White Sox Minor League update: Mitchell finding his groove

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White Sox Minor League update: Mitchell finding his groove

Class AAA Charlotte Knights

Right hander Jhan Martinez saw minimal action in his relief role this week. Martinez threw a total of 2.3 innings in two appearances. He only allowed one run on two hits in his two innings of work. With a fastball lingering at 98 mph and an active two-seamer around 92, if Martinez can develop his third and fourth pitches (slider and change-up), he could be an ideal set-up man for the Sox somewhere down the road.

Class AA Birmingham Barons

Speedy outfielder Jared Mitchel is starting to find his groove, but only in doses. Mitchell was 6-for-24 (.250) last week with three extra base hits, a homerun and four RBIs. He has made it clear that once on base, Mitchells speed is his greatest weapon. His .384 OBP is not off the charts but it is getting better. Another significant improvement is his approach at the plate. He only struck out twice last week which is a good sign, coming off a 2011 season where he recorded an astronomical 183 Ks. Mitchell has shown substantial vulnerability when facing left-handed pitching, something he must focus on rectifying. My only concern with Mitchell other than the sustainability of his health is his streaky tendencies as he needs to find a way to become a more consistent hitter on a day-to-day basis.

Coming off of two excellent starts, Simon Castro slipped a bit in his progress this past week. In his two starts, Castro was touched up for nine runs on 18 hits and went 0-1 in 12 innings pitched. On the plus side, Castro did manage to fan 13 batters and only walked three. It looks like he is starting to manage the control issues scouts were concerned with. Castro did have a 6.75 ERA over the two starts raising his season total to 4.26.

Class A Winston-Salem Dash

Some consider Trayce Thompson to be the top prospect in the White Sox organization and he is finding a way to get things done. No, his stats do not jump off the page at you, but it is the intangibles that have set him apart this season. Last week, Thompson went 7-for-25 (.280) with three extra base hits, a homer, four runs and seven RBIs including the game winner on May 18th (team high 28 total). Thompson touts a .376 OBP with three swiped bags. His .234 average needs some improvement, but if he continues to find ways to drive in runs and score runs, scouts may not be as critical of his sub-par average.

Jake Petricka continued to dominate in his one start last week. In six innings pitched, he allowed one run on three hits while striking out six, with a .143 batting average against. He held Lynchburg to no runs through five, but due to the lack of run support early, Petricka was slapped with a no-decision. After a rocky start to the season, Petricka is beginning to right the ship and is moving up the charts of White Sox pitching prospects.

--Joe Musso also contributed to this article--

Ex-White Sox Jesse Crain hosting charity event featuring Paul Konerko, George Brett

Ex-White Sox Jesse Crain hosting charity event featuring Paul Konerko, George Brett

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ex-White Sox pitcher Jesse Crain is hosting a local charity golfing event featuring Paul Konerko, Matt Thornton and Hall of Famer George Brett among others.

Crain, who pitched for the White Sox for three seasons and was an All-Star in 2013, and his wife, Becky, recently created the Crain Family Foundation to benefit children. 

The couple is hosting the Swing into Spring event at Top Golf in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Monday night, which is designed to benefit the Tandem Resource Center, Arizona RBI Baseball and Autism Speaks. Crain expects between 25-30 current and former players will participate in the event, which is open to the public.

[RELATED: Todd Frazier out with left oblique strain]

"Me and my wife had wanted to start a foundation for a long time with the platform that we'd give back to kids any way possible," Crain said. "We just want to be able to help kids in whatever capacity, whether through medical, hardships or whatever it may be."

Crain, who was at Camelback Ranch on Wednesday, said planning for the event began in October. Though he had wanted to begin a foundation during his playing career, Crain said after planning the event he knows he wouldn't have had the appropriate amount of time while he was an active player.

Among those scheduled to attend are Cody Ross, David Aardsma, Jonny Gomes, Nick Punto, JJ Putz, Brandon Webb, Justin Morneau, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Feldman, Nate Jones, Mark Melancon, Denard Span and Chad Qualls. Crain also hopes to convince a few more current White Sox players. He said reservations for the event or donations can be made through Crainfamilyfoundation.org.

Todd Frazier out with left oblique strain

Todd Frazier out with left oblique strain

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier has been sidelined with what he's describing as a left oblique strain.  

Frazier — who produced a career high 40 home runs and 98 RBIs last season — said he injured himself swinging on Monday. White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Frazier is day-to-day and the club would take advantage of the extra time on the spring training calendar this season.
 
The veteran also said he expects to be cautious with the injury and thorough.

"Just felt a little tightness in my left side," Frazier said. "That's what spring training is for, you've got to just be careful. (Athletic trainer Herm Schneider has) been working with me the past day and a half. I don't feel like it's anything that serious, but we have so much time. Let's take a break, take a few days off and hopefully it keeps getting better and better.

"It's something I've dealt with before. But at the same time, from what I've heard they're not anything to mess with. So let's take a couple days and see how it is after a couple days and go from there."

[MORE: Lighter Avisail Garcia wants to show White Sox his best]

The White Sox begin their exhibition season on Saturday with a contest against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the team's regular season opener isn't for another 5 1/2 weeks, which should give Frazier ample time to rest, rehab and prepare. The White Sox open the 2017 campaign at home on April 3 against the Detroit Tigers. 

"He's been working good," Renteria said. "I just saw him, he's smiling. He's day to day and we'll re-evaluate and see where he's at.

"We'll back him up. We're taking it day to day. We'll see where he's at before I can determine how far back we can push him back."