American League Centra Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey l bounceback players

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

That particular philosophy can be applied to a group of players in the American League Central who struggled out of the gate, but have the wherewithal and track record to turn things around and help their respective teams in 2018. Some of those accomplished players already have begun making that change for the better.

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

That particular philosophy can be applied to a group of players in the American League Central who struggled out of the gate, but have the wherewithal and track record to turn things around and help their respective teams in 2018. Some of those accomplished players already have begun making that change for the better.

Here’s a look at one player on each team within the division looking to make the kind of solid contributions that teams have come to expect from them.

Video: Must C Clutch: Kipnis crushes go-ahead HR in 9th

Indians: Jason Kipnis
Despite a sluggish start for Kipnis, things have been looking up for the Indians’ second baseman of late. He was moved down in the lineup after posting a .171/.259/.250 slash l Jimmy Graham Jersey ine and striking out 39 times through his first 42 games. However, in his past 80 plate appearances spanning 20 games since May 19, Kipnis is hitting .256/.307/.415 with 19 punchouts and three homers.

After a 2-for-6 showing against the Astros on May 27, Kipnis said he had been working to make adjustments to his swing. The two-time All-Star and eight-year veteran’s track record also suggests he’s a historically slow starter — posting a career .221/.294/.334 slash line through 142 games in March and April. Kipnis, a career .264 hitter overall, also tends to heat up in the warmer months, especially in May, June and July.

As Kipnis’ bat continues to heat up, so does the rest of the Tribe’s offense, which ranked first in Major League Baseball in May in runs (179), hits (287), doubles (68), slugging (.499) and OPS (.848).

Video: KC@OAK: Duffy strikes out 10 in 7 scoreless innings

Royals: Danny Duffy
On May 19, after getting rocked for seven hits and five runs through four innings, Duffy watched his ERA balloon to 6.88 — the worst in the Major Leagues among qualified starters.

Presumably the ace of the staff, Duffy was frustrated and out of answers. But Duffy finally may have found the solution that will turn his season around — commitment to his fastball. Duffy’s usage of his four-seamer had dipped below 40 percent this season (in 2012, by contrast, he used the four-seamer 65 percent of the time).

In his past four starts, Duffy has gone back to using the four-seamer nearly 50 percent of the time, and combined with his two-seamer, opponents were seeing hard stuff well over 60 percent of the time. And the results have been encouraging. In those four starts, Duffy posted a 2.10 ERA, with opponents hitting .202 against him. In his most recent outing Saturday against Oakland, Duffy threw seven shutout innings and struck out a season-high 10.

Video: CLE@DET: Fulmer tosses 7 innings of one-run ball

Tigers: Michael Fulmer
Fulmer has looked more like a mid-rotation starter than a staff ace this season after coming back from surgery to shift the ulnar nerve in his right elbow. While the Tigers and Fulmer believe he’s healthy, there’s also a belief he’s still getting back to his old pitching form.

Fulmer’s fastball is back to its past velocity after a sluggish start, and he’s getting a better grasp of a slider he retinkered in Spring Training for better movement. While his strikeout rate is on par with his AL Rookie of the Year Award campaign in 2016, his homer and walk rates are both up. If he can locate his sinker down in the strike zone and pair it with a high fastball, Fulmer believes he can drop the damage.

Video: MIN@NYY: Sano slugs 114.6-mph homer vs. the Yankees

Twins: Miguel Sano
Sano has struggled offensively this season, hitting .203/.270/.405 with seven homers and 27 RBIs in 37 games. After Thursday’s game, the Twins optioned the slugger to Class A Advanced Fort Myers to improve his contact skills.

Sano has been hurt by strikeouts, as he’s fanned in a career-worst and Major League-worst 40.5 percent of his plate appearances. He’s also seen his walk rate dip to a career-worst 8.6 percent, as he’s had trouble with pitch recognition and laying off pitches outside the zone.

Sano, who was an All-Star just last season, was hurt this year by a strained left hamstring that forced him to miss nearly a month. He’s had trouble finding his timing since the injury, but w Green Bay Packers Jimmy Graham Jersey ith his strong track record offensively, the Twins believe he can turn it around. He has immense power, but he has to cut down on his strikeouts to be effective.

Video: CLE@CWS: Shields goes 7 strong innings of 1-run ball

White Sox: James Shields
Shields, 36, posted a 5.44 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 22 walks over his first 48 innings covering eight starts and one relief appearance. Since a loss to the Cubs on May 12, Shields has a more respectable 3.70 ERA over six starts, striking out 31 and walking 11 in 41 1/3 innings. He has lasted at least six innings in 10 straight starts.

Shields doesn’t have the same stuff he possessed when he was putting up past All-Star-caliber numbers. But he changes speeds effectively and drops down to different arm angles to throw off hitters. Shields began working that way in ’17, and he could become an important trade component for the rebuilding White Sox.

An honorable mention goes to Joakim Soria, 34, who blew a save in the home opener against the Tigers on April 5 and had a 5.65 ERA through his first 15 appearances. But in his past 12 games, covering 11 2/3 innings, Soria has not given up an earned run while notching 13 strikeouts with two walks and five hits allowed. He has gone 6-for-6 in sa Ha Ha Clinton Dix Jersey For Sale ves during June.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk’s Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.


Chicago White Sox,
Minnesota Twins,
Cleveland Indians,
Detroit Tigers,
Kansas City Royals,
Danny Duffy,
Michael Fulmer,
Jason Kipnis,
Miguel Sano,
James Shields

Carlos Rodon pitches strong, Sox fall to Trib Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey e

CHICAGO — When Carlos Rodon was told his day was done after five innings in Chicago’s 5-2 loss to Cleveland on Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field, the White Sox starter had a message for manager Rick Renteria.

“He was like, ‘I’ve got to be better,”’ Renteria said.

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CHICAGO — When Carlos Rodon was told his day was done after five innings in Chicago’s 5-2 loss to Cleveland on Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field, the White Sox starter had a message for manager Rick Renteria.

“He was like, ‘I’ve got to be better,”’ Renteria said.

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“Yeah, not my best,” Rodon said.

By the numbers, Rodon’s start was not much different than his season debut Saturday at Fenway Park. He allowed two runs over five innings, striking out four and walking three. Against the Red Sox, Rodon yielded two earned runs in five innings while fanning seven.

Video: CLE@CWS: Renteria on Rodon, benching players

Those statistics really should be a secondary focus behind the crispness of Rodon’s stuff. Including four Minor League rehab starts, Thursday was just his sixth trip to the mound for the 2018 season as he recovers from last September’s season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery. His fastball topped out at 96.1 mph per Statcast™, with his velocity gradually rising as the game progressed.

It’s a designed plan by Rodon and the White Sox, who don’t want him to max out with every pitch. After working primarily fastball/changeup against t Jimmy Graham Jersey he Red Sox, Rodon raised his slider pitch count to 22, getting four swinging strikes and two called strikes on the pitch. Rodon’s goal is to get ahead more in the count so he can employ his wipeout slider to finish off opposing hitters.

But Rodon didn’t want to take any mound rust into consideration after throwing 59 of his 100 pitches for strikes in five innings.

“I don’t want to make that excuse. When you sho Ha Ha Clinton Dix Jersey For Sale w up at this level, it’s time to compete,” said Rodon, who was happy with his four-seam fastball and the incorporation of more sliders compared to his season debut. “A little inconsistent today. A little everywhere. Try to get that back on track. Fastballs in, that’s the key for me. I have a good fastball, just have to throw it.”

“Hopefully the next one will be better, he’ll be able to go deeper, a little more efficient,” Renteria said. “He’s got good stuff, so that’s good. I think he got up to 95 or 96 today on some fastballs. Continues to work, and we’ll see if he can clean it up.”

Video: CLE@CWS: Abreu leaves his feet for swipe tag on Guyer

Rodon allowed a leadoff homer to Francisco Lindor on his third pitch, then Cleveland put two men on base in the second. The Indians left the bases loaded in the third, when Rodon forced home a game-tying run with a walk issued to Yan Gomes.

Chris Volstad suffered the loss, allowing Jose Ramirez‘s 20th home run with two outs in the seventh to break the 2-2 deadlock. But it was another good series in the rebuild scheme for the White Sox, who have not lost a series in June, with strong starts from Dylan Covey and Rodon in this four-game set.

“We have been doing a better job during this month, and we have been working hard, and the results have been better for us this month,” said White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, through interpreter Billy Russo, of the team’s 8-6 June record. “We still need to keep working hard and grinding and doing the things that we know that we can do as a team to get more wins. That’s the goal.”

Video: CLE@CWS: Rodon fans Allen with two runners on in 3rd

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rodon faced a runners-on-first-and-second, nobody-out situation in the second and went 3-0 on Yonder Alonso before getting out of trouble. Alonso flied out deep to left, Erik Gonzalez lined out to right and Greg Allen struck out to keep the White Sox lead at 2-1.

SOUND SMART
The White Sox bullpen snapped its consecutive scoreless streak at 24 2/3 innings. It still has a 1.91 ERA in June, which ranks third in the Majors.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Abreu continues to climb the White Sox franchise leaderboard in just his fifth season with the team. His first-inning, two-run homer off of Mike Clevinger was the 135th of his career, moving him into a tie with Minnie Minoso for 12th all time. Abreu was tied with Hall of Famer Jim Thome at 134 entering Thursday’s game. The home run also marked the 800th hit of Abreu’s career.

“First and foremost I’m very happy, because I was able to hit that homer to the opposite field, especially in this ballpark,” Abreu said. “I didn’t remember the last time that I did it. I’ve been working to hit the ball throughout the whole field, and HaHa Clinton Dix Jersey  it was a good sign for me today to hit the ball to the opposite field with that homer.”

Video: CLE@CWS: Abreu belts an opposite-field 2-run homer

HE SAID IT
“If you think any of us wanted a pitch right down the middle, no, that’s not what was the intent. He had him with two strikes, and obviously we don’t want to throw anything near the plate.” — Renteria, on the elevated sinker Ramirez hit for the go-ahead homer off of Volstad

UP NEXT
 Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ha Ha Clinton Dix Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap Reynaldo Lopez (2-4, 3.26 ERA) will make his 14th start of the season and third against the Tigers when the White Sox open a three-game series on Friday at 7:10 pm CT at Guaranteed Rate Field. It will be his first start at home since May 20 vs. Texas. The White Sox are scoring an average of 3.26 runs behind Lopez, the eighth lowest in the Majors. He’ll be tested against Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.01 ERA) of Detroit.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk’s Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.


Chicago White Sox,
Carlos Rodon

Nate Jones di Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey scusses arm injury, other notes

CHICAGO — The right forearm pain felt by Nate Jones has been going on for the last two to three weeks, according to the White Sox reliever. But Tuesday’s appearance against the Indians marked the first time Jones felt he could no long pitch through the discomfort.

“It was kind of like self-treating,” Jones said prior to Thursday’s series finale. “I’ve been through three surgeries, so I knew what was actually hurting and what was sore and what I could do about things like that. After the outing the other night, I knew I needed more help than just myself.

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CHICAGO — The right forearm pain felt by Nate Jones has been going on for the last two to three weeks, according to the White Sox reliever. But Tuesday’s appearance against the Ind Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ha Ha Clinton Dix Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap ians marked the first time Jones felt he could no long pitch through the discomfort.

“It was kind of like self-treating,” Jones said prior to Thursday’s series finale. “I’ve been through three surgeries, so I knew what was actually hurting and what was sore and what I could do about things like that. After the outing the other night, I knew I needed more help than just myself.

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“There was one particular pitch that it kind of started burning a little bit on me. Obviously, I knew I was hurting the team rather than helping, so I had to say something, get something done, and that’s where we’re at now.”

Jones, 32, woke up the next day after throwing and felt something different than just regular soreness. He wasn’t throwing back-to-backs, so he had time in between to recoup. That soreness kept him from finishing pitches, contributing to seven walks vs. seven strikeouts in his last nine games. He was placed on the 10-day DL on Wednesday.

But there was a sense of relief when an MRI showed no ligament damage for a pitcher who has already had season-ending Tommy John and nerve repositioning surgeries on the same arm.

“They compared my Tommy John ligament from last year to this year, and nothing’s changed,” Jones said. “The flexor tendon, I guess the flexor mass or mass flexor — whatever it is, I’m not really sure about all the medical terms — but we’re back there getting it right.

“Like I said, I was hurting the team instead of helping. So I had to get something done.”

Moncada and Anderson out of action

Second baseman Yoan Moncada and shortstop Tim Anderson received rare days off Thursday to get a little break from a recent run of rough results. Anderson is hitless in his last 14 at-bats and 5-for-his-last-37, while Moncada is in a 14-for-83 funk over his last 20 games.

“Let them take a step back, catch their breath,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “Both of them are trying a little bit too hard. Putting them both together on the bench, being able to maybe talk to them during the ballgame might be a good thing.”

Moncada entered Thursday second in the Majors with 92 strikeouts, but Renteria doesn’t seem concerned about Moncada’s current swing and miss propensity.

“The strikeouts in and of themselves I’m not too concerned about, because the bat-to-ball skills are there,” Renteria said. “I don’t want him to start changing his approach based on strike zones. I want him to be able to maximize what he’s capable of doing with the pitches he’s capable of handling.

“That’s one of the things you need to make sure he understands and we understand. We want you to stay focused in maximizing your ability over time.”

Video: CWS@BOS: Palka lines a 2-out, 2-run double in the 9th

Palka, Covey making statements

Outfielder Daniel Palka and right-handed starter Dylan Covey are two examples of young players taking advantage of opportunities afforded by the White Sox rebuild, possibly putting them in play for more competitive times in the future.

“You’ve heard me say probably too many times that the baseball gods can be cruel. Not everyone’s going to hit their potential,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “Some guys are going to  Ha Ha Clinton Dix Jersey For Sale get hurt, unexpected things are going to happen.

“There actually HaHa Clinton Dix Jersey  is a positive corollary to that in that some people are going to surprise us. Regardless of their pedigree or how we acquired the player, whether it’s off waivers or through the Rule 5 or a major trade involving a former star, we have no biases as far as who winds up being the 25 guys that help us win a championship.”

Third to first

Outfielder Avisail Garcia is 1-for-5 in his first two Minor League rehab games with Triple-A Charlotte.

“Feels good, feels healthy, feels sound,” Renteria said. “He’s got still a few more to go.”

Garcia was scheduled to play seven innings Thursday, nine on Friday and have Saturday off. He has been out of action since April 23 with a strained right hamstring.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk’s Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.


Chicago White Sox

White Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey Sox lose reliever Nate Jones to DL

CHICAGO — White Sox reliever Nate Jones was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to Wednesday’s contest with the Indians due to a pronator muscle strain in his right arm. Jones had an MRI showing no structural damage.

The hard-throwing right-hander felt soreness in the right forearm during his ninth-inning appearance Tuesday, when he gave up a Jose Ramirez double and walked one over one-third of an inning.

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CHICAGO — White Sox reliever Nate Jones was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to Wednesday’s contest with the Indians due to a pronator muscle strain in his right arm. Jones had an MRI showing no structural damage.

The hard-throwing right-hander felt soreness in the right forearm during his ninth-inning appearance Tuesday, when he gave up a Jose Ramirez double and walked one over one-third of an inning.

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“He reported it, they looked at him, we got the MRI today,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “We’re pleased but not pleased. It’s nothing to do with his elbow. It’s muscular, very mild, should be back as quickly as possible.”

Jones, 32, is 2-2 with a 4.01 ERA, four saves and 27 strikeouts over 24 2/3 innings and 27 relief appearances this season. His seven years with the team give Jones top White Sox seniority on the current roster.

Right elbow neuritis and the ensuing nerve repositioning surgery shut down Jones’ 2017 season on May 4 after 11 games. Jones missed all but two games in 2014 due to a microdiscectomy and then Tommy John Surgery after injuring his elbow while rehabbing from the first surgery.

But the White Sox don’t seem worried this injury will cause an extended absence for one of their back-end bullpen presences.

“We’ll just have to adjust to the guys we do have,” Renteria said. “From what the diagnosis was, he’s not throwing for six days and we’ll see where he’s at and try to get him back.”

Right-handed reliever Juan Minaya was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to replace Jones.

Farquhar returns
Danny Farquhar, who sustained a brain hemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm during a home game on April 20 after he pitched against the Astros, was in good spirits during a clubhouse visit Wednesday. He exchanged pleasantries with teammates and talked with general manager Rick Hahn and hitting coach Todd Steverson while wearing a White Sox helmet behind the cage during batting practice.

“It’s nice to see Danny. He looks really, really Green Bay Packers Jimmy Graham Jersey  good. Very happy,” Renteria said. “He continues to progress and he’s doing very, very well. He knows he still has a long road ahead of him, but he’s a very positive man.”

Farquhar was cleared to throw but will not pitch competitively during the remainder of the ’18 season.

Soria dropping down for success
Joakim Soria has converted all five of his save opportunities during June and has allowed just one unearned run over 8 2/3 innings since dropping his arm angle became a part of his delivery.

“It’s the first time I’ve done it,” Soria said. “It happened when we were facing Baltimore and I had a battle against Jonathan Schoop. It was a 3-2 count and I dropped the arm.

“He ended up grounding out. I see [James] Shields doing all that. It’s kind of like a veteran thing maybe. You have to do whatever it takes to get the results.”

Video: CLE@CWS: Soria get long flyout to earn 9th save

Shields, who started doing the same thing during a start against Boston last year and has continued throughout ’18, wholeheartedly approves of Soria’s change.

“He’s been great,” Shields said. “The fact that he’s giving them a different look Jimmy Graham Jersey  and coming in for one inning and how quickly he made an adjustment like that and has been successful, it’s been amazing. He looks nasty down there to be honest with you. He knows his game. And to see the hitters react to his arm action like that is great.”

White Sox an HaHa Clinton Dix Jersey nounce Draft signings
The White Sox have agreed to terms with 25 of their 40 selections from the 2018 MLB Draft, including seven of their top 10 picks. Infielder Nick Madrigal (first round) from Oregon State, left-handed pitcher Konnor Pilkington (third) from Mississippi State and right-hander Davis Martin (14th) from Texas Tech remain unsigned but also are participating in the College World Series.

“[Director of amateur scouting] Nick Hostetler and his staff did a tremendous job,” Hahn said. “Madrigal at the top, we feel we got what is arguably the best all-around college baseball player in the country. We’re thrilled about the profile he brings and is a nice complement to some of the players we’ve already stockpiled in the system.”

Shortstop Lency Delgado (fourth), righty Jonathan Stiever (fifth), righty Codi Heuer (sixth) and fleet-footed outfielder Cabrera Weaver (seventh) represent the highest signed draftees.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk’s Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.


Chicago White Sox,
Nate Jones,
Juan Minaya

Dylan Covey leads Wh Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey ite Sox to win vs. Indians

CHICAGO — There might be more publicized stories of accomplishment across the 2018 Major League Baseball landscape. But there are few better tales than that of White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey.

Covey shut down the Indians on Wednesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field in a 3-2 White Sox victory, the second straight for Rick Renteria’s crew over the American League Central-leading Indians, who fell to 35-31 overall. The right-hander had his scoreless-innings streak ended at 13 and his streak without allowing an earned run end at 18 frames when the Indians scored twice in the eighth. But with runners on second and third and one out after a Yonder Alonso run-scoring double, Jace Fry fanned both Melky Cabrera and Jason Kipnis to maintain the lead.

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CHICAGO — There might be more publicized stories of accomplishment across the 2018 Major League Baseball landscape. But there are few better tales than that of White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey.

Covey shut down the Indians on Wednesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field in a 3-2 White Sox victory, the second straight for Rick Renteria’s crew over the American League Central-leading Indians, who fell to 35-31 overall. The right-hander had his scoreless-innings streak ended at 13 and his streak without allowing an earned run end at 18 frames when the Indians scored twice in the eighth. But with runners on second and third and one out after a Yonder Alonso run-scoring double, Jace Fry fanned both Melky Cabrera and Jason Kipnis to maintain the lead.

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“He’s been excellent all year. I left him in a tough situation, second and third, no outs. And he did just about as good as you could do,” said Covey of Fry. “I’m just super comfortable with my mechanics, with my pitches. I’m throwing offspeeds for strikes, I’m throwing my curvebal Jimmy Graham Jersey l for strikes. It’s just all about comfort for me right now.”

Video: CLE@CWS: Fry strikes out Kipnis to end the frame

“I thought he pitched a pretty good game, we just couldn’t string enough hits today,” said Cleveland manager Terry Francona. “He made some pitches, he sinks the ball really well, so you’re always a pitch away from getting that ground ball.”

This is the same Covey, who, as an overmatched Rule 5 Draft addition in 2017, finished with an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA covering 70 innings pitched, 18 games and 12 starts. Not even one year later, Covey has won his last two starts in pitching matchups with Chris Sale and Trevor Bauer, both of whom have good chances to be All-Stars. Covey exited with nobody out in the eighth to a standing ovation, with his ERA sitting at 2.29 for the season. He yielded two runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

Bauer was every bit as good as Covey, striking out 12 in 7 2/3 innings. But a leadoff walk to Tim Anderson in the fifth, after being ahead 1-2, sparked a two-run White Sox rally to give them the lead. Charlie Tilson tripled home the first run, and Trayce Thompson‘s squeeze bunt scored Tilson. Kevan Smith added a two-out RBI single in the sixth, scoring Jose Abreu after his 26th double, as the White Sox won for the eighth time in 13 games even with only four hits.

Video: CLE@CWS: Smith lines an RBI single in the 6th inning

“Our starting pitching has been great, our bullpen has been excellent,” said Covey, who won back-to-back games for the first time in his career. “We have some timely hitting, some really good offensive execution. We have a couple squeeze bunts in the last few games to get us an extra run on the board. Everything is just clicking for us right now.”

Video: CLE@CWS: Thompson plates Tilson with a squeeze bunt

“It’s been awesome,” Tilson said. “Our pitchers have been great. Hopefully, we can keep the ball rolling.”

Video: CLE@CWS: Tilson rips an RBI triple in the 5th inning

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
No double play? No problem: With runners on first and second in the first inning, Edwin Encarnacion hit a ground ball to second baseman Yoan Moncada that should have been an inning-ending double play. Instead Moncada bobbled it twice, but recovered in time to throw out Encarnacion at first. Covey had to make five extra pitches but struck out Alonso to end the threat.

Video: CLE@CWS: Covey fans Alonso to end the top of the 1st

SOUND SMART
The White Sox bullpen has thrown 23 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings and has a 1.65 ERA in June, the second-best mark in the Majors.

Video: CLE@CWS: Soria coaxes double play to notch the save

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Abreu is not known as much for his defensive skills, but he showed hard work has paid off with a flashy play to end the seventh. Abreu gloved Greg Allen‘s grounder, stepped on first base and then fired across the diamond to Yolmer Sanchez to double up a sliding Kipnis trying to advance from second to third.

“One of those things where he showed his field awareness on that play,” Renteria said. “It was a quick runner, tags the base, turns around quickly, he’s got a Green Bay Packers Jimmy Graham Jersey  good arm and throws a strike over there, and Sanchey does a nice job putting the quick tag on Kipnis. Just a great play.”

Video: CLE@CWS: Abreu turns clutch double play in the 7th

HE SAID IT
“Just strikes. He’s allowing the action that he creates in his pitches to work and they’re more effective in the zone. So even if he’s trying to hit a spot and that ball dives, it’s got action.” — Renteria, on what has changed with Covey in 2018

Video: CLE@CHW: Renteria on 3-2 win over the Indians

UP NEXT
Carlos Rodon makes his second start of the season and his first at home during Thursday  Ha Ha Clinton Dix Jersey For Sale afternoon’s series finale against the Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field, with a first pitch of 1:10 p.m. CT. Rodon lost his debut Saturday to Boston, but he is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA over 10 career appearances (nine starts) against the Indians, who will counter with righty Mike Clevinger.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk’s Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.


Chicago White Sox,
Dylan Covey

Alex Estra Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey da races around bases with White Sox

CHICAGO — Wednesday shaped up as just another normal day in the week for Alex Estrada.

Normal, that is, until the 7-year-old was greeted at daycare by a limousine and Southpaw, the White Sox mascot, to begin fulfillment of his ultimate wish with a one-of-a-kind experience at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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CHICAGO — Wednesday shaped up as just another normal day in the week for Alex Estrada.

Normal, that is, until the 7-year-old was greeted at daycare by a limousine and Southpaw, the White Sox mascot, to begin fulfillment of his ultimate wish with a one-of-a-kind experience at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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Estrada, who is battling Stage 4 neuroblastoma, received a special locker in the White Sox clubhouse with his own nameplate next to the locker belonging to James Shields. He received a White Sox j Green Bay Packers Jimmy Graham Jersey ersey with his name across the back and joined the players on the field for warmups and team stretch.

There also was plenty of mingling with third baseman Yolmer Sanchez and pitcher Hector Santiago, which included playing video games such as Mario Kart before batting practice. For at least one day, the White Sox had a 26th man on the active roster.

“Of course, video games are more of a priority than meeting players,” said Vince Estrada, Alex’s father, who joined him for the day with the White Sox. “He played and sat with Sanchez and Hector. They were buddy-buddy.

“The players have been great. They have been helping him dramatically. Sanchez and Hector have been awesome. They’ve been like sidekicks. He has been their sidekick. He’s loving it.”

Vince mentioned the hot tubs and the cold tubs in the clubhouse really caught the eye of his 7-year-old, who is fighting an illness affecting the pituitary glands located on the kidneys. During Alex’s first treatment cycle, he had his left pituitary gland removed, but according to Vince, doctors expect his son to make a full recovery.

Activities ended on Wednesday with Alex doing a home run for life race around the bases about 40 minutes before first pitch with some of the Indians and the entire White Sox team lined up on the third-base and first-base lines. There was then a check presentation from the Andrew Weishar Foundation to Alex after he triumphantly slid into home.

This event is part of this year’s Sox Serve Week. The club’s 10th-annual community outreach and fundrais Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ha Ha Clinton Dix Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap ing campaign engages Sox fans and the Chicagoland community through outreach events with current players and special fundraising opportunities.

Sox Serve Week runs until Saturday and benefits Chicago White Sox Charities (CWSC). And there’s one day of this week Alex Estrada never will forget.

“He had no idea. None at all,” Vince said. “He loved Southpaw coming in. He’s seen Southpaw. He ran right up to him, gave him a hug, high five, jumped around with him. When he realized he was coming here to the game, he was ecstatic. This has been unbelievable for him.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk’s Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.


Chicago White Sox

Nick Hostetler In My W Seattle Mariners Custom Jersey ords

You’re never going to hear a scouting director walk out of a room and say, “Boy, we had a terrible Draft.” But in my three years as the White Sox director of amateur scouting, [2018] is the most excited I’ve been after a Draft. There are some interesting guys in this class. This one is a bit more risky, and there’s some more ceiling to it. It’s going to be fun to watch it develop.

The MLB Draft is what we as scouts live for, but the three days are both exhilarating and excruciating. Leading up to the first day was miserable. Your mind is just racing a thousand miles a minute. All the phone calls, discussions, looking at the possible scenarios. It is just insane.

You’re never going to hear a scouting director walk out of a room and say, “Boy, we had a terrible Draft.” But in my three years as the White Sox director of amateur scouting, [2018] is the most excited I’ve been after a Draft. There are some interesting guys in this class. This one is a bit more risky, an Custom Astros Jersey d there’s some more ceiling to it. It’s going to be fun to watch it develop.

The MLB Draft is what we as scouts live for, but the three days are both exhilarating and excruciating. Leading up to the first day was miserable. Your mind is just racing a thousand miles a minute. All the phone calls, discussions, looking at the possible scenarios. It is just insane.

Forget about getting any sleep during the Draft. After the first night, I went back to the hotel and I’m wide awake at 2 in the morning. I said, “What am I going to do?” I actually went down to work out until 3:30. Then I took an hour nap — if you want to call it that — showered and went to the ballpark.

It also was gut-wrenching waiting for our pick at No. 4 in the first round. Nick Madrigal was the guy we knew we wanted. I wasn’t positive he would get to us. There was actually a rumor told to me by someone pretty high up in baseball that there was a possibility Nick could go as high as No. 1. Then the talk was that the Phillies, picking third, were wavering between Alec Bohm and Nick. We had to create backup scenarios and make sure everyone was on the same page. I did a lot of pacing about an hour out. I was texting the scouting directors in front of me, behind me.

It kept flipping. I’d talk to one guy who said the Phillies wanted Madrigal. I’d talk to another who said they wanted Bohm. It got to a point where I had a pit in my stomach.

We weren’t really positive Nick would get to us until Philly made their pick with Bohm. The feeling that you have, I liken it to winning a game. Finally that last out is made. This is exactly what we wanted. There’s that excitement, that joy of this work. All of the nights on the road, the airplane flights, the bad food we eat, the constant cell phone conversations, the stressing over weather and schedules. Getting a player like Nick made it all worth it.

It was one of those deals where I didn’t know how I would react if Nick got to us. Would there be a fist-pump? A dance, a yell? I put my hands on my knees and kind of bent over and took a big deep breath. There was a sense of relief.

Video: Draft 2018: Madrigal on being 4th overall pick

Over the course of Nick’s college career, I probably saw him play 20-25 times. Each time, he answered another question. He did something you wanted to see. He truly is a pleasure to watch play.

We talked Nick at Oregon State on May 9. I went with Mike Shirley, our national supervisor, and Garrett Guest, our Midwest supervisor, After that meeting, we were driving to the Portland airport. We all looked at each other and went, “Wow. That is an impressive young man.” He has an unbelievable knowledge of the game and is a 100 percent team-first guy. It was a fun conversation. The three of us left there kind of in amazement over how special this guy really was.

Of course, the Draft is about more than one player. The third day, when we draft from the 11th to 40th rounds, is truly about the area scouts. That’s their time to shine. I would be remiss to not mention the job the area scouts and cross-checkers do. I truly believe I have the best staff in baseball. They make my job so much easier. They know every piece of information about the player possible. They tell me at that point who it is they want us to draft.

We were in the 37th round, and I was listening to a debate between our area scouts about guys they wanted to sign after the Draft for $1,000. These guys still kept getting after it. History tells us you can get some great players in the later rounds. Last year, we took Laz Rivera, a shortstop, in the 28th round. He’s tearing it up at Class A Kannapolis. Ian Hamilton, a pitcher, was an 11th-round pick, and he’s having success at Double-A Birmingham. That’s a testament to what our scouts do.

Video: Draft 2018: Nick Hostetler on Day 3 Draft picks

This year, we added some high-ceiling high school kids. We’re really excited about it. Selecting high school pla Custom Mariners Jersey yers is not something we’ve done of late. We’re going to sign four of them. They are high-risk, high-ceiling guys. You want to balance it out. The last thing you want to do is walk out of the Draft and say, “I didn’t take any chances.” We want to go for the gusto with some of these guys.

Now the 2018 Draft is in the books. I’m leaving Tuesday to go to Cape Cod to start our 2019 Draft coverage. I actually made my flight reservations while in the Draft room. I’d love to sit here and tell you I can turn my mind off for a day and really enjoy it, but that’s not the way it works. As a scout, you’ve got to move forward. You’ve got to make sure you’re prepared.

We’re back at it. We’re ready to hit the road.

As told to Ed Sherman

Nick Hostetler is director of amateur scouting for the White Sox.


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Jose Abre Seattle Mariners Custom Jersey u leads 1st basemen in All-Star votes

CHICAGO — Jose Abreu stayed true to form on Tuesday — wanting to focus more on the game that night against the Indians than on his lead in the early results of the American League All-Star first basemen voting.

VOTE NOW: 2018 Camping Wo Houston Astros Custom Jersey rld MLB All-Star Ballot

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CHICAGO — Jose Abreu stayed true to form on Tuesday — wanting to focus more on the game that night against the Indians than on his lead in the early results of the American League All-Star first basemen voting.

VOTE NOW: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

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But achieving the starting honor would be something special for Abreu, not to mention the White Sox organization.

“It will be excellent because we play this game for the fans,” said Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo. “To have the honor to represent them, and they know what I’m doing, that is really big. If that happens I would be really happy.”

“Having the opportunity to work with him every day is something really special,” said White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada of Abreu, through Russo. “He likes to work, and you are always learning from him — the things that he does, how he handles himself and his routine. That’s something that you really appreciate, and I always thank him for allowing me to be close to him.”

Abreu, an All-Star in his AL Rookie of the Year Award-winning season of 2014, has 267,812 votes to carry a slim lead over Boston’s Mitch Moreland (241,889). Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera (173,174), Los Angeles’ Albert Pujols (155,219) and Houston’s Yuli Gurriel (154,363) round out the top five at first base. No other White Sox player received enough support for the top five (or top 15 in the outfield).

Video: CWS@DET: Abreu homers, collects 3 XBH in 4-hit effort

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites — on computers, tablets and smartphones — exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at  Custom Astros Jersey 10:59 p.m. CT. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year’s All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league’s roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

According to the team, Abreu is the first White Sox player to lead at any point in the balloting process since Frank Thomas won the fan election at first base in 1996. Abreu would be the sixth White Sox player to be fan-elected as a starter to the All-Star Game, joining Thomas (1994-96), Carlton Fisk (1981-82), Richie Zisk (1977), Dick Allen (1972-74) and Luis Aparicio (1970).

The 31-year-old ranks first among AL first basemen in RBIs, doubles, slugging percentage and OPS. Entering Tuesday, Abreu had a .290 average with an .862 OPS, 10 home runs and 38 RBIs. His 25 doubles put him second in the AL behind Eduardo Escobar.

“[Making All-Star teams] are the experiences you never forget,” Abreu said. “At that time [in 2014], it was recognition for all my work and for the journey to come to the U.S. and the Majors.

“One of the best moments was when I met Derek Jeter. He was in his retirement year, and it was a very special moment for me. Just being there, being around great players and having the opportunity to share the field and locker room with them was very special.”

Third to first

• Outfielder Avisail Garcia began an injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte Tuesday, hitting second and serving as designated hitter. He singled in his first at-bat, after being out of game action since April 23 with a right hamstring strain.

• Moncada has heard talk from manager Rick Renteria and general manager Rick Hahn about a generous strike zone being employed against him by umpires. But the switch-hitter, who is 24-for-119 in his last 30 games, knows it’s incumbent on him to make adjustments.

“I’m getting too many calls that for me are not strikes,” Moncada said. “They are calling those pitches strikes and I will have to make some adjustments in order to take advantage of the situation. It’s just more to keep doing the things that I’m doing. Just be more aware of the strike zone.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk’s Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.


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Tigers Jake Rog Seattle Mariners Custom Jersey ers among top performers

Here’s MLB Pipeline’s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.

Here’s MLB Pipeline’s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Tigers’ prospects Jake Rogers and Kyle Funkhouser put together dominant performances at the plate and on the mound as Double-A Erie cruised to a 12-0 win over Hartford.

Rogers, the Tigers’ No. 5 prospect, entered the game hitting just .169, but those struggles looked like a distant memory as he clubbed a career-high three homers. The catcher, who has seven homers this season, went deep  Seattle Mariners Custom Jersey in the second, fifth and ninth innings on his way to a 3-for-4, four-RBI night.

While Rogers provided plenty of run support, Funkhouser (No. 6) needed just one run as he threw six scoreless innings to pick up his second with of the season. Funkhouser, who threw 56 of his 89 pitches for strikes, didn’t issue a walk for the first time this season and struck out seven while giving up just three hits.

Other top prospect performances from Tuesday’s action:

No. 9 overall prospect Bo Bichette (Blue Jays’ No. 2) put Double-A New Hampshire on the board with a two-run homer — his fifth — in the fourth inning. Bichette, who later added a sacrifice fly, is 4-for-8 with five RBIs over his past two games and hitting .285 overall through 61 games.

Bichette hits two-run homer

• No. 77 overall prospect Adonis Medina (Phillies’ No. 2) was stuck with a no-decision despite spinning six scoreless frames for Class A Advanced Clearwater. After a rough start to the season, Medina, who struck out five  Women’s Houston Astros Majestic Home White Custom Baseball Jersey and surrendered five hits, hasn’t given up an earned run in two of his past three starts.

• No. 98 overall prospect Shane Bieber (Indians’ No. 3) lowered his ERA to 1.38 with another solid outing for Triple-A Columbus. The right-hander struck out five and walked one as he threw 66 of his 99 pitches for strikes over 7 1/3 innings. Bieber yielded five hits and gave up two runs, although just one was earned.

Angels’ No. 7 prospect Griffin Canning continues to impress for Double-A Mobile. The right-hander put together another scoreless start — his sixth over his past eight games — as he struck out six over 5 2/3 innings. Canning, who has a 1.97 ERA through 10 starts with Mobile, walked one, hit one and gave up two hits.

Astros’ No. 15 prospect Framber Valdez notched a season-high 10 strikeouts in a rare relief appearance for Double-A Corpus Christi. Pitching out of the bullpen for the fourth time this season (compared to nine starts), Valdez gave up one run on three hits over five innings.

Braves’ No. 22 prospect Tucker Davidson had everything working in what was arguably his best start of the season for Class A Advanced Florida. Davidson fired 60 of his 95 pitches for strikes over seven innings in what was his second scoreless start of the season.

Cardinals’ No. 19 prospect Connor Jones was nearly unhittable in his first scoreless start with Double-A Springfield this season. Jones, who walked one and threw 59 of his 96 pitches for strikes, struck out six as he yielded just one hit over seven strong innings.

• Phillies’ No. 12 prospect Enyel De Los Santos lowered his ERA to 1.47 with another quality start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. De Los Santos threw a season-high 115 pitches and struck out seven – bringing his season total to 76 through 73 1/3 innings — as he cruised through seven scoreless innings. The 22-year-old right-hander has gone at least six innings in eight straight starts and have given up one earned run or less in six of those outings.

Pirates’ No. 17 prospect Will Craig matched his career-high with five RBIs as part of a 3-for-5 night for Double-A Altoona. Craig went hitless in his first two at-bats, but finished the game on a tear as he collected an RBI single in the fifth, hit a  Houston Astros Custom Jersey three-run homer in the sixth and finished with an RBI double in the eighth.

White Sox No. 26 prospect Lincoln Henzman put together his best start of the season in a win for Class A Kannapolis. The 22-year-old, a fourth-round pick from the 2017 Draft, put together the first complete game of his career as he fired seven scoreless innings. Henzman surrendered just one hit and struck out six while throwing just 67 pitches (52 strikes).

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

James Shields picks up wi Seattle Mariners Custom Jersey n as Sox beat Indians

CHICAGO — When James Shields last won a ballgame, the White Sox had just finished knocking out six home runs over nine innings at Kauffman Stadium and the South Siders were unbeaten.

That victory came on Opening Day, March 29. Fourteen appearances and 13 starts later, along with a 22-42 record for the White Sox since that impressive open, and Shields picked up his second victory of the season with a 5-1 White Sox win over the Indians on Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Shields hit Francisco Lindor with the first pitch of the game, but didn’t allow much after, exiting after yielding one run on four hits over seven innings with two strikeouts.

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CHICAGO — When James Shields last won a ballgame, the White Sox had just finished knocking out six home runs over nine innings at Kauffman Stadium and the South Siders were unbeaten.

That victory came on Opening Day, March 29. Fourteen appearances and 13 starts later, along with a 22-42 record for the White Sox since that impressive open, and Shields picked up his second victory of the season with a 5-1 White Sox win over the Indians on Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Shields hit Francisco Lindor with the first pitch of the game, but didn’t allow much after, exiting after yielding one run on four hits over seven innings with two strikeouts.

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“I feel like I’ve been pitching really well for the most part this season,” said Shields, who improved to 2-7 on the season. “But wins haven’t come my way. We’ve won some games while I’ve been in there, so that’s been good, but at the end of the day, you want to get the win for the team.”

“Different angles, there’s some deception along with the stuff, been doing it for a long time,” said Indians manager Terry Francona of Shields’ success. “He goes out there and competes, fights, stays off the barrels and never lets us get in any kind of rhythm at all.”

By retiring Jason Kipnis for the first out of the seventh, Shields reached 2,500 innings pitched for his illustrious career. He also has worked 59 1/3 postseason innings and 568 1/3 in the Minors. Shields has pitched at least six innings in 10 straight starts this season.

“Again, his longevity. He has reinvented himself,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria Custom Astros Jersey  said. “He continues to impress everybody.

“Little different arm slot now, he has become very comfortable with it. Changes speeds really well out of that slot, couple of different velocities on breaking pitches. Still is able to work 91-92 [mph], just continues to attack the strike zone and has a really good idea of how he wants to Custom Mariners Jersey  go after hitters. He continues to show everybody he can pitch.”

Yoan Moncada and Yolmer Sanchez started the White Sox offense off strong against Cleveland’s Adam Plutko with back-to-back home runs on back-to-back pitches in the first inning. Matt Davidson doubled twice to drive in two, and Omar Narvaez added a run-scoring double.

Video: CLE@CWS: Moncada, Sanchez go back-to-back in the 1st

It was Shields after a loss on June 2 to Milwaukee who forcefully stated he wasn’t worried about the rebuild and was tired of the losing. It was the same Shields celebrating with his teammates postgame Tuesday in what looked like the after-effects of some sort of fog machine and strobe lighting in the home clubhouse.

“We are trying to celebrate each win,” Shields said. “We are going to go game by game and try to win the series and enjoy the moment instead of looking too far ahead or dwell on what we’ve done. We are going to enjoy the moment.”

SOUND SMART
The White Sox earned their first win at home against the Indians since July 30, 2017. The team is 10-17 against the American League Central overall and 2-7 at home this season.

HE SAID IT
“To be honest, my cleat got stuck first pitch. It jarred me a little bit and I yanked the ball. I was hoping it went behind him, but instead, it hit him in the foot. It was a weird situation. I’m glad I got out in the first inning unscathed.” — Shields, on hitting Lindor with the first pitch

UP NEXT
Dylan Covey is scheduled to make his sixth start of 2018 on Wednesday night with a 7:10 p.m. CT first pitch against the Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field. Covey has gone 1-0 without allowing an earned run over 11 innings in his last two starts, including a victory against former White Sox pitcher Chris Sale. Covey matches up with right-hander Trevor Bauer on Wednesday.

Sc Women’s Houston Astros Majestic Home White Custom Baseball Jersey ott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk’s Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.


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James Shields