White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

So Prince Fielder is a Tiger. It's still stunning to type that. We put together a list of the best tweets in the aftermath of the bomb being dropped, with my favorite being: "PRINCE IS GONNA PLAY SECOND - IT WILL BE NO WORSE THAN RABURN REALLY"

I looked at a few areas in which Fielder's signing will impact the White Sox, leading off with a hope the team hits a bunch of ground balls to Miguel Cabrera at third base for the next three seasons (until the contract of Victor Martinez runs out). But Ryan McGuffey isn't sold on Detroit's rotation behind Justin Verlander, or Jose Valverde, who won't be perfect again in 2012.

Fornelli looked at the big picture, saying by the time the White Sox are ready to compete again, Detroit will be on the decline. James is similarly patient, although not as enthusiastic about it. And MarkU-God examined what the Fielder deal means for the AL Central, White Sox included.

Agreeing to that nine-year, 214 million contract with Fielder means Detroit is probably out on Yoenis Cespedes, who established residency in the Dominican Republic and was declared a free agent in the span of a few hours Tuesday. On Monday, it was reported the Cubs, Marlins and Tigers were showing the most interest in Cespedes, so in theory, it's down to the Cubs and Marlins for him -- but the Sox may still be lurking.

Joe Girardi jumped on Chicago Baseball Hot Stove to discuss Prince Fielder and a few Yankee-related topics. Strictly speaking as a baseball fan, 2012 is going to be an incredibly fun year to watch Texas, Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, Boston and Tampa Bay jockeying for playoff spots. With those six teams looking strong, I'm actually pretty glad that second wild card was added.

Over at Cubs Talk, Tony Andracki has a nice writeup of how the Fielder signing affects the Cubs' chances of dealing Matt Garza to Detroit. If Jacob Turner is off the table, I have to image a deal for Garza is, too. Nick Castellanos and Drew Smyly are both good, but not the return Theo Epstein is likely looking for.

Enough about Fielder. Robin Ventura showed up at the United Center for the "Shoot the Puck" contest. If you missed how he did, here's the video. I was at the game, and was glad to see a warm reception from fans. For the record, I bet Ventura could play a better third base today than Cabrera.

Kyle Williams told the Dan Patrick Show: "When it comes to social media, theres a line and some people crossed it. That's, unfortunately, a nice way of putting it. Reading some of the tweets at him after Sunday's NFC Championship made me want to throw up.

And finally, what's your favorite baseball movie?

Melky Cabrera's big game sparks White Sox comeback win

Melky Cabrera's big game sparks White Sox comeback win

Melky Cabrera is the latest hitter to aid a surprising White Sox offense.

The veteran outfielder had two go-ahead hits on Monday afternoon, including an RBI single in the seventh inning of a 5-4 White Sox victory over the Boston Red Sox in front of 27,148 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Cabrera also blasted a three-run homer for the White Sox, who won for the fourth time in five games on the homestand.

Only three weeks ago, Cabrera boasted a .595 OPS and had one home run to his credit. But Cabrera has followed the leads of Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu and heated up over the last week.

He continued his torment of opposing pitchers in the third inning when he ripped the first pitch he saw from David Price for a three-run homer to put the White Sox ahead 3-1. Cabrera nearly broke a 3-all tie in the fifth inning with runners on the corners. But Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts made a diving stop and flipped the ball to start an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play with runners on the corners.

He wouldn’t be denied in the seventh.

With the White Sox down 4-3, Yolmer Sanchez led off the seventh with a triple to right. Kevan Smith tied it with an RBI double. Two outs later, Cabrera looped a Matt Barnes pitch up the middle and Smith charged home even though Red Sox second baseman Josh Rutledge tracked the ball down in shallow center. Rutledge fired home but catcher Christian Vazquez couldn’t handle the hop and Smith slid in with the go-ahead run.

Cabrera is hitting .407/.467/.852 with four homers and 11 RBIs in his last 30 plate appearances.

Adam Engel and Tim Anderson both walked ahead of Cabrera’s homer off Price, who allowed two hits and three earned runs in five innings in his first start of the season.

Buoyed by the performances of Garcia, Abreu — whose 10-game hit streak ended Monday — and Cabrera, the White Sox offense has performed better than expected this season. Monday’s effort was the 23rd time in 50 games in which the offense has scored five or more runs. The team entered Monday seventh in the American League with 225 runs scored, an average of 4.59 per contest.

The White Sox bullpen made the lead hold up. Juan Minaya struck out the side in a scoreless seventh inning for the victory. Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson each added scoreless frames to preserve the win.

David Holmberg made a spot start and allowed two hits and three earned runs in four innings.

James Shields ready to start rehab assignment for White Sox

James Shields ready to start rehab assignment for White Sox

James Shields' first trip to the minor leagues in 11 years won't be totally unfamiliar.

The White Sox pitcher hopes to head out on a rehab assignment after he threw three innings in the bullpen on Monday afternoon. It would be Shields' first foray in the minors since 2006.

From the description, it sounds as if Shields, who has been on the 10-day disabled list since April 21, would head to Triple-A Charlotte for his assignment. Charlotte faces Tampa Bay affiliate the Durham Bulls starting next Monday.

"It's pretty funny because if I go out on Saturday we're going to be facing my old team, Durham," Shields said. "I'm not going to be facing them, but yeah it's always good to see where you came from. I spent six years and a couple months in the minor leagues, so I did the whole minor league grind. So I know how hard those guys work down there."

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Shields threw for the third time in five days under the watchful eye of pitching coach Don Cooper. The right-hander continues to feel good in his recovery and said his arm strength has returned faster than he hoped. Ideally, Shields would like to return after one or two rehab starts. He said he'd like to be built up for 5-6 innings before he gets back to the White Sox.

"I worked really hard trying to get back, trying to get my body in shape and get ready for that," Shields said. "I think we're ready to go on a rehab assignment."

Reliever Nate Jones could also be nearing a rehab assignment after he threw his fifth bullpen session on Monday. On the DL with right elbow neuritis, Jones mixed in sliders during his 25-pitch session.

"We are just getting the feel of (sliders) and seeing how they react," Jones said. "We are taking steps in the right direction and if I wasn't feeling good, I would probably not be throwing bullpens and stuff."