White Sox gearing up for offseason hitters minicamp

White Sox gearing up for offseason hitters minicamp

Next week’s hitters minicamp will afford White Sox prospects and the franchise’s player development staff a chance to get accustomed to each other.

Newly acquired prospect Yoan Moncada and 2016 first-round pick Zack Collins are among the 15 White Sox minor leaguers set to attend the three-day camp, which begins Monday at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.

New player development director Chris Getz and first-year hitting coordinator Mike Gellinger will facilitate the event along with White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson. Getz said he’s eager to get a wide-ranging group of players together roughly 5.5 weeks before the team’s first full-squad spring training workout (Feb. 18).

“There’s a lot of benefit,” Getz said. “Just to get acquainted.

“It’s good to get them all together.”

The session gives the White Sox their first close look at Moncada, who MLB.com has rated as the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball. The infielder was acquired from the Boston Red Sox last month as part of a four-player package in exchange for Chris Sale.

“It’ll be nice to have him out there,” Getz said. “He can hit. He has power. The upside is impressive.”

[SHOP: Get your White Sox gear right here]

Also scheduled to attend the camp are Alex Call and Jameson Fisher, the team’s third- and fourth-round picks in 2016. Kevan Smith, Jason Coates and Charlie Tilson are also set to appear. Tilson, who had surgery last August after he tore his left hamstring, has made enough progress in his road back to health to participate.

“He’s had fairly positive signs in his rehab,” Getz said. “He’s trending in the right direction.”

The same goes for third baseman Matt Davidson, who has worked his way back after he broke a bone in his foot last June.

Though spring training is right around the corner, Getz said January is normally the time when hitters “establish their solid habits.”

Ideally, the White Sox would love for a group of their prospects to form a bond in the minors and learn how to win together before they reach the majors. Getz spent the past two seasons in Kansas City and also played alongside a core that developed together and later helped the Royals reach the World Series in 2014 and 2015, winning the latter. He’s aware of the benefit of that chemistry but knows it doesn’t always work that way.

“We’ve got some guys a little further down the line,” Getz said. “It’s definitely valuable to get them to grow up together. But at the same time, we have to remember they’re individuals at different stages and on different paces.”

A member of the organization since he was a minor leaguer, Gellinger is in a different role, taking over as the hitting coordinator for Vance Law, who moves to infield coordinator.

“It’ll be good for him to get together with the other coaches,” Getz said.

Jose Abreu hopes to be ready for White Sox next game after leaving with injury

Jose Abreu hopes to be ready for White Sox next game after leaving with injury

Jose Abreu said he hopes to be ready to go when the White Sox start their series against the Detroit Tigers on Friday.

The White Sox first baseman took an awkward-looking fall on the infield grass while trying to field a grounder in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s win over the visiting Kansas City Royals, leaving the game with what the team announced as a mild right hip flexor strain. Abreu was labeled as day-to-day.

Manager Rick Renteria didn’t have any sort of update after the game — though he said he didn't think it was serious — but in his comments to reporters, Abreu said he felt fine after receiving treatment and will be ready to go for Friday’s series opener in Detroit.

“I feel good right now,” Abreu said. “I got treatment and I feel good. The day off tomorrow is going to help and I hope to be ready for the first game in Detroit.”

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Both Renteria and Abreu said the first baseman had no desire to exit Wednesday’s game but that Renteria was being appropriately cautious.

“He did not want to come out,” Renteria said. “He was pretty adamant but I think all of us, you don't take any chances. I think it was just the right thing to do at that time.”

“When you are on the field, you didn’t want to leave the field. It doesn’t matter what’s the reason or what’s happening,” Abreu said. “But he’s the boss and he made that decision and you have to accept it.”

Abreu went 2-for-2 with a two-out RBI double in the first inning Wednesday before he left. He has had two hits in each of his last four games and is 8-for-15 during the White Sox current four-game winning streak.

The White Sox are off Thursday. The team said Abreu will be reevaluated then after arriving in Detroit.

With White Sox hitters' support, Jose Quintana picks up first win of 2017

With White Sox hitters' support, Jose Quintana picks up first win of 2017

Four runs isn’t exactly an eye-popping total. But for Jose Quintana and his luck, it can seem like a gigantic number.

The White Sox starting pitcher is famously left wanting for run support nearly every time he takes the mound. So after the visiting Kansas City Royals erased a two-run White Sox advantage by the middle of the sixth inning Wednesday, it looked like Quintana might be heading for another bad-luck no decision — or worse.

But Avisail Garcia, he of the resurgent 2017 campaign, came to Quintana’s aid, belting a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to put the White Sox back in front. It put Quintana in position for his first win of the season, which he officially earned when things went final a few innings later.

“He hit the ball at the right time. It was a good time,” Quintana said after the 5-2 victory on the South Side. “He told me, ‘That’s for you.’”

Quintana’s own 2017 season hasn’t gotten off to the kind of start you’d expect from the 2016 All Star. He took a loss in each of his first four outings and didn’t pitch like his normal self, entering Wednesday’s game with a 6.17 ERA.

But Wednesday saw Quintana return to form. He struck out 10 batters, a season high and the eighth such effort he’s had in his career. He surrendered just a pair of runs, only one of which was earned.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Third baseman Todd Frazier said he saw something a little different in Quintana on Wednesday.

“I saw it in his face. He had some look about him,” Frazier said. “It was weird. He was getting mad at me because I didn’t get the ball back to him in time. I love that stuff. I’ll definitely make sure I get it to him quicker. He had a mentality about him, you know, put fear in some hitters eyes.”

Quintana, who kept saying that he “needed” this kind of performance in this game, confirmed it was an accurate assessment.

“Yeah, it was a mission,” Quintana said. “Everybody was doing their job. I needed this outing, so I felt really good on the mound. It was extra motivation to win my first one.

“I needed that outing, I needed that win. I never started like that (with four losses), so I’m really proud of the first win for me. The first of many, so I can’t wait to keep doing my job.”

While the pitcher was different this time around, so too was his offense. The White Sox are locked in some kind of offensive surge right now, combining for 33 runs during a four-game winning streak.

In Quintana’s first four starts, the team mustered just four total runs, shut out in two of those games. While certainly everyone would like the offensive production to continue, it was performances like Wednesday’s that remind you that even when the team isn’t scoring for him — and that’s been often — he still has All-Star stuff.

“As a teammate, you always enjoy when one of your pitchers is having that kind of performance that Quintana had today,” Leury Garcia said. “You’re always trying to help him, you’re always trying to do your best to help your teammates to win games. And for us, the defense was good just to stay there and watch him do his stuff. That was good.”