White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From the weekend:

Jake Peavy was excellent in Friday's 5-2 win over Detroit, Alexei Ramirez, Tyler Flowers and Paul Konerko homered in Saturday's 5-1 win and the Sox showed impressive fight even in Sunday's 5-2 loss.

Taking two of three from the Tigers was a welcome departure from last year's first series against Detroit, which saw the Sox get swept at Comerica Park. And while it's still early, the results of the weekend qualify as a turnaround.

There were plenty of people who thought this series would be an opportunity for Detroit state their dominance over the Sox and AL Central, but that didn't wind up being the case. One person who's not surprised? Jim Leyland.

Game 1 of the series saw Detroit flaunt their greatest flaw -- defense. And the juxtaposition of Delmon Young's outfield adventures with Dayan Viciedo's diving catch and Alexei Ramirez's slick double play was too great to pass up.

Speaking of interesting contrasts: the home opener experiences for Paul Konerko, Robin Ventura and Nate Jones.

Friday's game also saw Miguel Cabrera file a complaint about the batter's box that led to a 10-minute delay. But if you're the vindictive type, you'll appreciate that Cabrera failed to record a hit in the three-game series.

Hector Santiago earned his third save of the season on Friday -- and while his selection to close games for the White Sox came as a surprise to those who follow the team, there wasn't anything shocking about it to the Sox brass.

Tyler Flowers started on Saturday and belted a mammoth home run, which is a good sign for someone who admitted his transition to a backup role has been difficult.

Kenny Williams generally won't answer questions about Ozzie Guillen (and why should he?), but he did this weekend when asked if he has any compassion for the former Sox skipper. The answer: he does.

Through the first six games of the season, the White Sox set a club record for strikeouts. But as Adam Dunn's strikeouts show, not every K is created equal.

Last but not least from the White Sox -- beer!

Around the division: The Indians stuck it to Kansas City this weekend in a three-game sweep -- but at Royals least outfielder Mitch Maier was able to shut down the Tribe for an inning and there were multiple bench-clearing incidents -- Adam Wilk will make his next scheduled start after suffering a left shoulder contusion on a foul ball Saturday and Justin Morneau looks like he'll play some first base this week for the Twins.

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. 

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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."

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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."