White Sox

White Sox: Renewed confidence has turned Carlos Sanchez in a threat

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White Sox: Renewed confidence has turned Carlos Sanchez in a threat

SEATTLE -- Two months has made all the difference for Carlos Sanchez.

Whereas he was out of sorts, uncomfortable and hitting a light .160 in mid-June, the White Sox rookie has climbed out of a deep slump and turned around his young career.

On Friday night, Sanchez added a bullet point to a highly productive six-week run with two hits, a walk and a career-high four RBIs, including several late in a White Sox rout of the Seattle Mariners. It’s more evidence that Sanchez, who said he has regained his confidence, might have more pop in his bat than your normal glove-first infielder. Since July 7, Sanchez is hitting .321/.354/.479 with 16 extra-base hits and 14 RBIs.

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“Those times he went through, that’s probably as low as he’s been in this game offensively,” hitting coach Todd Steverson said. “It came down to really learning how to deal with himself again.

“He’s come a long way from where he was and I still think he has more in him. People might look and say he’s a .240 hitting second baseman but look where that .240 came from.”

From May 15 through July 6, Sanchez hit .151/.196/.209 with nine RBIs. He managed to keep his offensive woes from interfering with his defense, but Sanchez struggled far worse than he ever had at any time in his pro career.

Steverson said Sanchez looked at every aspect of his approach as he tried to get back on track but ultimately it came down to being ready to hit the fastball and building from there.

That led to Friday’s performance, where he appeared to put the game out of reach with a two-run double off Felix Hernandez in the sixth inning. After Seattle made it a game again, Sanchez twice more helped the White Sox extend their lead with a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning and an RBI double in the ninth.

“He’s now to the point where he’s just not trying to survive anymore,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “To be a winning player and to be able to do things to help the team win -- and not that he wasn’t always doing that before -- but sometimes when you’re not doing well survival becomes the first thought. Now he’s very confident going into games and he can help us do something. He’s very valuable for us down in the bottom of the lineup.”

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Sanchez said his success has been predicated off improved pitch selection. He and Steverson worked hard to get Sanchez in the right frame of mind to be ready to hit the fastball and everything took off from there.

“The first thing is to swing at good pitches and then be on time,” Sanchez said. “I’m really comfortable. It feels good to help the team.”

Ventura knows the feeling from his own career. He believes Sanchez can only benefit from his slow climb back from the depths.

“When you struggle and your livelihood is put in jeopardy and you’re able to make it back, in his mind now he’s a big leaguer and he knows he can play here and he knows he can go against the best just like he did last night and be able to get some hits and be successful and that’s a big step for a young kid because this game, for a lot of young guys, can bring you to your knees,” Ventura said. “He was pretty close to that early in the year when he first came up.”

Michael Kopech electric in start vs. Pawtucket

Michael Kopech electric in start vs. Pawtucket

The Charlotte Knights took on the Pawtucket Red Sox on Thursday night in a high-profile minor league game due to White Sox No. 2 prospect Michael Kopech being on the mound. 

Kopech, the 22-yearold old flame throwing right-hander, has been collecting impressive strikeout totals but has struggled with his control. He had issued 15 walks over his last five starts, and prior to Thursday's game his ERA was 4.48. But Kopech shined in all facets against Pawtucket.

In six innings of work, Kopech allowed one earned run on seven hits, and had nine strikeouts. But the most important part of his game was that fact that he only issued one walk in the start.

Prior to Thursday's game, Kopech had 122 strikeouts and 57 walks over 88.1 innings pitched. If he continues to cut down his walks he will become a very efficient pitcher in the future. 

But the performance is important in the context of the White Sox losing season, as a lack of control is perhaps the last thing holding Kopech back from being able to make his major league debut.

 

Lucas Giolito has some fun with the not so dark side of his Twitter history

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USA TODAY

Lucas Giolito has some fun with the not so dark side of his Twitter history

White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito isn't having a great season, but at least it looks like his Twitter account could pass a background check.

A Twitter user dug through some of Giolito's tweets from his teenage years. He didn't find much in the way of hateful, mean or angry tweets. Instead, he found candy, touch tanks at the aquarium and animated movies.

The tweet got plenty of attention on the platform, leading Giolito to comment on it. Giolito took the joke with a good sense of humor and made a joke at his own expense.

This kind of makes you wonder what else would qualify as Giolito's "dark side." Maybe this will spawn a series of Lucas Giolito facts like the very tame version of Chuck Norris or The Most Interesting Man in the World.