Chicago White Sox

White Sox pitching makes them formidable

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White Sox pitching makes them formidable

Even with spots to fill on their roster, the opposition already holds the belief the White Sox will once again challenge for the American League Central title in 2013.
Though the team has a big hole at third base and has yet to define its plan behind the plate, outsiders opine the White Sox chances of contending in 2013 were secured when they signed Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd late last month.
The teams starting rotation depth gives opposing general managers a sense the White Sox can replicate and even improve upon the 2012 season, when the team won 85 games and remained in the AL Central race until the last two days of the season.
Theyre very formidable, Cleveland Indians GM Chris Antonetti said late last week. I think if you look at the balance on the White Sox roster and the guys they have returning as well as how they performed last year, theyre certainly one of the favorites in the division. They have got a very formidable rotation and some quality arms in the bullpen and a lineup that has got a chance to do some damage.
Detroit Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski wont yet anoint the White Sox as his teams No. 1 contender. Even though it took the heavily favored Tigers until Game 160 to clinch the AL Central title and finally shake the White Sox, Dombrowski thinks its too early to make any predictions.
But he believes the teams starting five will keep the White Sox in contention again in 2013 -- as long as they can stay on the field.
I would anticipate that they would have a very solid club, Dombrowski said. They threw five good pitchers out there last year and continue to do that. They are just like the rest of us that they need to stay healthy and have some breaks, but from a planning perspective when you look at it you say Theyll be solid.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman admits he hasnt studied the White Sox roster enough. But knowing the bulk of a White Sox club that won five of seven meetings against the Yankees is set to return next season, and based upon the teams front office, Cashman said he expects another competitive team.
They have smart baseball people there, Cashman said. They have great talent. I thought the last number of years they were better than they performed. This year a lot of things went above and beyond. They know what theyre doing, Kenny and Rick and Robin and their owner. Theyre one of the better teams out there in terms of decision-making.

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.