White Sox

Without making MLB debut, White Sox catcher Kevan Smith heads to DL

Without making MLB debut, White Sox catcher Kevan Smith heads to DL

He has yet to make a major league appearance, but Kevan Smith is already heading to the disabled list.

The White Sox announced that Smith — who was called up Sunday when Alex Avila went on the disabled list — has been placed on the DL retroactive to April 24 with sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Smith was promoted from Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday after going 4-for-28 with a pair of home runs in eight games. He was slated to make his big league debut in Monday's series opener against the Blue Jays but was a late scratch with back spasms.

To replace Smith on the active roster, the White Sox purchased the contract of Hector Sanchez, who the team signed to a minor league deal this winter.

Sanchez played in 244 games with the Giants from 2011 to 2015, posting a .240 batting average in 597 at-bats.

White Sox Talk Podcast: How the Adam Eaton/Todd Frazier fight helped start the White Sox rebuild

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: How the Adam Eaton/Todd Frazier fight helped start the White Sox rebuild

Adam Eaton and Todd Frazier might not be with the White Sox anymore, but their feud in 2016 helped pave the way for the White Sox rebuild and why the franchise is where it is today.

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka go over the events of that crazy, fateful 2016 season that caused the White Sox to eventually trade Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Eaton, Frazier and many others (1:10). It started with the Adam and Drake LaRoche saga during spring training (2:40) and the dysfunction that occurred after that (07:00).

How and why things unraveled after their 23-10 start and the fight in the clubhouse between Eaton and Frazier (13:00). The problems continued with Chris Sale cutting up the throwback jerseys and remains alive today with the latest fighting words on the field and in the press between Eaton and Frazier (17:20). Buckle up for this one.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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In Astros' dominance, White Sox fans might catch a glimpse of their team's future

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USA TODAY

In Astros' dominance, White Sox fans might catch a glimpse of their team's future

It might end up an ugly week for the White Sox in Houston. But try to find some beauty in what this Astros team looks like. Because it's what the White Sox hope to look like, eventually.

While White Sox fans were likely staring with a frown at Brad Peacock mowing down their team's lineup and at a couple home runs absolutely blasted out of Minute Maid Park in the first of this four-game series Monday night, know that the inverse of that feeling is what the White Sox front office is hoping to deliver in the coming seasons.

The Astros, along with the Cubs on the North Side of Chicago, are the template for what the White Sox are trying to do with their ongoing rebuilding process. Houston experienced some hideous seasons on the way to becoming a perennial contender and a World Series champion in 2017, losing a combined 416 games in four seasons from 2011 to 2014. In 2015, the Astros made their first postseason appearance in a decade. Two years later, they were the world champs, and they remain an annual title contender and are currently the best team in baseball two years after that.

The first part of that should sound familiar, as the White Sox have lost a combined 195 games in the two seasons since this rebuild officially began. Things are better now than they were during last year's 100-loss campaign, but it's expected to be another season of more losses than wins and another season without a playoff berth on the South Side, which would be the franchise's 11th straight to end without a trip to the postseason.

The second half of the Astros rags-to-riches story is yet to come for the White Sox, who are still waiting for young players to develop at both the major league and minor league levels, still waiting for the entire core to assemble in the big leagues. That includes, right now, waiting for certain players to recover from serious injuries. That includes watching growing pains up and down the organization. It's not unexpected for such things to happen in the middle of a rebuild. But when mired in the losing years, they become constant sources of frustration for fans.

Just like no one in Houston looks back fondly on the 100-loss seasons of 2011, 2012 and 2013, it's unlikely South Side baseball fans will look back fondly on these loss-heavy campaigns. But it's part of the process, as maddening as that might be to keep hearing.

Fortunately, there are examples of what the end of the tunnel looks like, and the White Sox are up against one of those examples this week. The Astros are dominating the competition so far this season, their young core of sluggers and a few overpowering starting pitchers fueling the best team in baseball. George Springer and Jose Altuve might have been out of the lineup Monday night, but Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman were still on display. And none of those guys were the ones to blast home runs halfway to Oklahoma off the White Sox on Rick Renteria's otherwise successful bullpen day. Peacock was traded a few times before landing in Houston, and Justin Verlander and Geritt Cole were trade acquisitions, as well. All of those guys have made the Astros a formidable force once again.

The White Sox are likely going to have to make a few outside acquisitions, too, before they can finally reach baseball's mountaintop. General manager Rick Hahn says that's the plan. But the homegrown portion of those rosters of the future could resemble what the Astros have put together in recent seasons. Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Nick Madrigal, Zack Collins. That's the planned core on the South Side. And Hahn has a number of young pitchers who could make up a fearsome rotation, too, in Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, Dane Dunning, Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito. There are more names White Sox fans are familiar with who could play big roles, too.

That's a lot of talent, and while White Sox fans might remain skeptical until the wins start coming at an increased rate, the blueprint is there for those pieces to come together and create something special. The blueprint is what's across the field from the White Sox this week in Houston.

The Astros might cause some bad feelings for the White Sox and their fans over the next few nights. But if they look closely, they might catch a glimpse of the White Sox future if this rebuild goes where Hahn & Co. envision it going.

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