White Sox

Ventura: Jeff Samardzija experiencing bump in road


Ventura: Jeff Samardzija experiencing bump in road

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Robin Ventura doesn’t believe health has played a role in Jeff Samardzija’s recent struggles.

The White Sox manager said Tuesday he thinks Samardzija, who is 0-3 with a 12.91 ERA in his past three starts, is due for a turnaround. Acquired in December from Oakland for four players, Samardzija is set to pitch Wednesday’s game for the White Sox against Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels.

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“There’s bumps in the road,” Ventura said. “I have the confidence in him.

“I don’t see it as a physical thing as far as him being hurt. There’s nothing in there that you would think there’s a reason that’s holding him back. For him, the best thing is he still has confidence of going out there that he’s going to give you a good game and that’s what you’re counting on.”

Samardzija was fantastic in July, going 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA in five starts leading up to the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. Until the White Sox made a late run, it was expected Samardzija would be traded to the highest bidder. But a seven-game winning streak wiped out that possibility and the White Sox kept Samardzija, who is headed for free agency this offseason. 

On this day in 2000, Mark Buehrle made his White Sox debut


On this day in 2000, Mark Buehrle made his White Sox debut

On this day 18 years ago, former White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle made is MLB debut.

NBC Sports Chicago’s stats guru Chris Kamka tweeted out Buehrle’s debut.

Buehrle was just 21 years old when he got called up to the big leagues, and spent 12 seasons with the Sox. He also had stints with the Marlins and Blue Jays.

Buehrle was never an overpowering pitcher with his fastball in the high 80’s. He was also known for working quickly on the mound to keep hitters off balance.

That paid big dividends for the Sox hurler, as he’s known for tossing a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers in 2007 and MLB’s 18th perfect game against the Rangers in 2009, with both of those games coming at then U.S Cellular Field.

A big highlight from the perfect game, a lot will never forget is former Sox outfielder Dwyane Wise saving Buehrle’s perfect game with a ridiculous juggling catch in center field. Ever since then, “The Catch” has been engraved on the outfield wall in left center.

Besides the no-hitter and perfect game, Buehrle knew how to field his position. Eight years ago against the Indians on Opening Day, Buehrle kicked a ground ball off his foot into foul territory and to record the out, he flipped the ball between his legs to first basemen Paul Konerko who barehanded it and got the out.

Let’s just say that play was at the top for that season.

But, as for eating up innings, Buehrle did not shy away from showing his durability.

After his rookie season, Buehrle threw over 200 innings 14 consecutive seasons. In his tenure with the Blue Jays, he was just an inning and a third away from becoming the fifth pitcher in MLB history to record over 200 innings pitched in 15 straight seasons.

In his 16 years in the MLB, Buehrle finished with 214 wins and 160 losses, with a 3.81 ERA in 518 games and 493 starts over 3,000 innings. He won the 2005 World Series with the Sox, he also won the Cy young that year.

Buehrle appeared in five All-Star games, and he won four gold gloves, along with two pitcher of the month awards.

2005 was a good year to say the least for Buehrle. He finished the year at 16-8 with a 3.12 ERA which arguably could’ve been his best season in a Sox uniform.

His number 56 was retired by the Sox last season, becoming the 12th player in Sox history to have their jersey retired.

What a career it was for number 56. 

ESPN.com names Tim Anderson to their 'waiver wire All-Stars'


ESPN.com names Tim Anderson to their 'waiver wire All-Stars'

ESPN.com recently named their 'waiver wire All-Stars', players available in most ESPN fantasy leagues who could provide tremendous value.

Only one player from either of the Chicago teams made the cut, and that was White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson. According to ESPN, Anderson is on 60.5 percent of ESPN.com fantasy baseball rosters, and that could number decrease soon, making him available in more than 50 percent of ESPN leagues.

ESPN senior writer Eric Karabell had this to say of Anderson's solid season:

He is not a helper in batting average but being on pace for 23 home runs, 37 stolen bases and 88 runs scored should afford him a bit more love, methinks. Anderson has actually made strides with walk rate and is hitting more fly balls. These numbers are legit and worth more than people think.

Anderson has already racked up a career-high in stolen bases, with 21 as of the time of this writing. And his 13 home runs are impressive, as Karabell notes, he is on pace to pass his career best of 17 homers from last year.

Our Chuck Garfien recently had an interview with Anderson where he confessed that despite having made great improvements—like his career-best 23 walks—he still knows he has a long way to go to becoming a great player.

But with many of his flaws—like his 13 errors on the season—being on the defensive side of things, his .246 batting average is the only thing stopping him from becoming a top-10 fantasy baseball shortstop.