White Sox

White Sox: Mat Latos will continue mechanical adjustments on side

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White Sox: Mat Latos will continue mechanical adjustments on side

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Mat Latos isn’t yet 100 percent ready for exhibition games and doesn’t mind that his next session will be on the side.

Physically, Latos feels fine. 

But the White Sox pitcher said Tuesday he and pitching coach Don Cooper are in the midst of mechanical changes. Though he thinks they have made significant progress, Latos is OK with another round of work on a back field versus in an exhibition game. With that in mind, the White Sox decided they will start Erik Johnson against the Cubs on Saturday and Latos is set for another detailed work session with Cooper.

“There’s no World Series for the Cactus League,” Latos said. “It’s all about making pitches and preparing for the season and taking momentum into the season. To me, I get into a game and I’m not 100 percent ready, it’s more harmful than it is good. Once you speed up the game, (side sessions) and (games) are two different things. The speed and momentum are completely different. The tempo is completely different. To get into something where everything speeds up and you have bad mechanics isn’t helpful at all.”

[MORE: White Sox newest arrival Austin Jackson ready to catch up]

The plan Cooper and Latos have devised calls for the right-hander to revert his mechanics back to the successful pitcher he was with the Cincinnati Reds. As he dealt with knee injuries the past two seasons, Latos has changed. But his knee is healthy once again and Latos and Cooper have been hard at work in the bullpen.

Latos participated in a simulated game on Monday against live hitters. Cooper said Latos threw 60 pitches over four innings in a controlled environment and looks fine -- “he’s where he needs to be,” Cooper said.

Latos likes the work in particular because Cooper challenges him with different scenarios, which brings an interesting element to an uninteresting environment on a back field with no fans in the stands and a few observers milling around. One example offered was that Latos would pretend like he was in an 0-0 count for all 15 pitches he threw in a simulated inning.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

“‘So what do we want to do in an 0-0 count?’” Latos said. “‘We want to get strike one.’ Certain things like that. It’s not something I’m used to, but it’s something I’m really opening up to. To have that little bit of a challenge really makes you kind of step your game up in a game that really doesn’t have the adrenaline as it does in a live game. It adds a little bit to it.”

Latos is pleased with the results so far. He’s not an eager rookie worried about making an impression in Cactus League play. He knows good work to prepare for the season is much more important.

“Been kind of grateful in controllable situations, making things easier a little easier on myself,” Latos said. “(Cooper) has a game plan and we’re sticking to it and so far it’s working. It has helped out a lot to where I’m getting really comfortable with my mechanics.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.

The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:

— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.

— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.

— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).

— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.

— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)

— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).

Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.