White Sox

White Sox send Miguel Gonzalez to Triple-A to start

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White Sox send Miguel Gonzalez to Triple-A to start

OAKLAND, Calif. — The White Sox aren’t concerned about Miguel Gonzalez’s fastball velocity after the way he finished the spring.

General manager Rick Hahn said on Monday that Gonzalez — who signed a minor-league deal with the club on Sunday after he had been released by the Baltimore Orioles — would start the season at Triple-A Charlotte. Though financial terms of the deal for Gonzalez were not disclosed, Hahn said the agreement doesn’t include an opt-out date.

But starting at Charlotte allows the White Sox an opportunity to see what they have in Gonzalez, who struggled last season, going 9-12 with a 4.91 ERA.

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“We had sort of mixed reports on the velocity,” Hahn said. “Some of it was down early and then it was back to its normal form in the later starts, from what our scouts saw. We’ll get to know him a little bit and see if there are certain things we can do to get him back on track. Obviously it’s a guy with a pretty solid record of success between 12-14. 15 went a little bit sideways, and this spring was not his norm. We’ll find out together what we’ve got and put him in the mix to potentially help us down the road.”

If there’s one area the White Sox could use an extra body or two, it's starting pitching.

Mat Latos is coming off two straight seasons of injuries. And while the team has started to see progress from the right-hander, he still hasn’t pitched past beyond the fifth inning in any start.

Hahn said he believes the team still hasn’t seen the best from Latos, who pitched four scoreless innings in San Diego on Friday before he allowed three runs in his final frame.

Beyond Latos and John Danks, the White Sox don’t have a lot of proven arms.

[MORE: White Sox elect to start Dioner Navarro after Sonny Gray is scratched]

You could make a strong case for Carson Fulmer — whom was drafted with the eighth pick in last June — as the team’s best minor-league option to pitch. Fulmer made big strides in spring camp with the addition of a cut-fastball and an alteration to his changeup grip. But ideally, the White Sox would like to give him more time to develop at Double-A Birmingham.

Gonzalez has a strong track record of success in the majors. From 2012-14, he went 30-21 with a 3.45 ERA. The White Sox would love to first turn to Gonzalez if they needed another arm.

“If he gets it right, he's a pretty good pitcher,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You've seen in the past do that. I think everybody's looking for pitching and he's got a chance if he pitches well. If something happens up here we'll use him.

“Everybody would like to have some depth.”

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.