White Sox

White Sox finalize 25-man roster

White Sox finalize 25-man roster

CATCHERS

No. 38 Omar Narvaez

Bats: L  |  Throws: R

Ht: 5-11  |  Wt: 215

Age: 25  |  Service Time: 0.089

The second-year catcher not only became a comfortable target for pitchers last season, he also proved to have a steady eye at the plate with 14 walks vs. 14 strikeouts.

No. 18 Geovany Soto

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-1  |  Wt: 225

Age: 34  |  Service Time: 9.096

The steady veteran is an improvement over the ’16 duo when it comes to framing. Injuries have limited him to 56 games per year the last five season, including 26 in 2016.

INFIELDERS

No. 79 Jose Abreu

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 255

Age: 29  |  Service Time: 3.00

Rebounded over final 52 games after dealing with myriad distractions. Hit .340/.401/.557 in final 227 plate appearances to reach 100 RBIs in third straight year.

No. 18 Tyler Saladino

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-0  |  Wt: 200

Age: 27  |  Service Time: 1.087

An impressive glove no matter where plays, showed steady progress at the plate in his second year. Hit .294/.323/.406 in 191 plate appearances after becoming a starter.

No. 7 Tim Anderson

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-1  |  Wt: 185

Age: 23  |  Service Time: 0.115

Proved to be a formidable player despite his relative inexperience. Has room to improve. Team recently extended him potentially for eight years and $50.5 million.

No. 21 Todd Frazier

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 220

Age: 31  |  Service Time: 5.071

Potential trade candidate offered a significant upgrade at the hot corner. Provided leadership and steady defense as well as career best in homers (40) and RBIs (98).

No. 24 Matt Davidson

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 230

Age: 26  |  Service Time: 0.145

Finally found the groove the club had long hoped for last season before he broke his foot. Should get a chance to prove his value during the club’s rebuild.

No. 5 Yolmer Sanchez

Bats: S  |  Throws: R

Ht: 5-11  |  Wt: 185

Age: 24  |  Service Time: 1.134

Middle infielder should get a fair amount of playing time with Brett Lawrie gone. Had a nice spring, hitting .305/.354/.542 with three home runs.

OUTFIELDERS

No. 26 Avisail Garcia

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-4  |  Wt: 240

Age: 25  |  Service Time: 3.167

Hope is he can find a medium between how he hits with runners in scoring position (.355/.421/.538) and without runners on (.217/.268/.354).

No. 64 Jacob May

Bats: S  |  Throws: R

Ht: 5-10  |  Wt: 180

Age: 25  |  Service Time: 0.00

Speedy, switch-hitting outfielder comes from strong baseball bloodline. Outstanding overall spring helped him win job over recently traded Peter Bourjos.  

No. 53 Melky Cabrera

Bats: S  |  Throws: L

Ht: 5-10  |  Wt: 210

Age: 32  |  Service Time: 10.148

Bounced back from dismal start to 2015 season with consistent all-around offense. Free agent to be could be dealt before deadline if he performs once again.

No. 25 Cody Asche

Bats: L  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-1  |  Wt: 205

Age: 26  |  Service Time: 3.045

Seeking a fresh start, left-handed stick showed versatility in the field and some power. Could work his way into good playing time if he stays consistent.

No. 28 Leury Garcia

Bats: S  |  Throws: R

Ht: 5-8  |  Wt: 170

Age: 26  |  Service Time: 2.025

Rick Renteria loves the versatility and speed he provides them. Can play all over the infield and should see time in center field alongside May.

STARTING PITCHER

No. 62 Jose Quintana

Bats: L  |  Throws: L

Ht: 6-1  |  Wt: 220

Age: 28  |  Service Time: 4.133

A first-time All-Star last season, the southpaw is one of the most consistent pitchers. Team-friendly contract also makes him one of the most tradable.

No. 33 James Shields

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 215

Age: 35  |  Service Time: 10.125

One of the game’s most dependable starters, he’s looking to bounce back from a dismal season. Posted a 6.77 ERA in 22 starts after he was acquired from San Diego.

No. 45 Derek Holland

Bats: S  |  Throws: L

Ht: 6-2  |  Wt: 215

Age: 30  |  Service Time: 7.120

The lefty is hopeful he, Don Cooper and training staff can keep him healthy and on the same path as when he produced 7.6 WAR from 2011-13.

No. 58 Miguel Gonzalez

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-1  |  Wt: 170

Age: 32  |  Service Time: 5.084

A late spring addition in 2016, he flourished after adding the cut-fastball to his repertoire. Free-agent-to-be posted a 3.03 ERA over his last 11 starts (65 1/3 innings).

*No. 55 Carlos Rodon

Bats: L  |  Throws: L

Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 235

Age: 24  |  Service Time: 1.168

Plan that has been slowed by injury called for him pitching 200 innings and making 32 starts. Team has identified the former 1st-rounder as a building block.

No. 68 Dylan Covey

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-2  |  Wt: 195

Age: 25  |  Service Time: 0.000

Rule 5 draft pick is most successful when he’s attacking down in the zone. Must stay on big league roster or be offered back to his original club.

RELIEF PITCHER

No. 65 Nate Jones

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-5  |  Wt: 220

Age: 31  |  Service Time: 5.000

Hard-throwing right-hander is potential trade bait. Not only has he been dominant since returning from Tommy John, but also is on a great contract.

No. 30 David Robertson

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 5-11  |  Wt: 195

Age: 31  |  Service Time: 8.070

The subject of myriad offseason rumors, could provide an attractive option to a team in need at an affordable rate after last postseason’s bullpen craze.

No. 57 Zach Putnam

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-2  |  Wt: 220

Age: 29  |  Service Time: 3.135

Limited to 25 games last season before he needed surgery to remove elbow chips, the righty has averaged 9.6 strikeouts per nine in his career.

No. 52 Jake Petricka

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-5  |  Wt: 220

Age: 28  |  Service Time: 3.044

A valuable arm the previous two seasons, Petricka was limited to eight innings by a hip injury. Has throw well this spring and appears to be healthy again.

No. 43 Dan Jennings

Bats: L  |  Throws: L

Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 210

Age: 29  |  Service Time: 3.171

Put together his most complete season as he continued to make strides against left-handed hitters. Finished with a 2.08 ERA in 60 2/3 innings.

No. 34 Anthony Swarzak

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-4  |  Wt: 215

Age: 31  |  Service Time: 5.024

Former starting pitcher is throwing harder than ever. Struck out 16 batters in 12 2/3 innings this spring. Offers length out of the bullpen.

No. 66 Michael Ynoa

Bats: R  |  Throws: R

Ht: 6-7  |  Wt: 210

Age: 25  |  Service Time: 0.113

Tall righty displayed some serious stuff in his rookie campaign. But he needs to cut down on the walks if he wants to have success in sophomore season.

* Denotes disabled list

Luis Robert's legend grows, suggesting White Sox should ready for superstardom

Luis Robert's legend grows, suggesting White Sox should ready for superstardom

The legend of La Pantera grew even larger Saturday. And he made it seem rather mundane.

"I was sitting on a soft pitch on the outside, and then this pitch was in and I had to react and swing the bat, and I think that was why I fell when I hit the ball."

Luis Robert's description of the event dramatically undersold what happened. The dude homered while he was falling down.


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Of course, Robert makes everything look easy. Why wouldn't he make it all sound easy, too?

The truth is that the much hyped Robert can do just about everything on the baseball field, and that apparently now includes sending a ball over the fence while simultaneously toppling to the ground in a somewhat cartoonish fashion. If you didn't think the hype train could move at a higher speed after he thrilled minor league audiences last season with a true five-tool display, then you weren't prepared for the highlight from Saturday's intrasquad game on the South Side that caught like wildfire across the baseball-loving sections of the internet.

Robert's arrival in the major leagues, however delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is part of the reason the White Sox look capable of making their long awaited leap out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode this season. He's being described as the best of the team's collection of talented youngsters and talked up as one of baseball's next superstars.

The best part of all of that for the White Sox?

"I'm glad he's on my team," said pitcher Carlos Rodón, who had the unfortunate distinction of being the guy who gave up that bananas home run.

Indeed he is on this team, and thanks to the big-money deal that paved his way to the Opening Day lineup, Robert is going to be on this team for a long time. A pair of options at the end of that contract allow for Robert to remain in a White Sox uniform through the 2027 season. Rick Hahn's always talking about keeping this team in contention mode for as long as possible. Inking Robert's name into the projected lineup for the next eight seasons surely helps.

"I'm smiling from ear to ear," White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing said Saturday. "We are as an organization because we are going to have an opportunity to see this for a long period of time.

"He's an individual who you pay to go watch play. ... You can come to the ballpark and understand he has a chance to do something special every day in every aspect of his game, whether it's running, playing defense, throwing, hitting.

"What he did today, ... I saw him sitting on the ground and I was like, 'Run, run, run!' and then I realized the ball was 15 rows deep. He's a pretty special talent, and we are fortunate and lucky to have him on our side."

The question, though, doesn't seem to be how good Robert will be one day but how good he'll be from Day 1.

RELATED: 2020 White Sox lineup: This looks like what it could be come Opening Day

Robert was expected to have a full six months in his first taste of the big leagues, expected to have time to make the kinds of adjustments Eloy Jiménez did as a rookie last season, when he started slowly only to catch fire for a white-hot month of September. Robert won't have that luxury, with the season squeezed down from its typical six-month marathon to a two-month, 60-game sprint.

But Robert doesn't seem to view that as much of a problem. Like the uber-talented White Sox youngsters who have arrived on the South Side before him, he's a confident kid. And while he's not going as far as Jiménez did in January, when the left fielder called his new center fielder "the next Mike Trout," Robert's expecting to be able to hit the ground running while seeing big league pitching for the first time.

"I am feeling very confident," he said Saturday through team interpreter Billy Russo. "I feel real good right now, mentally and physically, and I think that is important. I think that's why I have been able to get the results that I've been having during this time.

"Being here facing major league pitchers, even though they are my teammates, has helped me a lot because that's an advantage for me to know what I'm going to face once the season starts.

"I don't know if I think about doing extraordinary things. I just think in terms of doing the best that I can in every aspect of the game, in every play that I'm involved in. And I think that's the reason why I've been able to do very good things. That's the reason why, I just try to do my best every time."

RELATED: What Michael Kopech skipping season means for White Sox in 2020 and beyond

Robert's presence is just one of a whole bunch of reasons the White Sox appear primed for a big jump in 2020. He's part of a remade lineup featuring veteran additions Yasmani Grandal, Edwin Encarnación and Nomar Mazara. He's one of two highly touted prospects who could take over starting roles this season, along with Nick Madrigal. He's the newest addition to a White Sox core that already had its breakout season a year ago, when Jiménez, Yoán Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Tim Anderson did such big things.

And this is just the beginning. So many of those guys are under team control for years into the future. And so even if Robert and the White Sox don't rise to the level of World Series contenders in 2020, they're planning to do it soon — and stay there for a long while.

How good can Robert be during that stretch? The consensus seems to be that the sky is the limit. And if his wardrobe choice for his Saturday session with reporters, a LeBron James jersey, was any indication, the South Side could be in for larger-than-life superstardom.

"I think that every athlete has that in mind," he said, asked if he had designs on being as good as James, one of the greatest basketball players of all-time. "When you see what other athletes have done, whatever the sport they’re playing, it’s something that you use to motivate yourself."


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Luis Robert hits home run while falling down during White Sox intrasquad game

Luis Robert hits home run while falling down during White Sox intrasquad game

They say Luis Robert can do it all.

Who knows how often he'll be called upon to hit a home run while falling down, but it turns out he can do that, too.

Robert lifted a Carlos Rodón pitch out of Guaranteed Rate Field during Saturday's intrasquad game on the South Side. While it was happening, or perhaps immediately afterward, he fell over and landed on the other side of home plate.

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Worrywarts have no need to panic, he got right up, picked up his batting helmet and trotted around the bases. The next inning, he returned to his spot in center field.

So instead of a terrifying moment, the White Sox rookie delivered a kooky — and frankly, kind of amazing — highlight for the ages.

And so his legend grows.

Robert has already been the player to command the most fan interest during "Summer Camp" workouts. He heads into his first big league season as the most hyped White Sox prospect in recent memory, topping the excitement levels generated by the debuts of Eloy Jiménez, Michael Kopech and Yoán Moncada.

All that buzz comes after he thrilled minor league crowds last season with a combination of tape-measure home runs, blazing speed and highlight-reel catches in center field. That jam-packed toolbox has evaluators labeling him as the best of the White Sox collection of talented youngsters, and he's already being talked about as the game's next superstar.

"I see or hear all of that stuff," Robert said through team interpreter Billy Russo earlier this week. "I try to not pay attention to that. I know what I can do, and sometimes if you hear all that stuff, you’re going to have more pressure on you. And that might not be good for you because there is more. It’s good if people say that, but I just try to not pay too much attention to it.

"My expectations and goals are always the same. Give 100 percent, always, on the field, help the team as much as I can and hopefully go to the postseason. And if I’m lucky enough, maybe win the Rookie of the Year. Those are my goals, and if I stay healthy I feel confident I can do that."

RELATED: White Sox rookie Luis Robert confident in 'pretty hot' start to his '20 season

Robert has some challenges in this most unusual of baseball seasons. While getting his first taste of major league pitching, he was expected to have a full six months to make any necessary adjustments. Instead, he'll have just 60 games. Jiménez showed how useful having an entire season can be, starting slowly during his rookie campaign in 2019 only to figure things out in time for a white-hot month of September. If Robert doesn't catch fire immediately, he might not have the time to adjust before the season's almost over.

But that's not worrying Robert too much.

"If, for whatever reason, I don’t start the season as hot as I know I can, I will do my best to make the adjustments as fast as I can," he said. "But of course that’s not my mindset right now.

"I’m pretty sure I’m going to be able to start the season pretty hot and display all my talent. I will have to adjust as much as I can if I have any trouble."

After seeing what he did Saturday, maybe he's right.


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