Chicago White Sox

Adam Dunn will probably hit third

721532.png

Adam Dunn will probably hit third

While Robin Ventura wouldn't announce a lineup for Friday's opener, he did hint that Adam Dunn will probably hit third to begin the season.

Ventura told the Chicago Tribune he likes Dunn's on-base skills ahead of Paul Konerko, which is outstanding to hear. Yes, Dunn isn't fast, and having he and Konerko hit back-to-back may worry those fixated on first-to-third baseball, but the more opportunities Konerko gets with men on base, the more RBIs he'll get and the more runs the White Sox will score.

And at this point, the Sox don't have a better option to hit ahead of Konerko. The Trib article suggested Alex Rios, although his on-base skills pale in comparison to those of Dunn, even if both players rebound to their career averages.

The rest of Ventura's lineup is a mystery -- just like who will be named the closer. Although the answer to that latter puzzle, by all accounts, will probably be Matt Thornton.

Extreme makeover: White Sox bullpen edition

Extreme makeover: White Sox bullpen edition

With the White Sox entering rebuild mode in 2017 and the relief pitcher trade market not all that hot, general manager Rick Hahn found a perfect storm to unload some of his arms for future prospects.

Hahn continued that pursuit on Thursday, dealing left-hander Dan Jennings to the Tampa Bay Rays for 24-year-old prospect Casey Gillaspie. With the trade, the White Sox not have just one of their seven relievers from Opening Day on the current roster.

Below are the seven Opening Day bullpen arms, and where they've gone from April 5 to now.

- Zach Putnam (April 25) Putnam was the first of the bullpen arms to go, heading to the 10-day DL with right elbow inflammation. He did some throwing in early May but failed to make much progress. In late June Rick Hahn confirmed that Putnam had underwent Tommy John surgery. He finished with a 1.04 ERA in 8.2 innings.

- Nate Jones (April 28) Jones entered 2017 as one of the White Sox most important bullpen pieces. But the right elbow neuritis he dealt with never fully healed, and he needed nerve repositioning surgery on July 13 that ended his season. The former Tommy John surgery recipient finished 2017 with a 2.31 ERA, striking out 15 batters in just 11.2 innings.

- Michael Ynoa (July 8) After a stellar rookie campaign, Ynoa struggled in 2017, compiling a 5.90 ERA in 29 innings. He walked 22 and struck out just 23, and he allowed seven runs and recorded just four outs in his final two outings before the White Sox designated him for assignment. He's currently on the DL at AAA Charlotte.

- David Robertson (July 18) Rick Hahn gave up his closer right after the trade deadline, sending Robertson to the Yankees in a seven-player trade. Robertson had plenty of value, sporting a 2.70 ERA while going 13-for-14 in save opportunities. In four games with the Yankees he's allowed just one earned run - a homer - while striking out six.

- Anthony Swarzak (July 25) A surprise on the Opening Day 25-man roster, the 31-year-old Swarzak dominated in his time with the White Sox. He sported a 2.23 ERA and struck out 52 batters in 48.1 innings. He did some of his best work just before the trade, too: he had scoreless outings in 13 of his final 14 appearances with the Sox, good for a sparkling 0.56 ERA with 22 strikeouts and five walks in 16.0 innings. In return the White Sox received 25-year-old outfield prospect Ryan Cordell.

- Dan Jennings (July 27) The sixth bullpen arm to depart, Jennings was sent to the Rays for 24-year-old switch-hitting prospect Casey Gillaspie. The left-hander finished his White Sox season with a 3.45 ERA. Left-handed batters hit just .169 with a .497 OPS against him.

- Jake Petricka (still on team) It'll be tough to swing a deal for Petricka, who had a 10.24 ERA in June after returning from a DL stint. He hasn't yet pitched in July.

That's not including Tommy Kahnle, who joined the 25-man roster just a few days into the season. Kahnle was part of the deal that sent Robertson to the Yankees.

Now, here's the current bullpen: Jake Petricka, David Holmberg, Gregory Infante, Chris Beck, Juan Minaya, Tyler Clippard, Brad Goldberg, Aaron Bummer

White Sox continue dealing, trade Dan Jennings to Rays for prospect

dan-jennings-0726.jpg

White Sox continue dealing, trade Dan Jennings to Rays for prospect

The White Sox continued their run of trades on Thursday morning, dealing relief pitcher Dan Jennings to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Casey Gillaspie.

Gillaspie, 24, was rated by MLB.com as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays organization. The switch-hitting first baseman batted .227 with nine homers, 44 RBIs and 45 runs scored in 95 games for AAA Durham.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound left-hander began the year ranked as the No. 74 prospect in baseball by Baseball America and was a Southern League All-Star in 2016.  The first-round pick in 2014 was a New York-Penn League All-Star that year and a Midwest League All-Star in 2015.

“Casey is a recent first-round pick who has shown a quality approach at the plate with some power throughout his minor-league career,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “He gives us yet another highly touted hitter who has stood out at every level in the Rays system and increases our organizational depth as we continue to add prospects to the system.”

Casey is the young brother of Conor Gillaspie, who spent three seasons with the White Sox from 2013 to 2015.

Jennings went 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA in 48 appearances for the White Sox this season, his 48 appearances are tied for second in the American League.

Jennings tweeted a farewell to the White Sox following the trade.

It's the fourth trade the White Sox have made in July. They began by dealing starter Jose Quintana to the crosstown rival Cubs for four prospects, including 20-year old phenom Eloy Jimenez.

Hahn and the White Sox bundled David Robertson, Todd Frazier and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees for a prospect package that included 2016 first-round pick Blake Rutherford.

The White Sox also dealt reliever Anthony Swarzak to the Brewers and received 25-year-old Ryan Cordell in return.

In a corresponding roster move to replace Jennings on the 25-man roster, the White Sox are calling up left-handed reliever Aaron Bummer.

Bummer, 23, was selected  by the White Sox in 19th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. In 28 appearances across three levels in 2017, Bummer has a 3.31 ERA and a 1.306 WHIP.

The White Sox now have just one reliever on their current roster who was also on the Opening Day roster is Jake Petricka.