White Sox

Sox open '12 in Texas; Cards, Dodgers highlighted

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Sox open '12 in Texas; Cards, Dodgers highlighted

Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011
Posted: 11:50 a.m.

By BrettBallantini
CSNChicago.com White SoxInsiderFollow@CSNChi_Beatnik
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CHICAGO Visits to the storied St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers and the return of the two-game Los Angeles Angels set are highlights of the 2012 Chicago White Sox schedule, released on Wednesday.

Chicago opens on the road for just the third time in eight seasons, starting play in Arlington, Texas, at the Rangers April 6-8. After a series in Cleveland, they will open at home vs. the presumptive AL Central champion Detroit Tigers at home on Friday, April 13.

Before April expires, the White Sox take their first West Coast trip, heading out to Seattle and Oakland April 20-25.

Interleague play again centers on six games vs. the Chicago Cubs, beginning with a series at Wrigley Field May 18-20 and chased by the rematch at U.S. Cellular Field June 18-20. Other interleague series include visits to the Cardinals (June 12-14) and Dodgers (June 15-17) and welcoming the Houston Astros (June 8-10) and Milwaukee Brewers (June 22-24).

Other highlights include eight games vs. the Boston Red Sox (April 26-29 in Chicago and July 16-19 at Fenway Park) and seven against the New York Yankees (June 28-July 1 in the Bronx and August 20-22 in Chicago). The season ends at the Cleveland Indians October 1-3.

The White Sox have two 10-game homestands in 2011, August 20-30 and September 3-13. They also have two 10-game road trips, July 13-22 (beginning right after the All-Star Game in Kansas City) and

The longest homestand of 2012 is 10 games, which occurs twice during the season (August 20-30 and September 3-13). The longest trip is 10 days (twice), a 10-game trip taking place from July 13-22, following the All-Star Game in Kansas City, and a nine-game, 10-day trip from September 14-23.

The White Sox are at home, hosting the Rangers, on July 4 (a three-game series July 3-5). They are also at home on September 11, hosting Detroit. The last 13 games of the season are against teams that should finish with winning records: the Angels, Indians and Tampa Bay Rays.

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

White Sox Team of the Future: Starting pitcher No. 3

White Sox Team of the Future: Starting pitcher No. 3

What will the next championship-contending White Sox team look like?

That's what we're setting out to determine (or at least make a guess at) this month. Ten members of our White Sox content team here at NBC Sports Chicago put our heads together to try to project what each position on the diamond would look like in one, two, three years. Basically, we posed the question: What will the White Sox starting lineup be the next time they're capable of playing in the World Series?

That question can have a bunch of different answers, too. We didn't limit ourselves to players currently a part of the organization. Think the White Sox are gonna make a big free-agent addition? Vote for that player. Think the White Sox are gonna pull off a huge trade? Vote for that player. We wanted to see some creativity.

Welcome to the starting rotation, and a bit of an explainer on how this worked out. We did have our voters craft a rotation of the future, one through five. We then took the five highest vote-getters, total, and ranked them one through five. It works out nicely as an order, as you'll see over this week, but it doesn't necessarily mean each guy was strictly voted for in a specific spot. The No. 1 starter could have been a No. 3 starter on a specific ballot, but the vote counted the same. Also, we're going to list the same group of "other vote-getters" starting pitchers on all five spots because who knows where they would end up? OK? Moving on.

Our next starting pitcher of the future is Reynaldo Lopez.

When things were all said and done, Lopez was the White Sox best starting pitcher last season. That's not to say that consistency wasn't an issue during his first full season in the major leagues, because it was. But even with Carlos Rodon's remarkable couple of months during the summer, Lopez put together the best statistical campaign. He, of course, had the benefit of a full season of good health, something Rodon, who made 20 starts after coming back from shoulder surgery, did not.

But regardless of the semantics, Lopez developed in a positive manner in 2018. He finished the season with a rotation-leading 3.91 ERA to go along with his 151 strikeouts in 188.2 innings over 32 starts. He was actually one of the best starting pitchers in baseball through the majority of the first couple months of the season. He owned a 1.78 ERA at the end of April and a 2.93 ERA with one start to go in May. The season wasn't without its rough patches, of course, and his ERA got as high as 4.72 in the middle of August. But he closed the season incredibly strong, going 5-2 with a 1.38 ERA over his final seven starts, highlighted, perhaps, by seven innings of one-run ball on the road at Yankee Stadium. In that seven-start span to close out his 2018, he struck out 48 hitters in 45.2 innings.

Lopez's final start of the season came with some added optics, as he bested Jose Quintana, the pitcher the White Sox dealt away in another rebuild-bolstering trade, the same kind of trade that brought Lopez to the White Sox in the first place. It was the future versus the past, and the future won that round, with Lopez capping a very strong season.

“It’s very important for me,” Lopez said that day, through a team translator. “I set my goal to finish this season with my ERA below 4.00, and now I know my ERA is below that number. That’s all that I want to do. I want to finish the season strong and finish with my ERA below 4.00.

“When you see all the work that you have put in day in, day out to get that result have shown, you feel very satisfied. Because that's what you work for. You work to get good results. You work to get better and to perform. To be able to do that and to know that you're doing something like that, it's special and you feel good.”

Lopez is as big a part of the White Sox present as he is expected to be of their future, and if he continues on this trajectory, he is an obvious candidate to pitch in that rotation of the future. There's enough starting-pitching depth coming up through the system, be it Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease or Dane Dunning to still make that rotation of the future a crowded one. But Lopez is here now and will continue to develop as a big league hurler.

Other vote-getters

Lucas Giolito. The one-time top-rated pitching prospect in baseball didn't make our rotation of the future, but there's still a really good chance he's a part of that starting staff the next time the White Sox are contending. Giolito now has a full season in the big leagues under his belt, even if things didn't go so hot. He had the biggest ERA in baseball at 6.13 and led the American League with 90 walks. The results weren't what he or the White Sox wanted, obviously, but he got experience that he wouldn't otherwise have gotten if the team wasn't in the current phase of its rebuilding project. Giolito will get every opportunity to turn those bad moments into lessons learned in 2019, and his arrival here before many of the other pitching prospects gives him a head start to develop into an effective major league starter.

Madison Bumgarner. Almost every other vote-getter was an outside addition of some fashion, and Bumgarner might be the biggest name on the list. He's a free agent next winter and would fit the mold of a Jon Lester type addition to polish off this rebuild. Bumgarner has thrown a ton of innings but he's shockingly young, still not even 30 as he heads into the 2019 season. He's a four-time All Star, a four-time top-10 Cy Young finisher and one of the most accomplished postseason pitchers ever, with three World Series rings and a jaw-dropping 2.11 ERA in 102.1 postseason innings. Having a veteran winner like Bumgarner at the top of the rotation would allow the homegrown youngsters to blossom around him. Talk about the cherry on top of the rebuilding sundae.

Gerrit Cole. This would be a different route to take from Bumgarner, as Cole is younger and less experienced in the winning department, but he's undoubtedly one of the best starting pitchers in the game. In his first season with the Houston Astros last year, he posted a 2.88 ERA with a remarkable 276 strikeouts in 200.1 innings. Cole is an ace and would serve in that role if the White Sox wanted to make a real long-term splash on next offseason's free-agent market.

Justin Verlander. A rotation-mate of Cole's and a pitcher with a resume perhaps even more impressive than Bumgarner's, Verlander is also a free agent next winter — the class is absolutely loaded — and though he'll be significantly older than the last two guys we discussed, 36 next month, he's still pitching like one of the best in baseball. Last season with the Astros, led the AL with 290 strikeouts and finished the season with a 2.52 ERA. Who knows how long Verlander will keep pitching like this, but he's a future first-ballot Hall of Famer and would be a sensational addition to an otherwise really young rotation looking to add a get-over-the-hump piece and vault into World Series contention. One thing of note, though? Verlander and Tim Anderson aren't exactly best buds.

Zack Greinke. This one would require a bit of a blockbuster trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, as the longtime division foe of the White Sox is under contract for another three seasons. And what a contract it is: Greinke makes more than $34 million a year, the highest annual salary in baseball history. Greinke's getting up there in age, now 35 years old, but he's still pitching real well. He's been an All Star in four of the last five seasons, including each of the last two. He finished with a 3.21 ERA last season and struck out 199 batters. He's won five straight Gold Gloves and finished in the top 10 of Cy Young voting in four of the last six seasons. That's still pretty darn good stuff. If the White Sox think the contending days are coming quick, trading some prospect depth for the still-dominant Greinke might not be the worst idea.

Chris Archer. Archer could be a free agent next winter. Or he could be a Pittsburgh Pirate for the next three seasons. Or something. Archer's contract has team options for 2020 and 2021, making him perhaps a more interesting trade candidate than a free-agent addition next offseason. Of course, Archer's numbers have been going in the wrong direction since 2015, when he finished in the top five in AL Cy Young voting. He's posted a combined 4.12 ERA over the past three seasons, a stretch during which he's given up 76 home runs. He still strikes out a lot of batters, with 644 Ks in the last three years, and he's only 30 (that's right, Archer is older than Bumgarner). He might not have the resume of the guys listed above, but if the Michael Kopechs and Dylan Ceases of the world can develop into ace-like pitchers, someone like Archer could be used elsewhere in a rotation of the future.

Sonny Gray. It looks like Gray, who could've been had via a trade with the New York Yankees earlier this offseason, is on his way to Cincinnati to be a Red. Of course, he's a free agent next winter, too, and perhaps this voter is looking ahead to Gray as an attractive add after a resurgent 2019. He'll need it after a 4.90 ERA in The Bronx during the 2018 season. Gray's done big things before, though not terribly recently, and could be a nice addition to a rotation that has a potential hole unfillable by a homegrown piece.

Ivan Nova. Another appearance by the voter who thinks the glory days are already here. Nova was acquired by the White Sox in a trade with the Pirates during the Winter Meetings. He's a solid short-term addition in that he brings veteran leadership to the clubhouse and the pitching staff and fills one of two holes in a rotation that came into the offseason with just three arms for the 2019 season. As for how long Nova could stick around, well, he's a free agent next winter, too, and if the White Sox get the progress they hope for from Cease and the healthy return of Kopech, there might not be much need for Nova to extend his stay on the South Side.

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NBC Sports Chicago will have SoxFest covered all weekend long

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AP

NBC Sports Chicago will have SoxFest covered all weekend long

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO TO CARRY EXPANDED, MULTI-PLATFORM “SOXFEST 2019”

OPENING NIGHT COVERAGE ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 25 BEGINNING at 4:00 PM CT

4:00 PM -- LIVE SoxFest 2019 “Opening Ceremonies” coverage

Hosted by Chuck Garfien!

 

5:30 PM -- Special edition of “SportsTalk Live” from SoxFest

Hosted by David Kaplan, featuring Garfien, a panel of White Sox experts, and White Sox players!

 

6:00 PM -- “Rick & Rick”

LIVE panel discussion hosted by Garfien, featuring White Sox SVP/GM Rick Hahn, Manager Rick Renteria, and play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti!

 

NBC Sports Chicago live stream available 24/7 on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive and via the new “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app!

 

Complete SoxFest coverage throughout the weekend on NBCSportsChicago.com’s ‘WhiteSoxTalk’ section via reports from Garfien and White Sox digital reporter Vinnie Duber,

which will include even more player/coaches/front office interviews, along with panel discussion highlights and much more!

 

Social media highlights on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to include the latest SoxFest news, live streaming segments, and special NBC Sports Chicago prize giveaway details! 

 

 

Chicago, IL (January 23, 2019) – NBC Sports Chicago - THE Home of the #AuthenticFan - is ready to start up the highly-anticipated 2019 MLB season in a big way with expanded, live Opening Night multi-platform coverage of “SoxFest 2019,” which will be held downtown this weekend (January 25-27) at the Hilton Chicago.

 

On Friday, January 25 beginning at 4:00 PM CT, NBC Sports Chicago’s expanded, multi-platform coverage of “SoxFest 2019” gets underway with LIVE Opening Ceremonies coverage (hosted by Chuck Garfien) featuring introductions of White Sox players/coaches/broadcasters/front office executives, plus video montages, and much more. 

 

Beginning at 5:30 PM, NBC Sports Chicago’s live, on-site coverage from “SoxFest 2019” continues with a special remote edition of SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado.  This edition of SportsTalk Live will feature host David Kaplan, along with Chuck Garfien and a panel of White Sox experts discussing the team’s exciting roster of up-and-coming talent, all the off-season rumors, moves and acquisitions, along with a timeline discussion on when key prospects may make their 2019 big league debut.  In addition, special guest interviews with White Sox players are also scheduled during the show.

 

ALSO -- Fans are also in for a special treat at 6:00 PM as NBC Sports Chicago will provide fans with an exclusive presentation of Rick & Rick, a special event “SoxFest 2019” panel discussion as guests White Sox SVP/GM Rick Hahn, Manager Rick Renteria, along with play-by-play broadcaster Jason Benetti join host Chuck Garfien for an in-depth examination of the 2019 White Sox, along with what the future will look like on the southside in the years to come. 

 

NOTE: NBC Sports Chicago’s coverage of the SoxFest Opening Ceremonies, SportsTalk Live, and the Rick & Rick panel discussion will also be available via live stream at NBCSportsChicago.com and via the new MyTeams by NBC Sports app available on iOS and Android devices, at no cost, to fans anywhere in the U.S. and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.  In addition, coverage of the Opening Ceremonies and the Rick & Rick panel discussion can be accessed at NBC Sports Chicago’s “Facebook Live” page (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago). 

 

Throughout the weekend, fans can look forward to even more comprehensive SoxFest coverage on NBCSportsChicago.com’s White Sox Talk section (NBCSportsChicago.com/WhiteSox) featuring additional players/coaches/front office executive interviews, feature stories, fan reaction, photos, videos and much more provided via Garfien (@ChuckGarfien), NBCSportsChicago.com White Sox digital baseball reporters Vinnie Duber (@VinnieDuber), along the NBC Sports Chicago team of behind-the-scenes White Sox experts (@NBCSWhiteSox). 

 

 From a social media standpoint, NBC Sports Chicago will also deliver a number of additional on-site Facebook Live (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago) interviews and special segments throughout the weekend, along with numerous SoxFest “Sights & Sounds” highlights via ‘NBCSChicago’ on Instagram and Instagram Stories. 

 

Plus, White Sox fans can look forward to brand new “White Sox Talk” Podcasts presented by Wintrust featuring the hottest SoxFest topics and special guest interviews. Fans can download all of NBC Sports Chicago’s podcasts at NBCSportsChicago.com/podcasts and simply subscribe to them via Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher.  The podcasts can be played on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer.

 

Fans attending SoxFest this weekend can also stop by NBC Sports Chicago’s “Authentic Fan” booth to observe a pair of “White Sox Talk” podcast tapings featuring interviews with off-season acquisition Yonder Alsonso (Friday night at 7:15 PM), along with future pitching mainstay Michael Kopech (Sunday morning at 10:00 AM). 

 

In addition, NBC Sports Chicago’s “Authentic Fan” booth will feature a number of special White Sox-themed giveaways including knit winter hats, recyclable tote bags, team flags, stickers and much more (while supplies last).  Plus, fans can are urged to utilize the social media hashtag #AuthenticFan throughout the weekend as a number of lucky fans will be “authentically surprised” with special White Sox giveaways and experiences. NBC Sports Chicago’s dedicated White Sox Twitter handle (@NBCSWhiteSox) will also provide up-to-the-minute NBC Sports Chicago “Authentic Fan” booth activities and White Sox player appearance info throughout the weekend.