White Sox

White Sox: Kevan Smith soaking in promotion to majors

White Sox: Kevan Smith soaking in promotion to majors

Kevan Smith walked into the White Sox clubhouse on Sunday looking both exhausted and elated, the kind of combination that comes with a player’s first call-up to the major leagues.

The 27-year-old Smith was told Saturday night he was being brought to The Show thanks to Alex Avila’s balky hamstring. Since about 7 or 8 p.m. last night, his phone was going off non-stop with congratulatory text messages and calls. Around 1 a.m., he shut it off, since he needed to get some rest before an early-morning flight from Toledo (where Triple-A Charlotte was playing) to Chicago. 

“No big deal,” Smith said. “I’ll catch up on sleep when we get to Toronto.”

Smith had to borrow Triple-A teammate Travis Ishikawa’s suit on short notice, since he didn’t bring one with him and the White Sox depart for a road trip to Toronto and Baltimore this week. It’s been a wild last 24 hours for the Pittsburgh native, who’s spent the last four seasons slowly working up the rungs of the White Sox organizational ladder. 

Smith played in 476 minor-league games and comes to the major leagues with a .290/.367/.454 slash line, and was 10-for-29 with two home runs in Charlotte this season. He’ll back up Dioner Navarro with the White Sox until Avila, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, is ready to return.  

“It's just a good opportunity for him,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He's been doing well down there. You kind of trust what our guys are seeing down there. It's a nice opportunity. He won't get as much playing time as Dio but he's going to be playing.”

Smith worked tirelessly to improve as a catcher and shake off old habits from his days as a backup quarterback for Dave Wannstedt’s Pitt Panthers. He feels more confident in his receiving skills, which he feels will allow pitchers to trust him once he gets in a game. 

While Navarro will get most of the time behind the plate during Avila’s absence, at some point, Smith will get to make his major league debut. For now, though, the realization that he’s in the majors is still sinking in. 

“It’s still an emotional roller coaster right now,” Smith said. “I’m talking to buddies that I played (with) back in rookie ball and A-ball, and they’re like, this isn’t Kannapolis anymore, just making little jokes and stuff like that. It’s just kind of a dream becoming reality and I’m trying to soak everything in today and just get my bearings.” 

Chris Sale labors in World Series opener for Red Sox


Chris Sale labors in World Series opener for Red Sox

When Chris Sale was with the White Sox, fans dreamed of seeing him headline a postseason playoff rotation.

That never materialized in his time with the White Sox, but Sale is headlining a World Series rotation for the Red Sox. The 29-year-old pitched Game 1 for the Red Sox against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

Sale didn't last long, making it into the fifth and getting pulled before recording an out. In those 4+ innings, Sale gave up three runs while striking out seven.

One of the key plays of the game featured Manny Machado getting an RBI single against Sale in the third inning to tie the game at 2-2. Machado later had an RBI groundout to again tie the game in the fifth before Boston regained the lead in the bottom half of that inning.

Was that a meeting of the White Sox past (Sale) against the White Sox future (Machado)? Machado will be a highly sought after free agent this winter and the White Sox have been connected to the former Orioles infielder since last offseason.

Game 1 featured a stellar pitching matchup of Sale against Clayton Kershaw, but it didn't materialize as it looked on paper. Sale labored while Kershaw gave up five runs in 4+ innings.

This postseason hasn't been a standout one for Sale. The lefty has a 4.40 ERA in 16 1/3 innings over four appearances (three starts and a relief appearance).

The longer Chris Sale is with the Red Sox, the less this will feel relevant to the White Sox, but it is still something to see the longtime White Sox ace on the mound starting a World Series opener.

White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Pierzynski rips Manny Machado


White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Pierzynski rips Manny Machado

Former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski comes on the podcast and tells Chuck Garfien why he’d sign Nolan Arenado over Manny Machado (6:15).

Pierzynski criticizes Machado for saying that he doesn’t play hard everyday (7:08). Would he make Machado the face of the White Sox franchise? (12:30)

He also talks about how bullpenning cost the Milwaukee Brewers a spot in the World Series (14:45).

He reveals the former White Sox player who had a gift for recognizing players who tipped their pitches (21:00).  Pierzynski tells behind the scenes stories about former teammates Nick Swisher, Bartolo Colon, Gavin Floyd and more (28:00).

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast