White Sox

White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

Philip Humber gave up three runs in five innings as the White Sox and Astros played to a 5-5 draw to finish off the 2012 preseason. Today's an off day, and then tomorrow is Opening Day. Tomorrow is Opening Day. That bears repeating.

The rankings of the AL Central in the power poll Tony Andracki and I put together: No. 5 Detroit, No. 16 Cleveland, No. 17 White Sox, No. 22 Kansas City, No. 24 Minnesota. Tony had Detroit at No. 1, with Cleveland No. 19, the Sox at No. 20, Kansas City at No. 22 and Minnesota at No. 24.

I previewed the White Sox starting rotation, which is being underrated by a lot of people coming into the season. Then again, if Jake Peavy gets hurt, things could unravel pretty quickly.

Speaking of the rotation, Chris Sale's Florida Gulf Coast coach explained why he thinks big things are coming for his former pitcher.

Lastly from us, Tony and I rolled out our final All-Chicago baseball team, with this one being our preseason roster for 2012. I think we're going to regret not putting Adam Dunn in the starting lineup, but that can be rectified at the midseason mark.

Larry previewed the high and low Sox minor league affiliates, Jim has a spot-on analysis of Brent Morel in the No. 2 spot and James previews the AL Central.

Around the division: Ken Rosenthal has a moving, powerful piece on Jason Marquis' daughter, Cleveland finalized a 16.5 million extension with Asdrubal Cabrera, Detroit opens against Boston today, Royals Review looks at Lorenzo Cain and my first reaction to "Indians send Ryan Spilborghs to Triple-A, release Felix Pie" was "wait, the Indians have Ryan Spilborghs and Felix Pie?" and then my second reaction was "well, I guess not anymore."

Eloy Jimenez is starting to show off his big power

Eloy Jimenez is starting to show off his big power

It appears Eloy Jimenez is heating up.

The White Sox rookie outfielder didn’t get off to a great start this season, but he showed flashes of his potential. Then, he went down with injury and missed more than three weeks.

After going 0-for-7 in his first two games back from injury, Jimenez broke out with two home runs on Wednesday. He followed that up with another bomb on Thursday in a 4-0 win in Houston.


The fact that Jimenez stringing home runs together wasn't the big story of the game is a testament to Lucas Giolito's impressive outing on the mound.

Jimenez now has as many home runs in the four games since coming back from injury (3) as he had in his first 21 games before going down. That’s far too small of a sample size to say the time off did anything productive for Jimenez, but the 22-year-old is showing the power he was known for in the minors.

Overall, Jimenez is hitting .234/.280/.447. The average and on-base percentage are lower than expected considering he was a career .311 hitter in the minors. However, eight of his 22 hits in the majors have gone for extra bases, with six of those being home runs.

Thursday’s home run went 414 feet after he blasted shots of 419 and 417 feet the night before.

He also had some fun with the camera in the dugout and then had some fun in the field by celebrating a diving catch with a laugh.


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After rain-shortened complete game last time out, Lucas Giolito goes the distance for real against Astros

After rain-shortened complete game last time out, Lucas Giolito goes the distance for real against Astros

Lucas Giolito technically had a complete game in his last start, but it was a five-inning rain-shortened complete game.

Giolito himself said he didn’t count that as a complete game.

“I don't consider it a complete game until I get nine,” said after the May 18 win against the Blue Jays.

Giolito got his nine Thursday in Houston. The 24-year-old right-hander went the distance and shutout the Astros.

In a postgame interview on NBC Sports Chicago with broadcasters Jason Benetti and Steve Stone, Giolito laughed when talking about the five-inning complete game. He said he had a couple seven-inning complete games in the minor leagues, but had never gone this deep into a game in his professional career.

“Never got to the ninth inning in my career so it’s a special moment for me,” Giolito said.

When Yuli Gurriel popped out to third base for the last out of the game, Giolito immediately started emphatically clapping his hand into his glove with excitement. He then gave catcher James McCann a high five and a hug.

He limited the Astros to four hits and one walk and used 107 pitches for the complete game. Giolito added nine strikeouts.

Entering the ninth inning, Giolito said there was no discussion from manager Rick Renteria or anyone else about having the bullpen close out the 4-0 win.

“I knew my pitch count was low enough to go out there so there was no need to talk about it,” Giolito said.

This is the third time the Astros, which are tied for the MLB lead in wins at 33, have been shutout this season. They hadn’t been shutout in Houston since Sept. 19 of last season.

Entering Thursday, the Astros led all of baseball in team batting average, on-base percentage and OPS so there’s nothing cheap about this Giolito performance.

“I just felt good today,” Giolito said. “I had a lot of first-pitch strikes. I kept it efficient. I was taking a look at the pitch counts around the seventh and I was like ‘OK, I think if we stay on the same page I think we’re going to get this.’”

Immediately after he said that he got the postgame ice bucket shower from Jose Rondon.

Giolito has been on a heck of a run lately and his season ERA dropped below 3 with this outing. He now has a 2.77 ERA on the season, which is 15th best in baseball.


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