White Sox

Melky Cabrera emerging as clubhouse leader for White Sox

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Melky Cabrera emerging as clubhouse leader for White Sox

Melky Cabrera is doing more for the White Sox than powering a lineup that’s pushed the White Sox to eight wins in their last 10 games.

The 30-year-old outfielder, who signed a three-year, $42 million deal in December, has begun to fill the leadership void in the White Sox clubhouse. Cabrera’s pushed the various hand gestures — like stirring the drink — that White Sox players use after getting big hits.

“He’s a great player, but he’s a better teammate,” first baseman Jose Abreu said through a translator. “He’s always happy. He’s always trying to find a way to keep the atmosphere loose and to keep everybody happy. His influence has been huge for us. That kind of personality is something that you need in a team, and I hope he can continue doing that, because that’s very important for us.

“… He is the leader, because of his performance, because of his personality, because of how he is. That’s the key for him and he’s a huge, huge influence for us.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Over his last 47 games entering Sunday, Cabrera is hitting .358 with a .980 OPS. He has six home runs, 18 doubles, two triples and 35 RBIs, and it’s no coincidence the White Sox are 25-22 during his resurgence.

The White Sox have scored 70 runs over their last 10 games, with Cabrera driving in 15 (21 percent of the total) and posting a 1.486 OPS. His on-fire stretch has upped his season slash line from an awful .226/.263/.258 to respectable .285/.325/.403.

It’s unfair to expect him to keep hitting at a level that would make Barry Bonds look weak, but manager Robin Ventura anticipates Cabrera will continue to be a big part of the White Sox August and September playoff push both as a hitter and a clubhouse voice.

[MORE: Still in Chicago, Samardzija sees White Sox as contenders]

“At first, it’s tough to be that (leader) when you feel like you’re not pulling your weight at times,” Ventura said. “And he was good with it either way. He’s been a great teammate all year. Now, it’s just easier for guys to let it go and get the same feeling from him when he’s doing well. They react to him the same way. It’s been a nice little run for him the same way, not only on the field and hitting, but what he does inside the clubhouse as well.”

With so many new players at the start of the season, it took a little while for this group to jell. Playing better — especially on defense — has helped, but Cabrera’s helped bring his teammates together as well.

“It’s team-wide, it’s not limited to just a couple guys, or just limited to guys who speak Spanish,” Ventura said. “It’s all the way around. I think everybody seems to be gravitating towards that. And he’s able to handle it, deal with it, and be able to really keep the focus on the game and having fun.”

Michael Kopech electric in start vs. Pawtucket

Michael Kopech electric in start vs. Pawtucket

The Charlotte Knights took on the Pawtucket Red Sox on Thursday night in a high-profile minor league game due to White Sox No. 2 prospect Michael Kopech being on the mound. 

Kopech, the 22-yearold old flame throwing right-hander, has been collecting impressive strikeout totals but has struggled with his control. He had issued 15 walks over his last five starts, and prior to Thursday's game his ERA was 4.48. But Kopech shined in all facets against Pawtucket.

In six innings of work, Kopech allowed one earned run on seven hits, and had nine strikeouts. But the most important part of his game was that fact that he only issued one walk in the start.

Prior to Thursday's game, Kopech had 122 strikeouts and 57 walks over 88.1 innings pitched. If he continues to cut down his walks he will become a very efficient pitcher in the future. 

But the performance is important in the context of the White Sox losing season, as a lack of control is perhaps the last thing holding Kopech back from being able to make his major league debut.

 

Lucas Giolito has some fun with the not so dark side of his Twitter history

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USA TODAY

Lucas Giolito has some fun with the not so dark side of his Twitter history

White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito isn't having a great season, but at least it looks like his Twitter account could pass a background check.

A Twitter user dug through some of Giolito's tweets from his teenage years. He didn't find much in the way of hateful, mean or angry tweets. Instead, he found candy, touch tanks at the aquarium and animated movies.

The tweet got plenty of attention on the platform, leading Giolito to comment on it. Giolito took the joke with a good sense of humor and made a joke at his own expense.

This kind of makes you wonder what else would qualify as Giolito's "dark side." Maybe this will spawn a series of Lucas Giolito facts like the very tame version of Chuck Norris or The Most Interesting Man in the World.