White Sox

Matt Davidson, Carlos Sanchez among White Sox cuts

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Matt Davidson, Carlos Sanchez among White Sox cuts

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox had to make several difficult choices on Tuesday morning.

But the end results of those discussions with Matt Davidson and Carlos Sanchez is the team feels it has much more depth than with which it began the spring.

Davidson, Sanchez, reliever Tommy Kahnle and infielder Leury Garcia were optioned to Triple-A Charlotte and outfielder Jason Coats was also sent to minor-league camp. The White Sox, 6-2 winners over the Texas Rangers at Camelback Ranch, have 31 players left in big league camp and only one roster decision to go.

“These conversations were difficult ones, but difficult from a good problem to have standpoint,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “It’s nice to have viable options at multiple positions that you feel should there be an injury or underperformance that you have options internally to bring up and hopefully not miss a beat.”

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of a strong camp for the team, Davidson has raked all spring. The third baseman hit .413/.438/.783 with a team-high five home runs and nine RBIs. Davidson also had two doubles in 46 at-bats and had good success after making several changes in the offseason to simplify his swing. But after the acquisition of Todd Frazier means there’s no guarantee of regular at-bats in the big leagues for Davidson, who has struggled the past two seasons at Triple-A Charlotte.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The White Sox would love for Davidson to continue this type of production at Charlotte.

“It’s tough,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “A guy comes in here and has a camp like that … This is the best we’ve seen him since we acquired him. You continue to go down that path and continue to play well.”

A popular teammate, Sanchez’s chances to make the team similarly were disrupted by an offseason acquisition when the White Sox traded for Brett Lawrie and moved him to second base.

A slick defender, Sanchez also had a nice camp at the plate, hitting .333/.368/.593 with six doubles, a triple, two home runs and six RBIs in 54 at-bats. But the White Sox want Sanchez to continue to play every day and know what they have should they need his services.

“That’s a tough one, too,” Ventura said. “Some of the acquisitions that we’ve got kind of changes the dynamics.

“(But) I don’t think you ever go through a season where you don’t need guys from the minor leagues, so I think that’s the message to him.”

Welington Castillo on board with the reasoning behind his Monday benching and the identity Rick Renteria is trying to establish

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AP

Welington Castillo on board with the reasoning behind his Monday benching and the identity Rick Renteria is trying to establish

And that’s why you always run hard to first base.

Rick Renteria didn’t use a one-armed man to teach his team a lesson Monday night, but he used a relatively extreme measure, benching one of his few veteran players to send a message that lack of hustle won’t be tolerated on this rebuilding White Sox team.

In fact, it won’t be tolerated anywhere in this rebuilding White Sox organization.

That’s the hope, at least.

Welington Castillo stood at home plate while his popup fell into the first baseman’s glove during the sixth inning of Monday night’s loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles, and because of it he didn’t go back out with his teammates for the seventh inning. It was the latest in-game benching by Renteria for a similar offense. Avisail Garcia was sat down during spring training, and Leury Garcia at the end of the team’s previous homestand.

This kind of reoccurring strategy might seem a tad strange, a manager enforcing hustle regulations to pro players during a season in which his team entered play Tuesday with baseball’s worst record. But part of rebuilding and development is establishing a cultural identity, and Castillo seemed on board with Renteria’s strategy, as well as the end goal of these punishments.

“That’s something that he always says, that’s something that he’s not going to let pass,” Castillo said Tuesday. “He always says you’ve got to run the bases hard no matter what. And for some reason, I was just frustrated, I wanted to get the job done. I saw the ball was going to be fair, and for some reason I did not run. I think that the decision that he made was the right decision. That’s not me, and I’m not going to do it again.”

Castillo was brought in this past offseason to provide some veteran experience to what is otherwise a very young squad of South Siders. Coming off career years both offensively and defensively, Castillo seemed to be an addition that would benefit this club in the short and long term. He could be here all the way through the 2020 season, when the White Sox could see their talented minor leaguers arrive and open the organization’s contention window.

And therein lies the importance of what Renteria did Monday. Castillo would figure to be veteran enough to be past such punishments. But if he buys in to Renteria’s style and passes it along to the young guys when they come up, then Renteria will have achieved what he wanted: for this to be the standard of the present and the future.

“The same rule that is for the young guys is for the veteran guys, too,” Castillo said. “We are a team, we are a family. One thing is for me, and the same thing has to be for everybody because we are a family, we are a team. Sometimes that’s good that that happens, and we’ve just got to learn from that.”

“We’re trying to eliminate habits if they’re there. Accidents you understand, but we’re trying to continue to create the identity of the White Sox organization as to how we’re going to go about doing things,” Renteria said. “They accept it, they understand it, and when we take an action I think for the most part they are accountable to what goes on.”

Daily White Sox prospects update: Eloy Jimenez homers, Seby Zavala goes to the DL

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Daily White Sox prospects update: Eloy Jimenez homers, Seby Zavala goes to the DL

Here's your daily update on what the White Sox highly touted prospects are doing in the minor leagues.

Double-A Birmingham

Eloy Jimenez hit his eighth home run of the season in a 7-3 loss. Zack Collins and Matt Rose each had a hit, a walk and a run scored. Ian Clarkin gave up five runs and walked five in his five innings. Seby Zavala, who leads the Southern League with 10 homers, went on the disabled list with a wrist injury.

Triple-A Charlotte

Jordan Stephens had a good second outing at the Triple-A level, allowing just one earned run in his 6.1 innings. He allowed five hits and walked two, striking out four batters. In his two starts with Charlotte, he's got a 2.19 ERA with three earned runs allowed in 12.1 innings. Charlie Tilson doubled in the 12-6 win. Thyago Vieira gave up two runs in his lone inning of work, and his ERA stands at 5.85 on the season.

Class A Winston-Salem

The bats seem to have gone a tad cold for the Dash, who suffered a 4-1 loss. The top five hitters in the lineup — Joel Booker, Alex Call, Blake Rutherford, Micker Adolfo and Gavin Sheets — combined to go 2-for-18.

Class A Kannapolis

Lincoln Henzman gave up four earned runs in five innings, allowing a pair of home runs. Luis Gonzalez and Evan Skoug each had a hit in a 5-3 loss.