Ian Hamilton

Dylan Covey sent down to Triple-A with Tim Anderson back from paternity leave

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USA TODAY

Dylan Covey sent down to Triple-A with Tim Anderson back from paternity leave

After struggling in his second outing of the season on Monday, Dylan Covey has been sent down by the White Sox.

With Tim Anderson coming off the paternity list following the birth of his and his wife's second child on Monday, the White Sox optioned Covey to Triple-A Charlotte. Anderson missed both games in Cleveland.

Right-handed reliever Jose Ruiz was added to the roster when Anderson was put on the paternity list. He keeps his roster spot, which makes this move more a swap of Ruiz for Covey.

Covey made two appearances out of the bullpen in the first four games of the season. In his first outing, the season opener, Covey pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings and gave up just one hit. His next time out in Cleveland he failed to record an out against four batters. He intentionally walked the first batter, followed by an error on a ground ball, a single and a walk.

Covey is being shifted into full-time relief duty. The White Sox picked him up in the Rule 5 draft in 2017 and he made 12 starts (18 appearances) with a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings. Last season he made 21 starts (27 appearances) with a 5.18 ERA in 121 2/3 innings.

Ruiz was up with the White Sox last September. He gave up two runs in 4 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and three walks.

Additionally, the White Sox announced Ian Hamilton has been reinstated and optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. Hamilton got into a car accident during spring training and made just one appearance in the Cactus League. He was placed on the injured list on March 26. The 23-year-old could rejoin the White Sox quickly once he gets back in the flow of things in Charlotte.

 

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Alex Colome unsurprisingly named White Sox closer, though bullpen mysteries abound ahead of Opening Day

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USA TODAY

Alex Colome unsurprisingly named White Sox closer, though bullpen mysteries abound ahead of Opening Day

Though Rick Renteria isn't fond of naming one, the White Sox have a closer.

Alex Colome, acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners this offseason, will be the White Sox designated closer when the season starts next week in Kansas City, Renteria shared with reporters Friday in Arizona.

As that tweet shows, Renteria is still very much standing by his philosophy of "having a bunch of different guys who can close out games," not a bad philosophy to have should Colome spend any time on the disabled list, struggle in a significant fashion or just get tired and become unavailable at various points throughout the 162-game season. Regardless of whether Colome is the guy or not — and he is — there will be others Renteria will deploy in save situations. That's just the nature of the game.

But Colome is a no-brainer of a choice here considering what he's done the past two seasons. In 2016, he logged 37 saves with the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2017, he was baseball's saves leader, with 47 of them. He saved 11 more games with the Rays last season before getting traded to the Mariners, where he served in a setup role to last year's saves leader, Edwin Diaz.

In the last three seasons, Colome has a 2.78 ERA and 201 strikeouts in 191.1 innings, many of them high-leverage situations.

Saying Colome is the obvious choice to close is no insult to the other guys in an improved White Sox bullpen. It's a reflection of how good an addition Rick Hahn made this offseason.

Meanwhile, the rest of the bullpen is full of preseason mysteries.

Kelvin Herrera, another offseason upgrade White Sox fans are thrilled is no longer pitching out of the Kansas City Royals' bullpen, is still on the way back from an injury that ended his 2018 season in late August. Nate Jones has had himself a very rough spring (a 15.43 ERA in 4.2 Cactus League innings) and has recently described his outings as "unacceptable." While Renteria said Friday that "the next couple of days are very important" for Jones, it would be quite surprising if he wasn't on the Opening Day roster.

Jace Fry, another projected late-inning option for Renteria, has also had a poor spring, with eight runs allowed in eight innings. Ian Hamilton has made just one Cactus League appearance, recovering from an injury sustained during a car accident this spring. Manny Banuelos, who could be the long man out of the 'pen, has allowed eight earned runs, surrendered three home runs and issued six walks in 14 innings this spring.

Ryan Burr, though, has been a bright spot, with just three runs allowed over his seven outings.

So what will the Opening Day bullpen look like? Assuming it will contain eight pitchers, Colome, Herrera, Jones, Fry, Banuelos and Burr could account for six of them. If Hamilton is healthy, he could get another. Same for Caleb Frare, who also got his first taste of the majors at the end of last season. There are only two other potential relief pitchers currently listed on the White Sox roster: Dylan Covey and Jose Ruiz. Covey could likely only serve as a long man, and with Banuelos out of options, it's Banuelos who seems most destined for that spot after the White Sox made a trade to acquire him this winter. Ruiz could step in in the event Hamilton isn't healthy enough to make the roster out of camp or beat out one of his fellow youngsters for a more secure job.

We'll see how all that plays out. One thing you can mark down in pen: Colome is the ninth-inning man.

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White Sox relievers Ryan Burr and Ian Hamilton recreate notorious Burr-Hamilton duel

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@CHUCKGARFIEN

White Sox relievers Ryan Burr and Ian Hamilton recreate notorious Burr-Hamilton duel

GLENDALE, Ariz. — It’s been 215 years since Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton held their famous duel in Weehawken, N.J. Their long and bitter rivalry ended with Burr famously shooting Hamilton to his death.

But Sunday, the history between these two enemies was re-written, in of all places, the spring training clubhouse of the Chicago White Sox, where a modern-day version of Burr and Hamilton mended fences, settled their differences and became friends in a show of unity.

“Today we rewrote history," White Sox pitcher Ryan Burr said. "We went back in time and revisited the duel and changed the outcome a little bit."

“We came together, it was all about unity at the end," fellow White Sox pitcher Ian Hamilton said. "That’s basically the moral of the story. Don’t fight each other. Come together."

The two relievers with the famous last names have been linked together since becoming teammates with the White Sox Class-A team in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 2017. Sunday, their job was to give the White Sox players, coaches, trainers and front office staff a lesson in U.S. history — and laughter.

Burr and Hamilton surprised everyone by walking into the clubhouse dressed as their namesakes, donning colonial era costumes.

“It was the Party City version of the closest we could find,” Hamilton said.

Burr put together a rough script for both of them to use. They each had a few talking points they wanted to convey to their teammates, many of whom had never heard the story and were probably wondering why Burr and Hamilton looked like they just came from a costume party.

“Nothing too serious, but we kind of winged it,” said Burr, who admitted that he first had to overcome a paralyzing bout of stage fright.

“I was more nervous than maybe I was in my major league debut,” Burr said. “I hate talking in front of people. I don’t know why. It gets me sometimes. I’m glad it’s over.”

Fortunately, this Burr had a friend he could count on in Hamilton.

“He was nervous. He was about to throw up before we were doing it,” Hamilton said. “I was telling him, ‘chill, chill, chill.’ It all ended up good. Lots of laughs.”

How do these two baseball players describe the events of that notorious duel from 1804?

“Hamilton and Burr were political rivals,” Burr explained. “Hamilton was talking smack about him throughout his political career and I think Aaron Burr eventually just had enough and said, you know what, let’s do something in the streets of New Jersey. It became a duel and he shot and killed Alexander Hamilton.”

“I survived for a little bit,” said Hamilton, still in character.

How long did you survive?

“Long enough to go to New York, and then I died.”

“Thanks Wikipedia,” added Burr.

For the record, Burr and Hamilton cannot take credit for this brilliant idea of spring training comedy and unity.

“It came from the higher levels of this organization. We’ll leave it at that for now,” Burr admitted. “They didn’t make us. They just hinted that it would be something that would be good for the team and the clubhouse. There was a gentle push towards doing a skit. We had fun. That’s all that matters.”

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