White Sox

White Sox reliever Nate Jones sore after close call but doesn't expect to miss World Baseball Classic

White Sox reliever Nate Jones sore after close call but doesn't expect to miss World Baseball Classic

GLENDALE, Ariz. — He's sore on Thursday after taking a comebacker off his knee a day earlier, but Nate Jones is encouraged after walking off the field without any assistance.

The White Sox reliever is temporarily out of action after Wednesday's scare, when he took a one-hopper off his right knee. Even so, Jones — who went 5-3 with three saves, a 2.11 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings last season — said he doesn't expect to miss the World Baseball Classic. He and closer David Robertson are headed for Miami on Monday to join workouts for Team USA, which plays its first game on March 10. Jose Quintana (Colombia), Miguel Gonzalez (Mexico) and Giovanni Soto (Puerto Rico) are also participating in the WBC.

"A little sore this morning, but the stability is good so it's all good," Jones said. "Just be sore for a couple days. Take it easy today, get after it tomorrow.

"Once you mess with your foundation, your knees and legs and feet, it's a little scary for sure. It got me right on the nerve, so went down pretty quick."

[MORE WHITE SOX: Don Cooper sees positives after White Sox prospects take lumps in first outings]

Jones said the club planned to be cautious with him on Thursday but believes he'd be able to participate on Friday. He recorded two outs in the seventh inning on Wednesday but immediately limped off the field after he was struck with the one-hopper off the bat of Arizona's Ildemaro Vargas. Jones' leg bore a huge red mark and bruising on the right side of his right leg just below his knee cap. He said the hamstring connects where he was hit, which could lead to soreness there, too.

Still, after the closest call of his career, Jones feels fortunate.

"It got me right on that nerve, got some feeling back but it was sore and tight walking off," Jones said. "We've seen guys blow out their knee before, so to walk off was encouraging."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What should be the plan to call up the White Sox prospects?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What should be the plan to call up the White Sox prospects?

SportsTalk Live is on location for White Sox Authentic Fan Night. Phil Rogers (MLB Network), Mark Carman (WGN Radio), David DeJesus and Ozzie Guillen join Kap to talk about Manny Machado Mania, Anthony Rizzo’s struggles and the White Sox plans for calling up their best prospects. 

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

White Sox add Alex Presley at Triple-A, another veteran outfielder who could factor into 2018 plans for banged-up outfield

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USA TODAY

White Sox add Alex Presley at Triple-A, another veteran outfielder who could factor into 2018 plans for banged-up outfield

Not long after the White Sox brought Michael Saunders into the organization, another outfielder with major league experience is joining Triple-A Charlotte.

Alex Presley — a 32-year-old who played 71 games last season for the Detroit Tigers and has also spent time with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers — is the latest addition to the Knights’ outfield. He’s a guy who could potentially be used to help the White Sox outfield, which has seen two Opening Day players go on the disabled list for extended periods of time.

Avisail Garcia is in his fifth week on the DL while dealing with a Grade 2 hamstring strain. Nicky Delmonico is expected to miss the next four to six weeks while recovering from a broken bone in his hand. The White Sox might feel that the collection of Adam Engel, Trayce Thompson, Leury Garcia and Daniel Palka might be enough to get them through those injuries. But the results have not been great from that group. Engel and Thompson are both hitting under .200, while Leury Garcia and Palka have on-base percentages just above .300.

Presley, like Saunders, could be an option for a midseason promotion should he hit well in the minors. He hit .314 with a .354 on-base percentage in those 71 games with the Tigers last season. This year, he was playing in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization, where he hit .275 with a .347 on-base percentage in 26 games.

It’s possible we won’t see either veteran outfielder on the South Side this season (though having Presley here for Elvis Night would be pretty excellent), but it gives the White Sox options should the lack of production from their current crop of outfielders and the injuries to Avisail Garcia and Delmonico keep them out longer.

It’s also quite possible that none of the names mentioned to this point will have a role to play in this team’s long-term future, not an outlandish thought considering Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Micker Adolfo, Blake Rutherford and Luis Alexander Basabe are all still developing in the minor leagues.