Starting cornerback Tim Jennings had rookie Isaiah Freys back during Friday nights practice. After Frey was flagged for an illegal contact on a route by surprising Brittan Golden, Jennings snuck out, picked up the flag and hid it in his uniform. He was found out, however.
Corey Wootton continues to stand out as a pass rusher and right now is clearly the No. 3 defensive end behind Israel Idonije and Julius Peppers. Wootton, who was having a good camp last year before injuries set him back, got the better of Chris Williams in matchups that will not advance Williams case for the starting left-tackle job.
Special (teams) guy
Dane Sanzenbacher is getting increased time on special teams, returning punts and serving as lead blocker for Devin Hester on kickoff returns Friday. Sanzenbacher played limited special teams last year, collecting two tackles, but he needs to find other niches to fill to help his roster chances in Chicago or elsewhere.
Linebacker Brian Urlacher was in full uniform but not wearing cleats as he went through some drills, mostly walk-throughs, but not live position sessions, giving his injured left knee a third straight day off.
Gabe Carimi was back at his usual right-tackle spot with the No. 1 offense, although coaches are still giving Chris Williams some reps there to rest Carimi and also get more evaluation of Williams.
The worst kept secret is finally out of the bag.
The White Sox officially announced the signing of free agent Cuban outfielder Luis Robert to a minor-league contract, which includes a $26-million signing bonus.
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“We are excited to add Luis — another young, extremely talented and impactful prospect — to the White Sox organization,” White Sox senior vice president/general manager Rick Hahn said. “Luis has the potential to be a dynamic, five-tool player at the major-league level, and we look forward to watching him develop in our system over coming seasons. Luis will immediately be viewed as one of the top prospects in baseball, and his signing adds to the growing depth of quality young players within our organization.”
The 19-year-old Robert played in 210 career games (including postseason) with Ciego de Ávila in the Cuban Serie Nacional and had a .315/.402/.467 slash line with 20 home runs, 92 RBI and 29 stolen bases.
Robert slides into the No. 2 spot on the White Sox Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.
Michal Kempny was in and out of the Blackhawks lineup last season but he’ll likely get a bigger opportunity this coming season. On Saturday, he was assured of coming back to get that chance.
Kempny and the Blackhawks agreed to a one-year extension, the team announced on Saturday morning.
“Michal’s style of play is an asset to our defense,” general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He is the type of player who will continue to improve now that he has transitioned to the National Hockey League. We look forward to his continued development on the ice for the Blackhawks.”
Kempny was part of a very crowded blue line last season — he was one of eight defensemen at the start of it — and played 50 regular-season games. He recorded two goals and six assists in those contests but did not play in the Blackhawks’ four postseason contests. With Johnny Oduya and Brian Campbell likely not returning, however, Kempny should get a bigger opportunity this season.
The 26-year-old Kempny also had two goals and an assist in eight games for the Czech Republic team at the 2017 World Championship.