White Sox

White Sox DFA Bruce Rondon and bring up former Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez

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USA TODAY

White Sox DFA Bruce Rondon and bring up former Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez

The White Sox made a long-awaited move in their bullpen Wednesday, designating the struggling Bruce Rondon for assignment and bringing Jeanmar Gomez up from Triple-A.

Gomez has been the subject of many queries this season as he's put up fantastic numbers in a relief role at Charlotte, with a 2.02 ERA in 40 innings of work. Given the White Sox 4.49 bullpen ERA heading into Wednesday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals, it's been a wonder to a number of social-media using fans why Gomez wasn't added to the relief corps sooner.

Gomez was one of several veteran relievers signed to minor league contracts over the winter, players who looked like ideal sign-and-flip candidates after Rick Hahn's front office traded away so many relievers last summer. Rondon, as well as the currently succeeding Xavier Cedeno, fell into the same category. You could look at the trade that brought in Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan, both potential trade candidates, as a similar move.

Gomez has relatively recent closing experience, saving 37 games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2016. But he appeared in only 18 big league games last season with the Phillies and turned in an oversized 7.25 ERA.

Rondon flashed some potential when he was first added to the White Sox bullpen early this season, but he's had numerous multi-run outings, including in Tuesday's loss to the Cardinals, when he allowed a run to score on a wild pitch, walked in a run and was responsible for the three runners who scored on Dexter Fowler's grand slam. That three-run performance bulged his ERA to 8.49 on the season.

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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A deeper look at why Yoan Moncada is off to a hot start this season

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USA TODAY

A deeper look at why Yoan Moncada is off to a hot start this season

Yoan Moncada continued his hot start to the season with a leadoff home run in Detroit on Friday.

He finished with two hits and a bases-loaded walk in a 7-3 White Sox win.

Moncada’s base numbers are all up this season. He is hitting .325 with a 1.002 OPS and a team-leading six home runs. Beyond that, a deeper look at the numbers show why Moncada’s production is up.

Moncada didn’t show much, if any, improvement in 2018 from 2017. Most of his numbers across the board were similar or slightly worse.

Moncada was patient at the plate, but maybe too patient in his first two seasons with the White Sox. He led the majors with 217 strikeouts last season and 85 of those were strikeouts looking. So far this season, Moncada is yet to strikeout looking.

This season, Moncada is swinging at more pitches both in the strike zone and overall, which is leading to a lower strikeout rate. A look at the advanced stats from FanGraphs shows Moncada swung at 63.9 percent of pitches in the zone in both 2017 and 2018 (these numbers are before Friday's game). That number is up to 69.1 percent this season. On top of that, Moncada is making more contact on those swings on pitches in the zone (up to 86.5 percent this season after 77.5 percent in 2017 and 79.8 percent in 2018).

His strikeout rate (32 percent in 2017, 33.4 percent in 2018) is way down at 24.1 percent. Strikeouts were the biggest red flag for Moncada last year. By being more aggressive this season, Moncada has been able to cut way down on that number.

His power has gone way up as well. He already has 12 extra base hits (in 82 plate appearances) and his home run on Friday was an absolute bomb. Moncada took it deep for 458 feet. That’s the longest White Sox home run of the season and is tied for the eighth longest home run in the majors this season.


He later showed that despite being more aggressive, he still has that plate discipline that was such a big part of what made him a coveted prospect in the first place. He drew a five-pitch bases loaded walk in which he did not swing the bat.

No matter how it's happening, Moncada’s turnaround has been one of the most important things in the young White Sox season.

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