Sox searching for another streak heading into Cubs series


Sox searching for another streak heading into Cubs series

A month ago, the White Sox kicked off the BP Crosstown Cup series on the North Side with a 18-21 record, 4 12 games behind first-place Cleveland. They hadn't won a series since sweeping Seattle April 20-22 and were coming off an odd two-day trip to Anaheim to play the Angels.

The Sox swept the Cubs, and after losing on May 22 to the Twins rattled off nine consecutive wins. By June 3, the Sox had a 2 12 game lead over Cleveland, and they haven't relinquished first place since.

But the Sox haven't held on to first place because of good play. They've dropped four consecutive series, salvaging lone victories against Toronto, Houston, St. Louis and Los Angeles to go 4-8 in their last dozen contests. The baseball has been a little better against the Cardinals and Dodgers, with the Sox losing four games against those clubs by a total of five runs.

The Cubs have baseball's worst record and third-worst run differential. But the Sox draw Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster in this three-game series against the untested Zach Stewart and struggling Gavin Floyd. Winning the series won't be easy, but perhaps doing so would act as a springboard going forward.

After the Cubs, the Sox welcome Milwaukee to town for the time since 2000. A seven-game swing to Minnesota and New York follows, and then the Sox host Texas and Toronto leading into the All-Star break. That's not an easy stretch, although the Sox pasted good teams in Cleveland and Tampa Bay to make up the meat of the nine-game winning streak.

A series win over the Cubs could jump-start a lagging team, or at the least, it could provide a nice cushion in case the Sox falter against such a difficult upcoming slate. The action starts tonight, and you can catch every game of the series on Comcast SportsNet.

CSN's Dan Hayes meets the White Sox Dan Hayes

CSN's Dan Hayes meets the White Sox Dan Hayes

Is the White Sox clubhouse big enough for two Dan Hayeses?

We're about to find out this spring training as CSN White Sox Insider Dan Hayes covers the team, which includes first base prospect Danny Hayes.

The Sox prospect Hayes battled .250 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs in 55 games for Charlotte last season.

The big-league hopeful and White Sox beat reporter spoke with CSN's Chuck Garfien about the similarities the two (don't) have.

No word yet on whether they'll battle the two Rougned Odors and Geovani/Geovany Sotos to an Anchoman-style duel.

Check it all out in the hilarious video above.

Yoan Moncada working to learn White Sox culture

Yoan Moncada working to learn White Sox culture

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Yoan Moncada is still trying to familiarize himself with the White Sox but his new club probably don’t feel all that unfamiliar.

At the very least, the rookie second baseman has a strong support group in his first week of spring training. Whether is a seat next to Jose Abreu in the clubhouse, chats with Jose Quintana on the field, or the comfort provided with a manager who speaks the same language, the White Sox clearly want their prized prospect to adapt to his new team. Already in town for the past few days, Moncada participated in the club’s first full-squad workout on Saturday at Camelback Ranch.

“I’m just trying to get to know the culture here, the guys, the staff, the players, how they like to work,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “And so far I’ve been good. Also, the change of the city and state, especially in spring training, I’m getting to know that a little bit better right now.”

Moncada’s comfort is only likely to grow now that Abreu is also in town. The veteran first baseman reported to camp around noon on Saturday (his flight was delayed by weather) and took his physical. Abreu and Moncada played together in 2012 for Cienfuegos and they spent much of the weekend at SoxFest together having fun. Abreu has spoke glowingly about Moncada, who came over from Boston in the Chris Sale trade, and is interested in helping him get comfortable at the big league level. Moncada, who debuted last season, likes having Abreu around.

“That’s a good advantage for me,” Moncada said. “I know him. He knows me. We played together in Cuba. We haven’t yet had the opportunity to practice together. Today was our first day and he wasn’t here, but that’s something that is going to be very good for me.”

So too is the addition of manager Rick Renteria, who is bilingual and addressed his clubhouse in both languages on Saturday. While he’s only getting to know his new teammates and coaches, Moncada is comfortable with the knowledge he can clearly communicate with the man in charge. All those elements should pave the way for Moncada to maximize his development in camp rather than worry about things off the field.

“He’s an excellent manager,” Moncada said. “He can speak both languages, especially Spanish for me, I can communicate with him. That’s a huge advantage for me and I like that. I think that we are going to have a very good season and we are just waiting for the season to start.”