Tag Archives: Nicky Delmonico

Upates from Glendale: Burger undergoes surgery, Giolito and Jimenez start hot

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.

2017 White Sox Top Five

Despite being in likely the grittiest phase of a rebuild and finishing the season with the second worst record in the American League, White Sox fans have echoed the same sentiment—this has been one of the most exciting 60-win teams to watch grow.

The departure of names such as Chris Sale and Jose Quintana have been harsh realities but the arrival of fresh blood and new leaders in the clubhouse seemed to quickly erase those wounds. Let’s take a look at the top five surprises from the South Side in 2017.

Nicky Delmonico’s record breaking arrival

After a nasty collision with newcomer Yoan Moncada landed Willy Garcia on the disabled list with a fractured jaw on July 31st, the stop-gap recalled from Charlotte was infielder/outfielder Nicky Delmonico. Delmonico was making his major league debut at the age of 25 after a rough road with the Brewers coupled with personal struggles. But, what Delmonico did, was deliver the next chapter of an already unpredictably compelling season. Delmonico hit his first home run off Cy Young winner Rick Porcello at Fenway Park just three days after his call-up. He reached base in 13 straight games, garnered a few multi-hit campaigns, and hit six home runs in his first 19 games. Sadly, Delmonico was then placed on the DL with a sprained wrist, but the minds of Sox fans were simply sent reeling. Delmonico was yet another unexpected and extremely entertaining piece in this 2017 season and looks to be a solid addition to the White Sox outfield contingent in 2018.

Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu’s Impactful Seasons

The need for strong, diligent leadership in was crucial this season and though first baseman Jose Abreu’s role in the White Sox clubhouse was already quite established, Abreu reached new levels of achievement in 2017. From becoming a fourth-year veteran and joining Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols as just the third player in MLB history to hit 25+ home runs and 100+ RBIs in his first four seasons to guiding fellow countryman Yoan Moncada through the start of his big league career, Abreu’s voice was heard and his impact felt on the field and off the field throughout the season. As the longest tenured position player on the team, outfielder Avisail Garcia, who had been known for his struggles during his career, not only began to flourish on the field, but also invigorated a young fresh clubhouse by example. Though both Abreu’s and Garcia’s future with the club may not be certain, the impression that they will leave during this immensely important stage in this team’s development was not only serendipitous in timing, but will leave a strong lasting impression on this team as they continue to grow together — and perhaps even apart.

Reynaldo Lopez’s Early Struggles

After the success of number one prospect Yoan Moncada’s arrival on the scene, everything seemed to be rolling along perfectly as the White Sox continued giving fans a glimpse of their future in calling up Reynaldo Lopez, who was simply the secondary piece in the deal that sent Adam Eaton to the Nationals last December. Lopez dazzled, hitting as high as 99 on the gun during his White Sox debut coupled with exceptional break on his curveball. Lopez wasn’t without his blemishes though, his command seemed shaky and that continued down the road, with Lopez walking 14 batter over 47 innings, closing his season with a 4.72 ERA and 7 homers allowed. Lopez left what was just his second start with the White Sox suffering a strained back and was placed on the DL for two weeks before returning to the rotation. Although Lopez’s debut was less than superb in the eyes of many, taking into consideration the short duration of his time on the big league roster, suffering an injury, and still having less than 100 major league innings under his belt — Lopez’s stuff showed much promise for the future.

Loss and Gain

It was a rough summer on the South Side, day after day watching players pack up their lockers while fresh faces arrived. As is the case with any strong rebuild, those faces weren’t always emerging in the major league clubhouse. The Sox saw the departure of everyone from David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, to those defined as leaders in Melky Cabrera and Todd Frazier, and players they considered part of their bright future such as Jose Quintana. But the rewards reaped from these deals should leave this team hopeful as they saw the arrival of players such as Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech and Lucas Giolito, all whose rapid progress and success during 2017 no doubt caught many folks by surprise.

Alec Hansen’s Success

While we talk so much about the success of players acquired through trades of significant measure, let’s not forget those that came simply at the cost of an educated gamble. Drafted 49th overall in the second round of the 2016 draft, the White Sox’s selection of pitcher Alec Hansen led to some justified skeptics. Hansen struggled during his junior year of college and still struggles with commanding his pitches, but has come onboard and simply dazzled during his short time in the White Sox organization. Hansen lead the minors this season in strikeouts with 191, and was promptly promoted to Double-A Birmingham after posting a 2.93 ERA with 83 strikeouts in just 58 IP at Winston-Salem. Hansen’s main attribute is his fastball that sits between 94-97 mph, coupled with a strong slider and curveball, and is currently working to perfect his changeup in the coming season.

As August Grinds, More Injuries for the Sox

In the dog days of August, as players are accumulating around 500 at-bats worth of wear and tear, the disabled list accumulates casualties. Every team goes through it but, lately, it seems like a never-ending parade for the White Sox with the Yoan Moncada newest member of the DL.

Moncada was placed on the 10-day DL Friday after having an MRI, as well as a blood test to check his vitamin D levels, and was diagnosed with shin splits and a contusion. Thankfully, none of this is newly emerged, Moncada was sidelined with shin splints for two games on August 19 and 20.

“It’s a bruise on his shin,” Manager Rick Renteria said. “So, we’re going to keep him off his feet, let it calm down and we’ll see where he’s at in a few days. I think we’re going to keep him with inactivity for seven days. Let it calm down. I know that we’d given him a couple of days and it calmed down significantly, in terms of his opinion. He just aggravated it with a misstep at third yesterday. It was a left foot misstep and then a right step on the bag. It seemed kind of awkward, so he irritated it.”

Moncada is hopeful that the injury won’t keep him off the field for much longer than the 10-days. “For now, it’s going to be just the 10 days,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “But it’s going to depend on how the rehabilitation is going. I don’t like to be injured. No one likes to be on the DL. But there is nothing I can do about it. It is the best in this moment for me. I have to rest.”

Renteria is not concerned that the time Moncada spends sidelined will affect the progress he’s made this season. “Honestly, you could see him progressing,” Renteria said. “Both at the plate and in the field. Any injury or any time down for anybody is never a good time, but as far as where he’s at, we know he’s moving forward in a positive direction. We’ll just deal with it and see if we can get him back on track once he’s back on the field again.”

Moncada is currently hitting .188/.328/.356 on the season with three home runs and one stolen base. The most impressive thing Moncada has brought to the majors? His plate discipline. Moncada is currently walking at a 15.6 percent clip, which is helping keep his on-base percentage at a healthy level despite the low batting average and menial power numbers.

Moncada isn’t satisfied, though. He wants to improve and will always look for ways to do so — as soon as he can get back on the field. “I think the results haven’t been as good as I was expecting,” he said. “But now I’m just trying to get my focus and my learning process and to be prepared for next year.”

Another new young face may be seeing his first big-league trip to the DL soon. The White Sox scratched the recent White Sox under-the-radar sensation Nicky Delmonico from Friday’s lineup against the Detroit Tigers due to a sprained right wrist.

“We took an X-ray and there was nothing structurally, as far as the regular X-ray is concerned,” Renteria said pregame. “He took a swing, felt it. So, we’re sending him out to get an MRI and we won’t know until we get that back. So, I can’t comment on where he is, in terms of what degree of injury it is, if it’s long lasting or if it’s game by game.”

Delmonico began feeling pain around the third at-bat of Thursday’s game against the Twins, but stayed in the game, according to Renteria.

“He went up for the last at bat, and he didn’t mention anything to us during the game last night. But this morning he woke up and was uncomfortable. We sent him out to get the X-ray. Nothing structurally wrong. Now with the swing and pain, we’re going to send him back to get an MRI.”

The White Sox should have more information available on Delmonico’s status this weekend.

Giolito Feels Right at Home in Sox Rotation

At first glance, you’d never have guessed that Tuesday was Lucas Giolito’s first day with his new club.

Nerves didn’t appear to be a concern for Giolito on the day of his first big league start with the White Sox. His head wasn’t buried in a phone or an iPad. He wasn’t tucked away from everyone, preparing for the night. Instead, Giolito was entertained by his fellow pitching teammates who were playing a game of cards. Laughs and smiles aplenty.

Surrounding oneself with veteran pitchers such as Mike Pelfrey, James Shields, and even the recently successful Juan Minaya on your first day in the clubhouse seems to be a smart way to break yourself in.

“I’m excited to watch him pitch tonight,” pitcher Miguel Gonzalez said of Giolito. Gonzalez’s favorite thing the Giolito brings to the White Sox? Not his power curve or pitch mix, but his personality. “Just the way he goes about his business, he’s a smart kid, he likes to learn, he asks questions just like any other guy that’s been getting called up,” Gonzalez said. “We’re excited to have him with us.”

Giolito joined the White Sox organization last December during the annual Winter Meetings in the trade that sent Adam Eaton to the Nationals for Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning.

With the sudden success and emergence of Lopez, the hype surrounding Giolito was cast aside for a bit after what some would consider a rough start in Triple-A Charlotte. Giolito pitched to a 4.48 ERA in 128 innings with the Knights—the most innings Giolito has pitched in a season so far in his career.

After questions surrounding mechanical changes Giolito made when with the Nationals organization, the White Sox have been patient getting Giolito back to being comfortable with his execution on the mound, as well as working to strengthen his three-pitch repertoire.

“His mechanics are much more sound than they were in spring training, maybe than where they were last year with the Nationals,” Knights pitching coach Steve McCatty, formerly the Nationals pitching coach, told James Fegan of The Athletic. “He’s repeating pitches a lot better. He still has some things he’s working on. The command of the curveball is getting better but also he has a really, really good changeup.”

“His past what, three starts have been really good, I don’t even need to see the video to see what he was doing well,” catcher Kevan Smith said. “Every time he’s commanding the zone, when he’s down in the zone with his heater, dropping his curveball in for strikes first pitch and using it as a put away pitch. He’s an impressive guy out there when he’s on and I’m sure he was doing all of that with his changeup as well, so when he has all three pitches working for him he’s pretty untouchable.”

Giolito’s pitch-to-watch will be that much improved curveball that Smith is so high on—a pitch that Giolito is now consistently throwing for strikes and feels confidence in.

“It’s just a big feel thing for these guys, you kind of see if they have [the curve] or not in the bullpen before the game and obviously [Giolito has] been having it,” Smith continued. “It’s a day-to-day thing, just keep working with him and see what he’s changed and just kind of move him around and just keep working towards success each time.”

Giolito found himself surrounded by familiar faces in the Sox clubhouse on Tuesday. His locker is right next to former Charlotte teammates, and recent alumni, Nicky Delmonico and Yoan Moncada.

“He’s got electric stuff, you know he goes out and competes everyday and he throws the ball well,” Delmonico said. “He’s got great composure on the mound and no matter what I think he’s going to be very successful up here.”

Giolito may no longer stand alone as the headliner in the Eaton trade that helped the White Sox begin a strong foundation for their rebuilding efforts. That space may now be shared with Lopez. Regardless, Giolito has made improvements from a year ago when he pitched just 21 innings of baseball with a 6.75 ERA in Washington.

“Obviously his stuff was lights out then, his stuff is lights out now,” Smith said. “I think this year is just boosted his confidence. He can see that he can perform at this level I think confidence is a big factor in baseball. If you believe that you can success at this level then you will.”

Delmonico Stakes Claim with White Sox

Kdolson20 (WikiPedia)


Nicky Delmonico has been on the ride of his life. It’s been just nine days since he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to replace an injured Willy Garcia and he’s been nothing short of a pleasant surprise on the South Side. Delmonico has hit safely in eight straight games and he continued his hot start by going 3-for-4 on Wednesday evening at Guaranteed Rate Field.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria has been high on Delmonico since he joined the team, stating that he has an “it” factor, and Delmonico certainly has been showing “it.”

“He has worked through a lot of adversity and he’s the type of player we want,” Renteria said of Delmonico after he joined the club.

Delmonico has already checked his first big league home run off of his list after hitting a blast off reigning Cy Young winner Rick Porcello last Thursday at Fenway Park. On his first night with the White Sox, he got his first major league hit off of Toronto’s Marcus Stroman. He also recorded his second three-hit game on Wednesday evening and is currently slashing .400/.455/.500. While not sustainable over a long period of time, that’s still a very strong and impressive start to a big league career.

Delmonico has only struck out eight times in 33 plate appearances going into Thursday—a 24 percent strikeout rate. Considering the small sample size and the amount of big league pitching Delmonico has seen, that’s a sign that he has a solid plan when he walks up to the batter’s box each night.

That plan is reflected in Delmonico’s steady 9.1 percent walk rate, one of the highest on the team.

“It’s kind of just my approach,” Delmonico said of the patience he’s demonstrated at the plate. “It’s just like middle [of the field], just see balls up. I felt like since I got here I’ve felt pretty comfortable. I’m not trying to do to much, just try to stay as simple as possible and I think that’s helped me not chase as much. Here the strike zone is a little smaller so I’m trying to shrink my zone and just look more up.”

Staying calm, focused and patient—traits that Delmonico has on display at all times—has certainly been strong contributing factors to his success thus far.

Check out what Delmonico is swinging at and, remember, he’s never seen big league pitching before. It’s not as if facing Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello, and Drew Pomeranz in his first handful of games was an easy way to break into the big leagues.

Delmonico is barely swinging at pitches outside the zone. As a matter of fact, Delmonico is swinging at pitches in the zone a remarkable 72 percent of the time while swinging at offerings outside the zone just 22 percent of the time. That’s quite a tailored approach for a player who doesn’t have 40 plate appearances under his belt yet.

Delmonico attributes White Sox hitting coordinator Mike Gellinger to his keen eye at the plate. “Mike Gellinger taught me a lot,” Delmonico said. “I think working with him in the offseason was the best thing for me, I felt like I’ve come a long way this year with him.”

Delmonico is an infielder whose natural position is third base but the White Sox are looking to get the 25-year old rookie his reps in the outfield. “I feel good [in left], just out there everyday doing early work and trying to get more comfortable with that,” Delmonico said.

“Nicky’s been doing a really nice job,” Renteria said. “Obviously he’s come out swinging the bat. He’s played left field for us. Right now we have him DH-ing. He’ll be back out in the field. We’re mixing these guys in. He’s done a nice job.”

Delmonico attributes much of his success in his new position to former White Sox player and now outfield and base running coordinator Aaron Rowand. “I remember last year, the first time I played there, I called him and I was like ‘Hey, you need to get to Charlotte quick and help me.’” Delmonico said of his first time in left. “He’s helped me even when he’s not here, he helps me over the phone or over text, just little things here and there.”

While Delmonico isn’t exactly young in baseball years, and may not have a place as a starter on this White Sox team that has a bright future rich with outfielders, as a left-handed bat, Delmonico could potentially become a useful bench option moving forward.

For now, Renteria remains a buyer on Delmonico’s stock. “Nicky’s been doing a really nice job,” Renteria said. “He’s carrying himself very, very well. He prepares very well. Very calm at the plate. Very calm in the field. I still say he’s got the ‘it’ factor. I think he understands his role. I think anytime he’s gets an opportunity to play he gives you the best of what he’s got and I think he understands what’s going on between the lines.”

While the White Sox may be knee deep in a rebuilding process, they certainly have had a few surprise stories this season to keep an eye on. Delmonico is the latest.