White Sox

Mat Latos, Dioner Navarro could force White Sox hand

Mat Latos, Dioner Navarro could force White Sox hand

MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox would like to avoid anointing either of their backstops as a pitcher’s personal catcher. But Dioner Navarro and Mat Latos may just force the issue.

Back in February, Latos -- who is making his second 2016 start on Thursday afternoon -- said a big reason he joined the White Sox on a discounted deal is to again work with Navarro, whom he teamed up with for seven starts in Cincinnati in 2012. The right-hander implicitly trusts Navarro, who joked early in spring training he would like to be the “hashtag -- personal catcher” for Latos. Including last Thursday’s one-hitter in Oakland, Latos has a 2.01 ERA in 53 2/3 innings with Navarro behind the dish.

“I don’t want to get into that game already this early in the season, but if they do match up and he continues to pitch like that it might evolve into that,” manager Robin Ventura said.

It’s evident how much Latos likes throwing to Navarro, who didn’t catch him until Aug. 8 of the 2012 season. The two shared a big bear hug when they saw each other on the first day of spring training.

And Latos praised Navarro’s game-calling and gave the veteran catcher all the credit for last Thursday’s start in Oakland. Latos allowed a hit and a walk in dispensing of the Oakland A’s and said he only attempted to shake off Navarro once before he thought better of it.

“He kind of paused and kind of tilted his head at me,” Latos said. “And I stepped off the mound and was like ‘Whatever you want. Ok, boom let’s go.’ Called the pitch and we went after it.”

With Navarro behind the dish, Latos has allowed 34 hits, walked 14 and struck out 44 in 53 2/3 innings. Still, the White Sox probably want to see more evidence before they commit to a Latos-Navarro battery, especially since they also employ Alex Avila.

“I’ll leave that to Robin and Coop,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “I don’t think we’re going to have the quote, unquote personal catcher situation. But that has to be a consideration when Robin’s making the lineup. Both of our guys, Dioner and Alex, have the ability and have previously been full-time catchers so to speak, so there’s no problem using them back-to-back or using them three days in a row, if that’s what the matchups dictate.

“There’s a great deal of faith in both of those guys. Robin’s just going to put whichever one gives us the best chance to win out there on any given day.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.

The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:

— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.

— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.

— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).

— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.

— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)

— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).

Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.