White Sox

Sox top Cubs in extra innings

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Sox top Cubs in extra innings

MESA, Ariz. (AP) Zach Stewart is trying his best to focus on pitching rather than listening to the rumors.A candidate to make the White Sox as a reliever and spot starter, Stewart gave up two runs and six hits in three innings for Chicago in a 7-5, 10-inning win over a Cubs split squad."It's always in the back of my mind, trying to make the team, but for the most part, I have to get my work in," said Stewart, who threw a one-hitter last season. "Then whatever happens, happens."I just go out, do my thing, do what I have to do to be prepared for the season," he added.Jordan Danks homered in the 10th inning for the White Sox.Dan Johnson hit a two-run shot and Gordon Beckham had a two-run single in a five-run sixth inning.
White Sox pitchers, though, had trouble with control when it counted. They forced in two Cubs' runs with bases loaded walks in the eighth.Down 5-3, the Cubs loaded the bases with nobody out - the key play was White Sox first baseman Jim Gallagher's error on an infield roller to start the inning. Brett Jackson drew a walk off Leyson Septimo to force in a run.After Matt Szczur popped out, Josh Vitters drew a walk off Simon Castro to force in the tying run.Johnson homered off Andy Sonnanstine in the sixth to cut the Cubs lead to 3-2.Danks opened the 10th with a leadoff homer to right field. The White Sox added a run on a throwing error by Cubs shortstop Logan Watkins.Cubs pitcher Casey Coleman threw three scoreless innings. He gave up only two hits and struck out three.The Cubs put together four straight hits, including a two-run double by Alredo Amezaga, to take a 2-0 lead in the second off Stewart.In the fourth, Tony Campana's squeeze bunt scored Josh Vitters, who had doubled. Campana was credited with a bunt single as the Cubs took a 3-0 lead.In the fourth, the Cubs' Kerry Wood allowed two straight singles to Paul Konerko and Kosuke Fukodome, but then induced Alexei Ramirez to ground into an inning-ending double play.The game, attended by 12,469, was delayed 25 minutes at the start while the grounds crew worked on the rain-soaked field.Gavin Floyd was scheduled to start for the White Sox, "But with the rain, we didn't want to chance bringing him over here and then starting and stopping," manager Robin Ventura said.Instead, Floyd threw a five-inning simulated game at the team's facility at Camelback Ranch. "He threw great."NOTES: The Cubs will play a "B" game vs. the Cleveland Indians at 10 a.m. Monday in Goodyear. Randy Wells will start for the Cubs. ... The Cubs visit Peoria on Monday to play the Seattle Mariners. On Tuesday, they have split squads; they host the Texas Rangers and visit Phoenix Municipal Stadium to play the Oakland Athletics. ... The White Sox host the Cincinnati Reds Monday then take Tuesday off.

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

White Sox prospect Luis Robert headed to the Arizona Fall League to get more playing time after injuries limited to 50 games in 2018.

He just got hurt in the Arizona Fall League.

Robert is playing with the Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL and left Friday's game with an injury.

It's not clear what the injury was, but Robert walked off on his own power. He also has pulled out of the Bowman Hitting Challenge (a modified home run derby) that will take place Saturday.

Robert, the No. 4 White Sox prospect and No. 44 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was 1-for-3 in Friday's game before exiting. He has hit safely in all four games in the AFL, going 5-for-17 (.294) with a walk and three strikeouts, but no extra base hits.

The 21-year-old is the third youngest player on the team and the AFL is a respected offseason league for prospects. A good showing from Robert would be a sign that he is beginning to develop his talent into playable tools.

The injury could be minor so no need to ring the alarm bells yet, but the AFL season is barely more than a month long. Even a short-term injury could prevent him from making up for some of the lost playing time from the 2018 minor league season.

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

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USA TODAY

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

The White Sox have a hole or two to plug in their starting rotation. Could Sonny Gray be an answer?

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that he's looking to trade Gray away from the Bronx this winter.

Gray isn't as attractive an add as he was a few years back, when he was coming off a sensational 2015 campaign that saw him post a 2.73 ERA and log 208 innings. He went to the All-Star Game and finished third in the AL Cy Young vote that year.

Since, he's been less successful. He made just 22 starts with the Oakland Athletics in 2016 and had a 5.69 ERA. The following season, he started with a strong 3.43 ERA in 16 starts for the A's before the midseason trade that sent him to the Yankees, where he made 11 starts with a 3.72 ERA. This season didn't go too well, earning Gray a move to the bullpen. He finished with a 4.90 ERA in 30 games, only 23 of those being starts. He threw just 29.1 innings over his final 10 appearances of the season, three of which were starts. He had a 5.26 ERA with 50 walks in 113 innings as a starter in 2018.

Those numbers won't leap off the page (in a positive way) for anyone, but there's no doubt that a potential deal for Gray would be a low-risk move for the White Sox. For a team looking to add 40 percent of a starting rotation, being able to do so cheaply — be it from a dollar or prospect standpoint — would be a good thing, especially if the strategy ends up being to simply add one-year fill-ins while Michael Kopech recovers from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease makes his way to the major leagues.

However, Gray's 57-walk total from the 2018 season could be something the White Sox would want to stay away from. After all, White Sox pitchers led the AL with 653 walks this season. They also had five of the top 21 walk-issuing pitchers in the Junior Circuit: Lucas Giolito led the league with 90, James Shields was third with 78, Reynaldo Lopez was fifth with 75, Hector Santiago was 15th with 60, and Carlos Rodon was 21st with 55. Gray slotted in right ahead of Rodon.

But Gray has obviously produced results in the past, and whether the White Sox are looking to simply plug the holes in the 2019 staff or potentially find a sign-and-flip candidate for the 2019 trade deadline — he's slated to hit free agency after the 2019 season — Gray could fit that bill. One thing's for sure: He's available.