Ventura confident in Hudson at the hot corner


Ventura confident in Hudson at the hot corner

Despite a shaky defensive performance by Orlando Hudson on Thursday, White Sox manager Robin Ventura remains confident the team does not need help at third base.

Hudson, a former Gold Glove second baseman, joined the Sox on May 22 after regular third baseman Brent Morel was placed on the 15-day disabled list. But Morel pulled himself out of a rehabilitation assignment game Thursday, further delaying his return to the Sox.

That leaves Hudson as the No. 1 choice for Ventura at third. Utility players Eduardo Escobar and Brent Lillibridge are capable of also seeing time there.

Well be able to make a go with them doing that. Im comfortable with that, Ventura said Friday prior to Chicagos interleague series opener against Houston at U.S. Cellular Field.

Hudson will make his 14th start at third tonight, one game after having one of his worst performances at the position in Thursdays 4-3 victory over Toronto. He wasnt charged with any errors, but misplayed three balls.

The most damaging was in the second inning when a ball got past him with the bases loaded, which scored two runs as the Blue Jays took an early lead.

Hudson has committed three errors and has a .923 fielding percentage in 15 games with the Sox. He admitted the transition to third isnt going as well as hed hoped.

Man, Im scuffling. Im scuffling, Hudson said. Our manager is one of the best third basemen to play the game, so hes trying to ease me a little bit to get me out of my own head defensively. But other than that, Im just trying to catch it and get it over to first base. It has been a struggle. It hasnt been pretty lately, but hopefully it will get a little better soon.

The Sox are hoping so, too. Getting Morel back will help. But the position still isnt an area of strength for a team that inserted itself into the AL Central race, and plans to remain in it all season.

Ventura said Hudson should improve due to the experience hes gained already. Even when hes made mistakes.

There are different things happening that hes not used to, Ventura said. Its a learning process. You try to bring him up to speed as fast as you can, but you can only teach so much. Some of it has to be the experience of being out there doing it. Hes had some interesting things happen already, so that should speed up the process.

Morels return to the Sox doesnt appear imminent. Thursday night with Triple-A Charlotte, Morel pulled himself out during a game at Toledo. It's unclear if it was related to the lumbar back strain that put him on the DL.

Theres something else going on there. Its a setback, Ventura said.

Morel was expected back in Chicago today to be examined by Sox medical personnel. He had yet to arrive prior to the end of player pregame media availability.

Preview: White Sox kick off 10-game homestand vs. A's tonight on CSN

Preview: White Sox kick off 10-game homestand vs. A's tonight on CSN

The White Sox take on the Oakland Athletics tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Mike Pelfrey (3-5, 3.56 ERA) vs. Jharel Cotton (4-7, 5.40 ERA)

Click here for more stats to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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How White Sox players managed the 'chaos' of Thursday's record-setting rain delay

How White Sox players managed the 'chaos' of Thursday's record-setting rain delay

MINNEAPOLIS -- Some guys played cards. The soccer ball got kicked around in spite of the close quarters in the visiting clubhouse. There was dancing. A magic trick or two was attempted. A few players even tried to get in a nap.

White Sox players found myriad ways to keep themselves occupied during Thursday’s draining 4-hour, 50-minute rain delay -- the longest in Minnesota Twins history.

Yet despite not knowing what time the game may start, White Sox players found a way to overcome the uncertainty and stay engaged. Similar to May 26 when the first game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers was cancelled, the White Sox figured out how to go from zero to 60 in mere seconds. Though there’s no exact formula for success, the White Sox seem to have figured out a way to endure the elements and get out quickly. On early Thursday evening, the White Sox overcame the rain and misery to jump ahead of the Minnesota Twins en route to a 9-0 victory at Target Field.

“We keep it real loose whether,” veteran third baseman Todd Frazier said. “We have a good time. We enjoy each other’s company. Win lose or draw, tomorrow’s a new day. Today we kept working hard and we knew we had a game to play and eventually we were going to play it. We turned it on at the right moment.”

Jose Quintana saw so much of his iPad that eventually he had to turn it off out of sheer boredom. Thursday’s starting pitcher was almost able to complete two feature-length movies during the rain delay. Quintana, who excelled with nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 scoreless innings, watched ‘Fast and Furious 7’ and ‘Get Out’ on his iPad during the delay.

While he liked the action movie, Quintana wasn’t as fond of the latter, though he admits he’s not a big fan of horror movies.

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“I think it was bad because too much time in front of the iPad,” Quintana said. “It made me bored.

“I just tried to stay relaxed, focused on the game. … Tried to come back and work a little bit. It’s a little hard, but we don’t have control so stay focused on the game.”

Whereas the White Sox determined when they played last month at home -- they cancelled Game 1 of a doubleheader at 1 p.m. and pushed the second game back to 8 p.m. because of rain -- this time was in the Twins’ hands. The forecast called for rain all afternoon before things cleared up around 5 p.m.

While the White Sox were in limbo as to when they would play, they had a pretty good idea that eventually they would.

“It’s miserable,” Frazier said. “You try and find some things to do, play cards, hang out with the guys. If you had a set time it would help. But we came out banging in that first inning. It’s huge.”

White Sox manager Rick Renteria is impressed with how his team has handled both long days. The White Sox also defeated the Tigers 8-2 on May 26th. While Renteria and his coaching staff spent a lot of his time preparing for their upcoming home series against the Oakland A’s, he’s pleased with how his players managed themselves through the uncertainty.  

“They’re the ones who are dealing with the chaos,” Renteria said. “They’re the ones who play the game and who have to have their minds to be ready to go out and perform. They’ve been able to respond well. It’s part of who they are, their character, and hopefully it’s something they continue to be able to do and build on.”