White Sox

Nearly six years after trade, McCarthy returns to U.S. Cellular Field


Nearly six years after trade, McCarthy returns to U.S. Cellular Field

Seven years ago, Brandon McCarthy was a highly touted youngster contributing to the White Sox eventual run to the 2005 World Series. And the 17th-round pick of the Sox in 2002 was living up to his hype as the top pitching prospect in the organization.

As the regular season wound down and Cleveland closed on the White Sox, McCarthy turned out to be an invaluable piece of the team's starting rotation, throwing 14 23 scoreless innings over starts in Texas and Boston Aug. 30 and Sept 5. He made three starts in the final two weeks of the season and had a 2.33 ERA with 13 strikeouts and three walks in those 19 13 innings.

But McCarthy only started two games in 2006, serving mainly as a long reliever. He struggled, allowing 17 home runs with a 4.68 ERA in 84 23 innings. After the season, McCarthy was traded to Texas in the deal that landed the White Sox John Danks. Despite Danks' issues in 2012, the deal stands as one of the best ever executed by Kenny Williams.

While Danks flourished in Chicago, McCarthy floundered in Texas, dealing with ineffectiveness and a spate of injuries. He only started 44 games in three years with the Rangers, and had a 4.68 ERA in those outings.

But McCarthy re-emerged with Oakland in 2011 and was fantastic, as his 3.32 ERA and 12325 strikeout-to-walk ratio shows. He's been banged up in 2012, but in 12 starts the 29-year-old had a 2.54 ERA with 52 strikeouts and 19 walks.

And Friday, he'll make his first start at U.S. Cellular Field since being dealt on Dec. 23, 2006. Five and a half seasons have passed, with some major ups and downs. There was probably a time seven years ago when some figured McCarthy would be a staple of the White Sox rotation for years to come.

There were plenty of reasons to believe that notion, too. And the thought of McCarthy going nearly six years between starts on the South Side of Chicago was ludicrous.

One more note on McCarthy: He's among the best athletes to follow on Twitter, tweeting stuff like this:

Siri, how do you get Josh Hamilton out? Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) May 12, 2012
He'll pitch tonight against Gavin Floyd as the A's look to widen their lead on the Angels in the AL Wild Card race, while the White Sox will try to at least maintain their one-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central. Coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet with White Sox Pregame Live.

Rick Hahn says 'there will be many' promotions for White Sox prospects this week


Rick Hahn says 'there will be many' promotions for White Sox prospects this week

The White Sox have a number of highly-rated prospects performing well in the minors and some of them will be on the move within the system in a matter of days.

General manager Rick Hahn talked to reporters ahead of Monday night's White Sox game in Cleveland, a 6-2 loss, and gave the news. Well, sort of.

He didn't include names, but he did say that "there will be many" promotions after the minor league all-star games for Double-A and both Single-A teams take place on Tuesday.

Hahn added that Chris Getz, the White Sox player development director, will address the media before the White Sox host Oakland on Thursday about the moves.

If the all-star games are a reason to wait, it's safe to think some of the players involved will be playing in those games. So who could be on the move?

Double-A Birmingham has six all-stars: Eloy Jimenez, Zack Collins, Seby Zavala, Danny Mendick, Dane Dunning and Ian Hamilton. Jimenez is the name everyone wants to see on the move. He has torched the Southern League since getting off to a late start to the season due to injury. Hahn was asked about Jimenez, but didn't tip his hand as to whether he would be one of the promotions.

Dunning has been good in Double-A (2.78 ERA, 65 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings), but was already promoted this season so he may not be on the move again.

Single-A Winston-Salem has five all-stars: Dylan Cease, Luis Alexander Basabe, Joel Booker, Bernardo Flores and Matt Foster. Cease, 22, could be due for a promotion with a 2.89 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings. There's also that outfield logjam the Dash, which won the first-half division title, have had all season.

Other than Basabe and Booker, Blake Rutherford and Alex Call are also noteworthy prospects being forced to split time in the Dash's outfield. If Jimenez is moving up to Triple-A, one or two names from this group could be on the move to take his spot in Birmingham.

This would especially make sense if highly-touted outfield prospect Luis Robert, who was supposed to be in Single-A Kannapolis for a short period before joining the Dash, is ready to move up as planned. Robert is hitting .289/.360/.400 in 13 games with the Intimidators.

Birmingham, Winston-Salem and Kannapolis were all off Monday. The various all-star games will take place Tuesday and the three teams will be off again Wednesday. The promotions could be announced Thursday ahead of Getz's scheduled media availability.

Zack Burdi is pitching off a mound again


Zack Burdi is pitching off a mound again

Zack Burdi was thought of as a college pitcher who could make the major leagues quickly after he was drafted in 2016.

The White Sox drafted him 26th overall that year and it appeared his quick rise through the minors was going to come true. Burdi reached Triple-A Charlotte by the end of 2016 and had a 2.25 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 16 innings with the Knights.

However, he had Tommy John surgery in July and hasn't pitched in more than 11 months. The 23-year-old from Downers Grove is nearing his return and had video proof.

That's Burdi throwing off a mound, which means a rehab stint might not be far behind. Burdi may not getting into the full swing of things before the minor league season ends in early September, but this is a good sign for him being ready to go for spring training in 2019.

Before going on the disabled list, Burdi had a 4.05 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 17 walks in 33 1/3 innings with the Knights in 2017.