White Sox

Rickety run to finish line for a number of White Sox

Rickety run to finish line for a number of White Sox

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010
10:38 PM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

OAKLAND There was good news and bad news on the White Sox injury front on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the word on the injured members of the Chicago core wasnt all that good.

Gordon Beckham tried to cautiously work himself back into playing shape by taking some flips rather than live batting practice and had to cut his session short after just a few swings. His discomfort is great enough that the remainder of the road trip and the final White Sox homestand of the season (beginning next Monday) is in clear jeopardy.

Its not good news about Gordon, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. Its still sore. He said he tried to swing the bat and nothing was going for him. We still have to continue his treatment, and when hes ready to play well figure it out.

While Guillen wouldnt shut the door on a return by Beckham, he was frank in hoping he would bow out of the final games of the season, saying so directly.

I wouldnt mind him shutting it down, Guillen continued. We have a couple of guys who can play second.

Gavin Floyd, who left Mondays start after just nine pitches with soreness in the back of his shoulder, was wrapped with ice before Tuesdays warm-up but had removed it in time for the team stretch.

While Floyd indicated he felt increasing pain when his arm was extended on pitches Monday night, he didnt realize his reaction right before he left the game: When Rajai Davis fouled a pitch behind the plate, Floyd threw his arm up to help catcher A.J. Pierzynski locate the popup.

I dont remember doing that, Floyd told me after the game.

The significance here is that Floyd being able to raise his arm to point out a foul might eliminate the possibility of Floyds injury being rotator cuff-related.

The best news with regard to White Sox injuries came from Freddy Garcia, who took time right after his side session to talk to CSNChicago.com about how it went. Even Guillen, who said that hopefully everything went well a half-hour later in his pregame session, wasnt immediately aware of the outcome.

I still feel it, Garcia said of the back pain that has reduced his September to two aborted starts and six innings pitched. But Im better.

Garcia expressed confidence hed be pitching again this season. Its important to get out for one or two more starts.

Its clear that while his back pain was serious enough to necessitate an epidural and throw his season into jeopardy, the pain is all relative to Garcia, who has revitalized his career with his 2009-10 stint with the White Sox (11-6, 4.88 ERA in 144 innings).

This pain is nothing compared to going through surgery and rehab, Garcia said. You never want to think about an injury like that.

Understandably, then, Garcia is prouder of his comeback from shoulder surgery than many of the accomplishmentsrunner-up AL Rookie of the Year, two All-Star Gamesthat came easier to him pre-surgery.

You dont ever think youre going to lose your fastball, Garcia said. Ive have to become a smarter pitcher. My head is more important than my arm now when I have success.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Eloy Jimenez has high praise for Luis Robert: 'He's going to be the next Mike Trout'

Eloy Jimenez has high praise for Luis Robert: 'He's going to be the next Mike Trout'

Last spring, Michael Kopech said Eloy Jimenez was the Babe Ruth of this generation. Jimenez returned the favor by calling Kopech this generation's Nolan Ryan.

Well, start blocking out a wing of the Hall of Fame for members of the 2020 White Sox, because we've got another comp for the ages.

Obviously, everyone's very excited to see Luis Robert hit the major leagues. Jimenez is cranking that excitement up to 11.

"Some people are going to call me crazy," he said Friday before SoxFest kicked off at McCormick Place, "but he’s going to be the next Mike Trout.

"He has five tools, and he plays hard like Mike Trout."

Well then.

Trout has long been considered the best baseball player on the planet, someone who's putting up hall of Fame numbers on an annual basis to the extent that folks wonder if he's the best to ever play.

Should Robert come anywhere close to that, White Sox fans will be quite pleased.

Certainly the praise is not entirely unwarranted, with Robert boasting a full toolbox of baseball skills. He's fresh off a 2019 campaign that saw him set the minor leagues on fire: a .328/.376/.624 slash line to go along with 32 home runs, 92 RBIs, 108 runs scored, 31 doubles and 36 stolen bases. Along the way he sent highlight after highlight back to his adoring public on the South Side, clips of him blasting balls into the Charlotte sky, making eye-popping catches and using his blazing speed to great effect.

The defensive skill ought to be especially intriguing to Jimenez, who's going to play next to Robert in the White Sox outfield. But while Jimenez's defensive improvement will continue to be a big focus in 2020, so will Robert's range in center field. Jimenez has a plan, though, if Robert tries to steal away any of his fly balls.

"I’m going to draw a line," Jimenez said with a smile. "If he goes over the line, I’m going to punch him. It’s going to be like that this year."

It was just the minor leagues, of course, but those descriptions aren't terribly dissimilar from the ones frequently assigned to Trout out in Anaheim.

You likely won't hear Rick Hahn or Rick Renteria comparing Robert to the best player in the game, not wanting to put too much pressure on the 22-year-old. Jimenez knows as well as anyone how difficult the transition to the majors can be, even for the most talented athletes in the world. He set the minors ablaze in 2018, only to experience growing pains as opposing pitchers attacked him like a proven veteran.

So seeing something similar from Robert would not be surprising.

"Last year, I was a little bit anxious," Jimenez said, "and I know he’s going to be, too.

"The first year of your contract, you play on Opening Day, it’s going to be a little bit tough for him, too. It’s not going to be (tough) just for him, it’s for anybody who makes the Opening Day roster. It’s a little bit tough because it’s different pitching, it’s different stuff and the pitchers are a lot better at this level.

"He’s going to need someone. But he’s got (Jose) Abreu, he’s got (Yoan) Moncada and he’s got me. So he’s going to be good."

One of the biggest differences between Jimenez's ascent to the major leagues and Robert's is that Robert is joining a White Sox team with playoff expectations. Between the young core that broke out in such a big way last season and all the newcomers Hahn's front office brought in this winter, the White Sox look ready to vault into contention mode. Robert's arrival is a factor in those expectations, too, so while it might seem like the spotlight can be lured away by other players, Jimenez said it will be tough for Robert to adjust to the big leagues in relative obscurity.

"When you have five tools," he said, "everybody’s going to have their eyes on you."

Well put.

If he truly is the next Trout, then he'll never lose that spotlight. Though playing alongside the next Ruth and the next Ryan, a couple fellow future Hall of Famers, ought to help.

That might sound a little crazy, as Jimenez well knows. But he's sticking to that comp.

"You will see."

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Dallas Keuchel apologizes and weighs in on Astros' sign-stealing controversy

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USA Today

Dallas Keuchel apologizes and weighs in on Astros' sign-stealing controversy

Dallas Keuchel met with media ahead of this weekend's SoxFest, and was asked about the recent sign-stealing scandal that's dominated the offseason. 

Keuchel was drafted by Houston in the 7th round of the 2009 Draft, and spent the first seven seasons of his career there. While with the Astros, Keuchel was one of the best pitchers in baseball, posting a 3.72 FIP and a 12.2% K-BB ratio during his time there. 

He was also apart of the 2017 team that now faces intense scrutiny for their use of technology in stealing signs during the World Series. While players have not faced punishment yet for the scandal, Houston GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were both suspended for a year without pay by MLB and then subsequently fired by the Astros. 

Keuchel signed a 3-year, $55 million contract with the White Sox back in late December.