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

The White Sox sent down Carson Fulmer, so why isn't Lucas Giolito receiving the same treatment?

The White Sox sent down Carson Fulmer, so why isn't Lucas Giolito receiving the same treatment?

Lucas Giolito is having a rough go of things in his second year with the White Sox.

He came into the season with some pretty high expectations after posting a 2.38 ERA in seven starts at the end of the 2017 campaign and then dominating during spring training. But he’s done anything but dominate since this season started, and after one of his worst outings in Thursday’s 9-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, he’s got a 7.53 ERA in 10 starts in 2018.

Giolito stuck around for only four outs Thursday, but he allowed the Orioles to do plenty of damage, giving up seven runs on six hits — two of which were back-to-back home runs to start the second inning — and three walks. He leads the American League with his 37 walks.

“I take what I do very seriously. I work as hard as I can at it,” Giolito said. “So when I experience failure like this, it’s kind of hard to deal with. All I can do is come back tomorrow, keep working on things and hopefully have a better one.”

All of Giolito’s struggles have fans wondering why the White Sox haven’t sent him down to Triple-A to work on his craft.

“I don’t foresee that at this particular time,” Rick Renteria said when asked if Giolito could be sent to Triple-A. “I think he’s just a young man who’s got to continue to minimize the emotional aspect of crossing from preparation into the game and staying focused, relaxed and hammer the zone with strikes. And truthfully it’s just first-pitch strike and get after the next one.”

The White Sox have already sent one young pitcher down in Carson Fulmer, who was having a nightmarish time at the big league level. Fulmer’s results were worse than Giolito’s on a regular basis. He got sent down after posting an 8.07 ERA in nine outings.

But hasn’t Giolito suffered through command issues enough to warrant some time away from the major league limelight? According to his manager, Giolito’s situation is vastly different than Fulmer’s.

“I don’t see them anywhere near each other,” Renteria said. “They’re two different competitors in terms of the outcomes that they’ve had. Lucas has at least had situations in which he might have struggled early and been able to gain some confidence through the middle rounds of his start and continue to propel himself to finish some ballgames, give us six or seven innings at times. So it’s two different guys.

“With Gio, I expect that we would have a nice clean start from the beginning, but when he doesn’t I still feel like if he gets through it he’ll settle down and continue to hammer away at what he needs to do in order to get deeper into a ballgame, and that was a little different with Carson. With Carson it was right from the get-go he was struggling, and he had a difficult time extending his outings after the third or fourth because it just kept getting too deep into his pitch count and not really hammering the strike zone as much.”

Renteria is not wrong. Giolito has had a knack to take a rough beginning to a start and turn it into five or six innings. Notably, he gave up a couple first-inning runs and walked seven hitters and still got the win against the Cubs a week and a half ago. And while his first-inning ERA is 10.80 and his second-inning ERA is 12.54, he’s pitched into at least the sixth inning in seven of his 10 starts.

Renteria’s point is that Giolito is learning how to shake off early damage and achieving the goal, most times out, of eating up innings and keeping his team in the game. Those are a couple valuable qualities to develop for a young pitcher. But are those the lone qualities that determine that Giolito is suited to continue his learning process at the major league level? His command remains a glaring problem, and both he and Renteria admitted that his problems are more mental than physical.

“The one thing everyone has to understand is we have to go beyond the physical and attack a little bit more of the mental and emotional and try to connect and slow that down,” Renteria said. “Those aspects are the ones that ultimately, at times, deal in the derailment of the physical action. So if we can kind of calm that down a little bit.

“He’s very focused. Giolito is high intensity. Nice kid but high-intensity young man when he gets on the mound. You might not believe it. He’s going 100 mph. So I think it goes to more just trusting himself, trusting the process, taking it truthfully one pitch at a time.”

Well, if a demotion to the minors isn’t likely, what about moving Giolito to the bullpen? Carlos Rodon and Chris Sale dipped their toes in bullpen waters before moving to the rotation. Could a reversal of that strategy help Giolito?

Well, the current state of the White Sox starting rotation — Fulmer in the minors, Miguel Gonzalez on the 60-day DL and pitchers like James Shields, Hector Santiago and Dylan Covey, who aren’t exactly long-term pieces, getting a lot of starts — doesn’t really allow for another piece to be removed.

“I know they have done it with Rodon and Sale,” Renteria said. “The difference is we don’t have the makeup of the starting rotation that those clubs had in order to put those guys in the ‘pen. We are in a different situation right now. Moving forward, is that something we can possibly do? Absolutely. It has been done with very good success.

“Right now we are in truly discovery mode and adjustment mode and adapting and trying to do everything we can to get these guys to develop their skill sets to be very usable and effective at the major league level and we are doing it to the best of our ability.”

There could be promise in the fact that Giolito has turned a season around as recently as last year. Before he was impressing on the South Side in August and September, he was struggling at Triple-A Charlotte. Even after he ironed things out, things had gotten off to a rocky enough start that he owned a 4.48 ERA and 10 losses when he was called up to the bigs.

It doesn’t seem Giolito will be going back to Charlotte, unless things continue to go in a dramatically poor direction. Right now, these are just more of the growing pains during this rebuilding process. “The hardest part of the rebuild” doesn’t just means wins and losses. It means watching some players struggle through speed bumps as they continue to develop into what the White Sox hope they’ll be when this team is ready to compete.

Danny Farquhar to throw out the first pitch before White Sox game on June 1

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AP

Danny Farquhar to throw out the first pitch before White Sox game on June 1

In another example of how amazing Danny Farquhar’s recovery has been, the pitcher will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the White Sox game on June 1.

Farquhar suffered a brain hemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm during the sixth inning of the team’s April 20 game against the Houston Astros. But his recovery has been astounding, and he was discharged from the hospital on May 7. Farquhar’s neurosurgeon expects him to be able to pitch again in future seasons.

Farquhar has been back to visit his teammates at Guaranteed Rate Field a couple times since leaving the hospital. June 1 will mark his return to a big league mound, even if it’s only for a ceremonial first pitch with his wife and three children. Doctors, nurses and staff from RUSH University Medical Center will be on hand for Farquhar’s pitch on June 1.

The White Sox announced that in celebration of Farquhar’s recovery, they will donate proceeds from all fundraising efforts on June 1 to the Joe Niekro Foundation, an organization committed to supporting patients and families, research, treatment and awareness of brain aneurysms.