White Sox

White Sox: Matt Albers rolling with brawl-related injury

alby.png

White Sox: Matt Albers rolling with brawl-related injury

Matt Albers was fully recovered from a 2014 shoulder issue and off to a strong start with the White Sox. So the right-hander said the finger injury he sustained during Thursday’s brawl, and the stint on the 15-day disabled list that will follow it, takes on added frustration.

“I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I think I guess either somehow either somebody backed into me, jammed it, or trying to grab somebody,” Albers said. “I’m not exactly sure how it happened. It happened pretty fast out there.”

Albers suffered a compression fracture on his right pinky finger in the melee and said he expects to be back in a couple of weeks. Albers said it’s “pretty impossible” to throw with the injury given the pain and difficulty of gripping a ball.

[SHOP: Get the latest White Sox gear here]

The brawl started Thursday night when White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton and Royals starter Yordano Ventura exchanged heated words, leading to both benches and bullpens clearing for a full-scale fight. Albers said he didn’t feel like an aggressor in the fracas and was trying to break it up but doesn’t regret joining his teammates — two of whom, Jeff Samardzija and Chris Sale, received five-game suspensions they’re currently appealing.

Right-hander Scott Carroll was promoted from Triple-A Charlotte to replace Albers on the active roster. Through four games, the 32-year-old Albers had a 1.59 ERA with five strikeouts and one walk. He missed all but eight games in 2014 due to tendonitis (and a few recovery setbacks) in his right shoulder.

“It’s a little frustrating, a little disappointing that it happened like that,” Albers said. “But just got to kind of roll with it. Hopefully, it won’t be too long. Hopefully a few weeks, from what I heard and you know, how I’m feeling and everything. Hopefully a few weeks I’ll be back, ready to go.”

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

rodon.jpg
USA TODAY

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com released their rankings of all 30 MLB team's starting rotations. The rankings were a nod to the current structure of the rotation, as well as how they were likely to perform in the future. And that is why the Chicago White Sox being ranked dead last in the league is somewhat alarming. 

Overall, the White Sox rotation is 28th in WHIP and 29th in strikeouts. 

Lucas Giolito is currently the team leader in wins with four, but his ERA sits at an unsightly 7.19. James Shields has been decent in spurts, but a general lack of run support has limited his effectiveness. Carlos Rodon has been a mixed bag since returning, but was able to reach the seventh inning in his last start. This is encouraging considering that he hadn't made it that far in any of his previous three starts. And Reynaldo Lopez continues to rack up quality starts—much like Shields—but has two wins to show for it. 

Veteran players like closing pitcher Joakim Soria and Shields are sure to be hot names on the trade market, and that could go a long way towards bringing in additional prospects to build up the White Sox farm system, and lead to a much improved rotation in the future.

So the White Sox obviously deserve to be ranked lowly until they can groom their minor league starter prospects into MLB-ready staff members, something that looks like it could take longer than originally expected. Flame-throwing top prospect Michael Kopech is still amassing high strikeouts numbers, but he is walking over six batters per outing, showing an obvious issue with control. 

White Sox fans can take their mind off of ESPN ranking the team's rotation 30th in the league by turning their attention to Eloy Jimenez. He has been absolutely crushing it in Double-A Birmingham, and will likely be making his debut with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Saturday. That game will be live on NBC Sports Chicago. So sit back, relax and look forward to the future, wherever it may take White Sox faithful. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

avig.gif
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert?  Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike?  What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here 

Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: