White Sox

As Jon Jay officially joins White Sox, Charlie Tilson becomes victim of roster crunch

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USA TODAY

As Jon Jay officially joins White Sox, Charlie Tilson becomes victim of roster crunch

Jon Jay is officially a member of the White Sox. Next on the to-do list? Complete the "Miami Baseball Brotherhood" with mega free agent Manny Machado.

That still hasn't happened, as Machado has gone more than nine days into 2019 without picking between the White Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees. If he were to choose to sign up with Jay, good friend and winter workout buddy, and Yonder Alonso, good friend and winter workout buddy and brother-in-law, and the White Sox, that would be the start of a brand new era of baseball on the South Side.

An era now officially underway is the one specifically involving Jay, who figures to play a large role in the team's outfield plans during the 2019 season. While the biggest addition there will be Eloy Jimenez once he arrives from the minor leagues a couple weeks into April, Jay provides an offensive upgrade and a defensive upgrade in the wake of the non-tendering of Avisail Garcia. He's a high on-base guy who can give the White Sox more of the kinds of at-bats they're hoping to see from their young players. And alongside Adam Engel, he gives the White Sox a pair of 2018 Gold Glove finalists in the outfield.

Daniel Palka will probably still get his opportunities in right field, especially if his dedication to improving his defense pays off after a 27-homer rookie season. But those perhaps won't be quite as prevalent now that Jay is in the fold.

Jay's biggest contributions, though, will likely come off the field. He earns rave reviews as a positive clubhouse presence, another thing the White Sox needed as the rest of their roster is young and getting younger. He can lean on his wealth of playoff experience from his time with the Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals and show the youngsters how to do things the right way, something that will surely be appreciated by manager Rick Renteria and the White Sox front office.

One era that appears to be ending with Jay's official addition to the roster, though, is the one involving Charlie Tilson, who was designated for assignment as the corresponding move. While the loss of Tilson — the Wilmette native who slashed .264/.331/.292 in only 41 big league games last season — might not be a huge one, it's the start of a 40-man roster crunch that will take place over the remainder of the offseason. The White Sox have been active, so perhaps there aren't too many more additions to be made. But there's the possibility of Machado coming to the South Side and the need for one more starting pitcher, at the very least, which means Tilson is likely not the last person to lose his 40-man spot this winter.

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Prospects Zack Burdi, Luis Basabe to begin rehab stints in White Sox minors

Prospects Zack Burdi, Luis Basabe to begin rehab stints in White Sox minors

Tommy John surgeries have knocked out two top White Sox pitching prospects for 2019 (Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning), but one pitching prospect is set to make a notable step in his return from the surgery.

Zack Burdi will join Single-A Kannapolis on a rehab stint on Monday. Burdi had Tommy John surgery in July of 2017. In his first game action since the surgery, he made seven appearances last August with the Arizona League White Sox (rookie level). The Downers Grove native made five more appearances in the Arizona Fall League before being pulled from the league due to “general fatigue.” He talked about his recovery process on an episode of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

In spring training, Burdi was not invited to major league camp and he wasn’t on a minor league roster when the season began. With this news, he is set to hit another milestone in his return. If all goes well in Kannapolis, it is expected that Burdi will join Triple-A Charlotte, where he was in 2017 when he got hurt.

If Burdi can recapture his stuff, which profiled him as a back end of the bullpen pitcher, he could even join the White Sox sometime in 2019. He has to show he is healthy and back to his old self first though. The 24-year-old was taken with the 26th pick in the 2016 draft and is the No. 16 prospect in the system according to MLB Pipeline.

Another prospect will be joining Burdi in Kannapolis on a rehab assignment. Outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, No. 7 prospect in the system, will also join the Intimidators on Monday. Basabe broke the hamate bone in his left hand during batting practice in spring training. It was initially estimated that he would return in late May, so Basabe appears to be ahead of schedule. The 22-year-old spent the second half of 2019 with Double-A Birmingham and is expected to return there after rehabbing with Kannapolis.

Elsewhere on the White Sox prospect injury watch, Luis Robert left a game on Saturday with soreness in his left hand and is reportedly day-to-day. He was hit by a pitch in the first game of a doubleheader for Single-A Winston-Salem. He made one at-bat in the second game, a leadoff groundout, and then was taken out of the game. He did not play on Sunday.

Robert endured an injury-plagued 2018. He was limited to 50 games, but has been on fire early in 2019. Robert leads the Carolina League in batting average (.475), home runs (6), hits (28), runs (16), on-base percentage (.530) and slugging percentage (.915) and is tied for the league lead in RBIs (18) and stolen bases (7).

 

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Saturday's White Sox-Tigers game postponed due to rain; makeup scheduled for August

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USA TODAY

Saturday's White Sox-Tigers game postponed due to rain; makeup scheduled for August

The White Sox and Tigers were likely to start Saturday's game (12:10 p.m. CT) in a rain delay. Instead, the game has been pushed back altogether.

With rain expected all afternoon in Detroit, Saturday's game has been postponed. A makeup is scheduled for Aug. 6 at 12:10 p.m. as part of a split doubleheader. The originally scheduled game will start at 6:10 p.m. CT.

According to a press release, all paid tickets from Saturday's game will be valid for the first game of the doubleheader.

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