White Sox

Tim Anderson sparks White Sox offense in win over Royals

Tim Anderson sparks White Sox offense in win over Royals

Tim Anderson apparently brought some extra lumber up with him from Charlotte.

The team’s top prospect finished his major-league debut Friday night with two hits and the White Sox blasted a season-high four home runs in a 7-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals in front of 23,290 at U.S. Cellular Field. Anderson doubled in his first career at-bat and scored a run and Alex Avila blasted two homers in support of Chris Sale, who improved to 10-2. Melky Cabrera and Brett Lawrie also homered for the White Sox, who improved to 31-30.

“It was an awesome feeling when I was on deck going up for my first at-bat,” said Anderson, who received a standing ovation after his first hit. “I just had to think, ‘Is this really happening?’ It was a great feeling, and I had fun.

“Awesome timing. I’m enjoying the moment.”

Sale thinks this could be the first of many instances for the heralded shortstop, who was promoted from Triple-A Charlotte earlier in the day. The White Sox designated veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins for assignment to make room for Anderson, a first-round draft pick in 2013.

Anderson immediately sparked a stagnant White Sox offense from the ninth spot in the order.

Batting with one out in the third, Anderson ripped a 1-2 fastball from Ian Kennedy down the left-field line for a double in his first major league at-bat. Later in the inning, Jose Abreu ripped a two-out RBI single to left to tie the score at 1. Cabrera then caught hold of a knuckle curve from Ian Kennedy and blasted it out for a two-run homer to make it 3-1.

Anderson also singled with two outs in the sixth and finished 2-for-3.

“Being able to come in here and be able to take a deep breath and do what he did -- I mean, he had great at-bats all night,” Sale said. “It looks like he’s been here forever. Hats off to him.

“We’re happy to have him.”

In the fourth, Brett Lawrie hit his first homer since May 23 to put the White Sox up 4-2. Lawrie’s solo shot was his first in 64 plate appearances. Avila followed him with his first homer of the season to put the White Sox up three.

Two innings later, Avila continued to pour it on when he lined a 350-foot homer to right to put the White Sox ahead 7-3. Avila’s three RBIs surpassed his previous season total (two).

The offense gave Sale just enough to work with on a night in which he needed it.

“Any time he doesn't have quite his stuff, you want to be able to score for him,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “They did that tonight.”

Sale allowed three solo homers, including two to Eric Hosmer. He also yielded three straight hits to start the seventh inning and 11 overall in six-plus innings. But Sale never relinquished the lead once the White Sox went ahead. After three scoreless from four relievers, Sale had his first win since May 19.

That only made a special night for Anderson even better.

“It was a good one,” Ventura said. “He's just at that point where it's time to see what he can do. Again, he's not coming up here timid, he's ready to play. It's a nice way to start it off, spark a little rally for us. I think later on he probably won't remember a whole lot of it. But it was just nice. He looked comfortable out there.”

White Sox fans dreaming of Patrick Corbin: His free-agent destination might already be booked


White Sox fans dreaming of Patrick Corbin: His free-agent destination might already be booked

For the biggest dreamers among the White Sox faithful, here's how this offseason might be playing out.

Rick Hahn said the team will make some additions to the pitching staff. So for those dreamers, it's a rush to the top of the list of free-agent starting pitchers, right? Why not hook one of the biggest fish in the pond?

The top of that list looks like this: Clayton Kershaw (should he choose to opt out of his deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and seek a new, more lucrative one), Dallas Keuchel and Patrick Corbin. Some might even have those last two names flipped, with Corbin, coming off an All-Star season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, second only to one of the best to ever throw a baseball.

The White Sox might not be capable of outbidding baseball's biggest spenders, and that's without even mentioning that they might simply not be looking to ink a hurler to a long-term contract. After all, that's what all those talented prospects are for, right? Assembling the rotation of the future? Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez are all already part of the 2019 staff. Michael Kopech, when he's done recovering from Tommy John surgery, will join them in 2020. And Dylan Cease was just named MLB Pipeline's minor league pitcher of the year. With all that in mind, any offseason additions to the rotation for 2019 might simply be one-year fill-ins.

But fans often like to dream big, and a lot of them have Corbin on their wish list.

That's not surprising when you look at his numbers. He threw 200 innings last season and struck out 246 batters while finishing with a 3.15 ERA, those last two numbers the best of his six-year big league career. He's 29 years old and a long-term deal would figure to have him in the starting rotation as the White Sox plan to shift from rebuilding mode to contention mode.

Just one problem: There's plenty of belief out there that Corbin's destination this winter has already been booked.

This has been a talking point for a while now, as the Yankees tried to bring Corbin to the Bronx via trade last offseason. They're expected to try to do so again, this time via free agency, as they've got a ton of money to spend. Corbin was quoted in the Nightengale story from April saying: "It would definitely be great to play there. I grew up a Yankee fan."

Sorry to burst your bubbles, White Sox fans. But don't blame me. Blame the Yankees, which seems to be becoming a frequent refrain. If Didi Gregorius' elbow injury means Manny Machado ends up in the Bronx this winter, too, White Sox fans might drop the Cubs as Public Enemy No. 1.

The White Sox have enough hurdles to clear in any pursuit of one of the game's top free agents: They have to compete with baseball's traditional big spenders, and they have to try and beat win-now pitches with a pitch of planned — though not yet arrived — long-term success. It's not like that hasn't been a winning battle before, though, as the rebuilding Cubs got Jon Lester to believe in their future and brought him in to help make their transition from rebuild to championship contention.

But throw in the hurdle of a history between a player and another team, and it makes it an even harder job.

The White Sox will be making some additions this offseason, though they might not be the ones fans are dreaming about. But not landing the winter's biggest fish doesn't mean the organization's biggest, most important dream of building a perennial contender on the South Side is going anywhere.

Top White Sox MiLB moments of 2018: Omar Vizquel's award-winning managerial debut

Top White Sox MiLB moments of 2018: Omar Vizquel's award-winning managerial debut

With the White Sox season over, we're looking back on the top 10 moments of the club's minor league season. We'll unveil one per day for 10 days, showcasing each moment in chronological order.

The moment: Omar Vizquel is named the Carolina League Manager of the Year, Sept. 13.

Vizquel became the third Winston-Salem Dash manager to be named Manager of the Year. The Dash went 84-54, the second-highest win total in franchise history and won the division title in both the first and second half.

Vizquel's season: As soon as Vizquel retired after the 2012 season, he went straight into coaching. First, he was an infield coach for the Angels in 2013. Then, he became the first base coach for the Tigers.

Vizquel remained there until taking the Dash job in the White Sox organization this season. Winston-Salem was an important post because seven of the top 10 and 16 of the top 30 prospects from MLB Pipeline's rankings spent some time there in 2018.

Vizquel was able to guide that talent to a whole bunch of winning. The Dash had the best record in the Carolina League in the regular season.

The playoffs did not go so well. The Dash got swept by the eventual league champion Buies Creek Astros in the first round.

Still, it was a successful managerial debut for Vizquel and the White Sox got to take advantage of his experience with a number of top prospects playing under him.

He may not manage the White Sox any time soon, but Vizquel's ties to the organization (two years playing with the team and now coaching in the organization) make him a possible candidate at some point in his managerial career.