White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

The White Sox have just under 6 million to spend on bonuses for their top 10 draft picks in this year's MLB Draft, which is nearly triple the amount of money they spent on bonuses for their first 11 picks of last year's draft. Needless to say, the new CBA is very favorable to the Sox in this regard.

This is awesome: A cartoonist's rendering of Comiskey Park, circa 1946 or 1947. There are a lot of neat little tidbits in there, like how the engineer of a train on the railroad tracks near the stadium was a Sox fan and would sound his whistle every time he went by. CubsTalk colleague Tony Andracki looked at the Wrigley Field version of it, which is similarly neat.

2012 is the most important season of Jared Mitchell's career, and it can't hurt for him to start it off strong this spring, even in limited action.

In former White Sox news, things aren't looking good for Bobby Jenks, who may not pitch again in the majors until mid-season at the earliest. At the time it was announced, I thought Jenks' deal with Boston was good for the Red Sox...but yikes, it hasn't worked out well at all.

James looked back at Gavin Floyd's first no-hit bid of 2008 in a pretty great pseudo-live blog that's well worth your time, and Jim hopes Robin Ventura doesn't implement the same roster rigidity that Ozzie Guillen did.

And no matter your feelings toward Minnesota, it's great to see Denard Span report to Twins camp without the post-concussion symptoms and migraine headaches that plagued the second half of his 2011. Hopefully the same will be said about Justin Morneau.

White Sox blast seven homers but lose to Blue Jays

White Sox blast seven homers but lose to Blue Jays

The White Sox tied a team-record seven home runs on Saturday afternoon and it wasn’t enough.

Brett Lawrie had two homers and three RBIs, but the White Sox couldn’t overcome a poor start by Miguel Gonzalez and lost 10-8 to the Toronto Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field. The seven homers, all of which were solo shots, matched an April 23, 1955 effort at Kansas City.

Gonzalez allowed eight runs in 5 1/3 innings for the White Sox, who fell back below .500 with the loss. Dioner Navarro, J.B. Shuck, Tim Anderson, Alex Avila and Adam Eaton all hit home runs for the White Sox in the losing effort.

Down by five in the second inning, the White Sox started to rally against R.A. Dickey on Lawrie’s inside-the-park-home run with two outs. It was the first inside-the-park-homer by a White Sox player at U.S. Cellular Field since Chris Singleton on Sept. 29, 2000. Navarro then lined one out to right to make it 5-2 and Shuck followed with his first homer since April 19, 2014 -- a span of 318 plate appearances.

Even though Gonzalez allowed three runs in the fourth to make it an 8-3 game, the White Sox didn’t stop. Lawrie’s solo homer off Dickey made it a four-run game and he became the first White Sox player since Ron Santo on June 9, 1974 to have both a traditional homer and an inside-the-park-homer in the same game.

The White Sox added a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Lawrie to make it 8-5 but reliever Jesse Chavez stranded a pair of runners.

Anderson’s homer off Drew Storen in the seventh made it a two-run game and Avila’s oppo-shot off Jason Grilli in the eighth got the White Sox within a run.

Eaton homered in the ninth, too, but it wasn’t enough.

Gonzalez’s day started with a rough patch and rarely got any easier.

He allowed five straight hits in the first inning, including three straight doubles as Toronto grabbed an early 3-0 lead. The advantage would have been greater had it not been for a spectacular relay throw from Shuck to Lawrie to Avila to throw out Josh Donaldson at home.

The Blue Jays continued to add on in the second inning when Devon Travis blasted a two-run homer off Gonzalez to put his team ahead five.

Starved for length from the starting pitcher, the White Sox stuck with Gonzalez, who retired the side in order in the third. But the Blue Jays continued to add on against Gonzalez, pushing across three more runs in the fourth inning. Donaldson drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs to make it a 6-3 game and Edwin Encarnacion’s two-run single again pushed the deficit to five.

Encarnacion later doubled in an insurance run and Troy Tulowitzki singled in another in the ninth off Michael Ynoa to give Toronto a 10-7 lead.

White Sox first-rounder Zack Collins to start pro career next week

White Sox first-rounder Zack Collins to start pro career next week

ESPN suggested Zack Collins could be the first hitter from this month’s amateur baseball draft to reach the big leagues.

But the first-round pick has been given a few days to decompress before he begins his professional career with the White Sox. Collins spent Saturday morning in the clubhouse, took batting practice with some of his future teammates and threw out the first pitch less than a day after he officially signed with the White Sox. The university of Miami catcher — who received a $3,380,600 signing bonus — will first report to the team’s Glendale, Ariz. facility on July 2 and eventually will start at Single-A Winston-Salem.

“We’re probably going to give him a week or two to catch his breath a little bit,” amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. “It’s been a long season for him. We’re probably going to send him to Arizona for a little bit and get his feet under him and then to Winston.”

Collins’ college career ended earlier this week when the Hurricanes were eliminated from the College World Series. He appeared in 62 games and hit .363/.544/.668 with 16 home runs and 59 RBIs. Collins finished the season with 78 walks and 53 strikeouts.

The catcher brought his family with him to Chicago for the weekend and this week he’ll head to Wichita, KS, where he’s one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, which is awarded annually to the nation’s top collegiate catcher.  

“After that I’ll have a couple of days off and head out,” Collins said. “It’s definitely nice (to get a few days off). I pretty much caught every game this year for Miami so it’s nice to get my legs a little rest and get fresh and head out.”

Collins wants to stick at catcher and he thinks he can. But his approach, which ESPN said is the best of the draft, and bat could have Collins to the majors quickly. Of Collins, ESPN’s Keith Law said “he can really hit.”

Collins finished his collegiate career with 177 walks versus 164 strikeouts.

“Patience is key when you’re hitting, Collins said. “Swinging at the right pitches and put the barrel on it and the ball will fly, especially with these big-league balls. Take your walks and get on base and score runs to help the team.”

Zack Burdi, the team’s supplemental first-rounder, also is said to be a fast-mover and potentially could be the first pitcher drafted to reach the majors. Hostetler said the reason Collins and Burdi are ahead of others has as much to do with their mental approach as their skillset.

“They’re advanced from the standpoint not only physically, but mentally,” Hostetler said. “That’s probably the big thing if they can play here. These guys that play here on a nightly basis, they’re wired different between the ears. They have a different mentality about them and both of those kids as well as a couple of the other ones we drafted have that presently and don’t have to develop that. To think you can put it on a 21-year-old kid to pitch here in front of 40,000 a night, it’s a little tough to think about. But I do think they’d be capable of something like that.”

White Sox closer David Robertson will remember 100th save 'for sure'

White Sox closer David Robertson will remember 100th save 'for sure'

It’s very unlikely David Robertson will ever forget how he recorded his 100th save.

To earn it, the White Sox closer had to endure a wild Friday night. Kansas City aside, Friday’s was one of his more chaotic innings of the entire season. Not only did Robertson put himself in a difficult position, he then had to endure against the heart of the Toronto Blue Jays lineup in a one-run game. But somehow Robertson managed his way out of what seemed like an impossible jam to escape to convert his 19th save in 21 tries.

“It’s a high-stress position and I think guys that are able to do that and get numbers like that are very unique,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “At the end it’s whether he got it done or not. Last night he got it done. It’s not the situation he wants to get in, but you have to be able to have the stuff to get out of it. And he has that.”

Robertson needed every ounce of his escape-ability.

Working for the fifth time in six days, Robertson’s inning was disrupted twice by lengthy delays, one for a 3-minute, 20-second replay review and another for a disputed foul ball off Darwin Barney’s bat. Robertson eventually walked Barney and proceeded to load the bases with consecutive singles, including an infield hit by Josh Donaldson.

All of a sudden, Robertson found himself staring down Edwin Encarnacion with red-hot Michael Saunders on deck and only one out.

“You couldn't ask for better guys at the plate,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

But in an instant, Robertson found his way out of trouble. He struck out Encarnacion on 3-2 pitch and Saunders harmlessly popped out to shortstop on the first pitch. Instead of lamenting a missed opportunity, Robertson received a congratulatory text from his wife, Erin, who notified him the save was the 100th of his career.

In 21 save opportunities this season, Robertson has a 0.82 ERA as he has allowed two earned runs and 14 hits in 22 innings. He has walked eight, struck out 26 and converted 19 tries.

“I definitely made it exciting out there,” Robertson said. “I wasn’t helping myself out much. It was a tough one, it was a grind. I was giving them everything I had and I felt like I was very fortunate to escape that inning without giving up a run.

“It would have been a lot of nicer if it was 1-2-3. I’ll remember that one for sure.”