White Sox

Nate Jones' first game since 2014 helps to rebuild confidence

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Nate Jones' first game since 2014 helps to rebuild confidence

KANSAS CITY -- He’ll have to provide more evidence but Nate Jones could quickly work his way up the food chain in the White Sox bullpen.

There’s no question the White Sox have some logistics to work out with Jones, who Friday appeared in his first game since April 3, 2014.

Jones, who struck out two in a scoreless inning in a 3-2 White Sox loss, has to prove his surgically repaired right elbow can handle a heavy workload. He also must demonstrate he can repeat the performance against said workload and show he can throw in consecutive games.

“You have to see when he can get back in there and feel comfortable throwing like that,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You know the first time going back out there he’s going to be up around 100 mph just because of his heart rate and being back on the field. It comes back to throwing strikes and doing it over multiple days and back to back and stuff like that.”

[MORE: Trayce Thompson enjoying the spotlight after first two MLB hits]

Just about everyone was impressed with how Jones handled himself in an emotion-filled outing. Before the right-hander unleashed a torrent of 99- and 100-mph fastballs, Jones took several deep breaths on the mound. He then settled in to dominate Eric Hosmer, Kendrys Morales and Mike Moustakas, striking out the last two.

“It was like the whole rehab process was coming to an end,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of frustration, a lot of anxiety, a lot of excitement, a lot of adrenaline, and it all came out right there. It was good, I was fortunate enough I was able to do my job and keep it under control.”

Not only did Jones offer the high heat, he averaged 92-mph with his slider and threw it for strikes on six of seven pitches. Jones said he gets further removed from thinking about his elbow with every pitch and credits work in simulated games for his good command.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans]

Given his lengthy absence and a deliberate rehab, Jones probably isn’t expecting a quick ascent into a higher-leverage role. For now he wants to continue to rebuild the confidence he belongs. Friday’s outing should go a long way toward both.

“To see their reactions, to see what they’re doing to your pitches and adjusting off that, it was a great test for sure because they don’t take it easy on you,” Jones said.

“I want to be one of the guys and just blend in and do my job.”

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.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: