White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

Gavin Floyd struck out nine in seven scoreless innings -- his second good start in a row -- and Alex Rios homered to lead the White Sox past Minnesota and 1 12 games clear of Cleveland atop the AL Central. In the process, Floyd brought his ERA back below 5, and Minnesota's middle-of-the-pack offense shouldn't be used to dismiss his outing. After the game, Alex Rios talked about Floyd's outing and his game:

Adam Dunn struck out twice and went hitless for the fifth straight game, dropping his batting average to .202. While his OBP is still at .353, he's slumped hard in the last 10 or so days, although he feels it's just part of the normal ebb and flow of a season. Jim at South Side Sox also has a good take on Dunn in the context of Kevin Youkilis.

For more of Dunn, be sure to tune in to the Dan Patrick Show (8-11 a.m., Comcast SportsNet) this morning, on which Dunn will be a guest. We'll also have Dunn's interview on CSNChicago.com later in the day.

A.J. Pierzynski will be back in Wednesday's lineup after getting Tuesday night off, as manager Robin Ventura wanted to get Pierzynski in against Twins starter Nick Blackburn this afternoon.

Kevin Youkilis may be tired from his whirlwind last few days, but he did get a kick out of being mentioned by Barack Obama the other day. And hey, if an exhausted Youkilis can make the play he did in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game, we can only wonder what he'll do when well-rested.

Orlando Hudson dished on his transition to playing for the White Sox, called out Adam Dunn for, um, cropdusting and compared himself to Denzel Washington in this week's episode of Big Hurt TV:

Nestor Molina underwent a precautionary MRI on his right elbow in Chicago and was placed on the disabled list with Double-A Birmingham, although whatever issue he's dealing with isn't considered serious. Perhaps some rest would do Molina good, though, as the 23-year-old has struggled to re-gain the form he showed in Toronto's organization last season.

Speaking of struggling minor leaguers, Jared Mitchell has seemingly hit a wall in Double-A, and David Kaplan isn't sure he sees a major leaguer in the White Sox 2009 first-round pick. Strikeouts are a glaring issue for Mitchell, but it's worth noting that his OBP is still at .382 despite his recent slump.

Last note: Kosuke Fukudome was released after being designated for assignment on Friday.

Around the division: Both Cleveland and Detroit lost, while Bruce Chen and the Royals downed Tampa Bay.

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.

The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.

The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.

Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.

Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.

He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.

Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.

The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.

The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

Crain's Chicago Business released its latest 40 under 40 project and White Sox announcer Jason Benetti made this year's list.

The 33-year-old just finished his first season with the White Sox as play-by-play announcer, working the home games at U.S. Cellular Field (before it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field last month) alongside Steve Stone as longtime broadcaster Hawk Harrelson saw his workload reduced to mostly road games.

Benetti quickly became a fan favorite among Chicagoans on CSN and other networks in 2016 and his cerebral palsy became more of a backstory, with his work alongside Stone and his affable sense of humor taking center stage instead.

Among other topics, Benetti discussed how he approaches his job of broadcasting for the team he grew up rooting for:

Law school taught me that there are always two sides of the argument. I see it from the Sox prism, but I can’t believe in my heart of hearts that, if the Sox lose, the world’s over anymore. That first game, I was like, “All right, it’s just a game.” And then Avi Garcia hits a homer late in the game against the Indians and I call it like I would call it with a little more. And as the ball cleared the fence, when it was rolling around, I got a slight tear in my eye. And I was like, “What’s that?”

Check out the entire interview with Benetti and the full list at ChicagoBusiness.com.