Trayce Thompson reflects upon 'two of the best months of my life' with White Sox

Trayce Thompson reflects upon 'two of the best months of my life' with White Sox

While many of the faces in the White Sox clubhouse may be relatively unfamiliar to fans, Trayce Thompson remembers them all.

Even with Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Todd Frazier and Tommy Kahnle gone, Thompson sees a lot of old friends in the White Sox clubhouse. A member of the organization from 2009-15, Thompson said his first trip back to Guaranteed Rate Field since he was traded has brought back a lot of good memories. Traded in the three-team deal that brought Frazier to the White Sox, Thompson started in center field for the Los Angeles Dodgers and hit ninth on Wednesday night.

“I won’t call him Yolmer,” Thompson said. “I played with Carlos (Sanchez) at every level. I played with Tim (Anderson) at Birmingham briefly. Tim’s an amazing kid, one of my favorites I’ve ever played with. Kevan Smith is one of my really close friends. I’ve known Matt Davidson longer than any guy on that team because we grew up in the same area. Me and (David Holmberg) were drafted together. We pretty much did everything together when we first got drafted. I’m glad to see all those guys. Luis Sierra, I know he’s one of the coaches … I lived with him when I was here.”

“It makes me happy, brings back a lot of good memories being here. And I’m happy to see a lot of my good friends that I played with kind of get an opportunity to play here a lot. It’s been fun for me to kind of follow them.”

A second-round pick by the White Sox in the 2009 draft, Thompson bloomed when he finally got his chance in the majors. Thompson arrived late in the 2015 season and slashed .295/.363/.533 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 135 plate appearances.  

“I had two of the best months of my life here,” Thompson said. “Some of the most fun baseball I’ve ever played in my life.”

It’s nearly a lifetime ago in terms of where the White Sox have been. Thompson’s White Sox manager, Robin Ventura, stepped down at the end of the 2016 season. Sale and Eaton were dealt in December, which has begun a team-driven exodus of talent.

Back problems limited Thompson to 80 games for the Dodgers in 2016, though he still managed to belt 13 home runs. Thompson said his back has been fine since March, although it requires constant maintenance. After spending much of the season at Triple-A, Thompson rejoined the Dodgers in late June and splits playing time in the outfield.

“It’s pretty special to be a part of this team,” Thompson said.

He also enjoys that some of his old teammates have moved on — and into great situations, too. For those still here, Thompson likes the opportunity his homegrown teammates have started to receive.

“It’s far different than what I became accustomed to going to big league camp,” Thompson said. “But I’m happy for Chris Sale to get an opportunity to play with a good team in Boston and happy for Q now. They’ve moved on to good teams and I’m happy for them. I’m happy for all the guys here now who have an opportunity to play. I know they’re obviously trying to win, but they’re kind of allowing the homegrown guys an opportunity, which I’m happy to see. It’s definitely a different feel.”

Cubs shuffle rotation, meaning Jose Quintana will not start against White Sox

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AP

Cubs shuffle rotation, meaning Jose Quintana will not start against White Sox

The Cubs have pushed back Jose Quintana and he will not make a start against his former team in the Crosstown series next week.

Quintana was originally slated to pitch Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field against the White Sox, but the Cubs have bumped him back a day. He will now go Sunday night against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field, which means he will miss all of the four-game series against the South Siders.

Joe Maddon explained his thought process before Tuesday night's game, wanting to keep Jon Lester — who is starting Saturday — on regular rest and lining up Quintana against the Cubs' division foes — Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers next weekend — in games that hold more weight in the standings than a matchup with the Sox.

With Kyle Hendricks due back early next week after throwing a perfect rehab outing, the Cubs could slot him in Monday or Tuesday and have John Lackey toss the other game, with Mike Montgomery presumably moving back to the bullpen after Wednesday's start against the Atlanta Braves.

Here's how the next couple turns through the Cubs rotation could look:

Friday vs. STL - Jake Arrieta
Saturday vs. STL - Jon Lester
Sunday vs. STL - Jose Quintana
Monday vs. CHW - Kyle Hendricks
Tuesday vs. CHW - John Lackey
Wednesday vs. CHW - Jake Arrieta
Thursday vs. CHW - Jon Lester
Friday vs. MIL - Jose Quintana

The rotation for that three-game set against the Cardinals is straight #FireEmoji.

Wake-up Call: Lester, Quintana form one-two punch; Soupy retires; Kopech receives advice from Al Leiter

Wake-up Call: Lester, Quintana form one-two punch; Soupy retires; Kopech receives advice from Al Leiter

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Monday: 

Jon Lester and Jose Quintana give Cubs a one-two punch for this pennant race and beyond

Al Leiter's advice to Michael Kopech could transform him from a thrower into a pitcher

Calling it a career: Brian Campbell retires, joins Blackhawks front office

Bears training camp preview: 3 burning questions for the quarterbacks

Bulls Talk Podcast: Summer League and Mirotic's contract mistake

Kyle Hendricks perfect in rehab start

Paul Konerko is a big Tim Anderson fan

Heading to Triple-A Iowa, Dillon Maples could be X-factor for Cubs

Hockey in the blood: Hawks prospect Beau Starrett trying to live out dream

Style points: Two Chicago athletes crack most fashionable list