The White Sox are finally ACL champs after 13 years, and WLS’ Rob Martier is not hiding his excitement.
The White Sox are finally ACL champs after 13 years, and WLS’ Rob Martier is not hiding his excitement.
Big John and Ray admire the police and how they go above and beyond to help citizens. Ashley Tomasewski joins John and Ray to talk about Officer Chris Kudla who is battling Stage 4 kidney cancer. She talks about how you can help by donating to his GoFundMe page, but also how you can attend the Culvers Family night happening tonight.
At this event, you can bring children to get their faces painted, take photos with superheroes, and get animal balloons. Not only that but at the register when you said ‘I’m here to support Chris” 10% of your purchase will go to his medical fund.
This all happening at Culvers in Lyons Illinois, tonight from 5 – 8 pm.
“Go do a little good in the hood” – Ray
By Cat Garcia
Every year as a new baseball season begins, fans are not just greeted with the promise of a rejuvenated ball club, but with the offer of new and exciting ballpark experiences.
On Tuesday, Guaranteed Rate Field rolled out a list of new features that will be welcomed at the ballpark when it opens to fans on April 5. Here are some things to look out for
New Ballpark Food Offerings
Guaranteed Rate Field has been well known for offering an eclectic and delicious menagerie of food not only on their ballpark concourse, but also in other areas of the ballpark including their Diamond Suites, Guaranteed Rate Club, and Huntington Bank Stadium club.
This year, the White Sox culinary team has rolled out a variety of mouthwatering new options including hand-scooped ice cream served in homemade waffle cones, a variety of new Johnsonville specialty sausages with unique pitch-inspired names, the Cutter, the Slurve and the Cutter, a unique and healthier option — The Pozole Salad — along with more of your favorite hearty options including Provolone-stuffed dough balls, Buffalo Chicken Empanadas and more.
The most unique addition to the concourse menu though has to be the Cuban Burger. The Cuban Burger pays homage to the Guaranteed Rate Field classic Cuban sandwich that has held popular residence at the ballpark since 2014, but does so with an American twist. Served on a traditional hamburger bun, the Cuban Burger is a juicy all-beef Glenmark patty topped with flavorful pulled pork carnitas, sliced ham, Swiss Cheese, mojo sauce, yellow mustard and finished off with a pickle. This sandwich is certainly a must-try at the ballpark in 2018.
The White Sox will bringing the popular Craft Kave, the ballparks curation of local and craft beers, to a newly renovated space near Section 542. Among the new selection of beers are Allagash White, Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout, various brews from Pipeworks Brewing, Brickstone McCormick Place ale, and others.
Expanded Netting and New Retired Numbers Display
As mandated by Major League Baseball on February 1, all 30 MLB ballparks were to expand their protective netting past the dugouts for the safety of all ballpark patrons. On Tuesday, the White Sox gave an up close look at the newly expanded netting that has been installed.
In addition to the netting, other on-field upgrades include newly relocated retired number displays. Previously players retired numbers were displayed above home plate. However, the White Sox have expanded the LED ribbon to extend around the entire facade, and have relocated the numbers along the sides of right and left field. The new display is a simple and very tasteful way to bring fans attention to these players and their lasting legacies, which were previously in a small, concentrated space.
Virtual Reality Batting Cage Experience
The funnest addition to the ballpark campus in the coming season certainly has to be the new Virtual Reality Batting Cage that is located across the street from the ballpark on the first level of the Chicago Sports Depot. Tucked away in the back corner with a view of the street, the batting cage offers fans the opportunity to test out the VR technology that has previously only been available to access at the All-Star Game and other MLB fan events. Guaranteed Rate Field is one of the first major league parks to offer this experience. Stepping into the batting cage, fans will place the VR headset on and be given 90 seconds to swing for the fences all while experiencing the reality of beautiful Guaranteed Rate Field, complete with fan cheering. The VR experience will be open on game days from the time gates open until the final out of the game.
By Cat Garcia
It’s been anything but dull for the first few weeks of White Sox training camp in Glendale, Arizona. Sox fans have been able to catch a glimpse not only of live action baseball, but of their stars of the future.
With that being said, it certainly hasn’t been a Spring Training for the faint of heart. Multiple injuries have mounted on the field, Miguel Gonzalez struggled in his first outing back in a White Sox uniform, and folks caught a glimpse of the less refined version of their future superstar pitcher Michael Kopech.
From Jake Burger to Nicky Delmonico, let’s take a look at the biggest takeaways from camp so far.
Jake Burger Out For 2018
White Sox first-rounder Jake Burger ruptured his Achilles during a sprint to first base during a game against the Athletics on February 27th. Burger underwent successful surgery on his Achilles on March 1st in Chicago and is expected to miss the entire 2018 season. Despite the shocking turn of events, Burger has a positive outlook on the situation. “I can focus on nutrition, focus on my diet, focus on my body,” Burger told the media in Glendale after the injury occurred. “I actually texted my academic guy back at Missouri State, and I’m going to go back for an intersession course, get three hours in.” Burger said he spoke with newly appointed White Sox ambassador and former starter Jose Contreras, who suffered the same injury in 2008. “He was like, ‘Look, man, it’s a tough recovery, but you’ll get back,’” Burger said of Contreras. “He said he lost 30 pounds while going through it. I’m looking forward to that and I’m looking forward to being back with my family for a couple of weeks.”
Lucas Giolito Impresses
The future is bright for young White Sox starter Lucas Giolito, who showed flashes of brilliance in his short debut with the big league club at the end of 2017. But in training camp, Giolito seems to be picking up where he left off. Giolito has started two games and pitched a total of six innings, while accumulating nine strikeouts, and eight of those nine punchouts came on Saturday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs. Giolito walked two on the afternoon and pitched four solid innings. “I was just trying to mix my it up a lot,” Giolito told the media after his outing on Saturday. “I was throwing the slider pretty much for strikes and was throwing the curveball a bit sharper, which is what I have been working on. With two strikes, I was able to get guys out with it. Overall my breaking stuff was working pretty well.” Giolito allowed just one earned run on Saturday, a homer off Cubs backup catcher Victor Caratini.
Nicky Delmonico and Tyler Saladino Suffer Outfield Collision
As if the White Sox stockpile of injuries could mount any higher — two most players were added to the heap on Sunday. Outfielder Nicky Delmonico and shortstop Tyler Saladino collided trying to catch a pop-up in the seventh inning, and the collision prompted manager Rick Renteria to remove Saladino from the game and place him on the 7-day concussion list, while Delmonico has suffered a separated shoulder. “Just extended it,” Renteria said of the Delmonico injury. “Didn’t pop it. Didn’t do anything. Just got extended and jammed it a little bit.” With just two weeks until Opening Day, it is possible that for precautionary reasons, Delmonico will open the season on the disabled list. Delmonico was slated to be the White Sox starting left fielder, which now leaves the club ready to test the waters with Ryan Cordell, Leury Garcia and other options to fill that role.
Eloy Jimenez Returns
Not all of camp has been exceptionally gloomy in the way of injuries for the White Sox this spring. After being sidelined for two weeks with left knee tendinitis, the infamous Eloy Jimenez played his first full game of the spring on Sunday against the Diamondbacks. Jimenez first stepped up to the plate as a pinch-hitter in Saturday’s game, only to hit a go-ahead home run that tied the game 4-4. Sunday, Jimenez continued his success, hitting another home run in his first at-bat off Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin. Jimenez went on to hit a triple on a line drive to centerfield and walked in his final plate appearance of the day. Despite the success, Jimenez has only played a handful of games above Class A and will begin the season in Double A Birmingham, even if the stay there is short before he ventures up to Charlotte. The show will go on for Jimenez, just not with the big league club for right now.
By Cat Garcia
While fans prepare for warmer weather and Opening Day festivities, ball players have begun to welcome a new season by get back into the groove of everyday play.
But not everyone is hearing the crack of bats at Spring Training camps just yet.
From Jake Arrieta to Lucas Duda, there are still a handful of free agents left to be signed before Opening Day, and while the White Sox may not be looking to add a big name or contract to the fold just yet, there have been some interesting rumblings as we head into the first live action games of the year.
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported earlier this week that an MLB executive noted third baseman Mike Moustakas may still have a good chance of landing with the White Sox.
In a vacuum, a reunion with the Royals would seem to be the most likely outcome for Moustakas. But the Royals have commited to starting fresh with a young core after winning their first World Series title in 30 years with Moustakas, Hosmer, Cain, etc — all of which have not be resigned yet or have moved on.
Moustakas had a strong season in 2017, hitting a career high 38 home runs in Kauffman Stadium. Moustakas also batted .272/.314/.521 while sporting a 114 wRC+. Not bad for a third baseman who is about to enter his age 30 season.
The question now is simple. Are the White Sox uncomfortable enough with running out Matt Davidson and Co. everyday that they feel the need to sign a player such as Moustakas? After all, White Sox GM Rick Hahn was calculated enough to make it clear to folks pestering him with Manny Machado questions all winter that they were going to do what was best for their long term plan. Would that be to sign Moustakas to a one-year deal, and go after Machado in free agency next offseason?
Considering Moustakas made just $8.7 million with the Royals in 2017 and is likely sitting at home waiting for his phone to ring, he could come at a bargain for the White Sox to add last minute, one that wouldn’t really jeopardize their financial plan for the future, but make the 2018 team considerably more solid on all fronts.
Signing Moustakas for a year and even potentially flipping him at the trade deadline to finish out the season with Davidson or perhaps even a call up for Jake Burger could also be a route the White Sox are looking to take. They would be able to upgrade at third base for a while and cash in on prospects, should Moustakas have as successful of a season has he did with the Royals in 2017.
Going into the season, the dust seems to have settled on which players will be starting at each position, and though it won’t be a brilliant crop on all accounts, it’s passable for a likely non-contending season that’s fresh on the heels of a rebuild. But when it comes to third base, it’s been a bit hazy for several seasons now.
Davidson is obviously the leading candidate for the starting role, but considering he hit just .220/.260/.452 last season, the idea of him taking of the bulk of the playing time isn’t exactly ideal — even in this landscape. Davidson feels more suited to a bench role, where he can hone his best tool — his power — when the situational need arises. But there is no real reason to be running out a player who owned a very characteristic 37 percent strikeout rate in 443 plate appearances last season. Perhaps a possible last minute upgrade to the hot corner has been Hahn’s creative thinking at work all along, or perhaps this is simply a case of “Hey, we need a third baseman and you haven’t been signed yet”.
Whether there will be any truth behind the speculation that Moustakas could land with the White Sox remains to be seen for now, but the main takeaway is that should a transaction come together in the next few weeks, it wouldn’t jeopardize the White Sox’s long term plans to be more active on the free agent market next offseason, but would lock in a solid starting third baseman for the coming season.
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s White Sox Weekly. Connor discusses a few Minor League additions for the Sox, as well as free agency around the MLB. Connor brings back some of the best interviews from Sox Fest 2018 featuring Sox Skipper Ricky Renteria, Sox prospect Jake Burger, and Pitcher Carlos Rodon.
Connor McKnight hosts a special show live at Sox Fest 2018! In this hour, Connor sits down with White Sox Manager Ricky Renteria, and White Sox Third Base prospect, Jake Burger. Connor also shares an interview he had at the start of Sox Fest 2018 with Sox Right Field prospect, Eloy Jimenez.
Connor McKnight hosts a special show live at Sox Fest 2018! In this hour, Connor sits down with pitcher, Lucas Giolito, and White Sox TV announcer Jason Benetti.
Connor McKnight hosts a special show live at Sox Fest 2018! In this hour, Connor sits down with Nicky Delmonico, and Carlos Rodon of the White Sox, and chats with John Howell, of the Big John and Ray Show on WLS.
Connor McKnight hosts a special show live at Sox Fest 2018! In this hour, Connor sits down with Sox shortstop, Tim Anderson. Brendan Greeley of the Steve Dahl Show also stops by and chats with Connor, and some fans at Sox Fest 2018.
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s White Sox Weekly. Connor discusses free agency, and arbitration numbers for the White Sox. Connor also chats with Collin Whitchurch, of BP Southside about the Sox 25 man roster. McKnight brings you the latest news from the hitters camp, including news of “brewing bro-mances,” as well as the MLB trying to speed up the game in 2018.
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s White Sox Weekly. Connor discusses some off-season moves, including the signing of Miguel Gonzalez, and Jose Rondon. Connor also talks with Chris Getz, the Director of Player Development for the White Sox, and newly signed Sox reliever, Joakim Soria.
Last day in Mexico!!! Steve is joined by Adam Engel of the White Sox and also grandson Jackson! Steve, Brendan, and Dag are in beautiful Riviera Maya, Mexico for the week! As they broadcast their WLS AM 890 radio show each day, we’re bringing the show directly to you! Tune in!
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s White Sox Weekly. Connor discusses the recent trade which gave the Sox bullpen two relievers. He also touches on a few rumors regarding the Sox that are circulating around the MLB. Connor’s first guest of the new year is James Fegan, of The Athletic, they discuss the recent trade, as well as other White Sox news.
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s special New Year’s Eve edition of White Sox Weekly. This off season, Connor has broken down each position for the 2017 White Sox. This week, he wraps up the positions, with the starting rotation. Connor also goes through the new ZiPS projections for the 2018 White Sox. Connor also touches on recent rumors and reports about the White Sox, as well as news around Major League Baseball.
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s special Christmas Eve edition of White Sox Weekly. This off season, Connor will break down each position for the 2017 White Sox. This week, it’s Right Field. Connor also revisits his interview with White Sox Minor League Pitching Coach Matt Zaleski.
Host Connor McKnight speaks this week with Scott Merkin of MLB.com about a potential move by the Sox to acquire Manny Machado from the Orioles.
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s White Sox Weekly. White Sox minor league affiliate Kannapolis Intimidators manager Justin Jirschele, the youngest manager in professional baseball, joins Connor. The Review Preview series continues this week with Connor’s in depth look at the ball players of center field.
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s White Sox Weekly. Connor talks about the White Sox four non-tendered players: Al Alburquerque, Alen Hanson, Jake Petricka, and Zach Putnam. The Review Preview series continues with Connor’s in depth look at the ball players of left field.
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s White Sox Weekly. Connor made a visit to the Arizona Fall League, where he spoke with Cather, Seby Zavala, Pitcher, Jace Fry, and Pitching Coach, Matt Zaleski. Connor also talks about the recent Atlanta Braves sanctions, as well as the White Sox being ranked the number 1 farm system in all of baseball by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s White Sox Weekly. This off season, Connor will break down each position for the 2017 White Sox. This week, it’s third base. Connor made a visit to the Arizona Fall League, where he spoke with pitcher Connor Walsh. Connor also checks in with James Fegan, of The Athletic to talk about the GM meetings, including the recent trade the White Sox made with the Seattle Mariners for pitcher Thyago Vieira.
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s White Sox Weekly. This off season, Connor will break down each position for the 2017 White Sox. This week, it’s shortstop. Connor made a visit to the Arizona Fall League, where he spoke with Outfielder Charlie Tilson, and Shortstop Danny Mendick.
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s White Sox Weekly. It’s the first oral history episode of the offseason, focusing on former White Sox Pitcher, Orlando Hernandez getting out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the 2005 ALDS. Connor relives “El Duque’s” performance with former White Sox General Manager, and current Executive Vice President, Kenny Williams, and White Sox Pitching Coach, Don Cooper.
There was a time, before Yoan Moncada and Avisail Garcia’s ascension, when White Sox fans began to grow accustomed to seeing their front office herd in masses of veteran, broken-down, half-solutions to their rapidly decaying roster issues. Those days are now in the South Side’s rear view mirror, but some of these players still reside in the wake of those troubling times.
James Shields was one of the last to arrive in a group of misfits that the White Sox hoped to polish up, throw some pinstripes on, and wish for the best. And it worked out the way the parade of others had in the past — it simply didn’t.
Brought aboard in June of 2016, Shields was coming off a questionable run with the San Diego Padres after posting an ERA of 4.28. White Sox fans figured all he needed was to let Don Cooper get a hold of him and perhaps Shields would turn back into the player he was just a few years prior.
Shields, however, went on to post a 6.77 ERA in 114 innings for the remainder of the 2016 season and the start of 2017 didn’t look much better. Shields looked as though he was simply becoming another liability on an ailing team searching for answers. He recorded just 36 innings in the first half to the tune of a 4.95 ERA and had a strikeout rate just above 18 percent.
But let’s fast forward to August. Shields suddenly looked different than he had before. He threw 625 combined strikes in August and September and was garnering strikeout rates of nearly 25 percent — totals he hadn’t seen while in a White Sox uniform.
Shields also was going deeper in games, throwing over twice as many innings in two months as he had in the first half of the season (80 IP vs. 36 IP). His ERA was back below 4 in September for the first time since April, and he was allowing the lowest offensive totals he had all season.
And it all started in Boston. During an August 4th start at Fenway Park, mid-game, Shields dropped his arm slot on his delivery by nearly two feet, what some would consider drastic for a mid-game change. And he never looked back.
“I don’t know how many quality starts he’s had now since he’s made his adjustment,” Manager Rick Renteria said. He’s been keeping us in the ballgame, attacking the strike zone, he’s got that action that’s coming from a little lower arm slot now. He’s running balls to both sides of the plate, changing speeds and just doing a really nice job.”
Take a look at Shields’ vertical release point over the course of the season:
It’s not hard to notice Shields’ arm slot drop, and its correlation with his second half success.
“I’m revamping every year man,” Shields said about his mechanical change. “This being my 12th season, you’re always trying to refine your game every year, no matter what, whether it’s a pitch or mechanical adjustment. The league makes adjustments on you … at the end of the day, you always have to make adjustments.”
“It’s more than alteration, it’s a change,” bullpen coach Curt Hasler told reporters. “And this is him doing it. It impressed the heck out of me when he did it mid-game in Boston. This guy has got tremendous feel so he can do that. The result he has gotten is more balls down, more ground balls, less balls in the air, more outs on the infield, higher strike to ball ratio. All those things have been a result of this change he’s been able to do.”
For the White Sox, this adjustment couldn’t have come at a better time. There are holes in this team’s rotation looking ahead to 2018. Veteran arm Mike Pelfrey is now a free agent. Miguel Gonzalez was traded to Texas during the season. The White Sox are transitioning fresh young arms to the major league stage of their development — a transition that often includes a heavier workload. This team will need cost effective, veteran guys who can bare the brunt of those heavy workloads and eat up the innings that young pitchers, as well as pitchers such as Carlos Rodon coming off rehab, won’t comfortably be able to.
Enter Shields, who saw an uptick not only in his strikeout numbers, but in his longevity. After the Boston game, Shields began to average six to seven innings per outing again, going just two outings the rest of the season that were under six innings.
Shields has one year left on his contract, with an option for him to return in 2019 at the cost of $16 million. Depending on Shields progression, as well as the state of the 2019 White Sox, Shields’ return could be a welcomed opportunity in the future.
“I’ll make some assessments in the offseason,” Shields said. “See how that works out, see how my body is feeling. Over the last month and a half, it seems to be working out. we’ll see how it goes.”
The White Sox may have continued to typecast down-on-their-luck veterans to no avail in the past, but perhaps one of the remaining few players from those deals turned into a bit of undiscovered treasure for the South Sides, and one with impeccable timing.
Connor McKnight hosts this week’s White Sox Weekly. This off season, Connor will break down each position for the 2017 White Sox. This week, it’s second base. Connor also talks with Scott Merkin, of MLB.com.