White Sox

Dempster progressing, but no timetable yet

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Dempster progressing, but no timetable yet

Manager Dale Sveum said Ryan Dempster was a "shoe-in" to represent the Cubs in the All-Star Game next month before the veteran wound up on the disabled list.

Dempster, who has been out since June 18 with a strained right lat muscle, will not return until after the All-Star break. However, the 35-year-old right-hander was progressing and planned to throw from 120 feet on flat ground Friday.

"Everything's been on schedule as far as what we're trying to do and the procress of him getting better each time he throws the ball," Sveum said. "There's no timetable for anything yet, but we'll monitor it and hopefully everything keeps going well...That will be big to see how he feels after 120 feet."

Dempster got off to a blazing hot start to the season with a 2.11 ERA and 1.03 WHIP and figures to be one of the Cubs' most coveted assets on the trade market, but the organization won't rush him back just to get a deal done.

"The earliest would be sometime right after the All-Star break," Sveum said. "We're still going to make sure everything's good and he holds up to whatever he can tolerate."

Randy Wells took Dempster's place in the rotation for the last two starts, but was designated for assignment after his start on Tuesday, leaving a hole in the Cubs' rotation.

"There are a couple options right now, but we'll probably finalize it today after the game," Sveum said Friday. "We have Coleman. It'll be Volstad's day to throw. Those are a couple of the options that we're just kind of weighing right now."

Volstad started the season in the Cubs' rotation, but carried a 7.46 ERA and 1.61 WHIP through eight starts. He was 0-6 and opposing batters were hitting .302 off him. He was sent down to Triple-A, where he has a 4.44 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in eight starts.

Wells began the year in Triple-A before joining the big-league bullpen in late May. He started two games in Dempster's absence, but walked eight batters in 6.2 innings and saw his ERA and WHIP rise to 5.34 and 2.06, respectively.

Coleman made 17 starts for the Cubs last season, but also boasts a 7.32 ERA after surrendering seven runs in 1.2 innings Wednesday against the Mets.

The Cubs don't need to make a decision with their rotation until Monday.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

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

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

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USA TODAY

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

One thing you better do if you play for Rick Renteria is run to first base.

Yet again, Renteria benched one of his players Monday for the sin of not hustling down the line.

Welington Castillo, a veteran, not a developing player in need of ample “learning experiences,” popped up to first base with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth inning of Monday’s eventual 3-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles. He did not run down to first, instead staying at home plate.

So when the inning ended and the White Sox took the field, Castillo stayed in the dugout.

Ricky’s boys don’t quit, or so the slogan goes. But what happens when a player doesn’t live up to that mantra? What happens when they don’t play their absolute hardest for all 27 outs, as the T-shirts preach? This is what happens. A benching.

“It was towering fly ball in the infield at first, probably had 15, 20 seconds of hangtime,” Renteria explained after the game. “I assumed the dropped ball. It has occurred. He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way.

“That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest, it truly is. Maybe he was just frustrated in that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all. And you guys have heard me talk to all the guys about at least giving an opportunity to move in that particular direction.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, 99 out of (100) times he’s going to catch that ball.’ And then that one time that he doesn’t, what would I do if the ball had been dropped? Would it have made it easier to pull him? Well, it was just as easy because you expect not the best, but the worst.

“That is uncharacteristic of that young man. I had a quick conversation with him on the bench, and he knew and that was it.”

It might seem a little overdramatic, a little nutty, even, to sit down a veteran catcher brought in this offseason to provide some offense and to do it in a one-run game. But this rebuild is about more than just waiting around for the minor league talent to make its way to the South Side. It’s about developing an organizational culture, too. And Renteria feels that if he lets this kind of thing slide at the big league level, that won’t send the right message to those precious prospects who will one day fill out this lineup.

“There’s one way to do it, you get your action, you start moving toward that direction in which you’ve got to go,” Renteria said. “What would’ve happened if everybody’s watching it — and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, (but also for) everybody in the minor leagues — and they’re saying, ‘Well, at the top, they said they’re going to do this and then they don’t do it.’

“It’s really simple. And people might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this, do that so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened in 2018. Avisail Garcia was taken out of a game during spring training for not giving maximum effort. Leury Garcia was removed from a game earlier this month for not busting it down the first-base line on a weak grounder that went right to the first baseman.

It’s become a somewhat common tactic for Renteria, and while it might strike some as taking things a little too seriously, what good is this developmental season if a culture goes undeveloped? The White Sox have placed their bright future, in part, in Renteria’s hands, and they’ve talked glowingly about how the players have bought into his style and how the team played last season under his leadership.

If Renteria truly is the right man for the rebuild, things like this are how he’s going to establish his culture. And it will, he hopes, impact how all those prospects play when they’re no longer prospects and the White Sox are contending for championships.