White Sox

Micah Johnson said Ventura's managerial style has helped him

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Micah Johnson said Ventura's managerial style has helped him

MINNEAPOLIS -- The game was lost and Robin Ventura was showered with boos when he left the dugout in the ninth inning Thursday to request a review.

The White Sox manager said he’d make the same move every time as long as he believes the call is incorrect. Even so, he made a fan of White Sox second baseman Micah Johnson, who was called out at first base. Had he been safe, and replays made it look close, though the call was upheld, Johnson would have finished 3-for-3 with a walk.  

“I can’t say enough how much I respect and admire Robin for reviewing that play for me,” Johnson said. “Obviously it is 12-2, but Robin reviewed it for me. That’s awesome. That speaks volumes. That’s the first thing I thought about, how appreciative I was that he would review that play for me.”

[MORE: Cooper says White Sox pitching struggles will turn around]

Johnson brings a .271 average and a .340 on-base percentage into Friday’s game. With Adam Eaton out sick, Johnson has been moved into the leadoff spot. He feels much more comfortable than he did a month ago. Johnson also said he has benefitted from Ventura’s calm demeanor.

“He’s great, especially for me as a young guy,” Johnson said. “We’re out there probably five days a week taking groundballs early, and he’s standing there right next to me, talking to me pretty much every groundball. He lets me play my game. If you get out, he’ll come in and pat you as a reassurance. If you get out sometimes, especially when you’re young, you’ll be like ‘Oh man.’ … But he’s right there, and he keeps instilling confidence in you quietly.”

Ventura said he’s seen Johnson make strides. He can see the rookie second baseman’s confidence rise and has seen him start to slow down the game.

“At first he’s trying to impress,” Ventura said. “Once you get to the point where you’re comfortable in your own skin being out there and just playing the game, doing the things that are necessary for that game instead of trying to look too far in the future or looking at the past, you’re just playing for tonight. That’s where he has kind of got right now. He is confident that he’s a big leaguer and you just go from there.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Ventura and the White Sox were confident Johnson was safe. That’s why he pushed for the challenge, though what was left of a crowd of 20,736 let him have it for extending a blowout.

“If it was a hit you have to give him a chance,” Ventura said. “Our guys thought it was a hit. You still have to go out there no matter what the score is to help the guy out no matter the call.”

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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