White Sox

Micah Johnson beginning to settle in with White Sox

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Micah Johnson beginning to settle in with White Sox

A month into his major league career, Micah Johnson is getting to get back to being himself.

The rookie second baseman went 3-for-4 and sparked the White Sox four-run, game-winning rally with two out in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 7-6 win over Detroit. He’s not where he wants to be just yet, but with a .343 on-base percentage and good speed from the No. 9 spot in the order, the White Sox are pleased with his development so far.

“I’ve been working a lot lately getting back to that and getting back to my approach that got me here,” Johnson said. “It’s always going to be a work in progress.”

Hitting coach Todd Steverson has seen Johnson have better timing lately, which has been an issue this season given Johnson’s swing doesn’t contain many moving parts. As Johnson has adjusted to the major league game — the routine, the information and the quality of pitching — his timing hasn’t always been there.

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Steverson has worked with Johnson on getting a subtle timing mechanism into his swing as he gathers his hands, though mostly that’s been used during batting practice and cage work. It’s minor tweaks like that Steverson said Johnson has been receptive to, even as he does try to get back to the approach that led him to a .366 on-base percentage over three minor league seasons.

“You stay here because of X,” Steverson said. “You’re here because you did something well, but this is how you stay here, and you need to level that out.”

Manager Robin Ventura said one of the bigger adjustments Johnson’s had to make is learning how to not lead off a game and instead wait two or three innings for his first at-bat. There’s a certain patience that’s necessary with hitting ninth, Ventura said, that the aggressive second baseman has had to learn.

“Once it gets there then he can turn into a leadoff hitter,” Ventura said. “I think that’s really the beauty of him once he gets there, he does bring energy to that spot, and then you saw last night of getting on base and he can create some havoc when he gets out there."

Revenge tour: After Eloy Jimenez homered against Cubs, Yoan Moncada homered against Red Sox

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USA TODAY

Revenge tour: After Eloy Jimenez homered against Cubs, Yoan Moncada homered against Red Sox

Call it the White Sox Hitters Revenge Tour.

Last week, Eloy Jimenez provided the single best image of rebuilding progress to date for the White Sox, smashing a game-winning homer in the ninth inning against the Cubs, the team that traded him, at Wrigley Field, the park he always assumed would be the one he'd call home as a big leaguer.

Well, a week later, Yoan Moncada exacted similar revenge on the team that traded him.

In the first of a three-game series between the White Sox and Boston Red Sox, Moncada took a second-inning pitch out to left field, depositing a ball over the top of the Green Monster for a tie-breaking two-run homer at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox traded Moncada — as part of a package that also included Michael Kopech and Luis Basabe — to the White Sox during the Winter Meetings in 2016 in the deal that jump-started the South Side rebuilding project.

Between signing with the Red Sox in 2015 and making his White Sox debut in 2017, Moncada spent time as the No. 1 overall prospect in the game. After a disappointing first full season in the majors last year, Moncada is having a much better go of things in 2019, bringing a .295/.347/.509 slash line into Monday night, when he belted his 13th home run of the season.

Of course, the Red Sox are pretty happy with their return in that trade, Chris Sale, who in addition to being one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past two and a half seasons got the championship-clinching out in the World Series last October.

But part of the reason the White Sox future is so bright is the return they got in the Sale trade. And one of those players got his revenge, Eloy style, on Monday night.

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Chris Getz on Luis Robert, Dylan Cease, Nick Madrigal and more!

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Chris Getz on Luis Robert, Dylan Cease, Nick Madrigal and more!

Chuck Garfien gets the inside info about some of the top prospects in the White Sox organization from director of player development Chris Getz.

They talk about the wow factor of Luis Robert, what he's working on before being promoted to Triple-A, if he can make the majors in 2019, what kind of major league player he will be and more (3:45)

-Why Nick Madrigal has the "it" factor and why he might have been disappointed with Getz at the start of the season (10:10)

-Why Zack Burdi has struggled this season and a great sign of things to come (16:30)

-Why Kyle Kubat is so highly thought of in the White Sox farm system (18:20)

-How close Dylan Cease is to the major leagues (20:15) and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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