White Sox

White Sox notes: Jacob Turner touched up by Royals

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White Sox notes: Jacob Turner touched up by Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Rght-hander Jacob Turner, who’s in the mix for the final spot in the White Sox rotation, gave up home runs to Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain as he allowed four runs over three innings of work Monday against the Kansas City Royals. 

Turner allowed six hits and issued one walk with two strikeouts in the White Sox 9-3 loss to the defending World Series champions. At a time of the year when plenty of established pitchers are just looking to get their work in, Turner isn’t taking that approach. 

“I’ve never said that,” Turner said. “Every time I pitch I try not to give up any runs, I don’t care if it’s spring training or Game 7 of the World Series. Every time I pitch I’m trying to get results and execute pitches.”

[MORE: All systems go for White Sox ace Chris Sale]

Turner, who underwent elbow surgery last June, allowed five runs on six hits with two walks in his last start March 9 against Oakland. With the White Sox fifth starter spot seemingly up for grabs (right-hander Mat Latos appears the favorite with three weeks until opening day) Turner’s execution will have to be better to keep him in the mix for that rotation spot. 

“The stuff has been pretty good, the execution has been a little disappointing at times, especially out of the stretch, I feel like,” Turner said. “Coming off the injury I’m happy to be pitching, happy to be competing. A few balls have found holes but obviously when that happens you have to bear down and get the next guy out. That’s what I’ll focus on next time.”

Briefly

— Manager Robin Ventura said Adam LaRoche (back) could play Tuesday when the White Sox face the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. LaRoche, who’s been sidelined since suffering back spasms March 5, will most likely return to the lineup in Glendale so he can receive treatment at the White Sox facility as soon as he exits the game. 

— Catcher Dioner Navarro bruised his foot when he fouled a ball off it in Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both the veteran backstop and Ventura didn’t sound concerned it’d take away much playing time. 

— Minor league outfielder Jason Coats hit his second home run of spring training Monday off left-hander John Lannan, while right-hander Daniel Webb issued two walks and was tagged for three runs in just two-thirds of an inning. 

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

— In Monday’s “B” game, Chris Sale picked a Dodgers minor leaguer off first base (the runner took off on Sale's move and was easily retired at second base). The left-hander’s worked a bit on his pickoff move this spring but offered a self-deprecating quote: “I don’t know how much of that was me being good or vice versa, him being bad. But it worked. We’ll take it. We’ll take it for now.”

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

White Sox prospect Luis Robert headed to the Arizona Fall League to get more playing time after injuries limited to 50 games in 2018.

He just got hurt in the Arizona Fall League.

Robert is playing with the Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL and left Friday's game with an injury.

It's not clear what the injury was, but Robert walked off on his own power. He also has pulled out of the Bowman Hitting Challenge (a modified home run derby) that will take place Saturday.

Robert, the No. 4 White Sox prospect and No. 44 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was 1-for-3 in Friday's game before exiting. He has hit safely in all four games in the AFL, going 5-for-17 (.294) with a walk and three strikeouts, but no extra base hits.

The 21-year-old is the third youngest player on the team and the AFL is a respected offseason league for prospects. A good showing from Robert would be a sign that he is beginning to develop his talent into playable tools.

The injury could be minor so no need to ring the alarm bells yet, but the AFL season is barely more than a month long. Even a short-term injury could prevent him from making up for some of the lost playing time from the 2018 minor league season.

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

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USA TODAY

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

The White Sox have a hole or two to plug in their starting rotation. Could Sonny Gray be an answer?

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that he's looking to trade Gray away from the Bronx this winter.

Gray isn't as attractive an add as he was a few years back, when he was coming off a sensational 2015 campaign that saw him post a 2.73 ERA and log 208 innings. He went to the All-Star Game and finished third in the AL Cy Young vote that year.

Since, he's been less successful. He made just 22 starts with the Oakland Athletics in 2016 and had a 5.69 ERA. The following season, he started with a strong 3.43 ERA in 16 starts for the A's before the midseason trade that sent him to the Yankees, where he made 11 starts with a 3.72 ERA. This season didn't go too well, earning Gray a move to the bullpen. He finished with a 4.90 ERA in 30 games, only 23 of those being starts. He threw just 29.1 innings over his final 10 appearances of the season, three of which were starts. He had a 5.26 ERA with 50 walks in 113 innings as a starter in 2018.

Those numbers won't leap off the page (in a positive way) for anyone, but there's no doubt that a potential deal for Gray would be a low-risk move for the White Sox. For a team looking to add 40 percent of a starting rotation, being able to do so cheaply — be it from a dollar or prospect standpoint — would be a good thing, especially if the strategy ends up being to simply add one-year fill-ins while Michael Kopech recovers from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease makes his way to the major leagues.

However, Gray's 57-walk total from the 2018 season could be something the White Sox would want to stay away from. After all, White Sox pitchers led the AL with 653 walks this season. They also had five of the top 21 walk-issuing pitchers in the Junior Circuit: Lucas Giolito led the league with 90, James Shields was third with 78, Reynaldo Lopez was fifth with 75, Hector Santiago was 15th with 60, and Carlos Rodon was 21st with 55. Gray slotted in right ahead of Rodon.

But Gray has obviously produced results in the past, and whether the White Sox are looking to simply plug the holes in the 2019 staff or potentially find a sign-and-flip candidate for the 2019 trade deadline — he's slated to hit free agency after the 2019 season — Gray could fit that bill. One thing's for sure: He's available.