White Sox

White Sox promise to leave no prospects behind this spring

White Sox promise to leave no prospects behind this spring

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox are all about the kids and intend to let them play this spring.

That was the resounding message from White Sox brass Tuesday afternoon after the team concluded its first spring training workout at Camelback Ranch.

While there's a natural focus on the ongoing trade rumors involving Jose Quintana and David Robertson and the team's continued willingness to discuss them, both Rick Hahn and Rick Renteria said their focus primarily is on the future. With a number of high-profile prospects in big league camp for the first time, the White Sox want to see what their young players are capable of.

"We want to give the guys that are here the opportunity to show what they can do," Hahn said. "If there's injury or some other unforeseen issue, underperformance, along those lines, then sure, we'll certainly look at potential ways to augment this roster. But as we sit here today and we're trying to build for the future, I think giving young players the opportunity to show what they can do at the big league level will serve us better in the long run."

Chief among the big reveals Tuesday were that the White Sox plan to give rookie Charlie Tilson the first look as their everyday center fielder — if he's physically capable — and that Matt Davidson is in line for a healthy number of plate appearances, too. Also, the White Sox will give a number of high-profile innings this spring to their cache of young, big arms.

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Asked if he had any lineup designs in mind, Renteria said none so far because he's more interested in finding playing time for the club's newest acquisitions.

"Right now I'm thinking about the guys we have in camp and how we're going to be able to get them out to perform, play, show their skills," Renteria said. "We have a lot obviously who are returning, we already know what they're capable of doing. Part of that is balancing getting them ready for the season. The other aspect obviously is seeing some of the other guys we have on the club, making sure we find out what they're capable of doing and what they bring to the table."

What the White Sox still possess is a number of assets that opposing teams might find attractive, including Robertson, Quintana, Nate Jones, Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier, among others. Similar to last spring, when he was willing to add players up until Opening Day, Hahn said he would consider subtractions the rest of the way. Except in the cases of Frazier, Miguel Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera, Brett Lawrie and Derek Holland, Hahn is working without time restraints, which allow him to hang on until he receives the best deal possible.

So while most teams don't normally make trades at this point in the season, Hahn wouldn't be surprised if the inquiries on his players' availability continue. He just won't let it take the focus away from what the White Sox want to accomplish this spring.

"We expect them to continue," Hahn said. "We are going to continue to keep an open mind, and where there's conversations to be had, we will pursue them. At this point, we have had extensive conversations on various fronts, and as we sit here today there's nothing that's gnawing at us or appealing enough to make us move. We are certainly going to keep an open mind, but now the focus tends to shift a little bit to getting ready for the season as opposed to any potential trades."

In stellar return from injured list, only Yoan Moncada's pride hurt in embarrassing tumble

In stellar return from injured list, only Yoan Moncada's pride hurt in embarrassing tumble

On the day he returned from a weeks-long stay on the injured list with a hamstring strain, the sight of Yoan Moncada face-planting coming out of the batter's box was enough to make an entire fan base hold its breath.

Fans weren't alone, either. Asked if his heart skipped a beat when Moncada hit the ground in the seventh-inning, manager Rick Renteria went a step further.

"Two beats," he laughed.

Moncada was fine, it turned out, hurting nothing but his pride on that embarrassing tumble. The longest lasting effect will be the continued ribbing from his teammates. Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez wouldn't let him hear the end of it before, during or after the third baseman's postgame meeting with the media.

"They've been all over me about that," Moncada said through team interpreter Billy Russo. "They say I have weak legs and I need to more work in the gym.

"Everything's good. I have a scratch on my knee, but it's OK."

Other than that on-field folly, Moncada was stellar in his first game back from the IL. He blasted a homer into The Goose Island in his second trip to the plate, a two-run shot that kind of busted things open in what was a dominant 6-1 victory over the visiting Texas Rangers. He added a double in his third at-bat.

Moncada's 2019 slash line is up to .303/.359/.545 after picking up those two extra-base knocks Thursday night, continuing a breakout season that's seen him go from 217 strikeouts in 2018 to the White Sox best hitter a year later.

The 2019 season is about the development of the young, core guys much more than it is about the win-loss record at the end of the year. Moncada is one of those young, core guys, and his big season has been one of the things that has fans and onlookers thinking about 2020 as the year that could see the White Sox move from rebuilding mode to contention mode.

Moncada and the rest of these young White Sox have a handful of weeks remaining in the 2019 to create some momentum for 2020. While offseason additions, the return of a healthy Michael Kopech and the eventual arrivals of top-ranked prospects Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal will have plenty to do with changing the landscape over the coming months, Moncada and Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez and James McCann and Jose Abreu and Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease can move the ball closer to the goal, to borrow a sports metaphor from a different sport, with their efforts over the next month and change.

For Moncada, the easiest way to do that is to simply stay on the field.

"I think our goal right now is just to stay healthy and play as free as we can," he said before Thursday's game. "Just try to do the things we know we can do and just take advantage of being healthy and being on the field.

"I think we're going to have a strong finish to the season and hopefully we're going to carry that to next season."

Fans know that importance, too, still waiting for the young trio of Moncada, Anderson and Jimenez to all play together in a full game for the first time since late June. That was supposed to happen Thursday, before Jimenez was scratched from the lineup with some mild hip soreness that neither general manager Rick Hahn nor Renteria seemed too concerned about.

But that heightened alertness for the health of these young, core players caused that brief second of panic when Moncada hit the dirt Thursday night.

Thankfully for the White Sox, Dr. Renteria got to the bottom of things rather quickly.

"It looked awkward, but you could tell he stumbled out of the box," Renteria said. "He was staying down there for a little bit. That’s when I started getting concerned.

"But when I go out there, he gets up right away. I said, 'You are little embarrassed right now, aren’t you?' He said, ‘No, it’s my knee.’

"I said, ‘You are embarrassed.' And he started smiling. That’s all it was. He was fine."

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Behind the scenes with Lucas Giolito


White Sox Talk Podcast: Behind the scenes with Lucas Giolito

Fresh off his complete game shutout against the Twins, Lucas Giolito goes in-depth with Chuck Garfien about his impressive victory and all that went on behind the scenes.

-What it was like striking out White Sox killer Nelson Cruz to end the game (7:30)

-How he beat a Twins team that's trying to hit a home run almost every time they come to the plate (10:00)

-What it will mean to get 200 strikeouts this season (11:10)

-What's different about the baseball (14:40)

-How he's helped Evan Marshall get in touch with actor Jason Segel (16:10)

-Making it a priority to beat the Twins to win a series against them (17:40)

-What he's doing mentally before each game that's different this year (18:30) and more.

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast


Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.