White Sox

White Sox promote Tyler Saladino, immediately start him

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White Sox promote Tyler Saladino, immediately start him

He heard he’d make his major league debut as he walked in the door on Friday, but 10 minutes later Tyler Saladino had to check the lineup card “just to make sure.”

About 24 hours after he learned of his promotion from Triple-A Charlotte, Saladino, a seventh-round pick in 2010, joined his new White Sox teammates in the cozy confines of the visiting clubhouse at Wrigley Field.

Saladino who started at third base and hit second for the White Sox in the opener of their three-game series with the Cubs, couldn’t shake the grin from his face as he made his way through the clubhouse on a “surreal day.”

“It’s definitely a different ballpark,” Saladino said. “I haven’t seen anything as big as this, but it’s still kind of surreal. At the same time, game starts in a few hours, so I’m getting ready for that.

“It’s a blessing for sure. Obviously it’s a dream I’ve been chasing my whole life, and it means a lot and I just want to make the most of it. I’m ready to go.”

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

Looking for a spark on offense, the White Sox like Saladino’s ability to play each infield position and hope he can hit. Saladino, who had Tommy John surgery last season, hit .280 in 25 spring training at-bats. He experienced shoulder tendonitis earlier this season -- he’s fine now -- but got out to a slow start. But over the past 22 games at Charlotte, Saladino has a .289/.364/.458 slash line with four home runs and 19 RBIs in 99 plate appearances.

“He knows the game, he knows how to work the count,” hitting coach Todd Steverson said. “He showed in spring training he has the ability to hit the ball to all fields, he works on his game, he has a pretty simplistic approach, which is nice when you come up here. He may have a few nerves … Let’s see how it plays out for him.”

The White Sox liked how Saladino hit in 2014 before his elbow injury.

They also like his versatility on the infield. A shortstop by trade (426 of his 533 minor-league games have come there), Saladino has appeared twice at third base this season. But he also played there enough in spring to feel comfortable, he said. Even though the coaching staff likes what they know of Saladino, nothing has been etched in stone.

“We’ll get through today first before we make a definite plan and anchor somebody over there,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

[MORE: Jeff Samardzija finding his groove before returning to Wrigley Field]

On an emotional high, Saladino was still looking for the ground after a wild 24 hours that began with an earlymorning phone call. He didn’t remember to pack everything and made phone calls to family, hung out with roommate Trayce Thompson and then realized he only had a few hours before his flight to Chicago. Saladino arrived at 6:30 p.m.

The instant he walked in the clubhouse Friday, Saladino was greeted by Ventura, who informed him he was in the lineup. Ventura also gave Saladino crucial information about the visiting clubhouse and sent him on his way.

He wasn’t sure he’d be in the lineup but Saladino said he wasn’t overwhelmed by the news, either.

“It’s just like any other day -- you have to be ready no matter what,” Saladino said. “I didn’t know what to expect, so I just treat it like any other day and be ready to play.”

Who knew? Stat nuggets from the White Sox pre-All-Star break season

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USA TODAY

Who knew? Stat nuggets from the White Sox pre-All-Star break season

It’s the All-Star Break, so why not take a look back at the first 58.6% of the White Sox season.

 

They may not be contending quite yet, but there have been several interesting moments. 

 

Focusing on the hitters, let’s take a look at ten amazing achievements this season.  And while there may be several to list for some players, I’m going to limit it to one fact per player.  Let’s go.

 

  • On March 29 (Opening Day), Matt Davidson became the 1st player in MLB history to hit 3 Home Runs in a game in March.
  • On April 23, Yoán Moncada (22 years, 331 days) became the youngest player in White Sox history with a double, triple & HR in the same game, passing Tito Francona (24 years, 205 days) on 5/28/1958.
  • Daniel Palka recorded a triple on May 22nd, making him the first player in White Sox history with 3 triples & 3 HR within his first 20 career MLB games.
  • On July 3, Palka (LF) & Avisaíl García (RF) became the second pair of White Sox outfielders to each hit 2 HR in the same game; the other pair? Minnie Miñoso (LF) and Larry Doby (CF) on July 30, 1957.
  • On May 28, Matt Skole became the first player in White Sox history with a home run AND a walk in his MLB Debut.
  • The lone White Sox walkoff Home Run of 2018 was off the bat of a player who hit .116 for the Sox this season (Trayce Thompson on May 3 – he went 14 for 121 this season for the Southsiders).
  • The White Sox have started a game with backto-back home runs four times in franchise history. 9/2/1937, 7/4/2000, 9/2/2017 & 6/12/2018.  Each of the last 2 times, Yolmer Sánchez hit the second home run.
  • On June 23, Tim Anderson became the first White Sox shortstop ever to homer on his birthday.
  • On June 27, José Abreu hit his 136th career HR and passed Minnie Miñoso for most by a Cubanborn player in White Sox history.  He hit one more since.
  • Leury García managed to become the first White Sox player with at least 10 stolen bases (he has 10) without being caught before the AllStar Break since Mike Cameron (13 for 13) in 1997.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

With the White Sox in the middle of a rebuild, Chuck Garfien spoke with 3 Houston Astros All-Stars who explained how they went from a rebuilding team to World Series champions. Jose Altuve, George Springer and Alex Bregman talk about how they dealt with losing, how they learned how to win, the importance of adding veterans to the young core, and how they kept hope alive during the rebuild.  Then later, Chuck spoke with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain trying to understand how he dominated the White Sox for so many years.