Sox top Cubs in extra innings

706734.png

Sox top Cubs in extra innings

MESA, Ariz. (AP) Zach Stewart is trying his best to focus on pitching rather than listening to the rumors.A candidate to make the White Sox as a reliever and spot starter, Stewart gave up two runs and six hits in three innings for Chicago in a 7-5, 10-inning win over a Cubs split squad."It's always in the back of my mind, trying to make the team, but for the most part, I have to get my work in," said Stewart, who threw a one-hitter last season. "Then whatever happens, happens."I just go out, do my thing, do what I have to do to be prepared for the season," he added.Jordan Danks homered in the 10th inning for the White Sox.Dan Johnson hit a two-run shot and Gordon Beckham had a two-run single in a five-run sixth inning.
White Sox pitchers, though, had trouble with control when it counted. They forced in two Cubs' runs with bases loaded walks in the eighth.Down 5-3, the Cubs loaded the bases with nobody out - the key play was White Sox first baseman Jim Gallagher's error on an infield roller to start the inning. Brett Jackson drew a walk off Leyson Septimo to force in a run.After Matt Szczur popped out, Josh Vitters drew a walk off Simon Castro to force in the tying run.Johnson homered off Andy Sonnanstine in the sixth to cut the Cubs lead to 3-2.Danks opened the 10th with a leadoff homer to right field. The White Sox added a run on a throwing error by Cubs shortstop Logan Watkins.Cubs pitcher Casey Coleman threw three scoreless innings. He gave up only two hits and struck out three.The Cubs put together four straight hits, including a two-run double by Alredo Amezaga, to take a 2-0 lead in the second off Stewart.In the fourth, Tony Campana's squeeze bunt scored Josh Vitters, who had doubled. Campana was credited with a bunt single as the Cubs took a 3-0 lead.In the fourth, the Cubs' Kerry Wood allowed two straight singles to Paul Konerko and Kosuke Fukodome, but then induced Alexei Ramirez to ground into an inning-ending double play.The game, attended by 12,469, was delayed 25 minutes at the start while the grounds crew worked on the rain-soaked field.Gavin Floyd was scheduled to start for the White Sox, "But with the rain, we didn't want to chance bringing him over here and then starting and stopping," manager Robin Ventura said.Instead, Floyd threw a five-inning simulated game at the team's facility at Camelback Ranch. "He threw great."NOTES: The Cubs will play a "B" game vs. the Cleveland Indians at 10 a.m. Monday in Goodyear. Randy Wells will start for the Cubs. ... The Cubs visit Peoria on Monday to play the Seattle Mariners. On Tuesday, they have split squads; they host the Texas Rangers and visit Phoenix Municipal Stadium to play the Oakland Athletics. ... The White Sox host the Cincinnati Reds Monday then take Tuesday off.

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

The White Sox agreed to one-year contracts with five players on Friday, including a $12-million deal for Todd Frazier.

Frazier established a franchise record for home runs by a third baseman in 2016 when he blasted 40 in his first season with the White Sox. A free agent after the 2017 season, Frazier hit .225/.302/.464 in 666 plate appearances, drove in a career high 98 runs and produced 2.4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com. 

Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez is set to earn $5.9 million this season. The team also agreed to deals with relievers Dan Jennings ($1.4 million), Zach Putnam ($1.1175 million) and Jake Petricka ($825,000).

The White Sox acquired Frazier in a three-player trade from the Cincinnati Reds in December 2015. It's expected they would try to trade Frazier, who has hit 104 homers since 2014 and participated in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby three consecutive years, before the Aug 1 non-waiver trade deadline as part of the club's rebuilding efforts. 

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get your White Sox gear right here]

Gonzalez went 5-8 with a 3.73 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) after he was signed to a minor-league deal in early April. 

Jennings posted a 2.08 ERA in 60 2/3 innings. 

Putnam had a 2.30 ERA in 27 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts before he had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. 

Petricka was limited to nine appearances before his season was ended by hip surgery.

Both Petricka and Putnam are expected to be ready for spring training.

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

It was a limited look, but Yoan Moncada made a strong first impression on the White Sox this week.

Acquired from the Boston Red Sox last month in the Chris Sale trade, Moncada arrived in Glendale, Ariz., earlier this week with the franchise hopeful he'd offer a glimpse of the skills that earned him the designation as baseball's top prospect.

Moncada didn't disappoint, either, as he had White Sox evaluators excited throughout a three-day hitters camp. Whether it's his physicality, how he carried himself or his baseball IQ, White Sox staffers couldn't have been happier about their first experience with their new prized possession.

"(Moncada) looks like a linebacker, but he moves like a wide receiver," player development director Chris Getz said. "He's got good actions. He's obviously a switch hitter. He's got power. He can hit. He's got a good smile. He seems to be enjoying himself out here, he interacts well with his teammates.

"So far it has been very impressive, and we look forward to seeing more."

Hitting coach Todd Steverson said Moncada, 21, looked every bit the part when he first observed him from across the hall at the team's facility. Steverson spoke to friends in the scouting community and wasn't the least bit surprised when he encountered the 6-foot-2, 205-pound second baseman. Moncada was just as impressive on the field with his skills and effort, Steverson said.

"This is a large specimen right here," Steverson said. "He's put together pretty well.

"On defense it looks like he has some really good hands.

"He got in the box and he hadn't swung for a while. But still, you could tell he had good hands going through the zone, has a nice approach and wants to work real hard."

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get your White Sox gear right here]

Moncada's fancy tools have been well publicized since he received a $31.5-million signing bonus from the Red Sox in March 2015.

MLB.com graded Moncada's hit tool at 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale while his base running is 65 and arm is 60. Moncada's power received a 55 grade, and his fielding is 50. Moncada received an overall grade of 65, which suggests he has the ability to be a perennial All-Star and worth 4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com.

But the White Sox weren't just impressed with Moncada's physical ability.

One of manager Rick Renteria's top objectives for the camp was to emphasize fundamentals and what's important to the team. Renteria wanted to identify specific game situations and how players are expected to handle them so they're well prepared for the future. Moncada handled that area well, too.

"Yoan is a very knowledgeable baseball player who has experience on a multitude of levels," amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. "In the brief time we had with him this week, he showed a tremendous ability to drive the ball the opposite way as well as drive balls to the gap and out of the ball park from both sides of the plate. That ability will help him handle and any all situations that Ricky asks him to do at the plate. Defensively his hands and feet are very good and will have no problem there. He's a bright hard-working kid that is part of a bright future for the organization."