Zack Burdi hasn't been in the White Sox organization for long, but he's certainly showing why the club drafted him with the 26th pick in this year's draft.
The 21-year-old pitcher is thriving in the minors with a little over two months in to his professional career. Burdi worked his way through four affiliates and is currently in Triple-A Charlotte.
In 22 games and 31.1 innings pitched over four levels, Burdi has a 2.90 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 13 walks. In addition, the Illinois native hasn't allowed a run in the last 18.1 innings pitched with Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte.
"One of the things we want Zack to work on is his consistency with his delivery out of the stretch," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said on Thursday. "The only problem is he’s not allowing any baserunners on, so he’s not really having a lot of opportunity to work on that. We are going to tell him to put more guys on.
"But no, in all seriousness a lot has already been thrown at this kid and he’s responded essentially to every outing, with the exception of the first one at Birmingham was rough. It’s been a lot about the consistency of his delivery and fastball command and fairly simplistic stuff that he’s taken to very quickly and he’s got a world of ability."
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Burdi was rated as the No. 21 best prospect in Baseball America's top 500 prospects prior to the draft.
Before joining the White Sox in June, Burdi finished off his collegiate career at Louisville. He was named to the All-ACC First Team, USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and Third Team Louisville Slugger All-America.
The White Sox made room for the return of veteran catcher Alex Avila by trading Dioner Navarro to the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
The club activated Avila off the 15-day disabled list and acquired left-handed minor league pitcher Colton Turner in exchange for Navarro, who spent the previous two seasons with the Blue Jays. Turner, who has a combined 1.33 ERA in 44 minor league games this season, has been assigned to Double-A Birmingham.
Navarro hit .210/.267/.339 with six home runs and 32 RBIs in 298 plate appearances this season.
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Avila, who has been on the disabled list since July 5 with a strained hamstring, went 7-for-11 with a home run and two walks on his assignment. He caught 12 innings during his rehab, including seven on Thursday.
“I’m ready to go,” Avila said.
The team has been happy with how rookie catcher Omar Narvaez has performed since he joined the club in July when Avila went on the DL. Narvaez has an .831 OPS in 43 plate appearances this season.
“I know Omar, with him being here and doing what he’s doing, you want him to get a little more of the shot of being able to play,” Ventura said. “I think he’s worked his way into that.”
Luis Solignac has made a big difference to the Chicago Fire’s attack since joining the team in early August.
On Friday, the Argentine forward added an award to show for his impact on the team. He won MLS Goal of the Week for his opening goal in the 3-0 win at Montreal on Aug. 20.
The curling goal from Solignac was his first in a Fire uniform. He also drew a penalty kick, which David Accam converted, in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy.
In Solignac’s 312 minutes, nearly three and a half games, the Fire have scored seven goals. Not bad considering the Fire were averaging less than a goal per game before Solignac’s arrival.