White Sox

White Sox impressed with David Robertson’s win/save double


White Sox impressed with David Robertson’s win/save double

David Robertson hadn’t done what he did Sunday since his high school days in Alabama.

The 30-year-old closer earned a win, notched a save and struck out five over two appearances that came about three and a half hours apart in a pair of White Sox wins over Kansas City at U.S. Cellular Field. He figured the last time he pitched two games in a day came while he was at Paul W. Bryant High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Robertson threw the ninth inning of Friday’s suspended game, which was concluded prior to the start of Sunday’s regularly-scheduled series finale. He struck out the side and earned the win when Avisail Garcia hit a two-out walk-off single, which netted the White Sox a 3-2 win.

Later in the afternoon, the right-hander jogged in from the bullpen to record his 50th career save — and he struck out two more Royals in nailing down the 5-3 win.

“(It) really shows his fight and his commitment to the team,” center fielder Adam Eaton said. “I don’t know the last time someone got a win and a save in the same day, I’m sure it’s been done before. But it shows a lot of grit and determination, especially when a guy is used to having one outing a day and he comes down and throws twice for you, gets hot twice for you and does extremely well in both instances. Hats off to him and we couldn’t have done it without this today.”

[MORE: White Sox jump on rare Moustakas error in win over Royals]

Robertson brushed off his achievement as no big deal, saying it wasn’t all that different from throwing off flat ground or playing catch before a game and then entering it in relief later. But not only did Robertson pitch in both games, he pitched effectively, only allowing a pair of singles in his second outing.

That he was able to succeed in both games left an even stronger impression on his teammates.

“(That’s) typical Robertson,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. “Came in, shut them down, gave us a chance in the bottom (in the first game) and on the save right there, he just missed a couple spots and ended up giving up the base hits. But other than that, he went right back to executing pitches.”

Robertson combined to throw 37 pitches between his two appearances, 28 of which were strikes. Ten of those strikes were swinging, as Royals hitters frequently flailed at his cutter/curveball combination that’s been so lethal this season.

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In eight innings with the White Sox, Robertson hasn’t allowed a run and has 17 strikeouts against one walk. That’s good for a -0.85 FIP, a statistic scaled to ERA that’s based on walks, strikeouts and home runs. It's a small sample size, of course, but it's easily the best FIP among major league relievers.

“I remember (Hall of Famer Tom Seaver) talking about getting two wins in one day,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s unusual the way the day went because normally you would have a straight doubleheader. Him starting off the day like he did and finishing off, it was nice. Good day when you get two wins in one day.”

The plan all along was for Robertson, who last pitched on Thursday, to enter the second game Sunday in a save opportunity. Because he was announced as entering Friday’s game just before it was suspended for rain, he had to pitch the ninth inning Sunday afternoon.

Ventura initially said he “wished it wouldn’t have happened that way,” but Robertson proved to be up to the double duty task.

“David has been doing this at a high level for a long time,” reliever Zach Duke said. “He knows himself and knows what it takes to get himself right. He was good today.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Could the White Sox trade with the Red Sox?


White Sox Talk Podcast: Could the White Sox trade with the Red Sox?

The crew wraps up the final day of the Winter Meetings for the White Sox.

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien, Vinnie Duber and Ryan McGuffey talk about a rumored deal between the White Sox and the Red Sox (2:41) that would move some pieces around.

Rick Hahn speaks for the final time in San Diego and the guys react to his comments.

Later, they debate why fans are disappointed with the White Sox and the outcome for the team at the end of the Winter Meetings.

Listen to the episode here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast


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White Sox reportedly 'in play' for David Price, but how much sense would a trade make?


White Sox reportedly 'in play' for David Price, but how much sense would a trade make?

SAN DIEGO — David Price on the South Side? Maybe.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Boston Red Sox have had trade conversations involving Price with at least five teams, and the White Sox are “in play” for the veteran left-hander.

Boston is trying to shed salary, and getting rid of the $96 million remaining on Price’s deal over the next three years would be a good way to accomplish that goal.

The White Sox, given their financial flexibility, are a team that could absorb that kind of money in a trade. While much discussion of Rick Hahn’s statement in February that “the money will be spent” has focused on high-priced free agents, the general manager said Wednesday that such fiscal positioning could be beneficial on the trade market, too.

“Absolutely,” he said during his final media session of the Winter Meetings. “You’ve seen over the years us use our financial flexibility to acquire some contracts. I think back to the (Joakim) Soria trade with the Dodgers. The thing we brought to the table there was the ability to absorb some contracts. That flexibility doesn’t always have to be spent on free agents.”

But here’s the thing. ESPN’s Jeff Passan got this whole Price conversation going when he reported the interest of multiple teams on Tuesday, and he suggested the Red Sox might be able to ship Price out of town if they included a “player of value.” A young player with affordable club control would sweeten any such deal, and speculation latched onto outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who is under team control for three more years.

That’s the kind of deal — before we hear what it could cost, obviously — that would look like a good one for the White Sox.

Well, another nugget in Feinsand’s report throws that idea out the window.

“One scenario that has been floated in recent weeks would have the Red Sox attaching a young player — Andrew Benintendi's name has been mentioned often — to Price in order to dump the pitcher's contract.

“A source said that concept has not been considered by Boston's front office — nor will it be, especially not with Benintendi.

“‘That's not going to happen,’ the source said.”

If that’s the case, if the Red Sox are talking about a Price trade that doesn’t involve a young, controllable player coming back, is there any reason for the White Sox to consider such a move? Is there any reason to trade for Price alone?

The White Sox do need pitching, quite badly, as a matter of fact. Their quest for two arms to add to the starting rotation has yielded no additions yet, with their high bid for Zack Wheeler spurned in favor of a lower offer from the Philadelphia Phillies. Price would be an upgrade to the White Sox rotation, and they could potentially get him without having to give up any of their prized prospects (a trade involving someone like Benintendi might cost a high-level prospect, in addition to salary relief).

After turning in some memorable performances during the Red Sox championship run in 2018, Price got off to a great start in 2019, with a 3.16 ERA in his first 17 starts. But due to a cyst in his wrist, he made only two starts over the season’s final two months. He finished with a 4.28 ERA, second highest of his career.

Considering the White Sox are heading into 2020 with just three rotation spots spoken for, they could do a lot worse than Price from a production standpoint. But the veteran lefty doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation as a clubhouse presence. NBC Sports Boston’s John Tomase listed several red flags in a recent piece: “He's no longer a 200-inning pitcher. His elbow could blow. He considers himself a great teammate, but he consistently brings negativity into the clubhouse, which multiple rival executives have noted warily. He's too expensive. He hasn't made an All-Star team or earned a Cy Young vote since 2015. He's past his prime.”

Do the White Sox need those headaches? Aren’t there options out there, via trade or free agency, that would bring in similar levels of production without all that other stuff? It doesn’t seem like a young team that is developing what appears to be a very positive culture needs someone who “consistently brings negativity into the clubhouse.”

Now, if someone like Benintendi — or, for example, the large contract of designated hitter J.D. Martinez — comes along with him, maybe it’s a pill you’re willing to swallow. Of course, that would require other unpleasant possibilities, such as letting a recent first-round draft pick like Nick Madrigal or Andrew Vaughn go. Hahn talked about the team’s unwillingness to deal away its prized prospects for a short-term gain. The White Sox lost a combined 195 games to end up with the draft picks that produced Madrigal and Vaughn. That was an awful lot of suffering just to trade those guys away.

A potential Price trade has its upsides, but ones contingent on other aspects of such a deal. If those aspects go by the wayside, acquiring Price doesn’t make quite as much sense.

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