White Sox

White Sox purchase contract of Kevan Smith as Geovany Soto placed on 10-day disabled list

White Sox purchase contract of Kevan Smith as Geovany Soto placed on 10-day disabled list

CLEVELAND — Geovany Soto is on the 10-day disabled list after he experienced abnormal pain while making a routine throw. The White Sox placed Soto on the disabled list on Thursday afternoon and purchased the contract of catcher Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte.

Soto said an MRI determined everything in his elbow to be "fairly OK." The veteran said he's experiencing forearm tightness and is hopeful that 10 days of treatment will have him ready to return soon.

"We all play with aches and pains," Soto said. "But it comes to a time where it's kind of weird, it's not the same and I have to listen to my body at some point.

"It showed no tear.

"This kind of came out of the blue. Went to throw a ball and something felt a little weird, you know, a little more than what you're used to normal soreness. It kind of spooked me a little bit. It was a little different from your normal wear and tear. I had an MRI, everything was fairly OK. Had a couple floaters in there. Hopefully with medication and some treatment we can pass this."

Smith appeared in seven games for the White Sox in 2016 and finished with two hits in 16 at-bats. While he hoped he'd make the team out of camp, Smith said he got over his disappointment after a few days. Smith got off to an outstanding start with the bat at Charlotte hitting .438/.500/.563 with nine RBIs in 20 plate appearances.

"Obviously it's a tough pill to swallow to go back down there, but after I had a few days to digest it, I kind of understood what my role was," Smith said. "I really locked in on what they wanted me to do and took it to heart. I was working with those guys every day down there and talking about small things like reading hitters or pitch selection or just even the flow of the game.

"Unfortunately, Soto's elbow is bothering him a little bit. It's going to give me an opportunity. That's basically all I asked for. That's what I asked for this spring. It's just, you work so hard your whole life and basically for these small windows of opportunities. This is one of them and I'm going to do everything in my power to take advantage of it and go with it."

Soto had been off to a strong start for the White Sox. He homered three times in his first five games.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Luis Robert does things that make you say wow

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Luis Robert does things that make you say wow

Luis Robert has been a big story in the Arizona Fall League. He recently had a 14-game hitting streak and was named the AFL Player of the Week. Chuck Garfien went to Arizona for a firsthand look at one of the White Sox top prospects. On the podcast, Garfien first speaks with Robert’s minor league hitting coach Charlie Poe. Then he talks with Mike Ferrin of MLB Network Radio about Robert as well as the White Sox reported pursuit of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

03:24 - Poe on Robert’s 14-game hitting streak 

04:30 - Robert’s new favorite English word to say 

07:25 - Why Poe compares Winston-Salem manager Omar Vizquel to Prince 

09:10 - Why other top prospects stop what they’re doing whenever Robert comes to the plate. 

11:00 - Mike Ferrin talks about his impressions of Robert

18:00 - Can the White Sox sign Harper or Machado?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast

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White Sox free-agent focus: J.A. Happ

White Sox free-agent focus: J.A. Happ

This week, we’re profiling some of the biggest names on the free-agent market and taking a look at what kind of fits they are for the White Sox.

The White Sox need starting pitching. So why not take a cue from the fine folks at Jewel and think local?

J.A. Happ is an Illinois native and attended Northwestern, and he’s a free-agent starting pitcher coming off a mighty fine season in 2018. Following a midseason trade to the New York Yankees, he posted a 2.59 ERA in 11 starts. While his numbers vastly improved after he left the Toronto Blue Jays, he finished the 2018 campaign with a career-high 193 strikeouts. In addition to last year’s success in the Bronx, he had an ERA under 4.00 in each of the three seasons prior, playing in Toronto in 2016 and 2017 and splitting time between the Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015.

What Happ doesn’t seem to be, however, is a long-term option. He just turned 36 years old, meaning he likely doesn’t align with the White Sox rebuilding timeline and the planned opening of the team’s contention window.

What Happ could do, however, is serve as a bridge (however long) to that future, a future where Michael Kopech is recovered from his Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease has reached the major leagues. You could certainly do much worse than Happ when it comes to finding a one- or two-year fill-in, and the White Sox were reportedly "working to sign" Happ during last week's GM Meetings in Southern California.

Happ would also serve as a veteran presence and potential mentor for the team’s young pitchers, the kind of role James Shields filled last season. Rick Hahn discussed the importance of that role last week.

“Having someone in there who provides a level of stability for the rotation and dependability every fifth day has some appeal that you would allow young players to go through some of the growing pains that are inevitable in their development,” Hahn said. “Having someone who can play that veteran, mentor role who can help teach guys whether it's from a game prep standpoint ... or any level of alteration with certain pitches, which is where James had the biggest impact in the minors.

“Having a guy who can play that role has appeal. It's not just what a guy can do between the white lines, it's what a guy can do for you in the clubhouse, is part of this equation.”

Happ might not stoke fans’ imaginations in the same way fellow free agents like Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel might. But he’s a more realistic option that would allow the White Sox to continue to develop a homegrown rotation of the future.

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