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.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

For many White Sox fans, Comiskey Park was their introduction to White Sox baseball when they were young. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey, and Chris Kamka share their memories of the old ballpark. Among them: Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl, Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball, Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game, they discuss the final game ever played there and read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

You can listen to the whole thing right here, or in the embedded player below.

8:26 - Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl.

10:11 - Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball.

12:49 - Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game

15:11 - The guys talk about the final game ever played there.

16:44 - The guys read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

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'White Sox to the Letter'

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AP

'White Sox to the Letter'

Inspired by Ogden Nash’s 1949 poem “A Lineup for Yesterday”

 

A is for A.J.

Once punched in the face

If strike three ain’t caught

He’ll steal first base

 

B is for Baines

Who’s known to speak gently

When asked if he’ll homer

He said, “Evidently!”

 

C for Comiskey

The old baseball yard

When it was torn down

I took it quite hard

 

D is for Donkey

I mean Adam Dunn

He’d strike out or walk

Or hit a home run

 

E is for Eloy

He isn’t here yet

Though an All-Star career

Is still a good bet

 

F is for Fisk

The incomparable Pudge

From his perch behind home

Not an inch he would budge

 

G is for Gold

G is for Glove

Aparicio is

Who I’m thinking of

 

H is for Hawk

Unforgettable voice

Stretch! Dadgummit!

And don’t stop now boys!

 

I for Iguchi

Second base man

Won World Series

Returned to Japan

 

J is for Jackson

The legend still grows

A home run or touchdown

Only Bo knows

 

K is for Kopech

Speed, he has plenty

He’ll pile up strikeouts

In two thousand twenty

 

L is for Luke

Old Aches and Pains

Hit .388

That record remains

 

M is for Mark

As in Mister Buehrle

When he takes the mound

The game will end early

 

N is for no-no

Wilson Alvarez, Humber

Two by Mark Buehrle

Too many to number

 

O for Orestes

Miñoso’s real name

Not in the Hall

And that’s a real shame

 

P is for Paulie

He gave it his all

At the championship rally

Gave Jerry the ball

 

Q for Quintana

Kept coming up short

Only because

Of no run support

 

R is for Richie

But please call him Dick

A dangerous man

When he’s swinging the stick

 

S is for shoes

Which were not worn by Joe

In 1919

Please say it ain’t so

 

T is for Thomas

Amazing career

He went to the Hall

And brewed Big Hurt Beer

 

U for Uribe

He played everywhere

When the ball left his bat

Hands waved in the air

 

V is for Veeck

He knew how to sell

Fireworks, promotions

And Eddie Gaedel

 

W is for William

Or Bill; He was Beltin’

So hot was the corner

Third baseman was Melton

 

X is for Fox

At least the last letter

Among second basemen

Nobody was better

 

Y is for Yolmer

He has sneaky power

The master of giving

A Gatorade shower

 

Z is for Zisk

And others I missed

Unable to fit

In my White Sox list