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.

Dylan Covey injured as White Sox fall to Diamondbacks

Dylan Covey injured as White Sox fall to Diamondbacks

PHOENIX — Dylan Covey exited Tuesday’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks with left oblique soreness. The short-handed White Sox won’t know until Wednesday at the earliest how long they could be without their Rule 5 starting pitcher, who missed significant time in 2016 with the same injury.

Covey sustained the injury in the third inning of a 5-4 loss to Arizona in front of 17,865 at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks homered twice off the right-hander, scoring four times in 2 1/3 innings. The bullpen pitched well enough to allow the White Sox to rally, but they fell just short despite Jose Abreu’s 100th career home run and loading the bases in the eighth inning.

“Where I’m at now, doing some ice and stuff, I feel a lot better compared to last year,” Covey said. “I could hardly move last year. Trying to stay optimistic. Hopefully this will be a short little recovery.

“The next stop in the timeline is see how it feels in the morning.”

Though both James Shields and Carlos Rodon are on the mend, the White Sox are already down two starting pitchers. Rodon is further along having thrown off a mound four times, including 60 pitches in a simulated game on Monday. But the White Sox don’t have a lot of depth in the farm system as they’re not willing to forgo development to fill a need in Chicago.

What could further complicate the team’s plans is that they already were potentially in need of another starting pitcher for Friday’s doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers.

“He had a little strain,” manager Rick Renteria said. “We’ll re-evaluate him (Wednesday). Strain of the oblique. We’ll check it out tomorrow. Hopefully it’s nothing too lingering.”

Covey exited the game after he recorded the first out of the third inning. He induced a ground ball and signaled the bench, which brought out Renteria and trainer Herm Schneider. Covey, who allowed two more home runs on Tuesday, didn’t attempt to throw any warmup pitches before he exited.

The right-hander brought an 0-3 mark and a 7.64 ERA into the contest. Paul Goldschmidt tripled in a run off Covey with one out in the first inning ahead of a two-run home run by Jake Lamb. Chris Herrmann also blasted a solo homer to left to start the second inning. Covey, who had made only six starts above Single-A before the White Sox selected him in the Rule 5 draft last December, has allowed 13 home runs in 37 2/3 innings this season.

“I only felt it on the pitch,” Covey said. “Might have been maybe a little tight leading up to the game. Felt fine throughout the game, it was just on that pitch I felt it.”

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The White Sox bullpen picked up the slack as Chris Beck, Gregory Infante, David Holmberg and Tommy Kahnle combined to allow one run over the final 5 2/3 innings.

That allowed the White Sox to work their way back into the contest. Melky Cabrera homered in the second inning to make it a two-run game. After Arizona scored in the bottom of the second, Todd Frazier’s two-run homer made it a 4-3 game in the third inning.

Abreu blasted a solo shot off Jorge De La Rosa in the eighth to get the White Sox within a run. They loaded the bases with one out but J.J. Hoover struck out Omar Narvaez and Yolmer Sanchez to maintain the one-run lead for Arizona.

“We had a lot of hard-hit balls today, and sometimes they fall, sometimes they don’t,” Renteria said. “I really do want to commend our guys for fighting and playing the game. They’ve been doing it all year long. This is no different. There are ups and downs, and right now hopefully we continue to play as focused as we have been and we’ll get some shutdown innings that help us, and we’ll continue to try to score some runs and see if we can win a ballgame.”

White Sox: Jose Abreu hits 100th career home run

White Sox: Jose Abreu hits 100th career home run

PHOENIX — Jose Abreu became the third Cuban player to hit 100 home runs for the White Sox when he hit blasted one Tuesday night.

The White Sox first baseman reached the left field seats with a 386-foot drive in the eighth inning off Arizona’s Jorge De La Rosa. The homer was the ninth hit by Abreu this season in 184 plate appearances.

Minnie Minoso hit 135 home runs for the White Sox and Alexei Ramirez had 109. Afterward, Abreu thanked the White Sox and others for helping him reach the milestone.

“It’s something really special for me,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “It’s something to really appreciate. I’m very thankful to all the people who have helped me to reach this milestone. It’s not something I did by myself.”

Abreu is on pace to hit 33 homers this season. He burst onto the season and hit 36 home runs en route to winning the American League rookie of the year award in 2014. Abreu’s homer total dropped to 30 in 2015 and dipped to 25 last season.

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All nine of Abreu’s homers have come away from Guaranteed Rate Field this season. The White Sox have only played 16 games at home. Prior to 2017, Abreu had homered 46 times at home and 45 on the road.

Abreu’s 100th homer had an exit velocity of 104 mph off the bat and a launch angle of 40 degrees. He may have gotten it back more quickly as the fan who caught the ball threw it onto the field.

“It’s going to be where I have all my memorabilia in the house,” Abreu said. “It’s a special place for me. I’ll have all my things. I want to give thanks to the fan who threw back the ball.”