninth. The next day, Chris Getz drove in the go-ahead run in theeighth.
"We've been playing some excitingbaseball," manager Ned Yost told the Royals' official website. "I'mdefinitely going to need an off-day after that game, for sure."The Royals have now won their openingseries in three of the last four seasons, though it has yet to meanmuch. Kansas City hasn't had a winning season since 2003.While the Royals did their damagelate, the White Sox (2-1) jumped in front early against Cleveland,scoring 20 of their 24 runs in the first four innings. After two biggames, their offense went quiet in a 7-1 loss to the Indians on Sunday,even hitting into a triple play in the fourth inning.
READ: Quentin earns AL Player of Week honors"The game changed with the bunt,"manager Ozzie Guillen said of the triple play. "It totally changed. Ifwe put the ball down with the bunt, maybe it's a different ballgame."Chicago led 1-0 after five innings,but John Danks gave up a two-run homer in the sixth and the bullpenallowed five runs over the final two innings. White Sox relieversallowed 11 runs and 16 hits in eight innings over the weekend.The White Sox are hoping Gavin Floyd can reverse his April struggles when he makes his season debut Tuesday.Floyd went 10-13 with a 4.08 ERA in2010, but continued his career-long struggles in April, going 1-2 witha 6.49 ERA. The right-hander is 8-8 with a 6.30 ERA in 24 career Aprilappearances.He is 3-7 with a 4.79 lifetime ERA against the Royals.Alex Gordon, who went 4 for 6 with four runs scored Sunday, is 4 for 12 with a home run against Floyd.Kansas City will hand the ball toLuke Hochevar (0-1, 4.76 ERA), who gave up four runs and nine hits in 52-3 innings of a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.The right-hander is 3-3 with a 3.65 ERA in his career against the White Sox.Chicago slugger Carlos Quentin, whoearned AL player of the week honors after going 6 for 11 with threedoubles, a home run and seven RBIs against the Indians, is 2 for 8 inhis career versus Hochevar.Chicago won the season series against Kansas City 10-8 last year, but lost six of nine at Kauffman Stadium.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

White Sox promote catcher Seby Zavala from Triple-A Charlotte as Welington Castillo lands on IL

White Sox promote catcher Seby Zavala from Triple-A Charlotte as Welington Castillo lands on IL

The White Sox catching depth will soon be put to the test.

Saturday, the White Sox placed catcher Welington Castillo on seven-day concussion list. In a corresponding move, the team promoted catcher Seby Zavala from Triple-A Charlotte, 

In 26 games this season, Castillo holds a .176/.286/.318 slashline with three home runs in 85 at-bats. He exited Friday's game against the Twins in the eighth inning after taking two foul tips off of his catcher's mask. 

While White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Friday that Castillo didn't go into concussion protocol, the team is likely being precautious due to the nature of the injury. 

Zavala, 25, has yet to appear in the big leagues, though he's played in 360 minor league games since the White Sox selected him in the 12th round of the 2015 MLB Draft. He holds a career slashline of .267/.335/.457 across all minor league levels, reaching Triple-A for the first time last season. 

Zavala's slashline this season is currently below his career averages (.218/.253/.506 in 21 games), but he's hit six home runs in 87 at-bats. Last season, he hit 13 in a combined 380 at-bats between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte.

Although the circumstances of his promotion are not ideal, Zavala is leaving Charlotte on a high-note. In last night's game against the Durham Bulls, he went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run.

With Castillo out, the White Sox will likely lean on James McCann more. In 31 games this season, McCann holds a stellar .333/.373/.523 slashline

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White Sox prospect Nick Madrigal leads the minors in strikeout rate, but it’s not translating to hits

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USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Nick Madrigal leads the minors in strikeout rate, but it’s not translating to hits

When the White Sox drafted Nick Madrigal with the fourth overall pick in last June’s draft he was known as an elite contact hitter who could play good defense on the infield.

In nearly a year in the minors, that has mostly held true, but not exactly according to plan. Madrigal raced through three levels of the minors in 2018 and hit .303 in 43 games between those three stops. He only had five strikeouts.

This season has not gone as smoothly. Madrigal is hitting .261 for Single-A Winston-Salem, but he still isn’t striking out much at all. In fact, according to a write-up on Milb.com, Madrigal leads of all minor league baseball with a 3.3 percent strikeout rate.

“Madrigal has plus speed, and that should lead to more hits as his sample increases, but he'll have to hit a lot more to provide value from his specific profile,” Sam Dykstra wrote.

So what’s with Madrigal not hitting for higher average? How can a batter strikeout so rarely and not find more hits?

White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler, one of the key decision makers in drafting Madrigal, talked about Madrigal’s progress on an episode of the White Sox Talk podcast earlier this week.

“The one thing he’s still doing is making contact,” Hostetler said. “So that is what we expected. We expected that out of him. I’m not sure he was probably expecting the streaks. I think he’s dealt with a lot of streaks in his offensive game this year. I think he had one stretch that was 0-for-16 or 17 and he came back with a couple hits. So he’s been a little streaky this year. But I think he’s starting to learn. He’s starting to develop. He’s had one home run. He’s starting to hit some doubles, but he’s starting to learn to get the ball in the air a little bit. He’s learning how teams are shifting him, how they’re playing him.”

The shifts Hostetler referred to are another interesting part of Madrigal’s unusual profile. He is actually going to opposite field more than pulling the ball down left field and opposing defenses are playing him accordingly. That could be one reason to explain why Madrigal isn’t getting more hits out of all the balls he is putting in play.

He is showing a bit more power this year as opposed to last year (11 extra base hits vs. 7 in only 10 more plate appearances). His spray charts for 2018 and 2019 show he is pulling the ball more than he used to, a sign that he is adjusting.

2018 spray chart:

2019 spray chart:

Note that Madrigal has more balls resulting in hits getting pulled down the left field side than he had last year. As defenses are shifting him to hit the ball to opposite field, as Hostetler noted, this will be a key part of his development.

He is showing progress in other areas. He is drawing more walks (14 this season vs. 7 last year) and is showing off his speed with 12 stolen bases.

Hostetler isn’t pushing the panic button on Madrigal.

“This is part of development,” Hostetler said. “Unfortunately the new wave we’re in everybody thinks ‘well, they’re a college guy and he’s drafted so high he needs to hit like this and go right away and be there in a year.’ Some guys just take a little bit.

“The one thing I’ll say is the defense has been exactly what we thought it would be. It’s Gold Glove caliber defense and he’s making contact. As long as he keeps making contact, keep fielding those balls like he is, he’ll figure out the rest.”

 

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