Andrew Shaw returns and Marian Hossa was in the building today as the Chicago Blackhawks will host the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 6 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series tonight. Shaw was disappointed he had to miss the last three for his hit on Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith in Game 2. He said at the time he was looking for the Blackhawks to hit a Game 6 so he could get another chance.Im thankful the boys pulled it out. Winning these next two would be huge, said Shaw, who isnt going to change his game too much. Im obviously going to play the same way, but maybe stay out of it after the whistles. I have to play between the whistles but Ill still have that gritty play.Coach Joel Quenneville said Shaws energy should be a factor immediately.He was a tough guy to lose because hes useful and versatile in how you use him in the lineup. Hes relentlessly around puck areas, very noticeable, he said. We missed him in certain areas. Just the fact that hes the all-out competitor you like, these guys seem to jump up.With Shaw returning, the healthy forward scratches look to be Brandon Saad, Jamal Mayers and Brandon Bollig. Mayers has been a healthy scratch for three consecutive games after not being one through the regular season. Mayers said it was disappointing, but hell stay prepared.We won the last game and Im focused on that. Its not about me, its about the team, he said. If we move on Ill stay ready and Ill support my teammates.Hossa was here, a good sign that hes at least getting around after that hit he took from Raffi Torres in Game 3. But hes still out for tonight.Its good to see him, Quenneville said. I talked to him last night and (good) seeing him here today. Theres no news, but Im sure his teammates are glad to see him, as well.Meanwhile, Viktor Stalberg will look to erase a rough Game 5 in which he took four minors. Stalberg said Quenneville approached the situation with humor.After the fourth one he put me out there and said, Vik, youre up, try to stay out of the penalty box, OK? and just started dying laughing, Stalberg said. That wasnt what I was expecting, but that was good for me. And I responded by getting out there and was involved in that game-winning goal (by Jonathan Toews). So it felt good to give something back there.
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.
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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.