Chicago White Sox

Ventura: Dunn likely to see more time at first

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Ventura: Dunn likely to see more time at first

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Adam Dunn is likely to log more time at first base next season in an attempt to lighten Paul Konerkos workload.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said thats the plan for now several months before the club heads to Glendale, Ariz. for spring training. Ventura addressed that and several other topics when he addressed the media for 15 minutes on Tuesday at Day 2 of the winter meetings.
Konerko, who is headed into the final season under contract, turns 37 in March.
I think that will probably happen, Ventura said. I think, for Paulie, what goes through the course of the year is a lot. Its a lot to have him be the everyday first baseman. I think Adam proved to be at the end he can play first base and give Paulie more time and when you get to that age, not that hes done by any means, its going to help him to have time off and not be on his feet so much.
Dunn made 52 appearances at first base for the White Sox last season.
He finished the season with an ultimate zone rating -- a metric that measures how many runs a player saves per season over an average defender at that position -- of 0.4. Prior to 2012, Dunns season-best UZR at first base (in more than 100 innings) was -3.1 in 2010.
Hes athletic, Ventura said. Thats another part of it. Youre not sticking a guy over there who cant play. He can play. So getting him committed to do it isnt going to be hard to do. He likes being on the field.
Ventura said hes on board with it if the White Sox opt to make Tyler Flowers the starting catcher next season. Flowers defensive skills and game-calling are solid, though Ventura wants to see what the backstops bat can produce with regular plate appearances.
Youre going to be comfortable, Ventura said. If thats what happens, just seeing Tyler, youre just going to have to give him at-bats and I think he needs more at-bats for us to have a very good sense of what hes going to be offensively.
Ventura already has a good sense of what to expect from John Danks and his rehab from an Aug. 6 shoulder surgery: a pitcher determined to help out the club as soon as possible. With that in mind, Ventura plans to make certain Danks is ready before he gets back on the mound.
I would like to be very cautious with him because he wants to pitch, Ventura said. Hes that kind of kid that having been hurt for the whole year, he wants to pitch as fast as he can. But I think for us knowing what kind of pitcher he is, you have to be careful to make sure hes 100 percent healthy when he comes back.

Chris Volstad earns first MLB victory in five seasons as White Sox top Astros

Chris Volstad earns first MLB victory in five seasons as White Sox top Astros

HOUSTON -- Two weeks ago Chris Volstad was focused on Hurricane Irma prep when the White Sox called to invite him to the majors. On Thursday night, he earned his first major league victory in more than five years as the White Sox defeated the Houston Astros 3-1 at Minute Maid Park.

Volstad, who had only made 10 big league appearances the previous four-plus seasons and spent all of 2017 at Triple-A Charlotte, allowed a run in 4 1/3 innings to pick up his first win since Sept. 10, 2012.

He hadn’t just shut it down after the Triple-A season ended, Volstad was actually shuttering his Jupiter, Fla. home and business the day the short-handed White Sox called.

“I was probably a little mentally shut down,” Volstad said. “But yeah, it’s kind of crazy how things can change. I guess it’s been about two weeks now. At home getting ready for a hurricane and then getting called back up to the big leagues.”

Volstad received word he might pitch early in Thursday’s game when a blister on Carson Fulmer’s right index finger worsened. Fulmer felt some discomfort after his Friday start at Detroit.

The White Sox let Fulmer try to go but yanked him after 20 pitches, including two walks. That brought out Volstad, who along with Al Alburquerque was promoted Sept. 10 after the White Sox lost several pitchers to injury.

The White Sox actually had to track Volstad down two weeks ago as he’d already been home for a week. He spent part of the time prepping for Irma, including boarding up his brewery.

He escaped a first-inning jam with a double play ball of the bat of Carlos Correa and ended a threat in the second with a pickoff at second base of Alex Bregman. After he surrendered a solo homer to Brian McCann in the third, Volstad retired the final eight men he faced.

[MORE: Why the White Sox are optimistic about their middle infielders' potential

He was awarded his first victory since he defeated Thursday’s Astros starter Dallas Keuchel 1,836 days ago here. Volstad remembered the win because Houston was still in the National League and he had a base hit in the five-inning start for the Cubs. He went 3-12 for the Cubs that season.

“You’re able to lock it in pretty quickly and get focused at the big-league level, you have to,” Volstad said. “But being home in Triple-A for the last few years, just getting called up about 10 days ago, I’ve got people following it, but it’s kind of unknown I guess. It’s a little surprising, but I’m glad to be a part of a team for sure.”

Fulmer, Volstad, Jace Fry, Mike Pelfrey, Gregory Infante, Aaron Bummer, Danny Farquhar and Juan Minaya combined on a three-hitter for the White Sox. Tim Anderson extended his hit streak to 12 games with a ninth-inning solo homer, his 17th.

White Sox add two cross checkers to amateur scouting department

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White Sox add two cross checkers to amateur scouting department

The White Sox hired two new national amateur scouting cross checkers, Tim Bittner and Juan Alvarez.

Bittner was a one-time White Sox farmhand who was included in a package for Scott Schoeneweis in 2003 while Alvarez was an undrafted pitcher who pitched in 80 major league games for the Angels, Rangers and Marlins from 1999-2003.

Bittner previously worked as a Houston Astros area scout while Alvarez held the same role for the Cleveland Indians. They replace Joe Siers, who moved over to the team’s pro scouting staff, and Mike Ledna, who took a job with the New York Mets.

“Both are very smart guys with playing experience,” amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. “And they’re also coming from two clubs with a lot of recent success.

“I want to add as many smart, passionate, high-energy scouts to what I feel is a department already filled with scouts that check those boxes.”

The White Sox expect to have at least a top-four selection in the 2018 amateur draft. They headed into Thursday’s game with the second-worst record in the majors. Hostetler praised the 2018 draft class for its depth earlier this week.