White Sox

White Sox: Blake Smith’s MLB debut ‘a dream come true’

White Sox: Blake Smith’s MLB debut ‘a dream come true’

Nobody pinch Blake Smith.

It’s been a long time coming, but the 28-year-old pitcher finally made his MLB debut with the White Sox on Saturday night.

“It was honestly a dream come true,” Smith said. “It still kind of doesn't feel like it happened. It was awesome. I'm glad my family was here, my mom and dad were here and they both see it and my fiancée was here. Pretty cool. Pretty cool experience.”

Smith pitched a no-hit ninth inning in the White Sox 6-5 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

The Cal product was originally drafted as an outfielder by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second round of the 2009 but converted to pitcher in 2013.

“(I) threw in college a little bit. Couple years in college and then I got drafted as a hitter and kind of shut that down,” Smith said. “You know how this game goes, everyone has their grind. Mine was a little different but I hung with it, stuck through it. I don't know if it makes it more special, it's just a special moment as is.”

Smith came to the White Sox via trade in exchange for Eric Surkamp in 2015. This season in Triple-A, he went 3-1 with a 3.53 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 39 games.

Smith was in line to potentially pick up his first career win on Saturday, as the White Sox started a ninth inning rally which came up short.

Trailing 6-4, Tyler Saladino’s single and Adam Eaton’s double led off the inning. Melky Cabrera’s single made things a 6-5 ball game. But Jose Abreu and Justin Morneau struck out to end the game.

“I was just in there cheering them on,” Smith said. “I was just kind of taking it all in at that point. Sitting down in the dugout.”

Saturday's White Sox-Tigers game postponed due to rain; makeup scheduled for August

sox_rain_out_april_20.jpg
USA TODAY

Saturday's White Sox-Tigers game postponed due to rain; makeup scheduled for August

The White Sox and Tigers were likely to start Saturday's game (12:10 p.m. CT) in a rain delay. Instead, the game has been pushed back altogether.

With rain expected all afternoon in Detroit, Saturday's game has been postponed. A makeup is scheduled for Aug. 6 at 12:10 p.m. as part of a split doubleheader. The originally scheduled game will start at 6:10 p.m. CT.

According to a press release, all paid tickets from Saturday's game will be valid for the first game of the doubleheader.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

A deeper look at why Yoan Moncada is off to a hot start this season

moncada-419.jpg
USA TODAY

A deeper look at why Yoan Moncada is off to a hot start this season

Yoan Moncada continued his hot start to the season with a leadoff home run in Detroit on Friday.

He finished with two hits and a bases-loaded walk in a 7-3 White Sox win.

Moncada’s base numbers are all up this season. He is hitting .325 with a 1.002 OPS and a team-leading six home runs. Beyond that, a deeper look at the numbers show why Moncada’s production is up.

Moncada didn’t show much, if any, improvement in 2018 from 2017. Most of his numbers across the board were similar or slightly worse.

Moncada was patient at the plate, but maybe too patient in his first two seasons with the White Sox. He led the majors with 217 strikeouts last season and 85 of those were strikeouts looking. So far this season, Moncada is yet to strikeout looking.

This season, Moncada is swinging at more pitches both in the strike zone and overall, which is leading to a lower strikeout rate. A look at the advanced stats from FanGraphs shows Moncada swung at 63.9 percent of pitches in the zone in both 2017 and 2018 (these numbers are before Friday's game). That number is up to 69.1 percent this season. On top of that, Moncada is making more contact on those swings on pitches in the zone (up to 86.5 percent this season after 77.5 percent in 2017 and 79.8 percent in 2018).

His strikeout rate (32 percent in 2017, 33.4 percent in 2018) is way down at 24.1 percent. Strikeouts were the biggest red flag for Moncada last year. By being more aggressive this season, Moncada has been able to cut way down on that number.

His power has gone way up as well. He already has 12 extra base hits (in 82 plate appearances) and his home run on Friday was an absolute bomb. Moncada took it deep for 458 feet. That’s the longest White Sox home run of the season and is tied for the eighth longest home run in the majors this season.


He later showed that despite being more aggressive, he still has that plate discipline that was such a big part of what made him a coveted prospect in the first place. He drew a five-pitch bases loaded walk in which he did not swing the bat.

No matter how it's happening, Moncada’s turnaround has been one of the most important things in the young White Sox season.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.