Chicago White Sox

Sox open '12 in Texas; Cards, Dodgers highlighted

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Sox open '12 in Texas; Cards, Dodgers highlighted

Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011
Posted: 11:50 a.m.

By BrettBallantini
CSNChicago.com White SoxInsiderFollow@CSNChi_Beatnik
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CHICAGO Visits to the storied St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers and the return of the two-game Los Angeles Angels set are highlights of the 2012 Chicago White Sox schedule, released on Wednesday.

Chicago opens on the road for just the third time in eight seasons, starting play in Arlington, Texas, at the Rangers April 6-8. After a series in Cleveland, they will open at home vs. the presumptive AL Central champion Detroit Tigers at home on Friday, April 13.

Before April expires, the White Sox take their first West Coast trip, heading out to Seattle and Oakland April 20-25.

Interleague play again centers on six games vs. the Chicago Cubs, beginning with a series at Wrigley Field May 18-20 and chased by the rematch at U.S. Cellular Field June 18-20. Other interleague series include visits to the Cardinals (June 12-14) and Dodgers (June 15-17) and welcoming the Houston Astros (June 8-10) and Milwaukee Brewers (June 22-24).

Other highlights include eight games vs. the Boston Red Sox (April 26-29 in Chicago and July 16-19 at Fenway Park) and seven against the New York Yankees (June 28-July 1 in the Bronx and August 20-22 in Chicago). The season ends at the Cleveland Indians October 1-3.

The White Sox have two 10-game homestands in 2011, August 20-30 and September 3-13. They also have two 10-game road trips, July 13-22 (beginning right after the All-Star Game in Kansas City) and

The longest homestand of 2012 is 10 games, which occurs twice during the season (August 20-30 and September 3-13). The longest trip is 10 days (twice), a 10-game trip taking place from July 13-22, following the All-Star Game in Kansas City, and a nine-game, 10-day trip from September 14-23.

The White Sox are at home, hosting the Rangers, on July 4 (a three-game series July 3-5). They are also at home on September 11, hosting Detroit. The last 13 games of the season are against teams that should finish with winning records: the Angels, Indians and Tampa Bay Rays.

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

White Sox Road Ahead: Lucas Giolito, Carson Fulmer set for first White Sox starts

White Sox Road Ahead: Lucas Giolito, Carson Fulmer set for first White Sox starts

On this week's Honda Road Ahead, sponsored by Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Honda dealers, Bill Melton and Chuck Garfien talk about the upcoming starts for young pitchers Carson Fulmer and Lucas Giolito.

With the White Sox rebuild sucking up all the attention from fans of the team this year, Lucas Giolito and Carson Fulmer have been names in any conversation about the future of the team.

Fulmer, the first-round pick of the White Sox in 2015, made his big league debut with the White Sox last year, but it was as a reliever. This time Fulmer will get the start in the second game of Monday's doubleheader against the Twins.

In eight relief appearances with the White Sox last season, he walked seven in 11 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and an 8.49 ERA. This season Fulmer has returned to starting with Triple-A Charlotte and has a 5.61 ERA with 95 strikeouts and 63 walks in 122 innings.

"I'd like to see Carson Fulmer throw more strikes," Melton said. "Maybe that's all I want to see because I remember when he was here last year he had a tough time coming out of the pen because he was a starter and he wasn't throwing a lot of strikes. So I think the key for me to watch him is, just forget about guys getting hits or hitting balls out of the park, I want to see if he's getting it over the plate, how many times he's ahead of the hitters."

Giolito will make his White Sox debut on Tuesday. Like Fulmer, the 23-year-old has some major league experience. Giolito pitched 21 1/3 innings in four starts and two relief appearances last year with the Nationals. He posted a 6.75 ERA with 11 strikeouts and 12 walks.

The White Sox acquired Giolito in the Adam Eaton trade in the offseason and he hasn't had the smoothest of seasons as a teammate of Fulmer's in Charlotte. The 6-foot-6 right-hander has a 4.48 ERA with 134 strikeouts and 59 walks in 128 2/3 innings for the Knights.

Those numbers aren't going to excite fans, but he has been pitching better lately. In his last five starts, Giolito has a 1.71 ERA (six earned runs in 31 2/3 innings) with 28 strikeouts and 11 walks.

"This is a tall guy, he's a velocity guy, he's a strikeout guy so I'm going to be watching that," Melton said. "And again, nerves. There's nothing wrong with that. First time in front of a Chicago fan base and stuff like that. But a guy that big, I'm more interested in seeing how his breaking ball is. If he starts bouncing it in the dirt, a little nervous. He's got such a good one. I want to see him get ahead of the hitters and see how he puts them away."

Watch the video above to see Garfien and Melton talk about the two White Sox pitching prospects.

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: