White Sox

Two White Sox prospects pegged as potential 2026 MLB All-Stars

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USA TODAY

Two White Sox prospects pegged as potential 2026 MLB All-Stars

The year that many White Sox fans have targeted since the rebuild began was 2020. As the rebuild has played out, it looks like that was optimistic for a lot of reasons.

For one, injuries to pitchers like Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning have delayed their impact on the big league club. On top of that, the simple reality is 2020 was just the first year all of the team’s top prospects expected to be in the majors. That says nothing to whether or not that group would be able to contribute in a big way immediately.

The development of Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson early in 2019 has shown that. Both players went through struggles over multiple years in the bigs before showing drastic improvement in the early days of this season.

Still, 2020 expects to be a noteworthy year because all of Kopech, Dylan Cease, Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal, Zack Collins and others are expected to join Moncada, Anderson and Eloy Jimenez on the big league club by sometime in 2020. But that’s just the first shot in the team’s supposed contention window.

Years down the road some of those same players will still be in their primes. This applies to a write-up from prospect guru Will Leitch of MLB.com. Leitch made projections for the 2026 MLB All-Star Game starting lineups. Yes, 2026.

Leitch includes Jimenez and Madrigal on the American League lineup. Jimenez isn’t a huge shock considering he is one of the best hitting prospects to come up through the minors in the last few years. He already has a two-home run game to his name and has shown adjustments and improvement since struggling in the opening week of the season. The contract extension Jimenez signed during spring training has two option years that would extend the deal through 2026.

Madrigal is a more surprising pick. He was the fourth pick in last June’s draft, but there’s a long way to go before the second baseman looks like an MLB all-star. The White Sox have already been moving Madrigal quickly through the minors. He reached advanced Single-A Winston-Salem just over a month after he won the College World Series with Oregon State.

He returned to Winston-Salem to start this season and has been on fire since starting with a 1-for-12 slump. Since those three games, Madrigal is 13-for-29 and is hitting .341 overall.

 

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Moncada's moves help seal White Sox epic extra innings win

Moncada's moves help seal White Sox epic extra innings win

To say the 2018-19 White Sox have had an up-and-down season would be an understatement. The season has been filled with more good than bad for sure‒three All-Stars, 42 wins, one possible Rookie of the Year candidate‒but their seven-game losing streak coming out the All-Star break certainly seemed taxing.

Chicago’s Leury Garica-fueled bounce-back win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday certainly helped spirits but Saturday’s dramatic, extra-innings win at Tropicana field could be the type of win that really gets the team back on track.

It looked like the White Sox were headed for their eighth loss in nine games. They were down to their final out when catcher James McCann decided to add another chapter to his storybook season.


 

McCann took a slider from Rays relief pitcher Emilio Pagán 373-feet out to left field for the game-tying home run.

It was another huge moment in a great season from McCann, heightened by the fact that there were so few baserunners (total) in this game and that another o-fer in the scoring column would’ve marked the second shutout loss in a week for the White Sox.

Instead, McCann’s heroics extended a game in which the White Sox bullpen‒2 H, 0 ER‒was excellent in relief of Lucas Giolito, who also pitched well.

Over 6.2 innings, Giolito racked up 9 Ks while giving up 7 hits, 1 walk, 1 earned run. The lone run Giolito gave up was a high changeup that former White Sox outfielder Avisaíl García.

This game was without a doubt a pitchers' duel, so it was only fitting that the game-winning run was scored on an RBI-single by  José Abreu in which Yoan Moncada personified "Ricky's boys don't quit" on the basepaths.


Despite the lack of strong offensive production on Saturday night, the White Sox were able to grind out the win in a Giolito start, something that has been a recurring theme for the squad.

As elder statesmen Abreu hinted at, the White Sox need their key players back but wins like Saturday’s will help build confidence in the meantime.

The South Siders head into Sunday’s noon game with the Rays‒and their subsequent series with the Miami Marlins‒with their seven-game losing streak further in the rearview mirror and that is the best news we could hope for as we await the cavalry.

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White Sox place reliever Kelvin Herrera on injured list with oblique strain

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USA TODAY

White Sox place reliever Kelvin Herrera on injured list with oblique strain

The White Sox saw another pitcher hit the shelf due to injury on Saturday.

Ahead of their game against the Rays, the White Sox placed reliever Kelvin Herrera on the 10-day injured with a right oblique strain. In a corresponding move, the team recalled right-hander Jimmy Cordero from Triple-A Charlotte.

Entering the 2019 season, Herrera was expected to be a formidable late-game reliever in the White Sox bullpen alongside closer Álex Colomé. While Colomé (20-for-21 in save chances, 2.39 ERA in 37 2/3 innings) has thrived, Herrera has struggled in his debut season on the South Side. The 29-year-old holds a 7.36 ERA in 38 games/33 innings. As things currently stand, his .326 batting average against and 3.82 BB/9 would be career highs. 

Herrera's struggles are somewhat suprising when considering how well he pitched (2.44 ERA, 48 games/44 1/3 innings) in 2018. He did struggle after the Royals traded him to the Nationals on June 18, though, perhaps a precursor of what was to come from him in 2019:

Kelvin Herrera in 2018:

  with Royals with Nationals
Games 27 21
Innings 25 2/3 18 2/3
ERA 1.05 4.34
BB 2 8
K 22 16
BAA .207 .304

The White Sox claimed Cordero off of waivers from the Mariners on June 7. He previously pitched with the Nationals (22 games, 19 innings) in 2018 and Blue Jays (one game, 1 1/3 innings) in 2019. He holds a career 5.75 ERA in the MLB, but he's pitched well with Charlotte. The 28-year-old has gone 3-1 with a 0.51 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Knights, with opponents hitting just .215 against him in 13 outings.

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