White Sox

White Sox homer three times in support of John Danks


White Sox homer three times in support of John Danks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You don’t get to be 10-2 against a superior team without a little good fortune to accompany your solid pitching.

John Danks received plenty on Friday night against the Kansas City Royals.

Not only did the lefty work through plenty of hard early contact, his offense supplied a bunch of its own in a 12-1 White Sox win over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Tyler Flowers, Adam Eaton and Jose Abreu all homered and the White Sox rapped out 17 hits, including four by Alexei Ramirez, while Danks had his second complete game of the season.

“I’ve always enjoyed coming here,” Danks said. “This is one of my favorite cities we go to over the course of the summer. I don’t know. I’ve spent a lot of time in this ballpark. I guess there is a certain level of comfort there, but that’s a pretty good team over there. It’s certainly not fun. I know I’ve had some success, some coincidence, some catching some breaks, but it’s still not a fun game to try to maneuver through that lineup.”

[MORE: Jose Abreu thinks White Sox 'have the core group here']

Danks made a three-run lead look a little tenuous early on.

Working in the bottom of the second, Danks, who has a 2.57 ERA in 20 starts against the Royals, needed several sterling plays from his defense.

Tyler Saladino — who had two RBI singles — made a stellar diving stop on a Jonny Gomes grounder to start the inning that drew applause from Ramirez.

“I always try to cheer and celebrate when one of the guys does something good,” Ramirez said through an interpreter.

Salvador Perez lined out hard to Avisail Garcia, whose RBI single in the first put the White Sox ahead 1-0. Danks surrendered a two-out double and it looked as if the Royals might score on Paulo Orlando’s single before Melky Cabrera easily threw Cheslor Cuthbert out at home to end the inning.

“I definitely feel like I was out of whack,” Danks said. “I was able to pitch out of a couple of jams, and I definitely had some nice plays made behind me, which saved the day.”

Though he yielded a few more hard-hit balls, Danks got into a groove starting with an 11-pitch frame in the third. He went on to retire 17 of the next 18 batters he faced before he gave up a run in the ninth.

The White Sox offense kicked into a higher gear of its own in the fourth inning against Kris Medlen. Ramirez and Carlos Sanchez each had one-out singles before Flowers worked the count and hammered a three-run homer to make it 6-0.

Flowers fouled off three 2-2 pitches before he homered.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

“I just tried to battle,” Flowers said. “Runners on second and third, less than two outs, hoping he would leave something up in the zone to at least get a sac fly. I was able to hit it pretty good and it got out. It was nice reward for trying to do the right thing and get the job done in that situation.”

The White Sox added a run in the sixth on Saladino’s two-out RBI single and scored five times in the eighth inning against Jeremy Guthrie.

Saladino had an RBI single, Eaton blasted a three-run homer, his 11th, and Abreu crushed a solo shot 433 feet to center.

The three homers are the most by the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium in a game since 2012, when they did it twice.

Eaton went 4-for-5 while Ramirez finished 4-for-4. Abreu and Flowers each had two hits as did Saladino.

“Anything you hit kind of fell in,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “A good feeling all the way around and Johnny threw well. He was throwing strikes and (anything hit hard was) at somebody. It was one of those nights for us.”

Sox Drawer Q&A: Joe Girardi, Enoy Jimenez and Chris Sale's 'infected' belly button


Sox Drawer Q&A: Joe Girardi, Enoy Jimenez and Chris Sale's 'infected' belly button

We made it above 60 degrees in Chicago today: A cause for celebration and another edition of the Sox Drawer. Questions from White Sox fans range from Joe Girardi to Enoy Jimenez (yes, Enoy) to Chris Sale’s “infected” belly button. Here we go.

Q: Jon Heyman tweeted out earlier that Joe Girardi pulled out of the Reds managerial search because he wants to wait a year for the Chicago job. Do you think he’s talking about the Sox? — @piratedwight

CG: I don’t know if the report is true or not, but what I do know is that Girardi grew up a Cubs fan and he later played for the Cubs. Put those two together and I’d assume he would love to manage them in the future. Something to consider: The main reason Yankees general manager Brian Cashman gave for firing Girardi in 2017 was that he felt he had trouble communicating and connecting with the young players. For a young, rebuilding team like the White Sox, that might be a red flag. Granted, that’s the Yankees' side of the story. Personally, I don’t think he’s interested in managing the White Sox.

Q: Who do you want the Sox to draft with the 3rd pick? Do some research. — @Frankie_OConnor

CG: If you look at most mock drafts right now, you’ll see high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. going first, followed by Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman (Nick Madrigal’s teammate) and Baylor catcher Shea Langeliers. Rutschman’s stock went way up because of his play in the College World Series, where he was named the Most Outstanding Player. Langeliers won a Gold Glove in 2018, named the best defensive catcher in Division I. He nailed 70 percent of would-be base stealers. Umm, I’ll take that.

The White Sox took Zack Collins with the 10th overall pick in 2016. White Sox scouting director Nick Hostelter always says “take the best player available.” Would they draft another catcher with their top pick again? Possibly.

You know what, why don’t we hear from Hostetler himself? I asked him to describe the talent level at the top of next year’s draft.

“Overall the ‘19 draft has a little bit of everything up top,” Hostetler said. “There are some interesting high school bats and arms, as well as some college bats and a few college arms that are intriguing. I’m not sure there’s a clear top five at this point, but as we’ve seen in past years, the guys sitting at the top of all the lists and mock drafts today usually change come the first Monday in June.”

In other words, let’s talk again in June. The best part about this? The White Sox will be in position to grab a very talented player for their future.

Q: After the most recent international signing of Eloy Jimenez’s brother, Enoy, do you think he could get close to the level of Eloy? Eloy wasn’t a known prospect until a few years ago, keep in mind. — @Dehhmac_

CG: In case you missed it, the White Sox signed Eloy’s 17-year-old brother to a baseball contract Sunday. Eloy posted a photo of him and his smiling brother wearing a White Sox hat and jersey.

By the way, if you do a Google search for “Enoy Jimenez,” Google will ask: “Did you mean Eloy Jimenez?” Even Google can’t believe it.

We don’t know too much about little Enoy. I say little because he’s tiny compared to his big brother. See the video we found on YouTube which was posted a couple of weeks ago. Enoy is wearing a White Sox retro tank top and a Charlotte Knights hat. If anything, he’ll fit right in at SoxFest. Seriously, he has some great baseball DNA, so he’s got that going for him. He’s an infielder. That’s about all we know. As MLB Trade Rumors put it, “scouting information on the younger Jimenez brother is virtually non-existent.”

Q: We know that Rick Hahn plays things close to the vest. In your opinion, do the White Sox view Matt Davidson as a viable two-way option? Personally, I'd like to see how he does in close games. — @emm528

CG: I know Davidson is quite serious about it. I’m not sure about the White Sox side of things. When I asked Don Cooper during the season about the possibility of Davidson having a more permanent role in the bullpen, he seemed skeptical about the idea. That said, if Davidson comes to spring training and impresses the coaching staff, they might be open to it. Davidson told me in September that he needs to train his body during the offseason so he could handle the workload as a pitcher. He just basically winged it in emergency duty last season. At one point after one of his appearances, he needed around two weeks for his body to get back to normal. It’ll be interesting to see if he can pull it off.

Q: You got to be by the dugout for most home games this year. What’s something that goes on in the dugout during a game that fans at home wouldn’t know? — @PeteCha56613119

CG: Davidson likes to throw gum at me.

Q: Chris Sale. Discuss. — @sccerlaw​​​​​​​

CG: If you’re asking about Sale getting an infection from a belly-button ring, he was joking. Sale likes to have fun with the media. Remember in 2014, when he tried to work in a specific word during his postgame media scrums? He said things like juxtapose, acquiesce, capitulated, ruminate, amalgamation. Waiting to hear what his next Harvard vocabulary word was one of the highlights of a rough fourth-place season. Sale did miss his start in Game 5 of the ALCS because of an unspecified stomach illness. Keep in mind, he’s probably taking medication for an inflamed shoulder. But he says he’s 100-percent ready now for Game 1 of the World Series.

Q: If the White Sox win the World Series next year will you get a belly button ring? — @vlamas05​​​​​​​

CG: Sure.

Q: Why don't the White Sox have a museum in the park? About 1/3 of the league does and most of those teams have half the history the Sox do. — @Gnome89​​​​​​​

CG: Good question. For this one, I went right to the source and asked Brooks Boyer, White Sox senior vice president of sales and marketing.

“We used to have a small museum that fans could walk through which was attached to our team store," Boyer said. "Years ago, we converted that space as demand for a wider selection of retail products grew. We do have a museum-like historical display in the Magellan Scout Seats and have put many of the significant moments in our history on the columns leading to the sections on the 100 level. This past season we had a Negro League Museum traveling display in the Chicago Sports Depot.

"We continue to look for ways to display our history, and the Depot may very well be the best place, but, at this point, there are no plans for a permanent museum location.”

Q: Who do you see the White Sox going after in free agency this year? — @Grank2410​​​​​​​

CG: I wrote about my top five free agents last week. I don’t know for sure who the White Sox will sign, but I’d like to see them add a veteran hitter or two who have playoff experience, who know what it takes to win and can impart that on the young hitters.

Q: When will the Sox change their uniforms? — @ckottlarock​​​​​​​

CG: Personally, I’d wear the 1983 throwbacks for every game, home and away. But that’s just me.

Q: Can we please not get Machado? Can we get Nolan Arenado instead? — @drobaseball555​​​​​​​

CG: Rick Hahn, if you’re reading this, @drobaseball555 wants Arenado. Got it?

Thanks everyone for all of your questions. We’ll do it again next week.

White Sox sign Enoy Jimenez, the 17-year-old brother of Eloy Jimenez

White Sox sign Enoy Jimenez, the 17-year-old brother of Eloy Jimenez

One Jimenez just isn't enough for the White Sox.

The White Sox signed the younger brother of top prospect Eloy Jimenez this weekend. Enoy Jimenez is a 17-year-old infielder, and the 21-year-old outfielder ranked as the No. 3 prospect in baseball was on hand for his brother's big moment.

Eloy figures to hit the big leagues early next season, though it will likely be a while longer before his teenage brother could do the same. Still, they're likely hoping for the chance to play together one day.

According to this pretty exhaustive list from MLB.com, four sets of brothers have played together on the White Sox: Homer and Ted Blankenship in the 1920s, Dick and Hank Allen in the 1970s, Roberto and Sandy Alomar in 2003 and 2004 and John and Jordan Danks in 2012.

Should we be getting ready for the fifth pair?

Update: Our Chuck Garfien found this video of Enoy taking some cuts with his big brother — all decked out in White Sox gear, too.