White Sox

White Sox: Nate Jones to begin rehab this week

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White Sox: Nate Jones to begin rehab this week

Nate Jones is expected to begin a rehab assignment later this week after a successful simulated game on Monday afternoon.

The White Sox reliever, who hasn’t appeared in a game since April 2014, impressed coaches and members of the front office with his pregame effort at U.S. Cellular Field. White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Jones would head out on an assignment this week, though he suggested the right-hander’s recovery wouldn’t deviate from the rehab program.

“Nate looked great,” Ventura said. “Velocity, just coming out of his hand was better than you could expect from where he was and what he’s doing now.

[MORE: White Sox ace Chris Sale named to AL All-Star team]

“I know he’s going to go out this week and start pitching again and from there you see how he does. It’s not accelerated because he looked good throwing out here. There’s a plan there and you’re going to stick with it.”

Still three weeks shy of the one-year mark for his reconstructive elbow surgery (July 29), Jones faced major league hitters Monday and got an adrenaline rush. It was the seventh or eighth simulated game Jones has thrown since mid-June. Jones admits, he has “the itch” but also understands how important it is to not rush his program.

“You feel like you’re getting closer and you want to hurdle ahead, but you can’t do that, you’ve got to stay calm, stay patient,” Jones said.

He credits some of his patience to fellow reliever Jesse Crain, who has worked out with him in extended spring training since March. Also on the comeback trail, Crain hasn’t pitched in the majors in more than two seasons.

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans]

“He’s like there’s no reason to rush it because if you rush it, something else could happen and you would be set back again,” Jones said. “It’s been nice to have him down there to talk to.” 

“I feel like we’re getting close.”

Ventura believes the same thing. Last month, Jones threw fastballsbetween 96-98 mph and his slider was good, too. Now it’s time for Jones to finetune the process as he attempts to return to the White Sox.

“Velocity-wise he could probably go pitch right now but just the feel of it, throwing strikes, slider, offspeed stuff, not quite the feel you’d like him to have to be able to pitch for us,” Ventura said. “But coming out of his hand, he’s excited, it’s fun to see him go out there and throw like that.”

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.