White Sox

MLBPA chief Tony Clark continues to 'monitor' Adam LaRoche situation

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MLBPA chief Tony Clark continues to 'monitor' Adam LaRoche situation

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tony Clark won’t divulge much on Adam LaRoche and the White Sox other than to say he’s keeping a close eye on the situation.

The Major League Baseball Player’s Association executive director made a previously scheduled trip to White Sox camp on Wednesday morning. The MLBPA meets with all 30 teams every year during spring training.

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With talks on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement ahead, a variety of topics were discussed. Clark wouldn’t say it, but LaRoche’s sudden retirement had to be one of the topics of the day. Clark wouldn’t even confirm whether or not LaRoche — who retired last week over a dispute with the club about the presence of his son in the clubhouse — has or plans to file a grievance with the union.

“I’m not going to share with you what conversations we had or we didn’t have,” Clark said. “As I’ve mentioned in the past, we’re connected to the guys. We have been monitoring. We will continue to monitor. But as much as anything, with the open lines of communication that we have with the guys, they are pretty well up to speed with what’s happening and what’s being discussed.”

“When I say monitoring, we’re monitoring everything that is said and done.”

White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams said last week the issue wasn’t specifically about LaRoche’s son when he asked the veteran to dial back Drake’s presence in the clubhouse and on the field. Williams said the main goal is to set a precedent for future instances. In his retirement statement, LaRoche said Williams initially asked for a reduction in Drake’s schedule before informing him he couldn’t be around the club at all.

LaRoche has said he had a verbal agreement in place with the club that allowed him to have his son around the team. Williams said last Wednesday that LaRoche’s contract included no written agreement on the subject.

“We have a pretty good idea to what was discussed and in the fashion it was discussed,” Clark said. “Whether there is anything that happens as a result of what arrangement was in place remains to be seen.”

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The topic has also led to a broader discussion about whether or not a uniformed rule about the presence of player’s kids could be put in place across baseball.

“You appreciate that there are on-field rules related to kids and ages,” Clark said. “You also appreciate that any individual club has flexibility within their walls should it not become a broader part of the discussion that teams can function in accordance with the arrangement they may have there. So, you know there’s some flexibility. You know clubhouse to clubhouse there are differences in how one individual clubhouse functions versus another one. But having that flexibility is something that’s been there for a long time. We’ll assume, at least at this point, that will continue.”

Who knew? Stat nuggets from the White Sox pre-All-Star break season

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USA TODAY

Who knew? Stat nuggets from the White Sox pre-All-Star break season

It’s the All-Star Break, so why not take a look back at the first 58.6% of the White Sox season.

 

They may not be contending quite yet, but there have been several interesting moments. 

 

Focusing on the hitters, let’s take a look at ten amazing achievements this season.  And while there may be several to list for some players, I’m going to limit it to one fact per player.  Let’s go.

 

  • On March 29 (Opening Day), Matt Davidson became the 1st player in MLB history to hit 3 Home Runs in a game in March.
  • On April 23, Yoán Moncada (22 years, 331 days) became the youngest player in White Sox history with a double, triple & HR in the same game, passing Tito Francona (24 years, 205 days) on 5/28/1958.
  • Daniel Palka recorded a triple on May 22nd, making him the first player in White Sox history with 3 triples & 3 HR within his first 20 career MLB games.
  • On July 3, Palka (LF) & Avisaíl García (RF) became the second pair of White Sox outfielders to each hit 2 HR in the same game; the other pair? Minnie Miñoso (LF) and Larry Doby (CF) on July 30, 1957.
  • On May 28, Matt Skole became the first player in White Sox history with a home run AND a walk in his MLB Debut.
  • The lone White Sox walkoff Home Run of 2018 was off the bat of a player who hit .116 for the Sox this season (Trayce Thompson on May 3 – he went 14 for 121 this season for the Southsiders).
  • The White Sox have started a game with backto-back home runs four times in franchise history. 9/2/1937, 7/4/2000, 9/2/2017 & 6/12/2018.  Each of the last 2 times, Yolmer Sánchez hit the second home run.
  • On June 23, Tim Anderson became the first White Sox shortstop ever to homer on his birthday.
  • On June 27, José Abreu hit his 136th career HR and passed Minnie Miñoso for most by a Cubanborn player in White Sox history.  He hit one more since.
  • Leury García managed to become the first White Sox player with at least 10 stolen bases (he has 10) without being caught before the AllStar Break since Mike Cameron (13 for 13) in 1997.

White Sox first-round pick Nick Madrigal was magical in his Kannapolis debut

White Sox first-round pick Nick Madrigal was magical in his Kannapolis debut

After getting just two hits with the Arizona League White Sox, a team for rookies, Nick Madrigal made a big splash in his Low-A debut with the Kannapolis Intimidators.

Madrigal went 3 for 4 with two singles, a double, a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored on Tuesday afternoon against the Hagerstown Suns.

It may only be one game, but the fourth overall pick by the White Sox in this year’s MLB draft looks ready to play. Madrigal was almost perfect on his first day, obtaining a .750 batting average with a 1.800 OPS. That’s a pretty promising performance for the infielder who can play shortstop and second base.

Even though the 21-year-old hasn’t even struck out in the minors yet, he wasn’t quite as successful in the Arizona League. In five games and 13 at-bats, Madrigal achieved only a .154 batting average with two runs scored and one RBI. But he’s making up for those numbers.

So far with the White Sox organization, the Oregon State product isn’t walking at a shocking rate. He’s not striking out at all, either. Madrigal proved he’s an efficient contact hitter in college where he only struck out seven times in 2018. At the same time, he only hit three home runs, but he can have sneaky power at times.

Standing at 5-foot-7, 161 pounds, Madrigal was a force to be reckoned throughout his time in the Pac-12 Conference. Last season in college, he impressed many major-league scouts with a .367/.428/.511 slash line and 34 RBIs. He missed time with a hairline fracture in his hand after sliding into home plate back in February, but his strong junior year comeback performance helped make him a 2018 first-round pick.

He was just as good in his first two seasons with OSU. As a freshman in 2016, Madrigal had a .333/.380/.456 slash line with 29 RBIs in 49 games played. In his 2017 sophomore season, the talented hitter played in 60 games, tallied 40 RBIs and attained a .380/.449/.532 slash line with four homers, making it his most powerful season.

In three seasons playing Division 1 baseball, Madrigal also stole a combined 37 bases. He capped off his NCAA career with a College World Series title back in late June. His past production influenced White Sox director of scouting Nick Hostetler in the draft.

“Nick is recognized as one of the best hitters in college baseball, and we’re excited to add him to the organization," Hostetler said. "He possesses tremendous baseball skills, character and makeup…”

Madrigal will try to prove his critics right. Oregon State head coach Pat Casey thinks the young infielder could quickly work his way up to the majors.

“He'll be in the big leagues in 1 1/2 or 2 years,” Casey said. “I get it, you've got to develop. But put him in a big league uniform, and he can play.”