LIVE: White Sox rally, but Indians tie it

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LIVE: White Sox rally, but Indians tie it

Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011Posted: 11:03 a.m.
Associated Press

While the AL's other two second-place teams remain in serious playoff contention, the Chicago White Sox are falling out of the picture in the Central.

The White Sox try to avoid falling behind the Cleveland Indians for second place in the Central as they continue their series Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Chicago (72-71) won Thursday's series opener 8-1 before losing 8-4 on Friday, as the Indians snapped a four-game skid. If the White Sox lose again Saturday, Cleveland (71-71) would move past them for second place, but that seems immaterial.

Chicago is 9 12 games behind division-leading Detroit, while the Indians are 10 out. By comparison, the second place teams in both the AL East and West - Boston and Los Angeles, respectively - are 2 12 games out of first.

"Mathematically we are not out of it," said Mark Buehrle, Friday's losing pitcher for Chicago. "But if you watch what is going on and see how good Detroit is playing and see us going in streaks, I don't like our chances. But at the same time, we have to go out there and we got to keep on playing."

Both the White Sox and Indians were in the thick of the Central race when they last met in mid-August. Fausto Carmona (6-14, 5.18 ERA) put together one of his best starts of the year in that series, but hasn't had much luck since.

Carmona allowed one run and four hits in a season-high 8 1-3 innings of a 4-1 win at Chicago on Aug. 17. He gave up two runs in six innings against light-hitting Seattle his next time out, but is 0-2 with a 9.88 ERA in three starts since. The right-hander was tagged for seven runs and eight hits in 1 1-3 innings - his shortest start since Sept. 9, 2009 - in a 10-1 loss to Detroit on Tuesday.

Carmona has been hit-or-miss against the White Sox in his career, going 8-1 with a 2.59 ERA in nine of his starts, but 0-4 with a 14.34 ERA in his other five.

Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko, 4 for 11 with six RBIs in his last three games, is batting .389 with two homers and a double in 18 career at-bats against Carmona.

Philip Humber (9-8, 3.45) takes the ball for the White Sox hoping to build on his first win in two months.

Humber gave up six hits and struck out six without a walk in seven shutout innings of a 2-1 win over Minnesota on Monday, his first victory since July 2. The right-hander was making his first start since Aug. 18, when he was struck above the right eye by a line drive off the bat of Cleveland's Kosuke Fukudome in the second inning.

"It feels like a year since I've had a win. It was a great feeling to have some success," said Humber, who had been 0-4 with a 7.16 ERA in his final six starts before Fukudome's liner landed him on the DL. "Hopefully, I can build off this."

Fukudome had two hits and two RBIs on Friday, and is batting .471 with four RBIs in his last four games against Chicago.

Teammate Lonnie Chisenhall hit a pair of two-run homers off Buehrle on Friday. It was an encouraging performance for the rookie third baseman, who came in 3 for 22 against left-handers.

"Lonnie Chisenhall had a big day, especially considering the way he has struggled against lefties," manager Manny Acta said. "The more he sees (lefties), the better he's going to get."
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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."