White Sox

White Sox: Carson Fulmer gets feet wet vs. Royals


White Sox: Carson Fulmer gets feet wet vs. Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Carson Fulmer experienced just how aggressive the Kansas City Royals can be.

The White Sox first-round pick made his Cactus League debut and allowed three runs and five hits in two-plus innings against Kansas City at Surprise Stadium. Behind home runs from Adam Eaton and Tyler Saladino, the White Sox held off the Royals 7-6.

“They’re aggressive,” Fulmer said. “Usually they’re looking for one pitch early on and they’re going to square it up no matter what you throw. So you’ve got to change your plan a little bit. Obviously, my first time facing them and I wanted to challenge them with my stuff. Going out and just doing everything I can just to pound the strike zone and just have them put the ball in play and they did that. Like I said, once in a lifetime experience and hopefully it happens again here soon. I’m just thankful to have the opportunity and it was awesome out there. Enjoyed every minute of it.”

Eaton went 3-for-3 and only needed a triple for the cycle.

Avisail Garcia went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and also reached on a hit by pitch.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

J.B. Shuck and Matt Davidson also had two hits each for the White Sox, who finished with 15.

Earlier in the morning, Jose Quintana allowed a run and two hits and struck out four in three innings in a B game against the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear, Ariz.

The White Sox opted for Fulmer on Saturday rather than have the Royals get an extra look at Quintana. They did the same with Carlos Rodon last spring, too.

“You are trying to give him an experience of facing tough lineups,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He gets the World Champions. I thought he was amped up and probably rightfully so. I think he was overthrowing a little bit. He’s getting to face really good lineups as far as going through that front part.

“He got hit around a little bit, but bounced back and made some pitches. Part of it is going to be just the experience of him getting in here and facing these hitters and making adjustments and continuing to throw strikes.”

Rick Renteria voices frustration with Reynaldo Lopez during start in Detroit

Rick Renteria voices frustration with Reynaldo Lopez during start in Detroit

Reynaldo Lopez’s outing Sunday in Detroit didn’t get off to a good start and his performance led to a couple lengthy lectures from his manager.

After giving up a two-run home run in the first inning, Lopez allowed a leadoff single to Dawel Lugo in the second. White Sox manager Rick Renteria paid Lopez an early mound visit.

This wasn’t pitching coach Don Cooper going to the mound to talk to Lopez about mechanics or strategy on the next batter. Renteria walked up, looked Lopez straight in the eye and talked at him for 15 seconds without Lopez getting in a word. At one point in the interaction, Renteria appears to say "It's time to wake up."

MLB.com’s Scott Merkin asked Renteria about the mound visit after the game. If it wasn’t clearly apparent by watching the interaction, Renteria wasn’t pleased with Lopez.

Lopez threw over to first a couple times before getting behind 2-0 to the next batter, Grayson Greiner. Greiner grounded into a double play, but former White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham homered off Lopez right after that.

Lopez gave up another run in the third and Renteria again felt the need to lecture Lopez. This time it took place in the dugout.

With Lopez sitting in the dugout, a somewhat animated Renteria pointed to the 25-year-old’s chest multiple times. Lopez simply took it in and nodded. Watch this interaction and the mound visit in the video above.

Lopez came out for the fourth inning and gave up his fifth run. He was pulled before the start of the fifth. He gave up five runs on nine hits (three home runs) in four innings in a 6-3 White Sox loss.

Lopez has a 5.57 ERA on the season, which is a big drop off from his promising 3.91 ERA in 2018. Lopez was far from a finished product last year, but showed the potential to be a long-term piece in the White Sox rotation. Now? Not so much.

If Renteria’s words about making sure Lopez “was aware that he was actually pitching today” weren’t stern enough, he continued with a more general comment about the future of the White Sox.

If that wasn’t specifically directed to Lopez, it certainly applies to him. Lucas Giolito has established himself as a lock for the 2020 rotation. Dylan Cease will be given a chance to continue to improve. Michael Kopech is coming back from injury. The White Sox likely add a starting arm either via trade or free agency this offseason.

Lopez may not be a part of the future rotation and time to show he deserves a spot is running out.

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Eloy Jimenez reaches 30-home run mark in rookie season

Eloy Jimenez reaches 30-home run mark in rookie season

It took a couple months for Eloy Jimenez to get going in his rookie season, but the prized White Sox outfielder is meeting most reasonable expectations for his first year in the majors.

Jimenez smacked his 30th home run of the season Sunday in Detroit, which represents a notable round number milestone. Jimenez now has eight home runs in September and it’s only the 22nd of the month.

Jimenez launched a 2-0 slider to left center in his first at-bat to give the White Sox an early lead in Detroit.

A 30-home run season is a long way from the player Jimenez looked like in April and May. Entering June 1, the 22-year-old was hitting .220/.273/.390. He was struggling to lay off sliders out of the zone and looked a bit lost at the plate.

In June, Jimenez looked like the talented hitter the White Sox believed he was capable of becoming. He hit .284/.340/.602 with eight home runs, including a memorable go-ahead home run in Wrigley against the Cubs.

An injury playing the field in mid-July in Kansas City cost him a couple weeks and seemed to disrupt whatever rhythm he was building in June. This month, Jimenez is once again showing his elite potential. He won AL Player of the Week last week.

Jimenez’s overall numbers now have the look of a solid, promising, albeit still flawed rookie season. After Sunday, Jimenez is hitting .269/.318/.514. The power is there, but the batting average and walk rate are both lower than most expectations for him long-term. However, to put up an above average overall season at the plate as a rookie while dealing with two stints on the injured list is definitely a strong base to build from.

Expectations will be higher for Jimenez in 2020. Many will expect him to take a step towards becoming a middle of the order hitter for years to come. For now, it’s safe to look at Jimenez’s 30th home run as proof of a solid rookie campaign.

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