Chicago White Sox

During torrid streak, Jose Abreu gets good news from family in Miami

During torrid streak, Jose Abreu gets good news from family in Miami

To say Jose Abreu is on fire right now might be an understatement.

A day after hitting for the cycle, Abreu hit two more home runs in Sunday's 8-1 win against the Giants. Abreu now has 31 home runs on the season and has his batting average above .300.

"This is as consistent an approach as I've seen in anybody in the big leagues," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said of Abreu. "He really, really continues to stay focused and in the zone.

"He's really enjoying his moment right now and I think the confidence he has and just the comfort level that he's showing just from being up here, I think every year you're up here you get a little bit more comfortable."

The fourth-year first baseman has decimated the Giants in the past two days. Abreu went 6-for-8 with three home runs and five extra base hits. With three RBIs in each of those games, Abreu is closing in another 100-RBI season. He has 90 and the White Sox have 20 games left on the schedule.

"I think that since the young kids started coming up, we are playing with more motivation, with joy, we are enjoying more of the game," Abreu said through a translator. "It's good when you can see these kind of results because we have been working hard everyday to get these results."

Abreu has now hit 30 or more home runs in three of his four seasons with the White Sox and is on track for a fourth straight 100-RBI year. The Cuban slugger maintained that the numbers aren't what he's going after.

"I am blessed to have the opportunity to play at this level to accomplish my dream and my mom's dream, too," Abreu said. "Whatever is going to happen at the end of the season is going to happen."

After sitting three straight games on Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, Abreu said he struggled to get back in a rhythm. Whatever he wants to call it, it appears he's feeling good again.

Abreu also got some good news from his family in Miami after being concerned for their safety with Hurricane Irma ripping through Florida this weekend.

"It's all about adjustments," Abreu said. "I lost my rhythm with the days that I was off and then I regained my rhythm again and I'm hitting the ball good. I feel very great at home plate, but all of that is also because of the work that I put in day in and day out in my routine. Also, with the support of my family that they just called me a few minutes ago to let me know that they are good in Miami. That the hurricane passed through their house and they are safe. That's something that made you feel comfortable and confident on yourself. I think that's why probably the results on the field have been going that way the last few days."

Chris Volstad earns first MLB victory in five seasons as White Sox top Astros

Chris Volstad earns first MLB victory in five seasons as White Sox top Astros

HOUSTON -- Two weeks ago Chris Volstad was focused on Hurricane Irma prep when the White Sox called to invite him to the majors. On Thursday night, he earned his first major league victory in more than five years as the White Sox defeated the Houston Astros 3-1 at Minute Maid Park.

Volstad, who had only made 10 big league appearances the previous four-plus seasons and spent all of 2017 at Triple-A Charlotte, allowed a run in 4 1/3 innings to pick up his first win since Sept. 10, 2012.

He hadn’t just shut it down after the Triple-A season ended, Volstad was actually shuttering his Jupiter, Fla. home and business the day the short-handed White Sox called.

“I was probably a little mentally shut down,” Volstad said. “But yeah, it’s kind of crazy how things can change. I guess it’s been about two weeks now. At home getting ready for a hurricane and then getting called back up to the big leagues.”

Volstad received word he might pitch early in Thursday’s game when a blister on Carson Fulmer’s right index finger worsened. Fulmer felt some discomfort after his Friday start at Detroit.

The White Sox let Fulmer try to go but yanked him after 20 pitches, including two walks. That brought out Volstad, who along with Al Alburquerque was promoted Sept. 10 after the White Sox lost several pitchers to injury.

The White Sox actually had to track Volstad down two weeks ago as he’d already been home for a week. He spent part of the time prepping for Irma, including boarding up his brewery.

He escaped a first-inning jam with a double play ball of the bat of Carlos Correa and ended a threat in the second with a pickoff at second base of Alex Bregman. After he surrendered a solo homer to Brian McCann in the third, Volstad retired the final eight men he faced.

[MORE: Why the White Sox are optimistic about their middle infielders' potential

He was awarded his first victory since he defeated Thursday’s Astros starter Dallas Keuchel 1,836 days ago here. Volstad remembered the win because Houston was still in the National League and he had a base hit in the five-inning start for the Cubs. He went 3-12 for the Cubs that season.

“You’re able to lock it in pretty quickly and get focused at the big-league level, you have to,” Volstad said. “But being home in Triple-A for the last few years, just getting called up about 10 days ago, I’ve got people following it, but it’s kind of unknown I guess. It’s a little surprising, but I’m glad to be a part of a team for sure.”

Fulmer, Volstad, Jace Fry, Mike Pelfrey, Gregory Infante, Aaron Bummer, Danny Farquhar and Juan Minaya combined on a three-hitter for the White Sox. Tim Anderson extended his hit streak to 12 games with a ninth-inning solo homer, his 17th.

White Sox add two cross checkers to amateur scouting department

8-24_guaranteed_rate_field.jpg

White Sox add two cross checkers to amateur scouting department

The White Sox hired two new national amateur scouting cross checkers, Tim Bittner and Juan Alvarez.

Bittner was a one-time White Sox farmhand who was included in a package for Scott Schoeneweis in 2003 while Alvarez was an undrafted pitcher who pitched in 80 major league games for the Angels, Rangers and Marlins from 1999-2003.

Bittner previously worked as a Houston Astros area scout while Alvarez held the same role for the Cleveland Indians. They replace Joe Siers, who moved over to the team’s pro scouting staff, and Mike Ledna, who took a job with the New York Mets.

“Both are very smart guys with playing experience,” amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. “And they’re also coming from two clubs with a lot of recent success.

“I want to add as many smart, passionate, high-energy scouts to what I feel is a department already filled with scouts that check those boxes.”

The White Sox expect to have at least a top-four selection in the 2018 amateur draft. They headed into Thursday’s game with the second-worst record in the majors. Hostetler praised the 2018 draft class for its depth earlier this week.