KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jacob May knows he must improve if he’s going to make it in the big leagues.
The White Sox sent their struggling young outfielder back to Triple-A Charlotte at the conclusion of Monday night’s 6-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Though he drove in his team’s only run with a two-out RBI single, May only managed two hits in 36 at-bats, including an 0-for-26 start to his career. The team will announce a corresponding move prior to Tuesday’s 7:15 p.m. contest.
“Just to learn from the experience,” May said. “I got a good taste of it and how to go about my business and how to compete up here. So I’ve just got to go down and get better.”
“It’s no joke. You’ve got to come up here every day and got to go to war in the box and on defense. It’s the best of the best and they’re here for a reason. You’ve got to stay sharp defensively and on your swing. You’ve just got to develop a good routine and stick to your system.”
May came out of nowhere to win the starting centerfield job this spring. Charlie Tilson injured himself early in camp and May took advantage of the extra chances and played so well that the White Sox traded veteran Peter Bourjos to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash or a player to be named later.
But May never found the same comfort once the regular season began. May’s struggles afforded Leury Garcia more opportunity and the veteran took advantage with his best month ever in may. White Sox manager Rick Renteria hopes May will benefit from more consistent playing time at Triple-A.
“He might have been a little overmatched,” Renteria said. “That’s just the bottom line. You want to make excuses for it. Might have been a little overmatched right now. He had a great spring, showed a lot of hard work, tenacity, even here going and working with the guys and trying to get himself back on track, trying to keep his confidence up. His energy has always been the same. It’s very consistent. He’s done everything for the work in the field and working with the guys in the cages and everything else we could have asked of him. He was doing everything he needed to do. Just things weren’t happening.”
May singled with two outs in the fourth inning to put the White Sox ahead 1-0. He took a positive from his performance and said he knows what he must do to be successful the next time he returns.
“I definitely have to get better,” May said. “Spring is one thing but when the lights turn on, these guys play for keeps and you’ve got to be able to compete. I’ve got to go down and get better.”