Tag Archives: Yoan Moncada

The Math is Out for the 2018 White Sox

By Cat Garcia

It’s quite fitting that in the dead of winter, with Chicago on the verge of a weekend long snowstorm that will render the city buried under up to a foot of snow, Baseball Prospectus’ annual PECOTA projections were released.

BP’s PECOTA projections offer fans a calculated look at the season ahead and often give something to keep their baseball-deprived minds occupied; something fans need during one of the most historically slow offseasons baseball has seen in years.

This year’s projections for the 2018 Chicago White Sox are not excellent but, given the team’s status as dead-center of a rebuilding process, not much more was to be expected.

PECOTA shows the Southsiders finishing in third place in the AL Central with a 73-89 record, just behind the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians. Not much of a surprise there, as the Indians have been on a tear in recent years while Minnesota has made additions to their roster this offseason that significantly improve their outlook on the 2018 season (at least in the dilapidated landscape of the AL Central). PECOTA still only has the Twins projected at 81-81–as a second place team.

However, PECOTA did bury a few interesting surprises in their individual player projections. Here are the top five most notable projections for the White Sox.

Yoan Moncada — .233/.330/.410 – 20 HR – 96 RBI – 2.1 WARP

Though what the White Sox saw from Moncada during his 2017 Southside debut was a bit of a rough-and-tumble start plagued with untimely injury, the projections for Moncada in 2018 seem tepid at best. It’s well-understood that Moncada’s main difficulty is his elevated strikeout rate, as he posted a swinging strike rate of 12.6 percent in 2017 (though it should be noted that he lowered that from the 17.2 percent he posted in Boston). If he can make decent contact, a projection of 20 home runs could be a bit low given that PECOTA has Moncada slated for 577 plate appearances. Moncada is also projected for a 2.1 WARP–the second-highest projection on the team behind friend and countryman Jose Abreu. While that number is likely helped out by his flashy range and fielding ability, Moncada’s first full season in the big leagues is given quite the seal of approval with a number like that.

Avisail Garcia — .275/.329/.427 – 17 HR – 72 RBI – 1.6 WARP

These projections for Avisail Garcia feel like a perfect middle ground between tempering expectations and not letting Garcia’s disappointing past follow too closely behind him. Though Garcia posted an extremely high BABIP of .392 to prop up his monster 2017 season, there were certainly flashes of improvement that lent themselves to the idea that these numbers might hold water. After all, Garcia did lower his strikeout rate by 5.6 percentage points from 2016 to 2017, showed vast improvements in his previously poor defensive skills, and made it to his first All-Star Game. Though his efforts in 2017 were quite unsustainable going forward, even the vast drop off from those numbers to what PECOTA sees him as this season would be an extreme upgrade from the fate he once held for his future.

Eloy Jimenez — .255/.329/.427 – 6 HR – 19 RBI – 0.1 WARP

Considering PECOTA has Jimenez totalling only 68 plate appearances during his first stint in the majors, these are pretty lofty numbers. Then again, most wouldn’t expect any less out of the gate from a player with the persistence and success of Jimenez. There is always a game of adjustments when a new young prospect arrives in the majors but, in this case, it’s likely going to be the league that needs to adjust to Jimenez. Of course, that will fizzle as it always does. Once the league figures Jimenez out he will have to make more adjustments of his own and he, much like many highly touted prospects, will be proven mortal—even if just for a short time. But posting 19 RBIs in just 68 plate appearances is quite the scorching start, one that’s sure entertain a fanbase that will be in desperate need of a sign that the future is still very bright for this White Sox team.

Nicky Delmonico — .246/.232/.434 – 16 HR – 56 RBI – 1.6 WARP

PECOTA has certainly tempered their expectations of Delmonico for the 2018 season, but one would have to assume that everyone else has as well. After a record-breaking start to a rejuvenated major league career (Delmonico almost didn’t come back to baseball after being granted his release from the Brewers), Delmonico holds a bit of promise that he can add a solid switch hitting bat to this lineup and eventually, to this team’s bench. Delmonico was notorious for his plate patience during his White Sox debut, walking 13.9 percent of the time, which lends itself to a solid foundation for success. If the power can stay while Delmonico continues his quest to drive the ball up the middle of the field, perhaps these projections aren’t extremely overzealous — but I wouldn’t hold my breathe just yet.

Lucas Giolito — 160 IP – 4.47 ERA – 1.38 WHIP – 163 SO – 67 BB – 26 HR

PECOTA doesn’t seem to have much faith in Giolito’s ability to strike batters out this season. These projections have Giolito striking out approximately one batter per inning, which seems low even for those most dubious of spectators. Giolito managed to strike out 6.75 batters per nine during his 45 inning stint on the Southside in 2017, while keeping his walk rate at a respectable 2.38 per nine. PECOTA seems to show Giolito having similar numbers in the way of walks, as well as home runs per inning as he did in 2017, which isn’t completely unrealistic in a hitter friendly ballpark such as Guaranteed Rate Field. While Giolito has made it vehemently clear that he intends to get to the 200 inning mark in 2018, let’s face it, the only pitchers who were able to do that in 2017 were guys such as Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Gio Gonzalez and Marcus Stroman—all who have a good amount of years as starters under their belt and are considered to be some of the leagues top arms. Even Justin Verlander only topped out at 206 innings in 2017.

Rick Hahn cautions “There’s a fair amount of work ahead”

The theme of the weekend at Sox Fest 2018 was slightly different than it has been the last few seasons—stay patient and trust the process. Instead of hype over plug-and-play types acquired in a string of deals that have “won the offseason” in the past, the mantra here is about building from the ground up for a strong foundation for the future.

Patience can be hard to preach to a fanbase that’s been hungry for a championship; an ideal that’s fallen through the cracks year after year leading to a jaded and disheartened fanbase. But, in this instance, the journey could be as rewarding as the destination itself.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in the last year-plus,” White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn said to the media Friday afternoon at SoxFest. “We feel we’re much closer than we were when we started this process to being able to field a team that can contend for championships on an annual basis, but we also know there’s a fair amount of work ahead of us,” Hahn continued. In a way, that is almost a refreshing sentiment to hear, simply because of it’s candor.

“I think when we preach patience at this point, to an extent we’re saying it to ourselves,” Hahn said of the team’s rebuilding efforts. “There’s going to be a temptation. All of you that are going to be in Glendale for the first few weeks of Spring Training are going to see players that are going to get you excited, and people are going to want to see them at the big league level, just like a year ago when they wanted to see Moncada start at the big league level, and Giolito and Lopez. But we have to be patient with their development.”

Much of the core the White Sox are moving forward with are extremely young and, as Hahn said, the pure excitement that’s left behind by small triumphs often leads to a strong dose of temptation. Temptation for call ups, for promotions and to make 2018 “the year.” That stems not just from what is seen in the results put forward at Spring Training or in the minor leagues or even the flashes of success the White Sox saw last year, but from the players themselves — who tend to be an enthusiastic and vocal bunch.

“I like when I read quotes from player X saying ‘I feel like I’m ready for the big leagues’, that’s awesome,” Hahn said. “I want that, I want guys regardless of where they are to be enthused and competitive and hungry and almost have a little chip on their shoulder like, ‘I’ll show you I’m ready.’ From our standpoint, whether it was a year ago with Moncada or Giolito or Lopez, you try to articulate the specific reasons why they’re not necessarily in the big leagues, what you’re looking for from them, where they need to show improvement and give them an expectation of generally how you think that’s going to unfold.”

Sometimes we lose sight of what it was like to be in the mindset of someone as young and driven as the faces of this groups are. Tunnel vision can become a powerful driver when paired with motivation and keeping these players on a steady path to sustained major league success is vital not only to the future of this organization, but in each player’s individual careers.

“I think although they might at times be slightly disappointed,” Hahn said. “You know, why wasn’t I the one who got the call up on this day or why didn’t I break with the club, they get it,

“They see enough of it around them and now they can look at examples with Giolito, Lopez and Moncada and see okay we spoke the truth to them and gave them their opportunity when the time was right and mine will come. Again, it’s an odd balance because there is this wonderful level of excitement and people are really diligently following our minor leagues and they’re tracking our guys performance and buying into it, getting excited for it. At the same time we need to be realistic. Michael Kopech is 21 years-old and has thrown fifteen innings at Triple-A. Does he have the ability to contend for Cy Young awards in the future? Absolutely. Is that going to start in 2018? Probably not, given what he’s done.”

That’s high praise for someone who has the small track record Hahn noted, but isn’t an extremely unrealistic expectation of a young hurler such as Kopech. The foundation is being properly built here, which leads to a clearer and more reliable vision of the future. Each of these players has their own “it” factor. These players are not accompanied by blind hopes for success or leaps of faith. They’re accompanied by patience in development and a strong set of tools that simply need to be properly honed. That’s a very different vision for this club than fans saw just a few phases ago.

“There have been past offseasons where we have been excited, we’ve ‘won the winter’ a few times, so to speak,” Hahn said. “We had authentic enthusiasm as we went to camp, that this was a team that had the ability to contend. I think we knew that certain things from a health standpoint or from a performance risk standpoint had to go out way for it to work, which makes you uneasy, where as with this even though we are by no means where we want to be yet, you can see the necessary depth coming together, that will be able to withstand whatever cruelties lay ahead when it’s time to win.”

For a team that is not slated to be taking home a division title and may even find Wild Card hopes a bit of a pipedream in 2018, a sold out SoxFest filled with fans praising Hahn for giving them hope again seems to lend itself to the idea that this team is on the road to something quite big, and that the fun can certainly start even before the celebrating does. All it takes is a little patience.

Dreams of Eloy to Get Sox Fans Through the Winter

It seems it wasn’t long ago that the most common sentiment echoed throughout the Cubs fanbase was, “they’ll never give up Eloy.”

Eloy Jimenez was hitting .329/.369/.532 during his first full season at high-A Myrtle Beach, which earned him the title of the Cubs No. 1 prospect in 2016. Cubs fans were simply enamored.

But as it became apparent that the Cubs wealth of offensive talent was simply brimming over, and as areas of need began to form throughout the rotation, the pipe-dream of Jimenez becoming the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade deal quickly became a reality. The deal the Cubs and White Sox made just a few weeks before the trade deadline has already solidified itself as what is likely one of the best fit trades of the 2017 season. The Cubs placed a rising ace into their rotation, and the White Sox added a young, developing power bat to their farm system.

What the White Sox assumed they were getting was the Jimenez baseball had been marveling at since 2014. Instead, they got something even better.

Jimenez arrived in High-A with the White Sox in July and hit .345/.410/.682—miles higher than he’d hit with any Cubs affiliate. Just like that, the Jimenez Frenzy was spreading wildly on the other side of town.

Moments such as the now popular “The Best” video in which Jimenez calls his own home run quickly became celebrated ones.

“That’s one of those things that just happened,” Jimenez said of the called shot. “Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I feel very confident. I’m feeling good with my body and I say, ‘OK, I’m going to hit a home run tonight, and it happens. I have that kind of confidence in myself.’”

How often does this happen? According to Jimenez, quite often. He just simply refers to it as confidence. Jimenez, however, is aware that there is still work to be done. Instant success without proper progression is never the long term answer.

“I have to work all around,” Jimenez said during his visit to Guaranteed Rate Field in September. “I have to improve all around my game. I don’t think it’s any specific area that I have to improve more than another. I have to keep learning about the game because every day you can learn something different.”

“People are going to want to see Michael Kopech [and] Eloy Jimenez,” General Manager Rick Hahn told WLS. “But we’re going to have to exhibit that same level of patience here over the next 12-18 months so that we can make sure they have similar such success as these first three [players to come up],” Hahn said, referring to Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Yoan Moncada.

Jimenez’s success hasn’t seemed to stop, though. Recently wrapping up his time in the Dominican Winter League, Jimenez says that his busy offseason has just helped him prepare for future long seasons on the South side. “This is just a good way for us to get ready for when the time comes for us to play in the World Series,” Jimenez said. “Probably two or three years ahead. When that time comes we have to be ready for that. We can’t say, ‘I’m tired because I’m playing too much’ or ‘I’m tired because I had 600 at-bats.’ When that time comes we have to get ready, and I think this is a good way for us to be prepared, for when that moment comes.”

If it was possible to build on the totals Jimenez finished his minor league season out with, he certainly went for it.

Check out Jimenez’s numbers in the Dominican League:

.386 .419 .754 4 5 2 20

Despite Jimenez’s proven ability to tear through whatever challenges lay ahead, Rick Hahn is not so certain that he will be ready to join the White Sox in 2018. “It’s possible,” that Jimenez spends all of 2018 in the minors, Hahn said in an interview with 670 The Score, then quickly peppering a new twist on a classic Rick Hahn quote — “But the good ones have a way of changing plans on you.”

What Sox fans must remember is that development isn’t simply lent to success in numbers. Jimenez may look ready to take the majors by storm, but development is non-linear and simply because Jimenez looks to be a natural for success at the plate doesn’t mean the rest of his makeup is refined just yet. Jimenez still believes he needs to elevate his game and, though it can be assumed that this is unanimously agreed upon by White Sox personnel, whether that development continues in the majors or minors, may be a topic of disagreement.

“I truly believe that I can be playing here right now,” Jimenez said in September. “Like I say, God’s plan is perfect. The only thing I can do and handle is to work hard every day and try to do my best and try to learn about the game every day and put me in the best position to force them to make a decision.”

Hahn has spoke about the delay in Moncada’s arrival in the majors and of the similarities the rest of the Sox’s growing pool of prospects’ paths will bear. Though there were other factors involved, the stressed point was that there were simply areas of Moncada’s development that still weren’t quite ready for the the big league stage.

There are certainly things that ballplayers need to work out at the major league level, but until the proverbial “checklist” as Hahn refers to it as is complete, Jimenez and any other prospect for that matter simply isn’t ready to take the next step. That’s something that folks will just have to trust the White Sox developmental staff on.

Is Jose Abreu Part of the White Sox Future?

When looking back at the White Sox’s extremely intriguing 2017 season, it’s hard not to immediately mention Jose Abreu.

Abreu is coming off his fourth season in the majors after being signed in October of 2013 to a six-year, $68 million deal and has had his best season since his rookie year in 2014.

But with Abreu approaching his age-31 season as a right-handed first baseman, questions loom as to whether or not Abreu has much of a future left on the South Side. Abreu currently has two years left on his six-year contract before he will become a free agent and the White Sox window of true contention doesn’t look to be opening up until around 2019 — Abreu’s age 33 season.

“They’re both special cases,” GM Rick Hahn said of Abreu and Avisail Garcia, who is also coming off of a stellar campaign. “And there are very strong arguments for them playing roles in 2020 and beyond. Abreu, obviously you can’t say enough about the season he had on the field, but [also] his importance in the role he plays in our clubhouse.”

As of September 29th, Abreu is hitting .306/.356/.556 with 33 home runs, the most since his rookie season. He has hit over 100 RBIs this season, marking the third season in which he has hit 30+ home runs and 100+ RBIs.

This year, Abreu also became just the sixth White Sox player to hit for the cycle on September 9th, earning him a gift from White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf — a commemorative ring to help celebrate his achievement.

“I would like to stay here forever,” Abreu said through the White Sox interpreter. “I would like to play with this team my whole career. But it is a business and we have to accept and respect what’s in the future. I would like to stay here forever.”

Abreu’s role in the clubhouse has become a pertinent piece in the discussion regarding his future. Abreu has taken on the role of a veteran leader in this clubhouse. He’s also been a friend and mentor to a precious piece of the White Sox’s future — Yoan Moncada. Moncada and Abreu grew up playing together in Cuba and have kept up a strong bond over the years. Having both Abreu serving as a mentor to both Moncada and the rest of the team’s budding youth could be considered a priceless asset.

“Most of the improvement or change since he first got here,” Hahn said, “It’s been with his comfort level in that clubhouse and the role of leader he has assumed, that he has always wanted to. We talked about that as far back as his rookie season—that that’s how he viewed himself and that’s what he wanted to be for this organization. But I think you’ve seen more public examples than you were able to see in the past of him playing that role for this club.”

Thankfully for the White Sox and Abreu, there’s no rush to make any decisions just yet. “Frankly, those decisions don’t have to be made this offseason,” Hahn said of entertaining the idea of moving the first baseman. “[He’s] controllable through 2019. We have the luxury, if we want, to play it out another year [or] play it out another half-a-year to see if the performance continues, see if the trade market changes.”

Hahn cited another important move that White Sox made this season that could have been made earlier, but the timing wasn’t right.

“As was the case when we sat here with [Jose] Quintana a year ago,” Hahn said, “yes, he was potentially a trade candidate, but the market didn’t respond the way we had anticipated, so we had to wait. There isn’t a firm answer right now. We don’t know what the options are. One of them conceivably is extending, and we have to wait and see what that cost entails.”

But Hahn realizes that luxury isn’t always afforded for long. “Sometimes a player needs to see what their free agent value is,” Hahn said. “And they perhaps have a different view of what their value is than what the market tells them it is. You’ve certainly seen a lot of players who have had to go out into the market, get whatever information they needed, and then return back to our club.”

Whether Abreu has a long term future in a Sox uniform remains to be seen right now. But the important part is that he’s continuing to make strides that indicate he’s still healthy and strong as ever, and has made a lasting impression on the White Sox’s young clubhouse. That impression cannot be erased, so even should the future find Abreu’s locker empty, his legacy will linger throughout the clubhouse as this team climbs to it’s bright, promising future.

With An Eye Toward the Future

As the season winds down for the White Sox, a few of the younger bats have been heating up. Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, and Yolmer Sanchez have all been on a run in the final weeks of the 2017 season. They’ve been the kind of runs that, coupled with the continued stellar production from Avi Garcia and Jose Abreu, make you wonder about just how quickly the White Sox rebuild can take shape.

Anderson’s first four months were tough, to say the least. What he had to deal with off the field was tragic and well-documented. In August, once he was able to start sleeping and dealing with the death of his best friend—a brother, nearly—Anderson’s performance on the field began to come around.

He’s picked up 30 points in batting average from August 1st to now. In 41 games, he’s slashed .320/.331/.543 and reminded most of his rookie campaign.

As for Moncada, Jose Abreu has helped in ways other than lineup protection. Although Abreu hitting behind Moncada and doing his best impression of a wrecking ball (.337/.380/.639 over the last two months) can’t hurt. Abreu suggested that Moncada use a lighter bat. A new shipment of lumber arrived for the White Sox rookie in time for the four-game series against the Royals on September 11th.

Since, Moncada has hit .448 over six games. He’s hit two homers and a triple. He’s driven in six and registered multi-hit games in four of the six. Quite simply, he’s been the sensation White Sox fans and front office alike were hoping for.

Yolmer Sanchez, who’s often been one of the younger players at whatever level of the minors he’s competed at, has shown enough extra-base pop to open eyes. His plate discipline has improved by quite a stretch as well. Through his first 687 MLB plate appearances, his OBP sat at .261. This season it seems regular playing time has benefited the 25 year-old infielder. His OBP is up a full 40 points (.320) and he’s added 11 home runs for good measure.

White Sox manager Ricky Renteria has been quick to say that while Sanchez may not be the double-digit home run type in the future, he’s a big proponent of what Yolmer adds defensively—especially at third.

Each of these three players are, to differing degrees, important to the rebuild. Moncada may very-well be the face of the transition. Anderson, perhaps, a potential steadying force. Sanchez, a meaningful bonus. Regardless of import, we’ll watch each try and carry hot finishes into the start of the 2018 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.”

And Soon, Lopez?

The 2017 trade deadline was the end of the first chapter of the White Sox rebuild. While there may be an addendum or two with potential sign-and-trades in the year or two to come, the means to acquire young talent are, mostly, spent. The next chapter will be spent figuring out which young talent will make it in the MLB. While Yoan Moncada seems destined to have the staring role in that part of the drama, there will be others. The next could be Reynaldo Lopez.

While guest speaking at Boston’s Saber Seminar over the weekend, GM Rick Hahn teased that Friday could be the debut of Lopez. He seems ready. While Lucas Giolito may have more prospect shine and Carson Fulmer has had big league experience with the White Sox, Lopez has been the most consistent starter for the AAA Charlotte Knights this season. That’s not to say Lopez is without flash. Over his last five starts, he’s thrown 30 innings, struck out 38 and held a 2.38 ERA. He was voted as the White Sox Minor League Player of the Month in July and has impressed both teammates and coaches with his cool, collected character.

When Lopez makes his White Sox debut, he’ll be pitching for his second MLB team. Lopez worked 44 innings for the Washington Nationals last season. He started six games and relieved in one while also throwing two innings of relief in Game Four of the NLDS against the Dodgers. 2016 saw Lopez miss a fair amount of bats (42 strikeouts in the regular season) but miss a the strike zone too often, as well (22 walks). Lack of command has been, as it is with so many young pitchers, the developmental issue for Lopez thus far. While nothing is a bigger tell than the GM of a team telling fans to buy tickets for Friday night against the Royals, Lopez’ walk numbers since the start of June do a fair amount of talking. He’s given a free pass to 22 hitters over 11 starts (62 innings). Just for the sake of quick review–Lopez walked 4.5 per nine in his 44 innings with the Nationals last season. In his first two months at AAA this year, he walked 5.65 per nine. Since the start of June, the rate has dropped to 3.19 per nine.

Reynaldo Lopez may well have little left to prove at AAA.

Should the White Sox bring him up for Friday’s start, it’s possible he could get 10 or even 12 starts in the remainder of the season. Last season, he threw 155.1 total innings across three levels (AA, AAA and MLB). He’s logged 121 innings so far this season so, when Hahn announces the move, it’s fair to wonder wether an innings cap will be thrown on top of Lopez’ new White Sox lid; the team a has preached patience with their new horde of top-tier talent.

Another question asked will be about how the rest of the rotation will change. With Mike Pelfrey, Derek Holland and James Shields all struggling to get out of the fifth innings on a regular basis, one wonders whether simply adding a sixth man (Lopez) into the rotation might just be easiest on everyone. It’d space out long relief work for a beleaguered bullpen and help Lopez ease into his first go in the Sox rotation.

Either way, listen to Rick Hahn. Maybe buy tickets for Friday night.

Tense Moments after Moncada-Garcia Collision

It all started with Adam Engel–in case anyone forgot that happened.

Though he was not one of those stricken by an injury serious enough to remove him from the game, Engel started off what would be a strange White Sox affair with a thunderous crash into the centerfield wall attempting to rob a Josh Donaldson home run in the first inning. Engel fell to the ground and didn’t move for a few seconds but stayed in the game.

Later, the peculiar evening would continue. In the sixth inning, Guaranteed Rate Field fell quiet as new, young superstar Yoan Moncada collided with right fielder Willy Garcia in an attempt to save a bases-loaded hit off the bat of Blue Jays’ second baseman Darwin Barney.

While Moncada was the one who was carted off the field, Garcia admits that he was knocked out upon impact and did not remember the play until he was shown video. “When I saw the video I saw the collision, I was like, ‘Wow, that was hard,’ Garcia said post-game. “At first, I was knocked out. I didn’t remember anything before I saw the video. And then I saw the video, and I said, ‘Wow, it was hard.’”

The last time Guaranteed Rate Field felt so grim was June 29 when then-Yankees outfielder Dustin Fowler crashed into the right field wall during his Major League debut. Fowler ruptured his patella tendon which ended his season before he even stepped up to the plate.

But, luckily for the White Sox, a team for whom Moncada has been a glimmer of hope amongst the dog-days of a rebuild process, the injury to the second baseman was simply a quad bruise right above the knee. Moncada is listed day-to-day.

“I thought both of them were down,” Renteria said of his initial reaction to the play. “I thought they were both out, is what it looked like to me. Neither of them were moving.”

Willy Garcia has been placed on the 7-day concussion list and the White Sox have promoted Nicky Delmonico from Triple-A Charlotte to fill the vacated roster spot. Delmonico will wear number 30, and be the second player two make his Major League debut with the White Sox this week, following the promotion of Aaron Bummer on July 27.

The White Sox found themselves down six runs and two players at one point on Monday evening, and headed in the eighth inning they trailed 6-1. That didn’t phase this team though, as Matt Davidson hit a walk-off bloop single to score the winning run, after contributing to the score by hitting a 2-run homer to the opposite field just one at-bat earlier. This was the second walk-off win led by Matt Davidson in as many games.

“It’s huge for us,” Davidson said of the victory. “I’ll take it. We’re all contributing, to win like that is awesome.”

Davidson attributes some of his recent success to a team meeting the White Sox held in Kansas City. “I think we had a good players’ only meeting” he said. “Us individually as position players talked about what we needed to do together as a position players. I think it’s good for the chemistry and we’ll continue to do it going forward.”

Jose Abreu spoke of the team meeting and Davidson’s recent success as well. “We had a meeting a few weeks ago in KC and we talked about how we can do things better on the field,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “I think that [Davidson has] been taking advantage of that situation, using the whole field and that’s something that lets you know that the kids are trying to do better and trying to take any piece of advice that you could give them.”

Abreu noted that despite their recent struggles, he’s proud of the way this team continues to fight for every win. “I’m just happy, not just because of the win today but because of how they’re playing, how we’re fighting,” Abreu said.

“It’s probably lifting him up to the sky right now,” Renteria said post game of Davidson. “He’s feeling good about himself. Obviously the situation was to put together a great at-bat. He didn’t try to do too much. Put the bat on the ball and was able to allow us to drive in the final run and win the ballgame. It just takes you, for him, to a point where your confidence builds a little. I think you gain more and more trust in who you are what you’re capable of doing.”

Moncada has Landed

“He’s an outstanding player and I’m going to be here right by his side to help him with anything he needs.”

The gleam in White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu’s eyes was unmistakable Wednesday afternoon as the media gathered around him to ask questions unrelated to him for nearly ten minutes. Abreu couldn’t have seemed more sincere and heartfelt when he spoke of new White Sox second baseman, friend, and fellow countryman Yoan Moncada.

Moncada was called up after a flurry of moves after Tuesday’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. One of them included the recall of baseball’s number one prospect. Somehow, from the small Cuban town that is Cienfuegos, located about 150 miles from Havana, Abreu and Moncada managed to reunite. This time, on the game’s biggest stage.

“When I made my debut with this team Alexei [Ramirez] and [Adrian] Nieto were here and they helped me a lot to get through this new process, to get through that first season,” Abreu said recounting his White Sox debut in 2014. “I appreciate that. And that’s why now I want to give Moncada as much as I know and as much help as I can give him,” Abreu continued. “It’s an honor, to be playing with someone who is from my same country, and from my same town and that’s why I take a lot of pride in helping him to get better.”

Abreu even went as far as becoming Moncada’s personal driver, picking him up at the airport upon his arrival to Chicago. “I asked him in the morning if he can pick me up at the airport and he did it,” Moncada said. “I was glad to see him there and we talked a little about everything—nothing in specific.” These two go way back, Moncada remembers  Abreu as “the superstar” of their hometown when he was just 15-years-old. “At that moment in Cuba, he was the best player in the country,” Moncada said.

The emotions flew in the clubhouse during this Dodgers series. Pregame Tuesday consisted of the media zooming in on how Todd Frazier handled trade rumours, and just 24-hours later, three vacant lockers that belonged to former teammates were quickly identifiable. All the while, the number one prospect in baseball was suddenly present in his new environment.

“Those are two different moments,” Abreu said of the quick turnover. “From one end we are saying goodbye to good friends, good teammates, people who you play with for two years and people that you care about. But on the other hand we are happy because Moncada was coming up. I was really happy for him and to have him here. But it was a very bittersweet situation.”

The energy around the ballpark was unmistakable, as fans gathered around to get a glimpse of Moncada on the field, shower him with boxes of Twinkies, his favorite snack, and to witness a turning point of the White Sox rebuild began to slowly take shape.

“I think it’s the beginning of what hopefully will be a transition from a lot of the youth we’ve been accumulating in the system,” Renteria said pre-game on Wednesday. “Everybody in the organization felt it was time for him to be a part of the White Sox.”

Despite the box score showing Moncada recording no hits and one walk in his debut, watching Moncada’s three plate appearances showed a strong and very disciplined plate approach.

Moncada’s saw an impressive nine pitches from Dodgers’ starter Kenta Maeda to start his White Sock career, and quickly found himself in an 0-2 count before working a walk, prompting what was likely the most heralded walk baseball has seen in quite a while. “I was excited, I was excited with the way the fans treated me and how they were cheering me,” Moncada said of his first trip to the plate at the corner of 35th and Shields. “I was really happy in that at-bat and excited because all that atmosphere and the excitement in the ballpark.”

Moncada was also down 0-2 in his second plate appearance of the night, working himself to a 2-2 count before grounding out. He quickly got himself into a 2-0 count during his final plate appearance of the evening, one in which he would line out on a ball scorched to centerfield.

“I felt good. I think that I executed my plan,” Moncada said postgame. “I didn’t get any hits but I hit the ball hard and I executed my plan. I was very comfortable with the strike zone. I was very aware of the strike zone.”

Manager Rick Renteria had high praise for his new second baseman after Wednesday’s rain shortened contest as well. “He looked very comfortable,” Renteria said. “Turned a nice double play. I think he didn’t look overwhelmed. I think he ended his first day here with us as well as you could have it be. I know he didn’t get any hits but I thought he had some pretty good at-bats.”

The 9-1 loss may have been dismal for Carlos Rodon and the White Sox, but the South Side came away with true hope for their future on Wednesday evening. The box scores may read that the Dodgers swept the Sox, but the Sox came away with a win this series in their own right. Baseball’s shiny new number one prospect in pinstripes.

White Sox Send Frazier, Robertson, Kahnle to Yankees; Call up Moncada

Out with the old, in with the new.

That’s certainly the phrase for the White Sox on Tuesday as they turned over their lineup, sending veterans Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and breakout reliever Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees in return for Tyler Clippard and three prospects while also announcing that Yoan Moncada will be called up to join the Major League club for Wednesday’s game against the Dodgers at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The White Sox will deplete their bullpen by dealing away Robertson and Kahnle, but shore up the loss by adding Tyler Clippard in what will likely be the closing role. Clippard has struggled with the Yankees this season, with a walk rate of 4.71 per nine and a HR/FB percentage of 14.6. Clippard is currently striking out 10.40 batter per nine.

The return the White Sox received from the Bronx included outfielder Blake Rutherford, the No. 3 prospect in the Yankees system, left-hander Ian Clarkin and outfielder Tito Polo.

The centerpiece of this deal is certainly 20-year-old Blake Rutherford. “Blake is a guy who was very high on our draft boards,” Hahn said of Rutherford. “We debated him right up through our pick last year.” Rutherford is the No. 36 prospect overall according to MLB.com. “I don’t like putting comps on players but we do view him as having an extremely high ceiling and a guy who when we start looking around at Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada. He fits into that potential mold of a potential high-impact offensive player who potentially can also help you defensively,” Hahn said. Rutherford hit .281 while with the Yankees Class A Charleston team.

Ian Clarkin, 22, was ranked as the Yankees No. 19 prospect according to MLB.com and was in Class A Tampa where he had a 2.62 ERA over 75 IP with 58 strikeouts. He comes with a long injury history but has a good mix of pitches that include an above-average breaking ball and a fringe-average changeup that could be interesting in use as a long reliever if Clarkin doesn’t make the starting rotation in the future. The White Sox have a long track record of keeping their pitching healthy, so perhaps the injuries are not a major concern for the organization.

Tito Polo, 22, was the mystery fourth piece in the deal. “Tito Polo is a center fielder who has gotten off to a torrid start in CF,” Hahn said. “He can run a little bit and swing.” Polo came to the Yankees in August of 2016 as the player to be named later in the Ivan Nova trade with Pittsburgh. Polo was a resident at both High-A Tampa and Double A Trenton in the Yankees system this season, where he hit nearly .300 between the two affiliates and had an OBP of .365 in Double A.

It was nothing short of an exciting day on the South Side with the Dodgers being in town and rolling out Clayton Kershaw, the addition of more prospects to bulk up their flourishing minor league system and, oh, let’s not forget about Moncada. He’ll be on the South Side on Wednesday.

The White Sox’ Future Is Close

Yoan Moncada wore a White Sox hoodie throughout infield practice in Indianapolis on Monday. While it didn’t exactly seem like a statement from baseball’s top prospect, it didn’t look out of place, either.

Moncada, who had plenty of Chicago press coming to see him and the Knights take on the Indianapolis Indians, just finished the kind of week that turns heads. He was 11-for-22 (.500) with two homers, a double, four RBIs and eight runs scored over six games. That’s incredible work. His coaches say his defense at second has improved. His teammates say he’s come out of his shell (he’s a bit of a quiet guy) and is a joy to have in the clubhouse, regardless of how much noise he makes (or doesn’t). White Sox fans say they’d prefer he play his home games on the South Side, rather than in the South.

The fans, it seems, will have to wait. On May 15th, the calendar turns on Moncada. At that point, the White Sox will have saved enough time in the minors to keep control of Moncada for seven seasons. It will be some time shortly after the All Star break, when the Super Two deadline passes. That’s a more complicated return for the Sox but, essentially, they’ll save a payment of about $10 million if they wait until the end of July to move Moncada up north.

While the circumstances surrounding the arrival of Moncada are far from unique (the Cubs faced the same situation with Kris Bryant, the Astros with Carlos Correa, the Indians with Francisco Lindor), the player might be. Moncada received a massive amount of money for signing with the Red Sox in 2015. Bryant, Correa, and Lindor were all drafted; their bonuses carefully capped by a CBA that works to keep teams from spending too much.

There are boxes for Moncada to check in AAA, however. It’s not a mere shell game keeping him from the Keystone at 35th and Shields. He strikes out quite a bit–right around the 30% mark for his minor league career. Typically, you can count on an increase of a few percentage points when a player moves up to the Bigs. That would be, as they say, a lot of strikeouts. Ideally, the Sox would like to see him decrease the swing and miss.

Also, as GM Rick Hahn is fond of pointing out, Moncada (who turns 22 at the end of the month) has just over 300 at-bats above A ball. That, as they say, just isn’t a lot. In baseball, there is concrete value in repetition.

Right now, Moncada’s repetition will be dominating AAA pitchers. If he wants to wear a White Sox hoodie the entire time, I don’t think anyone will have a problem with it.

Brett Lawrie Released

The White Sox have requested waivers on second baseman Brett Lawrie for the purposes of granting his unconditional release. Lawrie’s last game with the Sox, it seems, was July 21st of the 2016 season. Numerous leg injuries Lawrie attributed to wearing orthotics for the first time in his career sidelined him for the vast majority of the second half.

Releasing Lawrie, however, was a philosophical decision by the organization not cutting bait on an injured player.

“As we talked about throughout this offseason, part of this process of building something sustainable for the future involves making some difficult decisions and today was a difficult decision,” GM Rick Hahn said. “Brett is a talented player who, no doubt in any of our minds, will help a club this season. At the same time we are committed to giving an opportunity to several of our young players–players who are going to be here for an extended period of time and we want to find out about.”

Lawrie (who slashed .248/.310/.413 with 12 HRs and 36 RBI) started 2016 on a tear and was part of the reason the Sox were able to get off to such a hot start while Abreu and other struggled at the plate. He was acquired December 9th, 2015 when the Sox sent JB Wendleken and Zack Erwin to the A’s.

After resigning Lawrie for the 2017 season for $3.5 million dollars, it was widely thought that Lawrie, if he got off to a hot start like last year, could be trade bait as the White Sox continued their rebuild. Health would be a big factor, however, as up until his release, Lawrie had not been able to get into a game. He’d been recovering, still, from nagging injuries related to orthotics and told reporters late last week that he was “close” to being comfortable enough to get into games.

With Lawrie’s release, Tyler Saladino and Yolmer Sanchez figure to be the replacements at the keystone at least until top prospect Yoan Moncada is ready for the Big Leagues. The White Sox currently have 38 players on the 40-man roster with 59 players in camp. First baseman Jose Abreu returned from his testimony in a Miami court and is in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Padres. The White Sox will be on the hook for just under $600,000 of Lawrie’s $3.5 million dollar deal. The major league minimum salary is $535,000 for 2017.


Plenty of PT for White Sox Prospects

White Sox top prospect Yoan Moncada makes his second start of the spring today against the Mariners. From the start of camp Manager Ricky Renteria has put Moncada and the rest of the high-end prospects in the White Sox newly loaded farm system front and center.

Moncada has five plate appearances, despite just the one start, catcher Zach Collins has five as well–with no starts yet. Adam Engel (who won the Arizona Fall League MVP in 2015 and someone White Sox fans should keep an eye out for) has had five trips to the plate as well. Engel also made one of the better plays in the outfield for the Sox so far this spring. Michael Kopech will start today’s game against the Mariners. Reynaldo Lopez gets the start in the other game (the Sox are using split squads today). Lucas Giolito made his debut against the World Series Champion Cubs on Monday. Zach Burdi was called on in the 9th inning of Sunday’s game to nail down the Sox first win.

There’s a lot of young talent and they’re getting run early.

While the playing time is plentiful for the youngins early on, it may not portend breaking camp with the team–or even an early call-up. The World Baseball Classic is making spring extra-long this year. The Sox also have a few injuries to projected regulars (Todd Frazier, Brett Lawrie and Charlie Tilson) which gives more opportunities. Further, forty percent of the White Sox rotation will work in the WBC–Jose Quintana will pitch for Columbia, Miguel Gonzalez for Mexico–while Nate Jones and David Robertson will both pitch for Team USA. Those pitchers are on a different schedule, altogether. Finally, Carlos Rodon has been backed up in an effort to keep him strong through the season.

Still, “Get ‘Em In Early” works pretty well as a motto for a team hungry to see what all the new (and existing) young talent is able to do. Perhaps the toughest task facing the kids, however, could be keeping things in stride. Knowing that their time in Big League Camp could be limited, it’s got to be tough to no try and hit three home runs in one swing or throw a fastball through the catcher. So far, the kids have impressed and that’ perhaps the most important part of the White Sox spring.

The Plan for Yoan Moncada

As the White Sox take on the Cubs this afternoon, Ricky Renteria has top prospect Yoan Moncada starting at second base. It’s the first start of the year for Moncada though he’s seen action in each of the first two games. Renteria spoke with reporters before the game and was asked about the overall plan for Moncada this spring and the latest on today’s starter Lucas Giolito.

Sox Fest ’17 Brings Promise

The landscape has changed quite a bit for the White Sox since the final out of 2016 was recorded. We need not relive the ups and downs of the 2016 season but, clearly, the 2017 White Sox are set out on a much different path than just a year ago. With a new manager in Rick Renteria and a new direction after the trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, the White Sox have gotten younger, deeper and, hopefully, better in the long run.

For the media, Sox Fest starts with a press conference held by GM Rick Hahn. After the dozens of questions about the future of starter Jose Quintana, third baseman Todd Frazier, left fielder Melky Cabrera, closer David Robertson and anyone else not named Tim Anderson or Carlos Rodon, we’ll get to the business of getting to know the new comers.

Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito or Michael Kopech will be wanted men at Sox Fest 2017–and for good reason. Giolito and Moncada (along with Reynaldo Lopez) are likely to make their White Sox debut at some point in the 2017 season. Moncada could even break camp as the starting second baseman.

There’s a different flavor about the White Sox rebuild. It’s may not have to be the Astros-type where hope is invisible for years. It may not be the Cubs-type where players acquired were, for the most part, years away from MLB-ready. It could be that the track the White Sox are on is very much their own.

Still, the first questions asked to Hahn at the press conference–the ones about how much further the rebuild will go–will likely establish a tone for the rest of the weekend. There will be anxiety about whether prospects become players. There will be sadness in the departure of Sale. The plan, though, is a smarter and deeper system than the organization has had in some time. There is strength in numbers and in acquiring the the talent they have this winter, Sox fans can diversify their hope as they wait for a winner on the Southside.

Get more information about SoxFest 2017 here.

Chris Sale Heads to Boston, White Sox Get Haul

The day after the 2016 season had ended, the White Sox called a press conference to announce Ricky Renteria as their new field manager. General Manager Rick Hahn was there to introduce Renteria and, in so doing, spelled out a few things about the coming off season and what it would bring for the organization. You’d be able to tell, he said, the direction of the club by the first big move they make.

Chris Sale is headed to Boston and a massive prospect haul is headed back to the White Sox.

The direction, it seems, is getting younger, deeper and better. Questions remain, of course, as to just how deep and thorough the seeming rebuild will be. As for the Red Sox, they’re getting one of the best pitchers in baseball. In his seven years with the White Sox, Sale both made the All Star team and finished in the top six of the Cy Young voting each year he was a member of the White Sox rotation. A voracious competitor, Sale wasn’t without incident with the Sox. Still, in the end, his focus was on winning games. Unfortunately, that’s something the club wasn’t able do enough of and in moving Sale, they hope to deepen a young talent base that will mature into contenders.

As for the return on Sale, it’s huge. Yoan Moncada is rated by many as the top prospect in baseball. Though his first eight games at the big league level were a struggle, he was promoted to the Bigs straight from AA. It’s not unthinkable that the White Sox would keep Moncada in the minor leagues to start the 2017 season. He’ll turn 22 in May 27th so some seasoning could be worthwhile. Regardless, Sox fans should be able to dream of a stellar double play combo in Tim Anderson and Moncada and witness it in just a short time.

Michael Kopech is the the second best prospect in the deal and was the third ranked player in Boston’s treasure chest. Kopech, though it may be a bit apocryphal, reportedly hit 105 mph during a minor league outing last year. At 20 years old with flowing blond locks and a huge frame, the comparisons to Mets Ace Noah Syndergaard are many. Kopech’s arrival to the majors may be a bit farther away as he’s only thrown at the high A level. Outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, ranked 8th in the Red Sox system, and right hander Victor Diaz complete the haul.

While the return on Sale has plenty of value, questions remain about how much more the White Sox intend to do this winter. It’s conceivable that with their number one starter traded, they see what kind of impact their still talented core could make come April. Equally understandable would be the idea of trading off key members of that core. Jose Quintana, Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton and Todd Frazier would all bring back quality returns. Like the Yankees at last summer’s trade deadline, the White Sox could be have a rebuild well underway and have talent ready for competing at the majors in short order.

You can hear the latest on the White Sox each Saturday at noon on White Sox Weekly with Connor McKnight on WLS AM 890.