White Sox

Scott Boras on board with White Sox plan for Carlos Rodon

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Scott Boras on board with White Sox plan for Carlos Rodon

Scott Boras thinks the White Sox were lucky Carlos Rodon was available when they picked third in last June’s amateur draft. But the super agent also feels pretty fortunate for his client, who was promoted to the majors on Monday, to have been picked by the White Sox, a franchise well versed in the development of young pitchers.

Whereas Boras made headlines in March with his belief that Bryant -- who was promoted by the Cubs on Friday -- deserved to start the season in the majors, he sees his two clients in different stages. Not only did Bryant, the No. 2 pick in the 2013 draft, already have parts of two seasons in the minors to Rodon’s two months, but pitchers and position players are akin to apples and oranges. Boras likes that the White Sox intend to go slow with Rodon’s workload this season.

“The Bryant situation and Carlos’ situation are very different because of the innings issue,” Boras said. “Because of the idea that frankly, you really want this process to get a foundation to it for a pitcher rather than building -- because there’s no repetition in amateur baseball that prepares you for what major league pitchers have to go through. Its part of what they have to go through isn’t about ability, it’s about truly building to durability.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

By promoting Rodon and starting him in the bullpen, the White Sox get an extremely talented arm and can control his workload at the same time. The White Sox could move Rodon into the rotation at some point this season, but for now they plan to use him in a variety of bullpen roles while giving him more time to work with pitching coach Don Cooper. General manager Rick Hahn considers this the final step in Rodon’s development and it’s a tested method previously used with Chris Sale in 2010-11 and Mark Buehrle in 2000.

“We are dealing with a scarce resource,” Hahn said. “I don’t think anyone could reasonably expect any pitcher a year out of college to make 32 starts and average six innings a start. It will be some level below that in terms of what we will be able to get out of this guy physically and developmentally. A way to maximize that is to start him out in the bullpen, get him some work here, get his feet wet, get him acclimated to the big leagues, everything that goes about being a successful big league pitcher and then make that transition to the rotation when the time is right.”

[MORE: Rodon doesn't want Bryant hype]

Boras is on board with the plan. Rodon has to make the leap from pitching once a week in college to once every five days in the majors. He has a strong lower body, the kind that appears to be built for endurance. But Boras doesn’t just want to see his client thrown into the fire.

“Still the process is one where I don’t in any way think that too many innings too young, being a big leaguer, right there right now and throwing 180 innings your first year of pro ball, I don’t find too many careers where athletes do that that have worked out too well as far longevity goes,” Boras said. “So bringing him along slowly and monitoring his innings and doing things like that, I think it’s a very good plan.”

Reported promotion of Zack Collins adds another piece to White Sox rebuilding puzzle

Reported promotion of Zack Collins adds another piece to White Sox rebuilding puzzle

The White Sox rebuilding puzzle is getting closer to completion.

Zack Collins is reportedly en route to the major leagues, according to a report from Miami talk-show host Andy Slater. That adds another one of the White Sox highly rated prospects to the growing list of them at the big league level as the franchise’s contention window looks set to open relatively soon.


Collins was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2016, selected with the No. 10 pick that year out of the University of Miami. Currently ranked as the No. 11 prospect in the farm system, he’s always been praised for his offensive abilities. Last season at Double-A Birmingham, he finished the year with a .382 on-base percentage and launched 15 homers, also winning the Home Run Derby at the Southern League All-Star Game.

In 48 games with Triple-A Charlotte this season, Collins owns a .258/.382/.497 slash line with nine homers, nine doubles, 38 RBIs and 35 walks.

Collins has been lauded as a big bat, but there have been questions about other parts of his game as he’s risen through the system. From the day he was drafted, there were questions about his defensive ability, leading to speculation that he might one day end up at a position besides catcher. He’s also racked up the strikeouts in the minors, with 396 of them in 322 games over his four minor league seasons.

But the White Sox haven’t wavered in their confidence that Collins can be a big league catcher, and it looks like that’s the position he’ll fill should the White Sox call him up before the start of next week’s Crosstown series with the Cubs. Welington Castillo was removed from Sunday’s loss to the New York Yankees with back tightness. The team said Castillo will be reevaluated on Monday. With this report of Collins’ promotion, it looks like Castillo could be headed to the injured list.

Another top prospect reaching the majors adds another tangible example of rebuilding progress. Fans have been clamoring for the promotions of Dylan Cease and Luis Robert all season long, and while Collins might be a little further down in the rankings than those two, this should still please fans who, even in a season filled with positives, want to see a more rapid advancement toward the rebuild’s ultimate goal.

Collins will perhaps benefit from a lack of pressure, what with James McCann in the midst of a potentially All-Star season as the White Sox primary catcher. The White Sox could perhaps continue to lean on McCann, allowing Collins to ease into the major leagues.

But just like Michael Kopech last August and Eloy Jimenez in March, Collins’ mere arrival is a step forward in this process, one that should please fans immensely.

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Yoan Moncada continues battle with back issues

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USA TODAY

Yoan Moncada continues battle with back issues

Yoan Moncada's battle with his back issues might not be as over as we thought.

The third baseman made his return to the White Sox starting lineup Sunday following a four-game layoff due to a mild back strain. But his return didn't last long. After a fourth-inning strikeout in his second plate appearance of the 10-3 loss to the visiting New York Yankees, Moncada was removed from the game with what the team announced as upper back tightness.

Moncada is described as day to day. The White Sox have an off day Monday ahead of the start of a two-game Crosstown series at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.

"He's doing good. I think I'm not the only one who noticed his grimace in the swing. It made no sense to continue to expose him to that," manager Rick Renteria said after Sunday's game. "All indications are he should be ready to go on Tuesday.

"Didn't seem to put him in any predicament. Hopefully it didn't set him back. All indications are that hopefully he'll be back on Tuesday."

Moncada was removed from Monday's game against the Washington Nationals with what was initially described as back spasms. Renteria updated the verbiage to a back strain in the following days. Moncada missed Tuesday's game against the Nationals, went through a Wednesday off day and then missed the first three games of the four-game weekend set with the Yankees. His return lasted all of four innings Sunday before he was taken out again.

"Just watching the swing, watching the finish, which is what I was concerned with, getting through the ball. He's ready to get through the ball, it's just the finish. He's feeling a little something there," Renteria said. "You can't replicate it in any drill work. We've tried to do it. Everything he did was good. All the work he did was good.

"Everything we tried to do to replicate it, it wasn't existent until you get into the game, then you know. That's why I think it was a good — I don't know if you want to call it a test, but it was a test. We wanted to see where he was at. Didn't make any sense to continue to push him. Get him ready and calm it down and get him ready for the series against the North Siders."

Moncada wasn't the only White Sox hitter removed from Sunday's game. Welington Castillo, who was the designated hitter, was taken out with what the team announced as lower back tightness. Renteria confirmed after the game that Castillo's injury came on his swing in the second inning, a line drive off the center-field wall that ended up as only a single. Castillo will be reevaluated during the off day Monday.

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