White Sox

Sale fine with not pitching in All-Star Game

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Sale fine with not pitching in All-Star Game

NEW YORK -- The White Sox' plans call for Chris Sale to start on Tuesday and again on Sunday, which may jeopardize a potential All-Star Game appearance.

But Sale said on Friday afternoon he has no issue with the schedule and thinks it would be selfish for him to think otherwise. Sale, who improved to 9-2 on Wednesday and leads the America League with a 2.27 ERA, should be a shoe-in when All-Star rosters are announced Sunday.

"I've got to pitch here before I pitch anywhere else," Sale said. "I'd hate for them to have to rearrange things for that to happen. That would be very selfish I think to do. This is important to me. This is my team. This our team. I have to do what's best for us and if that means, if I even make it, not pitching in the All-Star Game, then so be it. It would be cool, but I know we've got more important things going on."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura won't commit to his rotation as being set in stone, but didn't see any reason it would change, either. He has the ability to push Sale back another day --- the team is off Monday --- to Wednesday, which would leave Sale available for the July 10 game in Kansas City. But that appears unlikely to happen.

Even if Sale were to pitch Sunday, however, a new provision in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement leaves him available to pitch in the All-Star Game. Ventura knows what an All-Star Game appearance would mean to Sale and seems open to discussing an appearance if the left-hander is selected.

"(The All-Star Game) is a big thing for him," Ventura said. "For where he started out in spring training and going through it, it's a big deal. It's important and it's fun too for him to actually make the All-Star team and play in it. We'll kind of weigh how he's feeling and how it's going for him."

Second on the team with 95 1 3 innings pitched, Sale -- who had a precautionary MRI on his elbow on May 10 -- said he feels great. He believes the club's plan to spot him extra rest in between starts has helped him to weather any potential health issues. Even if he wouldn't pitch in Kansas City, Sale has no reservations about making the trip.

"I'd probably show up," Sale said with a smile. "Obviously I've got to talk with these guys and figure out what their plan is, and if they'd rather me have a rest, then I'd take the rest. This is what is important to me and something I want to do for the whole season. Like I said, it'd be nice if I do get selected. If I do have the opportunity to pitch, that'd be awesome. But I don't want to deviate from what we have got going on here."

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:

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

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USA TODAY

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

One thing you better do if you play for Rick Renteria is run to first base.

Yet again, Renteria benched one of his players Monday for the sin of not hustling down the line.

Welington Castillo, a veteran, not a developing player in need of ample “learning experiences,” popped up to first base with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth inning of Monday’s eventual 3-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles. He did not run down to first, instead staying at home plate.

So when the inning ended and the White Sox took the field, Castillo stayed in the dugout.

Ricky’s boys don’t quit, or so the slogan goes. But what happens when a player doesn’t live up to that mantra? What happens when they don’t play their absolute hardest for all 27 outs, as the T-shirts preach? This is what happens. A benching.

“It was towering fly ball in the infield at first, probably had 15, 20 seconds of hangtime,” Renteria explained after the game. “I assumed the dropped ball. It has occurred. He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way.

“That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest, it truly is. Maybe he was just frustrated in that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all. And you guys have heard me talk to all the guys about at least giving an opportunity to move in that particular direction.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, 99 out of (100) times he’s going to catch that ball.’ And then that one time that he doesn’t, what would I do if the ball had been dropped? Would it have made it easier to pull him? Well, it was just as easy because you expect not the best, but the worst.

“That is uncharacteristic of that young man. I had a quick conversation with him on the bench, and he knew and that was it.”

It might seem a little overdramatic, a little nutty, even, to sit down a veteran catcher brought in this offseason to provide some offense and to do it in a one-run game. But this rebuild is about more than just waiting around for the minor league talent to make its way to the South Side. It’s about developing an organizational culture, too. And Renteria feels that if he lets this kind of thing slide at the big league level, that won’t send the right message to those precious prospects who will one day fill out this lineup.

“There’s one way to do it, you get your action, you start moving toward that direction in which you’ve got to go,” Renteria said. “What would’ve happened if everybody’s watching it — and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, (but also for) everybody in the minor leagues — and they’re saying, ‘Well, at the top, they said they’re going to do this and then they don’t do it.’

“It’s really simple. And people might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this, do that so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened in 2018. Avisail Garcia was taken out of a game during spring training for not giving maximum effort. Leury Garcia was removed from a game earlier this month for not busting it down the first-base line on a weak grounder that went right to the first baseman.

It’s become a somewhat common tactic for Renteria, and while it might strike some as taking things a little too seriously, what good is this developmental season if a culture goes undeveloped? The White Sox have placed their bright future, in part, in Renteria’s hands, and they’ve talked glowingly about how the players have bought into his style and how the team played last season under his leadership.

If Renteria truly is the right man for the rebuild, things like this are how he’s going to establish his culture. And it will, he hopes, impact how all those prospects play when they’re no longer prospects and the White Sox are contending for championships.