White Sox

Robin Ventura: Nate Jones is 'really important' for White Sox

natejones-0405.png

Robin Ventura: Nate Jones is 'really important' for White Sox

OAKLAND, Calif. — Don’t be surprised if you see Nate Jones get a few save opportunities this season.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Tuesday he’s very impressed with how the tall right-hander has performed over the last month and that he could use him in a variety of roles, including closer.

Jones — who struck out 13 in 8 2/3 scoreless spring innings — entered in the eighth inning of Monday’s game with one out and the tying run on second base. He made quick work of the two batters he faced, including an inning-ending strikeout of Khris Davis. Ventura said Jones, who had reconstructive elbow surgery in July 2014, doesn’t have any restrictions in terms of innings pitched.

“The feeling of having him new is over,” Ventura said. “We knew what he was like before he got hurt. But to have him back and have him able to come in and do that is really important for us. The confidence level of bringing him in being able to throw like that, whether it’s righty, lefty, whoever, we’re going to rely on him quite a bit.”

[SHOP: Get your White Sox gear here]

Jones, who signed a three-year extension worth $8 million with options through 2021, is expected to be the team’s setup man. He earned his first hold Monday when he took over with a man on second (Jake Petricka issued a leadoff walk) and kept the White Sox in the lead.

Ventura has suggested that Jones, who had a 3.32 ERA in 19 games last season, could sub in for closer David Robertson when necessary.

“I see Nate being able to do a ninth inning if we need to,” Ventura said. “He has that kind of stuff if you need to give Robby a day, Nate can do that.”

The White Sox turned Comerica Park into a Home Run Derby in Saturday's win

The White Sox turned Comerica Park into a Home Run Derby in Saturday's win

Chicks dug the White Sox on Saturday.

The South Siders hit four home runs in their 8-3 dismantling of the Tigers at Comerica Park. Tim Anderson stayed red-hot with a pair of long balls, Jose Abreu went deep in addition to his pair of doubles, and Daniel Palka made some interesting history with his long ball (see below).

We'll let our stat guru Chris Kamka take it from here.

Since their 10-29 start the White Sox are a respectable 6-4. Days at the plate like Saturday sure help.

Charlie Tilson plays in Detroit for first time since getting injured in his MLB debut

Charlie Tilson plays in Detroit for first time since getting injured in his MLB debut

For over two years, Charlie Tilson was starting to look like his own version of "Moonlight" Graham, the player made famous in the movie "Field of Dreams" because he played in one major league game and never got to bat.

The White Sox traded for Tilson just before the trade deadline passed in 2016. Two days later he made his big league debut with the White Sox in Detroit. He got a single in his first at-bat, but left the game with an injury and missed the rest of the season. Tilson also missed all of the 2017 season and his MLB future was starting to come into question.

Back healthy, Tilson started this season in Triple-A Charlotte and hit .248 in 39 games when he got called up to replace Leury Garcia, who was placed on the disabled list. On Thursday, Tilson returned to a big league field for the first time in more than 20 months. He went 0-for-3 in a loss to Baltimore.

Friday marked a return to the site of Tilson's big league debut and the injury that made it such a brief stint. Tilson has now played three big league games, over the course of nearly 21 months, and two of them have been in Detroit.

Tilson went 1-for-4, meaning both his hits are in Comerica Park. The White Sox lost 5-4 after giving up three runs in the bottom of the eighth.