Chicago White Sox

Rickety run to finish line for a number of White Sox

Rickety run to finish line for a number of White Sox

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010
10:38 PM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

OAKLAND There was good news and bad news on the White Sox injury front on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the word on the injured members of the Chicago core wasnt all that good.

Gordon Beckham tried to cautiously work himself back into playing shape by taking some flips rather than live batting practice and had to cut his session short after just a few swings. His discomfort is great enough that the remainder of the road trip and the final White Sox homestand of the season (beginning next Monday) is in clear jeopardy.

Its not good news about Gordon, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. Its still sore. He said he tried to swing the bat and nothing was going for him. We still have to continue his treatment, and when hes ready to play well figure it out.

While Guillen wouldnt shut the door on a return by Beckham, he was frank in hoping he would bow out of the final games of the season, saying so directly.

I wouldnt mind him shutting it down, Guillen continued. We have a couple of guys who can play second.

Gavin Floyd, who left Mondays start after just nine pitches with soreness in the back of his shoulder, was wrapped with ice before Tuesdays warm-up but had removed it in time for the team stretch.

While Floyd indicated he felt increasing pain when his arm was extended on pitches Monday night, he didnt realize his reaction right before he left the game: When Rajai Davis fouled a pitch behind the plate, Floyd threw his arm up to help catcher A.J. Pierzynski locate the popup.

I dont remember doing that, Floyd told me after the game.

The significance here is that Floyd being able to raise his arm to point out a foul might eliminate the possibility of Floyds injury being rotator cuff-related.

The best news with regard to White Sox injuries came from Freddy Garcia, who took time right after his side session to talk to CSNChicago.com about how it went. Even Guillen, who said that hopefully everything went well a half-hour later in his pregame session, wasnt immediately aware of the outcome.

I still feel it, Garcia said of the back pain that has reduced his September to two aborted starts and six innings pitched. But Im better.

Garcia expressed confidence hed be pitching again this season. Its important to get out for one or two more starts.

Its clear that while his back pain was serious enough to necessitate an epidural and throw his season into jeopardy, the pain is all relative to Garcia, who has revitalized his career with his 2009-10 stint with the White Sox (11-6, 4.88 ERA in 144 innings).

This pain is nothing compared to going through surgery and rehab, Garcia said. You never want to think about an injury like that.

Understandably, then, Garcia is prouder of his comeback from shoulder surgery than many of the accomplishmentsrunner-up AL Rookie of the Year, two All-Star Gamesthat came easier to him pre-surgery.

You dont ever think youre going to lose your fastball, Garcia said. Ive have to become a smarter pitcher. My head is more important than my arm now when I have success.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Tim Anderson would like to see more fans in 'danger zone' protected by netting

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USA TODAY

Tim Anderson would like to see more fans in 'danger zone' protected by netting

HOUSTON -- Tim Anderson and Rick Renteria lent their support Thursday to extended netting after a foul ball seriously injured a young New York Yankees fan.

The day after a 2-year-old girl was struck in the face by a ball, the White Sox shortstop said he tries to ensure his own family only sits in areas covered by protective netting. That means Anderson’s wife and 1 1/2-year-old daughter rarely sit down the line or behind the dugout. Only 10 of 30 baseball stadiums have netting that extends beyond the home plate side of each dugout as per the recommendation of Major League Baseball.

“I don’t like them sitting above the dugout or down the line -- it’s kind of the danger zone,” Anderson said. “Line drives go down there all throughout the game.”

“You hate to see that happen. Hopefully they’ll be able to extend nets down there to protect kids because there’s a lot of kids that sit that above the dugouts that the parents don’t pay attention to during the game, they’ve got their heads on their phones.”

Prior to the 2016 season, teams were encouraged by MLB to add netting for all seats within 70 feet of home plate.

[MORE: Jose Abreu's gift to Yoan Moncada just keeps on giving

But that still leaves plenty of fans in harm’s way. It’s surprising to see incidents similar to Wednesday’s -- which involved a line drive off the bat of ex-White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier -- don’t happen more often. As Anderson noted, baseball has a lot of downtime and because there isn’t constant action sometimes fans get distracted and look at their phones. That can be a recipe for danger for those sitting near to the field.

“Balls are flying off those bats at high rates of speed,” manager Rick Renteria said. “There is a chance for injury. Fans are consumed with not only watching the game, but they’re also taking care of a lot of different things that are going on. They might not be aware of balls in flight, even though they are warned about it.

“I wouldn’t be opposed to (extended netting).”

The White Sox extended their protective netting from the home plate side of each dugout before the start of last season. A team spokesperson said the club works closely with MLB on the topic.

“No one wants to see any fan injured at the ballpark, and our hearts go out to the young girl and her family in New York last night,” White Sox senior vice president of communications Scott Reifert said. “We felt badly for Todd Frazier as well. The White Sox work closely with MLB to continually review fan safety recommendations and the protective netting question. It's a topic that we regularly discuss with MLB, and it likely will be discussed again on a league-wide basis during the offseason as well.”

Anderson said he would approve a change.

“When you see a line drive go into the stands you definitely hope it doesn’t hit anybody,” Anderson said. “Just want to keep all the fans safe, especially the kids.”

Why Yoan Moncada's hot streak is important for the White Sox confidence and his

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USA TODAY

Why Yoan Moncada's hot streak is important for the White Sox confidence and his

HOUSTON -- Don’t think the White Sox front office isn’t enjoying every second of Yoan Moncada’s tear.

Everyone can breathe a little easier knowing there are fewer questions for baseball’s top prospect to answer headed into 2018. Pleased as they’d been with Moncada’s patient plate approach, the club desired a breakthrough before Oct. 2 for the confidence boost it would provide him alone. Moncada continued a torrid run on Wednesday night that should have him bristling with poise when he arrives in Glendale, Ariz. next February. He homered as the White Sox fell 4-3 to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

“We’ve been looking for him to continue to try and make adjustments,” manager Rick Renteria said. “There was probably a point there where people were a little concerned. Truthfully, when you see some of the talent these kids have, you recognize that their skillset is going to play up, it’s just a matter of getting the repetition.”

The White Sox have been impressed with Moncada’s improved awareness as he gains more experience.

One area in which Moncada has made the most gains is pitch recognition. The book has been that second baseman has had trouble with offspeed since he arrived in 2016, hitting .154 against sliders and .238 against curveballs entering Wednesday, according to Brooksbaseball.net.

But Moncada is trending upward. The first-pitch slider from Astros starter Brad Peacock that Moncada ripped for a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fourth inning was his fifth hit of the trip on a slider or curveball in 11 at-bats. On the trip, Moncada -- who has 189 plate appearances this season -- is hitting .415/.477/.683 with three homers, eight RBIs and 12 runs in 41 plate appearances.

[MORE: Jose Abreu's gift to Yoan Moncada just keeps on giving

Given Moncada’s struggles in a brief 2016 tryout with the Boston Red Sox, having success is certainly helpful as he won’t head into another offseason wondering when it might happen for him. Moncada doesn’t compare the two situations because of playing time -- he was limited to 20 plate appearances over a month in 2016. But he agrees his recent play is good for the psyche.

“It’s important for my confidence, especially thinking about next year,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “With this run, I have been able to have more confidence and believe in myself and my talent, and I think that’s something I can carry into next season.”

“This offseason is going to be different because I’ve been able to play almost every day. I have more confidence in myself. I know the game better. Last season I had an opportunity to be at this level a little bit, but it wasn’t the same. This year is the opposite because I’ve been playing a lot and have been able to handle good and bad stretches at this level.”

While a reduction in strikeout-rate is still needed to be more effective, Moncada has begun to establish himself as a major league hitter. It’s exactly how teammate and mentor Jose Abreu hoped Moncada would spend his time this season.

“He has to get to know a lot of things at this level,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “The game, the pitchers, the culture here -- there’s a lot of little things he has to get to know here. The way you can work through it is give your best every day and try to learn as much as you can and try to use all your knowledge and to pool your knowledge on each play in the game. That’s the only way you can get results and you can build on those results and this experience for the future. I think he’s finally doing it and that’s important for him and for us thinking of the next season and beyond.”

Renteria not only likes the pitch recognition but the way that Moncada has tried to hit through the shift several times against Houston. Though the White Sox never wavered, they’re certainly happy to see Moncada produce the way they thought he eventually would.

“He’s starting to slow it down a little more,” Renteria said. “He’s starting to see more of the landscape and making adjustments in general. It’s been a good run for him. We thought he would show signs of growth at the end of the season and he’s doing that.”