White Sox

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).

 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: MLB season teetering on the brink

rob-manfred-0222.png
USA Today

SportsTalk Live Podcast: MLB season teetering on the brink

Chuck Garfien, Charlie Roumeliotis and Mark Carman join Kap on a Friday edition of SportsTalk Live. 

The stalemate continues between MLB owners and players. Will the two sides come to their sense? How close are we to the drop dead date to get a season started on time?

The NHL has a plan. The Blackhawks are a part of it. Do they have enough championship experience to go on a deep playoff run?

Later, Ken Rosenthal joins Kap to talk about the differences between baseball’s owners and players as they discuss how to start the season.

Meanwhile, the NBA is targeting a late July return. Would the Bulls be better off if they were not a part of the league’s restart plans? 

0:00 - The MLB season is teetering on the brink. When will it be too late to start a season? And are the owners and players risking the death of the league if they can’t come to an agreement?
6:30 - The NHL has a restart plan and the Blackhawks will be a part of it. So can they go on a run?
9:00 - Ken Rosenthal join Kap to talk about the stalemate between the MLB owners and players. 
19:00 - The NBA is looking to restart its season. Would the Bulls be better off not taking part?

Listen here or below.

Sports Talk Live Podcast

Subscribe:

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

Major League Baseball swinging and missing on big opportunity

Major League Baseball swinging and missing on big opportunity

Major League Baseball was lobbed an 0-2 pitch right over the center of the plate. Not only did it swing and miss, it fell over into a cloud of dust.

In the middle of a global pandemic, baseball had a chance to be America’s symbol of hope. Summer’s pastime should have been a rallying cry and a source of healing. And with that would have come a vast number of eyeballs, new fans and high television ratings.

The long-term gain for baseball was obvious. All it needed was leaders of the game to come together with cool heads and good faith to hash out an agreement.

Apparently, that wasn’t possible.

I’m using past tense because it feels like the damage has already been done. I still believe baseball will be played in 2020, but the potential goodwill that could have been built up with fans feels lost.

The easy thing to do is blame the players for being greedy. But would you do your job for 25 percent of your salary, as some players are being asked to do?

But this is an extraordinary situation and these millionaires have plenty of money and are just playing a game!

That’s way too simplistic of a view that lacks decades of context between baseball’s players and owners, but the players still showed some awareness of that line of thinking when they agreed to prorated salaries back in March. This is a sport with guaranteed contracts and the players agreed that if they only play half the games, they should only receive half of their money. In return, the owners agreed to grant players full service time in 2020 no matter how many games are played.

It was a common-sense agreement in the midst of a crisis and suggested that goodwill could be built up in a sport that hasn’t had very much trust over the last few years.

But two months later, the situation is very different. The owners, perhaps with the realities of their short-term losses setting in, are asking the players to take even more cuts. The players have balked. The fans have lost.

There’s been a lot of extreme rhetoric during these negotiations, but this independent piece by entrepreneur Roger Ehnrenberg does a good job of explaining why owners are essentially asking players to finance their short-term losses from COVID-19.

Ehnrenberg writes: “During COVID-19, there has been a short-term hit to asset value as ticket sales, ad revenues, merchandise sales, etc. have slowed to a trickle. The owners have fixed costs (like stadium leases and/or maintenance, supporting the farm system and supposedly player contracts) that need to be covered regardless of revenues, so on a cash flow basis the lack of baseball is costing them real cash. But guess what — this is what being an equity owner is — benefiting from the ups but paying for the downs. But that’s not what the owners want — they want their highly compensated employees to cushion the blow, without any return for what is an implicit financing of the owners by these players.”

Look at it like this: If players insisted on receiving their full, already agreed-upon prorated salaries, but also agreed to defer the payments in effort to help cash flow problems in 2020, they’d essentially be financing the owners with zero interest. From a business perspective, this alone would be a generous offer from the players and multiple sources have told NBC Sports Chicago that deferred payments could end up being the compromise in this situation.

But the proposal sent to the MLBPA earlier this week asked for more. At this point, the players are not expected to respond to that proposal. Instead, they’ll come up with their own proposal.

Ehrenberg details other conventional ways owners can cover their short-term losses. For example, they could secure a bank loan. Or, on the more extreme end, they could sell part of the team.

“This is the way things work in the real business world,” he writes.

The smart move is for baseball to embrace the long-term gains that can come with getting back on the field and being a symbol of hope in America. This would bring new fans to the game and heal wounds with others that have left the game.

Operating in good faith and assuming a short-term financial hit might not be the easy thing for owners to do, but it is the right thing to do for baseball. The money and profits will still be there in the future and there will be more of it if the sport is able to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.

Instead, Major League Baseball is alienating its players and fans even more than it has in the past. What’s especially concerning is the impact the current disagreements will have on the next labor negotiations in 2021.

The quick, sensible negotiations in March pointed to potential peace and respect between the two sides. Indeed, this was an opportunity for owners to regain the trust that has eroded over the last three years. Instead, that opportunity appears to be lost.

Baseball can’t stomach the complete loss of the 2020 season. Add in a labor strife when the current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2021? Ouch.

Someone in Major League Baseball must see the damage that is being done. The 0-2 pitch right down the middle was spoiled. Perhaps there’s still a chance to get back in the game.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.