July 2013

Sox vs. Cubs: The Final Act

Monday, July 8, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in a makeup game and the finale of their four-game Crosstown Cup Series. Starters: LHP Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.50) for the Sox, RHP Matt Garza (4-1, 3.45) for the Cubs. The original game was postponed by rain on May 28.

Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, LF; Beckham, 2B; Rios, RF; Dunn, 1B; Keppinger, DH; Gillaspie, 3B; Ramirez, SS; Phegley, C; Tekotte, CF.

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Play of the Day

Josh Phegley’s first major league homer in the sixth inning of yesterday’s 3-1 loss to the Rays. He is the first Sox player to hit his first career homer within his first two games since Miguel Olivo homered in his major-league debut at the Yankees in September of 2002.

http://wapc.mlb.com/cws/play/?tcid=mm_cws_vid&c_id=cws&content_id=28690195

Quote of the Day

Josh on his first weekend as a big leaguer (via Scott Merkin, whitesox.com), which included a homer, single and three RBI.

“Yeah, not bad. Kind of getting a couple of hits and the first homer out of the way, it kind of takes a little weight off the shoulders.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Tigers at Comerica Park, Detroit (6:05 p.m., CT, WCIU) in the opener of a three-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.69) for the Sox, Justin Verlander (9-5, 3.54) for Detroit. 

Did You Know…

…that Chicago White Sox Charities and the White Sox Player Wives are organizing an evening of comedy, music and entertainment at the Bridgeport Arts Center on Thursday, July 25? Titled “Wild Pitches, presented by Magellan Corporation,” the event will give fans the opportunity to see a different side of the their favorite Sox players. The festivities will include a musical performance by Paul and Jennifer Konerko, a comedy skit with Matt Thornton and his bullpen mates and other surprises. WGN’s Pat Tomasulo will serve as the emcee and stand-up comedian Pat McGann will perform.

Photo of the Day

Phegley’s home run trot.

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Sale, Crain are White Sox’s Shining Stars; Happy Birthday, Beltin’ Bill Melton!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Rays at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL (12:40 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP John Danks (2-5, 4.38) for the Sox, LHP David Price (2-4, 4.65) for the Rays.

Sox Starting Lineup: Ramirez, SS; Beckham, 2B; Rios, RF; Keppinger,1B; Phegley, C; Viciedo, DH; Morel, 3B; Wells, LF; Tekotte, CF.

Our All-Stars

Chris Sale has been chosen to his second consecutive All-Star Game and while Jesse Crain has been selected to his first. Sale was picked by All-Star manager Jim Leyland, Crain by the players. Jesse is currently on the disabled list and won’t pitch, but will be able to participate in the festivities. Robin Ventura will join the two pitchers for the Midsummer Classic at Citi Field in New York on Tuesday, July 16. Robin, who played for both the Mets and Yankees, will be one of the A.L. coaches.

More Sale

Chris is the seventh pitcher in club history to be chosen to consecutive A.L. All-Star squads. The last Sox pitcher to be named to two straight was Mark Buehrle in 2005-06. In addition to Sale and Buehrle, the five others to do it are: Jack McDowell (1992-93), Wilbur Wood (1971-72), Juan Pizarro (1963-64), Billy Pierce (1955-59) and Edgar Smith (1941-42).

Play(s) of the Day

Sale was once again denied the victory in last night’s 3-0 defeat, but he was outstanding. In seven innings of work he gave up only two earned runs and six hits along with nine strikeouts. Chris lowered his ERA to 2.78…Gordon Beckham collected another two hits, raising his season batting average to .336. In his last 12 games, he’s hitting a whopping .409. In his last five, he is 9-18, an even .500, with a homer, three RBI and four multihit games.

Quote of the Day

@jesse crain on being named to his first All-Star team:

Very honored to be selected to the All Star team, and humbled to be picked by the players!! Not a bigger honor! Wish I could pitch.Thank You

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in a makeup game. Starters: LHP Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.50) for the Sox, RHP Matt Garza (4-1, 3.45) for the Cubs. The original game was postponed on May 28.

Did You Know…

…that infielder Jimmy Dykes, who later both managed and won more games than any other skipper in White Sox history, and outfielder Al Simmons, a future Hall of Famer, represented the Sox in the very first All-Star Game–in 1933 at Comiskey Park? Dykes, playing third base, collected two singles and scored a run while Simmons added a base hit in the A.L.’s 4-2 victory.

Photo(s) of the Day

Happy 68th Birthday to Bill Melton, the first White Sox home run champ (33 in 1971).

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Sale vs. Moore Duel on Tap After Night of Big-League Debuts

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Rays at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL (6:15 p.m., CT, FOX). Starters: LHP Chris Sale (5-7, 2.79) for the Sox, LHP Matt Moore (11-3, 3.65) for the Rays. Chris ranks among the American League leaders in the following categories: He’s first in opponents slugging percentage (.305); third in opponents on-base percentage (.258), baserunners per nine innings (9.14) and opponents average (.202); fifth in ERA (2.79); and sixth in strikeouts (114).

Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Dunn, 1B; Keppinger, DH; Gillaspie, 3B; Viciedo, LF; Beckham, 2B; Flowers, C.

White Sox in Red

It’s “Turn Back the Clock” Night this evening at Tropicana Field. Since the Rays will be wearing gray and blue-based throwback unis, the Sox will be wearing their home, red-pinstripe uniforms from 1972 to provide a contrast. This is the same vintage uniform the Sox wore last year for all Sunday home games to celebrate the anniversary of the ’72 team.

Welcome to the Majors

Both catcher Josh Phegley and reliever Simon Castro made their first major-league appearances in last night’s loss at Tampa Bay. According to STATS, LLC, The last time the White Sox had two players make their MLB debuts in the same game was September 2, 2011 (infielder Eduardo Escobar and pitcher Shane Lindsay). The last time the Sox had a pair of players make their debuts in the same game before September was April 6, 1999 (outfielder McKay Christensen and pitcher David Lundquist).

Play(s) of the Day

The impressive debuts. Phegley drove in a pair of runs with a single and a sac fly. Castro pitched three scoreless innings with four strikeouts.

Quote of the Day

Robin on Josh’s first major-league game:

“It was good. He can swing the bat, (call) a game…he was doing a lot of good stuff–knocked in (a couple of runs), got his hit. So, it’s a good one.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rays at Tropicana Field (12:40 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP John Danks (2-5, 4.38) for the Sox, LHP David Price (2-4, 4.65) for the Rays.

Did You Know…

…that with another multi-hit game last night (single and a double with an RBI) Gordon Beckham is batting .390 in his last 10 games?

Photo(s) of the Day

Josh and Simon (SEE-mone):

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Dunn, Quintana Provide Ray of Hope as Tampa Bay is Next for Sox

Friday, July 5, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Rays at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series. Starters: RHP Dylan Axelrod (3-4, 4.57) for the Sox, RHP Jeremy Hellickson (7-3, 4.90) for Tampa Bay.

Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, LF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Dunn, DH; Keppinger,1B; Gillaspie, 3B; Beckham, 2B; Phegley, C; Tekotte, CF.

Phegley, Tekotte Join Sox and in Lineup Tonight

The White Sox have recalled both catcher Josh Phegley and outfielder Blake Tekotte from Class AAA Charlotte. To make room on the active roster, catcher Hector Gimenez has been designated for assignment and outfielder Jordan Danks was optioned to Charlotte after yesterday’s game.

Phegley will be making his major-league debut tonight while Tekotte is in the Sox lineup for the first time since late April when he appeared in three games before being optioned to the Knights.

Phegley, 25, is hitting .316 with 18 doubles, 15 homers and 41 RBI in 61 games for the Knights.
The 5-foot-10, 220-pounder ranks among the International League leaders in slugging percentage (2nd, .597), OPS (3rd, .966) and average (6th) and has thrown out 40.7 percent (24-59) of attempted basestealers.

Phegley was selected to represent the U.S. Team at the All-Star Futures Game on July 14 at New York’s Citi Field and the IL at the Triple-A All-Star Game in Reno, Nev. on July 17. He won the MiLB Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2012 and has thrown out 46.3 percent (138-298) of attempted basestealers over five minor-league seasons. Phegley was chosen by the Sox as the 38th overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Indiana University.

Tekotte, 26, is batting .249 with 26 doubles (which ranks him second in the International League), two triples, four home runs, 26 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 58 games this year with Charlotte. He was acquired last offseason from San Diego.

Jake Update

Coop was positive about Jake Peavy’s 53-pitch side session today in St. Pete. He is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Tuesday. Pitching before the All-Star break is not entirely out of the question.

Play(s) of the Day

Let’s start with Adam Dunn’s walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the ninth yesterday afternoon, which gave the Sox a 3-2 victory and a series win over the Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field. Dunn’s blast was the ninth walk-off of his career–only David Ortiz (11) and Albert Pujols (10) have more among active players. He went 3-4 on the day with two RBI and is hitting .292 with a 1.077 OPS since June 4…And while Jose Quintana didn’t get credit for the win, he was brilliant. He pitched scoreless ball for seven innings, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out 11.

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Quote of the Day

Robin commenting on Quintana after yesterday’s gem:

He’s a tough kid…Today he was outstanding, being able to pound strikes, keep them off-balance and locate. (It’s) just his mentality, he’s a guy you like sending out there…It’s a good team over there (the Orioles). To be able to go through (that lineup) with a two-hitter is very impressive.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rays at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg (6:15 p.m., CT, FOX). Starters: LHP Chris Sale (5-7, 2.79) for the Sox, LHP Matt Moore (11-3 3.65) for the Rays.

Did You Know…

…that Dunn’s home run yesterday, his 23rd of the season and 429th of his career, ties him for 44th place all time with teammate Paul Konerko? Adam and Paulie are now just two home runs away from tying Cal Ripken Jr. for the 43rd spot.

Photo of the Day

The celebration after Dunn’s Fourth of July Fireworks:

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An Independence Day Rubber Match

Thursday, July 4, 2013

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Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series with the teams splitting the first two. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.97) for the Sox, LHP Zach Britton (2-2, 4.50) for the O’s.

Sox Starting Lineup:  De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Viciedo, DH; Dunn,1B; Keppinger, 3B; Wells, LF; Beckham, 2B; Flowers, C.

Sox to Wear Special 4th of July Cap

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Play(s) of the Day

Gordon Beckham’s first homer of the season, a solo shot in the fifth inning, in last night’s 4-2 loss to the Orioles…Hector Santiago was outstanding, allowing just two runs, five hits and a pair of runs along with nine strikeouts in seven innings of work.

Quote of the Day

Robin talking about Beckham, who has five hits in his last two games and is hitting .331 on the season:

“The homer, that was coming. With his hand, anytime he gets further away from that (the injury) he’s going to get his power back. He’s been really consistent all year, even in spring training when he came in and was ready to go. Tough that he broke his hand, but bouncing back (he’s had) quality at bat after quality at bat. I don’t think this is a fluke at all. I think even more of it is the power will come, doubles and home runs will come, but it’s just his approach and what he’s doing each at bat, even his (first at bat Wednesday night), getting the guy over. He’s doing good stuff when he’s going to the plate. I think it’s winning stuff.”

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rays at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series. Starters: RHP Dylan Axelrod (3-4, 4.57) for the Sox, RHP Jeremy Hellickson (7-3, 4.90) for Tampa Bay.

Did You Know…

…that Alex Rios stole his 200th career base in the first inning of last night’s game?

Photo of the Day

The Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp lifts…drum roll, please…the Stanley Cup.

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White Sox Look to Ground Birds — Again

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.59) for the Sox, RHP Scott Feldman (7-6, 3.46 in a Cubs uniform) for Baltimore.

Sox Starting Lineup:  De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Dunn, 1B; Viciedo, LF; Gillaspie, 3B; Keppinger, DH; Beckham, 2B; Flowers, C.

Roster Moves

Before tonight’s game the Sox placed both Paul Konerko (lower back strain) and Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain) on the 15-day disabled list. Third baseman Brent Morel, who was with the Sox briefly last week, and LHP David Purcey were recalled from Triple-A Charlotte. Morel is hitting .283 with five homers, 20 doubles and 40 RBI for the Knights. Purcey has a 3.03 ERA, three saves and 43 strikeouts in 26 relief appearances this season with Charlotte, Lefty hitters are hitting only .146 against him.

Robin said both Konerko and Crain should be back after the All-Star Game.

Jake

According to Coop, Jake Peavy threw all of his pitches from both the windup and the stretch in a light to medium bullpen session yesterday. There were no problems and Jake will likely throw again on Friday at Tropicana Field during the White Sox-Rays series.

The Cup is in the House

The Sox will welcome the Stanley Cup and Blackhawks Patrick Sharp and Brandon Bollig tonight for an on-field ceremony prior to the start of Sox-O’s. 

Sox Minor League All-Stars

Charlotte’s Purcey and catcher Josh Phegley (pictured below) have been selected to the Class AAA All-Star Game in Reno, NV on July 17….Six Class AA Birmingham Barons have been chosen to the Southern League North Division All-Star squad: C Michael Blanke, DH Dan Black, INF Marcus Semien, RHPs Ryan Kussmaul and Nick McCully and LHP Scott Snodgress. The players will represent the Barons in Jacksonville, FL, also on July 17.

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Play(s) of the Day

* John Danks got credit for his second victory of the season last night in the Sox’s 5-2 win–7 IP, 2 ER, 6 hits, a walk and 4 strikeouts.

* Conor Gillaspie put the Sox ahead to stay in the sixth inning with a solo blast, his sixth homer of the year.

* Adam Dunn hit his 22nd home run of the season and career homer No. 428 last night, a two-run shot that extended the Sox lead in the seventh inning to 5-1. Adam is now in sole posession of 45th place on the all-time list, passing Mike Piazza. He is one shy of Konerko.

Quote of the Day

Slugger Jim Thome, now a special assistant to Sox GM Rick Hahn, on the itch to keep playing:

“That never leaves. Once that is in you a long time it makes leaving it really tough. I miss digging my back foot in and competing.  I think what this will do will give me a chance to go down and see some minor league guys and give a piece of advice that leads to success, which would be the biggest accomplishment of all. Giving back to young players who want that advice will be rewarding.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.97) for the Sox, LHP Zach Britton (2-2, 4.50) for the O’s.

Did You Know…

…that the Sox’s keystone combo continues to make a significant impact on the club’s offense. With two more hits last night, Alexei Ramirez extended his hitting streak to eight games and has a hit in 17 of his last 19. He is batting .349 with seven doubles, five RBI, six stolen bases and nine runs scored over the 19 games. Gordon Beckham recorded his ninth multi-hit game of 2013 last night with three singles and added an RBI. He is now hitting .385 with two doubles, three RBI, a walk, a stolen base and three runs scored on this homestand.

Photo of the Day

Dunn’s homer gave the Sox some much-needed breathing room in last night’s victory.

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BREAKING NEWS: White Sox Sign a Top International Prospect and Welcome Jim Thome Back into the Fold

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, WCIU) in the first of a three-game series. Starters: LHP John Danks (1-5, 4.68) for the Sox, RHP Jason Hammel (7-4, 5.09) for the Orioles.

Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Dunn, 1B; Konerko, DH; Gillaspie, 3B; Viciedo, LF; Beckham, 2B; Flowers, C.

Viva Zapata!

The White Sox announced today the signing of free agent Micker Adolfo Zapata, a 16-year-old outfielder from San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

Zapata, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 225 pounds, will receive a $1.6 million signing bonus, which is the largest ever by the Sox for an international prospect. Zapata bats and throws right-handed and is considered the No. 2 international prospect by MLB.com.

Sox General Manager Rick Hahn said, “Micker is a terrific young man who is tremendously talented. As we’ve gotten to know (him) and his family, we’ve been even more and more impressed. We cannot say enough about his baseball potential and his future with the White Sox.” Hahn added that Marco Paddy, White Sox Special Assistant to the General Manager–International Operations, had a great deal to do with scouting and signing Zapata.

“…Zapata has impressed everyone over the last year with his makeup and approach to the game,” Paddy explained. “His raw tools and natural strength immediately grab your attention and his power displays can be jaw-dropping.” Take a look.

http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=28524577

Thome Joins Sox as Special Assistant

Jim Thome is back on the South Side. The 22-year major league vet who finished his career in seventh place on the all-time home run list with 612, has been named a special assistant to GM Rick Hahn. He becomes the 11th former White Sox player currently serving as a coach or manager in the organization.

Thome will consult with Hahn and assistant general manager Buddy Bell and will work with Sox major league staff and players and minor league affiliates through the summer.

Known all during his career as the consummate teammate, Thome played for the Sox from 2006-09. He appeared in 529 games over four seasons with the Sox, batting .265 (469-1,770) with 134 home runs and 369 RBI. He hit his 500th career home run on September 16, 2007 vs. the Angels and his game-winning solo homer off Nick Blackburn on September 30, 2008 gave the White Sox a 1-0 victory over Minnesota in a one-game playoff at U.S. Cellular Field.

Thome, a five-time All-Star, hit 40 or more home runs in a season six times and drove in 100-plus runs on nine occasions. His 17 postseason home runs are the seventh-highest total in major-league history. He also played for the Indians, Phillies, Dodgers, Twins and Orioles.

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Big Doings at the Ol’ Ballpark

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Meet the Prize Fighters at the #SoxSocial Lounge

Please stop by the #SoxSocial Lounge after the start of tonight’s game and meet the prize fighters who will be part of the Friday, August 16 “Friday Night Fights” as boxing returns to Chicago at U.S Cellular Field.

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Play(s) of the Day

With the White Sox enjoying an off-day on Monday, the top two White Sox farm clubs celebrated victories.

Behind former Sox pitchers Zach Stewart (7.0 IP), Deunte Heath (1.0) and Donnie Veal (1.0), the Class AAA Charlotte Knights defeated Buffalo, 3-0.

The Class AA Birmingham Barons came away with a 4-1 win over Jackson on catcher Mike Blanke’s three-run, ninth-inning triple with the score knotted up at 1-1.

Quote of the Day

Third baseman Brent Morel, who was recalled briefly from Charlotte last week, is looking at the big picture as he works hard to overcome back issues and get back to the major leagues on a permanent basis. He tweeted:

@Bmorel_22: Blessed and encouraged to see the hard work pay off to get healthy and back to the big leagues.. Can’t wait to get back up there!

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.59) for the Sox, RHP Miguel Gonzalez (6-3, 3.77) for Baltimore.

Did You Know

…that the Sox’s first and second draft choices in the June draft are already making an impact? No. 1 pick SS Tim Anderson is hitting .315 with two doubles, two triples, five stolen bases and seven runs scored in 12 games with Class A Kannapolis…RHP Tyler Danish, the No. 2 choice, owns a 1.80 ERA in three relief appearances with Advanced Rookie Bristol.

Photo of the Day

Former White Sox PR head Paul Jensen was on the road to Gettysburg, PA last week to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle there and President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. At one point Jensen drove through St. Thomas Township, PA, home of the late White Sox Hall of Famer Nellie Fox. And this is what Paul saw.

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