White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

The Cubs ripped five home runs in a 12-3 pasting of the White Sox, the ninth time in the Sox last 13 games they've been defeated. Zach Stewart allowed six of the runs in 5 23 innings, but his start was much more about giving Chris Sale and Jake Peavy extra rest than anything else.

John Danks revealed he has a Grade 1 tear in his subscapularis, an injury which will not require surgery, only rest for it to heal. He seemed relieved to not need surgery, but understandably was still frustrated that his return to the Sox rotation hit another delay. There's no timetable for his return at this point, as he explained:

Before the game, Courtney Hawkins was formally introduced to Chicago, signing his contract and taking batting practice with the team before throwing out a ceremonial first pitch to Sale. He's placed high expectations on himself and aims to only focus on baseball from here on out.

Also throwing out a first pitch Monday: Scottie Pippen, who's one of, if not the, first person to throw out a first pitch this year and be taller than Sale on the receiving end.

Kenny Williams is liking the White Sox chances, noting that their recent inability to distance themselves from Cleveland and Detroit is a problem, but not the worst problem possible because it means they're in first.

To anyone clamoring for Dayan Viciedo to be moved back to third base: It's not happening.

The White Sox fell to Nos. 11 and 12 in our MLB power rankings, with the Yankees vaulting into the No. 1 spot for the first time this season. The Cubs, for the record, are dead last.

More videos: Zach Stewart discusses his start, Robin Ventura speaks after the game, Frank Thomas compares Sale to Randy Johnson, Sale discusses what he's learned from Jake Peavy, Chicago Tribune Live looks at potential trades the Sox could make, Courtney Hawkins gets introduced, CTL wonders what the Sox should do with Jose Quintana and Brooks Boyer talks about the possibility of the Cubs and Sox only meeting three times a year.

Around the division: Cleveland held off Cincinnati in a downright pitcher's duel and Kansas City was sent rocketing back to earth with a seven-run loss to Houston. Detroit didn't play but moved to 2 12 games back of the White Sox by standing pat. The Tigers open a three-game series with St. Louis at Comerica Park tonight.

White Sox closer David Robertson's foundation big part of MLB's Louisiana flood relief efforts

White Sox closer David Robertson's foundation big part of MLB's Louisiana flood relief efforts

DETROIT — David Robertson’s charitable foundation is at the head of Major League Baseball’s drive to help victims of this month’s Louisiana floods.

High Socks for Hope, which Robertson created with his wife, Erin, received a $62,500 donation on Tuesday from MLB and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, which made a joint $250,000 contribution.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which was established by former Louisiana State players, also received $62,500 and The American Red Cross got $125,000.

The Robertson’s foundation originally was formed to help victims of an April 27, 2011 tornado that rocked Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Birmingham, resulting in 64 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries.

“We’ve evolved over the years,” Robertson said. “Passing time we’ve worked toward helping a lot of the veterans and now MLB has been gracious enough to give us this donation and we’ve already got people on the ground there feeding thousands of people, both volunteers and those who are down there who have lost everything. We’re going to continue to help out as much as we can down there. We’re not a monster of an organization, but we do what we can, we stretch every dollar and with this generous donation we’re going to find a way to help those that have been affected by this terrible flood.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

White Sox pitcher Anthony Ranaudo pitched at LSU and has been active in raising funds, too.

“It’s good to see young guys getting involved in stuff like this because the game doesn’t last forever,” Robertson said. “But these charities can keep going and there’s always a chance for us to give back and we’re given so much as baseball players that it’s only fitting that we return the favor.”

'Little bit of experience' has helped White Sox infielder Tyler Saladino at plate

'Little bit of experience' has helped White Sox infielder Tyler Saladino at plate

DETROIT — The White Sox have long felt Tyler Saladino would be a player who improves with experience. Saladino wholeheartedly agrees with that assessment.

Now in his second season, Saladino looks like a more complete player. In the midst of a hot streak, the White Sox utility man is hitting .265/.302/.409 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs in 246 plate appearances this season.

The performance is far removed from when Saladino produced a boatload of defensive highlights in his rookie season but only a .602 OPS at the plate.

“At the beginning I didn’t know any of the (pitchers) really, didn’t know what their stuff was like, how they pitch or what I’m doing,” Saladino said with a hearty laugh. “All that stuff kind of plays into just everything. They’re all factors. I have a little more knowledge and the extra at-bats. You kind of know yourself, know what’s going on and kind of slowed things down a little bit. It’s huge.”

Saladino has played nearly every day with Brett Lawrie on the disabled list since July 22. Those consistent at-bats have resulted in one of the hottest stretches of Saladino’s career. Over the last 12 games, Saladino is hitting .326/.354/.522 with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs in 49 plate appearances. The stretch doesn’t appear to have been propelled by a ton of luck, either; Saladino’s batting average on balls in play over the 12 games is only up a tick to .333 compared with a .310 season average.

Prior to the season, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Saladino has always improved in his second year at a level. Manager Robin Ventura has seen the difference in how Saladino competes at the plate.

“Just the quality of his at-bats have gotten better as the season has gone along and his experience has got him there,” Ventura said. “And everybody is going to see him a second time, have adjustments and do their adjustments on him. But he’s smart and cagey enough that he’s also making adjustments. He understands what guys are trying to do to him. You see him in one series and see him a couple weeks later he has a better idea what they’re trying to do to him and what he might see. And his recall is very good as far as being able to visualize what they’re trying to do to him and get the barrel to it.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Saladino said he expected the same. He said his style has always been to make corrections and improve.

“I definitely believed in it,” Saladino said. “That’s kind of how I’ve always been. I may not get it the first time, but I’m going to get it. I’m going to work at it, I’m going to figure it out the second time around or in the future from that first go at it. That’s how it has always been my whole life. If I didn’t get it in the beginning I was going to figure out how to get it done after that. That’s how a long of things go for me.

“A little bit of experience goes a long way.”

Preview: White Sox continue series with Tigers on CSN

Preview: White Sox continue series with Tigers on CSN

The White Sox continue their road series with the Tigers on Tuesday night in the Motor City, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage from Detroit starts at 6 p.m. Then be sure to stick around following the final out for reaction and analysis on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today's starting pitching matchup: Anthony Ranaudo (0-1, 7.88 ERA) vs. Daniel Norris (2-2, 3.63 ERA)

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