White Sox

Ventura is happy, comfortable heading into second season

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Ventura is happy, comfortable heading into second season

With the uncertainty of his first season out of the way, White Sox manager Robin Ventura made it clear Wednesday hes excited to return.

Ventura admits he needed to feel out his new position in 2012 after he took over for long-time skipper Ozzie Guillen. As Ventura waded his way through the season, speculation arose he might not be interested in managing long term. But Ventura, who spoke during a Wednesday morning visit to the Gilda Club, a free cancer support community for men, women and children, said he is ready to get his second season underway.

White Sox pitchers and catchers will report to the teams Glendale, Ariz. facility and hold their first workout on Feb. 12.

Im excited to do what I do, said Ventura, who finished third in the American League manager of the year vote in 2012. I love it. Last year there was a little bit of the unknown that went into it. This year I know what it is, I know who Im working for. I love where Im at and Im excited. I like the team we have. Im ready to get to spring training.

A first time anything when it came to the coaching staff, Ventura had plenty to learn last season. The former third basemans experience outside the announcers booth was restricted to one season as a minor-league instructor, which meant Ventura had to start from the beginning after he was a surprise hire in November 2011. With all those introductions out of the way, its not a surprise Ventura feels much more comfortable this time around.

Its a different feeling for me, Ventura said. Last year was more of meeting everybody and making sure plans were put in order for spring training. Im more confident for that stuff now. I didnt know that I liked it last year because I hadnt done it yet. But yeah, I enjoy what Im doing, and again, I like where Im at as far as who Im working for. Im lucky to have a great staff. Thats very important. When you like who you are working with, it makes your job easier.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Who will win the AL Central in 2020?

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Who will win the AL Central in 2020?

With only 60 games to play in the 2020 MLB season, it seems like there will be a three-team race to the top of the AL Central. To discuss and debate, Chuck Garfien is joined by Anthony Castrovince and Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com to discuss who will be crowned the division winner.

(4:30) - Is the AL Central a three-team race or will the Twins win it again?

(10:30) - Who will have the best hitting in the division?

(16:49) - Who has the best starting pitching?

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest White Sox news and analysis.

(23:38) - Bullpen break down

(31:52) - Final rankings on who should win the AL Central

Listen here or below.

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MLB The Show: White Sox take down Blue Jays behind Dallas Keuchel

MLB The Show: White Sox take down Blue Jays behind Dallas Keuchel

NBC Sports Chicago is simulating the 2020 White Sox season via MLB The Show during the postponement of play. The White Sox, stocked with young talent and veteran offseason acquisitions, were expected to take a big step forward in their rebuild this season. Follow along as we play out the first few months of the season.

Result: White Sox def. Blue Jays 7-1
Record: 51-36 this season, first in AL Central (3 games ahead of Twins)

W: Dallas Keuchel (5-5)
L: Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-4)

Game summary: The South Siders continued their three-game set vs the Blue Jays north of the border on Wednesday. And just like Canadian summers, their bats took a little longer than normal to warm up in this game.

Fortunately for the White Sox, they didn’t need a lot of runs early as Dallas Keuchel had his entire repertoire working. The veteran lefty, a frequent sore spot in the rotation this season, went eight innings while allowing just one run and striking out five batters. Sporting an ERA above 7 at times this year, Keuchel is now sitting at 5.90.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest White Sox news and analysis.

After just scoring just two runs through the first seven frames, the White Sox offense broke out in the eighth. Tim Anderson emerged from his power slump in a big way, hitting a three-run bomb to left. Then, Nomar Mazara also went deep, slugging his 17th homer of the season.

The White Sox winning streak is now at three games, the same total they lead the AL Central by as All-Star weekend approaches.

White Sox lineup:

Edwin Encarnacion: 0-4 (.311 BA)
Eloy Jimenez: 1-4, 2B (.251 BA)
Yoan Moncada: 1-5, HR (23), RBI, R (.278 BA)
Yasmani Grandal: 1-3, 2 BB, R (.309 BA)
Jose Abreu: 3-5, 2 2B, 2 R (.311 BA)
Tim Anderson: 1-5, HR (15), 3 RBI, R (.275 BA)
Luis Robert: 1-5, R (.256 BA)
Nick Madrigal: 1-3 (.283 BA)
Nomar Mazara: 2-4, HR (17), 2 RBI, R (.257 BA)

Scoring summary:

Top first

Yoan Moncada homered to left field. 1-0 CHW.

Top fourth

Nomar Mazara singled to left field, Luis Robert scored. 2-0 CHW.

Bottom fifth

Bo Bichette homered to left field. 2-1 CHW.

Top eighth

Tim Anderson homered to left field, Yasmani Grandal and Jose Abreu scored. 5-1 CHW.
Mazara homered to right field. 6-1 CHW.

Top ninth

Anderson reached on throwing error, Abreu scored. 7-1 CHW.

Notable performance: Mazara is the human embodiment of the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Despite being in the nine-hole, Mazara has hit 16 homers and is ninh in the AL with 63 RBIs. There's no reason to move him elsewhere in the lineup.

Next game: Thursday, July 2 - Game 88: White Sox at Blue Jays (Dylan Cease, 4-4, 5.40 ERA vs Ryan Borucki, 6-4, 5.11 ERA)

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