The good results he had the previous series have far more value to Josh Phegley than just wins for the White Sox.
Similar to the difficulties experienced by fellow rookie Conor Gillaspie, Phegley felt as if nothing had gone right for him of late. One night in particular, when he went 0-for-4 despite several hard hit balls and received a passed ball on Wednesday at Kansas City, was tougher to take than most.
So for Phegley to bounce back the way he has — he’s 3-for-7 on the home stand with a walk-off RBI single Saturday and a solo home run on Sunday — means a lot to the rookie catcher.
“When you’re doing everything you can and putting together quality at-bats, playing good defense, making good throws and nothing is really coming out of it, it’s really frustrating,” Phegley said. “You just have to keep telling yourself there’s nothing you can do. You’ve done all you can do. You’ve done whatever you can control. To kind of have some of that pay off and your hits starting to fall in, it definitely makes it a lot easier.”
Phegley carries a .218 average with four homers and 16 RBIs into Monday’s game. Prior to this weekend’s series against the Texas Rangers, Phegley had just seven hits in 35 at-bats.
Manager Robin Ventura thinks the catcher’s struggles have been related to a combination of the league adjusting to him and poor luck. The luck was especially poor in Kansas City, Ventura said.
[RELATED: MLB Power Rankings: Week 20]
“He was hitting some pretty good, and that’s a big ballpark with pretty much three center fielders, so they were running them down,” Ventura said. “The last couple days he swung pretty good. That’s a good thing. You’ve got to put it behind you, keep pushing ahead and have good at-bats.”
The key is belief in your abilities, Phegley said. He knows pitchers are more consistent across the board than they were in the minors. But he’d like to believe he too has become a tougher at-bat for them.
“You kind of settle down and you realize you can play at this level,” Phegley said. “I’ve been through the minor leagues and hopefully that’s to develop me as a player, and I got called up. Hopefully they’re thinking I’ve developed enough at least to be able to perform at this level, so you’ve just got to gain confidence in yourself.”
Garcia back in lineup
Avisail Garcia was back in the lineup a day after he ran into the fence and was removed from the game. Garcia appeared to hit head-first into the chain link portion of the right-field fence on Sunday. But he didn’t sustain a concussion, and Ventura said Monday that his removal had nothing to do with his head.
“If it was a concussion-type thing, he wouldn’t be back in there,” Ventura said. “It was more of dehydration. They’ve got him feeling good, and he might have to go to the bathroom a lot tonight because he’ll probably be drinking a lot of water. But he says he feels fine.”
Draft pick May excels
White Sox third-rounder Jacob May was named the South Atlantic League player of the week on Monday for Aug. 19-25. May, the nephew of former Sox player Carlos May, went 14-for-28 with a homer, four RBIs, eight runs and five stolen bases at Single-A Kannapolis.
May, 21, started the season at Advance Rookie Great Falls and was promoted to Kannapolis where he is hitting .283 with seven homers and 24 RBIs.