White Sox

Sox not putting added weight on sweep of Texas

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Sox not putting added weight on sweep of Texas

Three wins. Thats whats most important to Paul Konerko and the White Sox.

It doesnt matter that those three wins came against the two-time defending American League champion Texas Rangers, who also happen to own a major-league high 50 wins this season.

The White Sox completed a three-game home sweep of the Rangers with a 2-1 victory Tuesday. The sweep came on the heels of a four-game series split with the New York Yankees, who have the top winning percentage in the major leagues.

I dont think you make too much of it, Konerko said of beating the Rangers. You catch teams at different times, different periods in the year. I know teams have caught us when we didnt have it going, and got us good. So I dont think we really think about who its against as much as were just happy to get the wins.

The wins against the Rangers came in three different ways: a blowout (19-2 in the opener), a comeback (5-4 in 10 innings Wednesday), and a pitcher's duel (2-1 Thursday).

Recently-acquired Kevin Youkilis had an impressive series in his White Sox debut at U.S. Cellular Field. He drove in four runs in the first game before collecting game-winning RBIs in the final two games, including a sixth-inning home run Thursday.

But like Konerko, the veteran said the midweek sweep doesnt prove anything.

You have to play to your strengths and play the game -- you cant measure, Youkilis said. Its way too early to do that stuff. Once you get to the playoffs, the best team can get knocked out in the first round. But it is always good to beat the teams that are in first place.

The White Sox improved to 45-37, moving eight games over .500 to match a season high. They hold a 2 12-game lead over Cleveland, which plays later Thursday, and are 4 12 games ahead of Detroit, the preseason favorite to win the AL Central.

They swept the Rangers for the first time since 2001, in earning their sixth sweep of the season. They also snapped the Rangers major league-leading streak of 52 consecutive series without being swept. It was the first time the Rangers had been swept by anybody since June of 2011, when the Yankees did it.

After a poor start to the season at home, Chicago is now above .500 at U.S. Cellular Field for the first time since being 2-1 on April 15. The White Sox have done that by going 15-8 over their past 23 home games.

Added all together, and it appears the White Sox should be considered a pretty good team. Just dont expect them to use words like good or great.

We can play with anybody, manager Robin Ventura said. Somebody else is going to have to describe that. We just keep playing.

White Sox catching prospect mentioned in some elite company

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USA TODAY

White Sox catching prospect mentioned in some elite company

White Sox catching prospect Zack Collins is being talked about in some elite company after a recent accomplishment.

Collins participated in the Southern League Home Run Derby in Double-A earlier this evening for the Birmingham Barons, and he secured his first career home run derby win.

Now, this is cool, thanks to NBC Sports Chicago’s stats guru Chris Kamka: Dating way back to 1895, Babe Ruth was born on Feb. 6, 1895. Collins was born on the same day as Ruth, but 100 years later.

It’s still way too early to make any sort of comparisons, but it’s a fun way to connect the two.

Collins so far this season is hitting .267 with 9 HR, 33 RBI’s and 59 BB in 62 games. Those walks lead the Southern League. The next highest is 39.

Collins is hitting much better than he did when he was with Single-A Winston-Salem last season. Collins hit a mere .233 in 101 games.

Think about this too. Rick Hahn mentioned several White Sox prospects will get promotions in the coming days. Could this mean Collins will get his opportunity? We’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Jose Abreu still leading AL first basemen to start 2018 MLB All-Star Game

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu still leading AL first basemen to start 2018 MLB All-Star Game

Last week, Jose Abreu had a nearly 26,000 vote lead to start the 2018 MLB All-Star game over Red Sox first basemen Mitch Moreland. But now Abreu can take a brief sigh of relief on his quest to Washington.

MLB updated the American League fan ballot standings Tuesday for the Midsummer Classic. The Sox first baseman now has a lead on Moreland by over 138,000 votes.

This an encouraging sign for Abreu and White Sox faithful. Are fans taking notice of Abreu’s production this season?

His numbers this year include a slash line of .283/.338/.500. He also has 11 homers, 41 RBIs and 26 doubles. For his career, Abreu has a .299 average, 135 homers and 451 RBIs in 683 games.

He ranks first among AL first basemen in hits, doubles, RBIs, SLG and OPS. In other major offensive statistics, Abreu ranks near the top 10 for almost all of them.

Abreu is a cornerstone in the White Sox rebuild and if he does indeed start, it could be huge for his confidence and the team.

An All-Star nod this season would also mean a second career appearance in the game. He debuted in his rookie year (2014) as a reserve.

If fans indeed vote Abreu in as a starter, he would be the first position player to start for the White Sox since Frank Thomas did it back-to-back as a first baseman in 1994 and 1995.

There is still time to cast your votes to see Abreu start the Midsummer Classic. The AL will have another updated voting ballot June 26.