Chicago White Sox

LIVE: Errors, walks put White Sox down 10-4

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LIVE: Errors, walks put White Sox down 10-4

Friday, April 29, 2011
Posted: 11:42 a.m.

Associated Press

The Chicago White Sox find themselves in the midst of an ugly stretch with a punchless offense mostly to blame.

John Danks knows all too well of his team's struggles to score runs.

Despite five solid outings, Danks tries for his first win of the season as the White Sox return home to open a four-game set with the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.

The White Sox (10-16) batted .199 over their recently completed 3-8 road trip, during which they were outscored 51-23 after falling 12-3 to the New York Yankees in Thursday's series finale.

"It's been a bad couple of weeks," first baseman Paul Konerko said. "It's been bad up to this point as a whole this season, but that doesn't mean tomorrow has to be (the same way). It's way too early to get discouraged or to say, 'OK, this is the team for the season.'"

Alex Rios, who went 0 for 3 before leaving with a toe injury, recorded just two hits in 34 at-bats (.059) during the trek. Slugger Adam Dunn went hitless in four at-bats Thursday and saw his average drop to .162.

Chicago, loser of 12 of 15, has averaged 2.6 runs and failed to record a win during the five games Danks (0-3, 3.27 ERA) has started.

The left-hander, who has gone at least six innings in every start this year, gave up three runs and nine hits during Sunday's 3-0 loss at Detroit.

"It's unfortunate, because he's been pitching great every outing, and we're not helping him," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Not at all, and it is a shame."

Danks hasn't gone winless in April since his 2007 rookie season, and a matchup against Baltimore (10-13) could help extend that feat. He is 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA in his last four starts against the Orioles, allowing one run or less in three of them.

It's been the Orioles starters, though, who have impressed of late, going at least six innings and compiling a 3.23 ERA over the last nine contests.

Baltimore had won back-to-back games against Boston prior to falling 6-2 on Thursday. Brad Bergesen threw six strong innings but the bullpen allowed four runs for the second time in as many nights.

While Orioles relievers have compiled a 10.06 ERA over the last five games, closer Kevin Gregg has thrived of late. He's converted three straight save opportunities while recording four nearly perfect innings, allowing one walk over that span.

"It's the end of April, (and I'm) just getting in the swing of things," Gregg told the Orioles' official website.

Jake Arrieta (2-1, 4.94) has lasted six innings and allowed three runs or less in four of his five appearances this year, including Sunday's 6-3, 11-inning loss to the Yankees in which he gave up three runs and five hits and struck out a career-high nine.

The right-hander surrendered four runs and seven hits over four innings of his only career start against the White Sox, an 8-0 loss at U.S. Cellular Field on Aug. 26.

Rios, who homered in that game, has gone deep 16 times against the Orioles over his career - his highest total versus any club. His status for Friday, though, is unknown.

Adam Jones, Baltimore's leader with five home runs, has one hit in 15 at-bats against Danks while Vladimir Guerrero, a career .319 hitter, is 4 for 21 (.190).

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Jeff Passan explains why White Sox have the best farm system in baseball

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Jeff Passan explains why White Sox have the best farm system in baseball

After speaking with 24 people in baseball (GMs, farm directors and scouts), Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports made a conclusion: the White Sox have the best farm system in baseball. On the podcast, Chuck Garfien speaks with Passan about his specific findings and how the next few years might play out for the franchise.

How many of the White Sox prospects have to be a success for the rebuild to work? Will Michael Kopech or Alec Hansen have the better major league career? Will the Cubs one day regret trading Eloy Jimenez? Will the White Sox be willing to spend big money to land a player like Manny Machado? Who will be the White Sox closer in 2019? Who might the White Sox draft in 2018?

The answers to these questions and many others on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Minor league notes: Eloy Jimenez isn't 'going to throw' away his opportunity

Minor league notes: Eloy Jimenez isn't 'going to throw' away his opportunity

A strong work ethic is one reason the White Sox are very excited about the possibilities that Eloy Jimenez presents.

Not only is the Double-A Birmingham outfielder extremely talented, he accompanies it with nonstop work. Jimenez’s Winston-Salem teammates and coaches praised the youngster for the serious effort he puts forth in the batting cage. One White Sox staffer watched Jimenez in batting practice last Sunday — he slugged more than 850 feet worth of home runs the night before — and noted how the No. 7 prospect in baseball was working on hitting curveballs. Jimenez said cage work is a vital part of his everyday routine.

“The most important thing before the game for me is to get in the cage, do my work, do my thing,” Jimenez said. “That is the biggest thing for me. I think that has worked for me in the game. That’s why I’m working hard every day in the cages.

“It’s time to go to work. I joke outside the cage but inside the cage I’m just thinking what I’m going to do. What is the spot I do damage? What is the spot I need to work more? That is the time for that I feel.”

Jimenez said his parents — mother Adelaida Solano, father Luis Jimenez and “baseball dad” Amauris Nina — instilled in him a strong work ethic. Though he believes he’s talented, Jimenez thinks it would only take him so far and wants to do everything he can to become a major leaguer.

“My dad all the time says if you want to be the best you need to work like you want to be the best,” Jimenez said. “All the time my mom said if you’re going to do something, do what you love and work hard for that.

“(Amauris) says you need to work like you don’t have anything, like nobody knows you. Work like that. No matter what they tell you outside the field, you need to work every day.

“If God gave me the opportunity I’m not going to throw it away. I’m just going to work hard to be one of the best players in baseball.”

Clarkin keeps busy

Winston-Salem pitcher Ian Clarkin hopes to return sooner than later from a strained right oblique that has kept him sidelined since July 23. Acquired from the Yankees on July 18, Clarkin has been on the disabled list since Aug. 1.

Along with his rehab work, one way the right-hander — the No. 23 prospect in the organization — has kept busy by growing a mustache. Clarkin has also paired up with Dash outfielder Jameson Fisher, the No. 26 prospect, to receive tips on how to grow and maintain it. Fisher has an 80-grade mustache on the 20-80 scouting scale and the two have lockers next to one another. But Clarkin isn’t very satisfied with his soup strainer, which has been growing for three weeks.

“This is a weird phase I’m going through,” Clarkin said. “Nothing growing in the middle, I need to do something.

“I gotta figure out what we’re doing. I like it, but we’re in a weird phase.”

Say, that’s not …

Jake Peter has done his best Yoan Moncada impersonation since he was promoted last month, including wearing the White Sox second baseman’s No. 10 at Triple-A Charlotte. Peter entered Sunday hitting .306/.358/.495 with five home runs and 15 RBIs in 120 plate appearances at Charlotte. He was the organization’s co-minor league player of the month in July with Jimenez.

“He’s a great ballplayer,” Double-A manager Julio Vinas said of Peter. “He’s a grinder and he gives you everything he has got. He was having quality AB s and he’s got so many tools. What’s great about him is anywhere you put him he plays solid defense.”

Peter is in his fourth season with the organization after the White Sox drafted him in the seventh round in the 2014 draft out of Creighton. He’s excited by the influx of talent and said it should create good competition with the players who were already here.

“We’re seeing all the great players coming in, and all of the great players we’ve already had it’s just going to make us better because it will create more competition and make us push each other,” Peter said.

Polo on the mark

Don’t overlook Tito Polo because he was the third minor leaguer to come over in the Yankees deal and currently isn’t part of MLB.com’s top-30 organizational prospect list. That’s the advice of Double-A announcer Curt Bloom, who calls Polo a strong defender, and Clarkin, who played with the center fielder for part of the 2016 season at Single-A Tampa.

“Tito has an unbelievable amount of talent and people are going to be surprised what he has in store,” Clarkin said. “He’s a good hitter, he can hit for power, he runs really well, he has a great arm and he’s a good defensive player, which everyone saw in the WBC. He’s going to surprise a lot of people with his talent.”