Chicago White Sox: Carlos Sanchez

Series preview: White Sox at Yankees

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
2:57
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago White Sox will begin life without Gordon Beckham on Friday night when the team opens a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

Beckham, whose departure had been expected for some time, was traded to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday for a player to be named later or cash considerations. With no less than three young second base prospects ready to break through to the major league level, Beckham was considered expendable.

Micah Johnson and Marcus Semien are two of the White Sox's highly-touted second-base prospects, but it is Carlos Sanchez who will take Beckham's roster spot and be available in the series at New York. Semien will be called up when rosters expand in September, while Johnson has been shut down for the rest of the year with a hamstring issue.

Johnson is considered the second baseman of the future and the team remains high on Semien, despite his strikeout issues during his time with the major league team earlier this season. Sanchez's future with the White Sox is cloudier.

The White Sox could let Sanchez play every day in the hopes that potential success could make him attractive on the trade market this offseason. Or he could be the starting second baseman to start next season if Johnson isn't quite ready to break through and he is deemed a better option than Semien.

What is a certainty is that the White Sox's depth at second base is better than at any other position in the minor leagues, which made Beckham's days numbered.

HEAD TO HEAD



Yankees rookie starter Shane Greene, who will be making his ninth career appearance and eighth career start, has not faced the White Sox. ... The White Sox's Alexei Ramirez is 8-for-21 (.381) with two home runs and eight RBIs in his career against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda. ... The White Sox's Adam Dunn has seven hits and two home runs in 27 at-bats against Yankees starter Chris Capuano, while the rest of the players on the White Sox's active roster have a combined 15 at-bats against the lefty. ... The Yankees Derek Jeter is 6-for-20 (.300) against White Sox starter John Danks. ... Yankees hitters are a combined 0-for-9 with a walk and four strikeouts against White Sox starter Scott Carroll. ... Jeter is 3-for-8 (.375) with a home run against White Sox starter Chris Sale.

NOTES



The White Sox moved to a season high nine games under .500 at 59-68 after going 2-4 on their just-concluded homestand against the Blue Jays and Orioles. ... Leadoff man Adam Eaton is on a minor league rehab assignment for an oblique injury and is eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday, but he is not expected to play in the series against the Yankees. ... Since returning from the disabled list last weekend, White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia is 5-for-16 (.313) with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored. ... Expect Paul Konerko to be in the starting lineup Sunday, which will be his last game at Yankee Stadium. Konerko has hit safely in nine of his last 14 games, is hitting .283 against left-handers this season and the Yankees will have a lefty in Capuano on the mound for the series finale. ... In the 17 games the teams have played at new Yankee Stadium, the Yankees have won 12 of them, including five consecutive over the White Sox.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Friday: White Sox LH John Danks (9-8, 4.94 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Shane Greene (3-1, 2.91), 6:05 p.m. CST
Saturday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (5-7, 4.99) vs. Yankees RH Hiroki Kuroda (8-8, 3.97), 12:05 p.m. CST
Sunday: White Sox LH Chris Sale (10-3, 2.12) vs. Yankees LH Chris Capuano (1-3, 4.35), 12:05 p.m. CST

Micah Johnson out as Sox consider call-ups

August, 20, 2014
Aug 20
7:01
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Scratch Chicago White Sox second base prospect Micah Johnson from the list of potential September roster additions.

Johnson, one of the top position player prospects in the system, will be shut down for the season with a strained left hamstring. He was batting a combined .294 between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte this season and had been struggling through leg pain of late.

[+] EnlargeMicah Johnson
Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images/AP ImagesMicah Johnson, one of the Sox's top position player prospects, will be shut down for the season with a strained left hamstring.
“The other day during an at-bat, he actually felt something in the front by the knee, which led to him being pulled out of the game and being brought to Chicago for evaluation,” White Sox GM Rick Hahn said. “It turned out that even though the pain was from the front of the leg, it was actually related to the same hamstring strain. So we’ve elected to shut him down. We’re going to give the strain four to six weeks to heal, and we expect he should be 100 percent and go into next season without restriction.”

So who will the White Sox call up?

The team needs pitching help, especially in the bullpen, but the system is thin on major league-ready arms. First-round draft pick Carlos Rodon remains a strong possibility to see time in a White Sox uniform next month, possibly as a reliever.

Rodon made his Triple-A debut Tuesday night, and the left-hander gave up one run over three innings for Charlotte.

“There has been a lot of speculation about our plans for him in September,” Hahn said. “There is nothing set in stone in terms of him coming here or not coming here. The decision is going to be made strictly based upon his development and his long-term fit for us. If we feel that he has the ability to come up here and compete, excel and learn from the experience, then it’s something we need to talk about internally and make a decision.”

Two likely roster additions will be infielder Marcus Semien and catcher Josh Phegley, who are both on the 40-man roster. Infielder Carlos Sanchez also could be recalled, and Hahn even talked about the possibility that outfielder Jared Mitchell comes up. Mitchell’s minor league career has been marked with ups and downs, but he is currently hitting the ball well in Charlotte.

Another intriguing roster addition would be first baseman Andy Wilkins, who is putting on a power display at Charlotte with 29 home runs, 35 RBIs and 82 RBIs, while slugging .568. The problem with calling up Wilkins is that the White Sox would first need to add him to the 40-man roster.

While the club already has had internal talks about who to add to the roster, Hahn said nothing has been finalized.

“I don’t have an answer on that yet,” he said. “It’s going to be more than a couple. Historically, we’ve been in the five-to-eight range, and we’ll probably be back in that range this year.”

One delicate issue with the extra bodies is that regulars will start losing playing time. Semien could be starting over Gordon Beckham at second base, and Phegley could be cutting into Tyler Flowers’ playing time behind the plate.

“I'm going to talk to [Hahn] about it,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “When you get closer to September, if guys are going to get called up and it's going to affect them, then you start talking to them about it. I don't think we’re there right now.”

Beckham refuses to put blame on rumors

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
7:17
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Gordon BeckhamDavid Richard/USA TODAY Sports"You just have to let it happen the way it's going to happen," Gordon Beckham said of trade rumors.

CHICAGO – Gordon Beckham struggles as the scouts gather to watch him play, and it would be shortsighted not to think that the latter is having a major influence on the former.

The Chicago White Sox infielder knows a trade is likely coming. He is well aware of his situation as a solid major league mainstay who is only getting more expensive as a bevy of young second-base prospects are refining their talents right behind him.

He doesn’t want to go, but also knows that a deal will possibly land him with a contender, so that isn’t all bad. Ultimately it seems as if the uncertainty of it all is bothering the 27-year-old the most.

To Beckham’s credit, though, he isn’t blaming the unknown for his struggles. He doesn’t want to make excuses. He won’t make excuses.

“There is always a chance of [a trade],” Beckham said Monday before the White Sox opened a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals. “It’s there, but that’s about it. You just have to let it happen the way it’s going to happen. It’s not one of those things I’m going to worry about. If it’s here or somewhere else, that’s what’s supposed to happen.”

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline gets closer, the struggles only seem to mount. Beckham is batting just .083 (4-for-48) over his past 12 games. Over his past 31 he is batting .136 (16-for-117). He is no longer hitting the ball hard up the middle as he was early in the season, and the scouts have taken notice.

One major league scout noted Monday that Beckham is the perfect example of a player who just needs a fresh start with a new organization.

Beckham knows what is happening, and he is trying to block it out, but it has been difficult.

“A lot goes into it,” Beckham said about being a successful baseball player. “You come in, show up every day, you work hard, you want it to work out for you and your team. Baseball is a very unforgiving game. When you’re going well, all of a sudden it tends to not go well. It’s a tough game. But there is a lot more that goes into it than the box score.”

That seems to be Beckham’s way of saying that baseball players are human and they have distractions too. But he doesn’t say it and he won’t make that excuse, even if it is a legitimate one.

“You just have to go play the game and it’ll turn. ... It’ll turn,” he said, trailing off.

The Toronto Blue Jays were the team that was rumored to have the most interest in Beckham and have had a scout on hand for each of the four games of Chicago's current homestand.

If Beckham is dealt, the White Sox could immediately plug Marcus Semien into his spot. Eventually, though, it seems clear that Micah Johnson will be the second baseman of the future. The White Sox also have Carlos Sanchez and Leury Garcia, who can play second.

But right now Beckham is their man, and manager Robin Ventura is trying to get the most out of him.

“He really is focusing more on going the other way, which would help him a bit,” Ventura said. “But when you press, it’s harder to buy all in to be able to do that. You have to take baby steps, maybe give a little ground on power and things like that to get it over there.”

The answer likely lies with the calendar changing to August. Then Beckham will finally know his fate.

“I haven’t really talked to him about it but I’m sure some of that is probably there,” he said. “You hear about it enough and any kind of distraction can be it. Hopefully it’s not.”

Beckham is simply trying to keep his head up and plug along the best he can. The White Sox are the only organization he has ever known and that might all change before the next 10 days come to a close.

“Yeah, I’m not worried about that,” Beckham insisted, before quickly changing gears. “It will be tough to leave because I have always been here, but whatever happens, will happen and I’m prepared for anything.”

Taylor Thompson gets the call at 27

July, 20, 2014
Jul 20
1:05
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox filled out their bullpen Sunday, purchasing the contract of right-hander Taylor Thompson, who was being used as a closer at Triple-A Charlotte.

The White Sox had made room on the 25-man roster Saturday when they optioned infielder Carlos Sanchez back to Triple-A. To make room on the 40-man roster, Felipe Paulino (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

The 27-year-old Thompson was 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA in 31 relief appearances at Charlotte and was 6-for-6 in save opportunities. The former 44th-round pick in 2009 credited the revival of a pitch he had turned his back on for his success this year.

“It’s probably my split-finger this year,” Thompson said. “I hadn't thrown it for the last few years, and I brought it back this year to try to give me another edge. It's really helped. Other than that, I probably have a standard fastball. I’m glad I brought it back for sure.”

(Read full post)

Sanchez optioned with pitching in mind

July, 19, 2014
Jul 19
11:05
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox optioned infielder Carlos Sanchez to Triple-A Charlotte after Saturday’s game and will have a corresponding move before Sunday’s series finale against the Houston Astros.

The White Sox are expected to call up a pitcher to get some bullpen depth.

Sanchez was called up last Sunday when Alexei Ramirez was experiencing back issues and started at shortstop in the first-half finale. Pitcher Andre Rienzo was sent back to Charlotte at the time.

The White Sox bullpen hasn’t been scored upon over the past two games but has pitched seven innings while essentially operating a man short.

Sanchez stays as roster move looms

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
9:02
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Infielder Carlos Sanchez was still on the Chicago White Sox's 25-man roster when the second half began, although that could change soon.

Sanchez was called up Sunday after Alexei Ramirez had to be removed from the previous day's game at Cleveland with a back issue. Long reliever Andre Rienzo was sent down to make room for Sanchez.

The bullpen remained one pitcher short Friday, but that was less of a concern with the relief corps coming off the four-day All-Star break.

"Well, I think for right now, with what happened right before the break with Alexei, you’re just making sure," manager Robin Ventura said of Sanchez sticking around. "I think at this point we’re up here and have a little flexibility just because starting back up everybody’s fresh, so you can keep him up here and have a few more options off the bench. How long? I don’t know."

With Ramirez back in the starting lineup Friday, the White Sox don’t figure to use Sanchez as anything more than a utility player.

"Yeah, coming off the break, obviously, everyone's fresh," general manager Rick Hahn said. "We may as well keep the position player, a guy with a little bit of versatility, and perhaps gives us some legs off the bench until we need that other arm."

Keppinger cut shows Sox mean business

May, 14, 2014
May 14
4:06
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Jeff KeppingerKelvin Kuo/USA TODAY SportsJeff Keppinger didn't live up to the expections the Sox had when they signed him before the 2012 season.
Hungry to continue their roster rebuild, the Chicago White Sox elected to eat some salary with Wednesday’s decision to designate Jeff Keppinger for assignment.

Talk about your changes in company policy.

When the White Sox were in sell-off mode last season, a big priority in making deals was finding trade partners who were willing to take most, if not all, of a player’s entire salary in a deal. With the Jake Peavy and Alex Rios deals, not to mention the Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton trades, the White Sox shed some $37 million-plus in future earnings, making that savings as attractive as the players who were being acquired.

What Wednesday’s move seems to signify is that guaranteed at-bats for infielders like Conor Gillaspie, Marcus Semien, and even Gordon Beckham, are worth the estimated $7.5 million the White Sox are set to pay Keppinger through the 2015 season.

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Micah Johnson promoted to AAA Charlotte

May, 13, 2014
May 13
4:00
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago White Sox promoted highly-regarded second base prospect Micah Johnson to Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday after the 23-year-old tore through the Double-A Southern League this season.

[+] EnlargeMicah Johnson
Ron Vesely/MLB Photos/Getty ImagesMicah Johnson leaves the Southern League as its leading hitter with a .329 batting average.
Johnson entered the season as the sixth-best prospect in the White Sox's system, according to Baseball America, and has shown he might be even better than that with his play at Birmingham. Johnson is leading the Southern League in hitting with a .329 batting average and in total hits with 48. The speedster also has 18 runs scored, nine doubles, 16 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.

Johnson was a ninth-round pick in the 2012 draft out of Indiana University, but has raised his stock ever since. He was solid on two Single-A levels last season before an August promotion to Double-A. In last season's Southern League playoffs, Johnson batted .368 with seven steals in 10 playoff games as the Barons won the championship.

Johnson's rapid ascent suggests that he could be a regular in the White Sox's major league lineup as early as next season. Current White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham has one more season of arbitration-eligibility, but it's possible that the former first-round draft pick could be moved before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

The White Sox are flush with second base prospects in Johnson and Carlos Sanchez, who now will have to share time at Charlotte. Sanchez has played two games at shortstop this season and has 150 games of experience there in the minor leagues, but Johnson does not have any shortstop experience.

In addition to those two players, Marcus Semien and Leury Garcia, both on the major league roster, can play second.

Also promoted to Charlotte on Tuesday was left-hander Nelvin Fuentes, who has a 1.06 ERA over 17 appearances at Birmingham and has not been scored upon in his last 16 trips to the mound. Fuentes, a former 16th-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2007, was signed by the White Sox in December as a minor-league free agent.

If it's the end, Beckham won't go quietly

May, 7, 2014
May 7
12:08
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Refusing to play the sandy cliff at high tide, Gordon Beckham showed Tuesday that he isn’t about to erode away just yet.

Scuffling ever since he returned from the disabled list two weeks ago, Beckham had four hits against the Chicago Cubs, including the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning as the White Sox went on to a 5-1 victory.

It gave the White Sox victories in their two games at Wrigley Field this season after losing all four of the battles against their crosstown rivals last season.

[+] EnlargeGordon Beckham
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastGordon Beckham might live up to his potential soon, and that might make him trade bait.
There is a unique dynamic playing out this season with Beckham, the former first-round draft pick who has struggled to meet the promise of his rookie season in 2009.

Some of the lowest hanging fruit on the White Sox’s tree these days is at second base. Marcus Semien can play there, as can Carlos Sanchez, Leury Garcia and Micah Johnson, currently doing impressive things at the Double-A level.

At no other position do the White Sox have so many high-ceiling players, so it wouldn’t be so crazy to surmise that Beckham is feeling the heat.

“It can be hard, but he’s got a great attitude about it,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s playing, he knows he’s a good player and he’s got to continue to just play. That’s stuff you can’t really control, of whatever’s behind you. Just take care of what’s right now, and that’s what he’s doing.”

With just seven hits in 11 games since he returned from an oblique injury, Beckham went the drastic route Tuesday of changing his hitting mechanics in early batting practice. Talk about paying off in a hurry. Beckham had singles in the first, fourth and sixth innings. His home run in the eighth left the park despite a firm headwind.

“Yeah, my mechanics are OK, they're better,” Beckham said. “They're better than they were last night. I'm in a better spot.”

Beckham was brutally honest afterward, saying it’s not like he has never had to figure his way out of some struggles. He always seems to be on the edge of emerging, but something goes wrong. This year it was the oblique, last year it was a broken hand.

Now he's dealing with the concept that not only can he lose his job to a younger player, but his tenure with the White Sox might not last another three months.

With all those young infielders ready to break through, it has fueled speculation that Beckham could be moved at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The return on a deal would be sweetest if the second baseman could get hot as the summer arrives.

In fact, the White Sox’s insistence in batting Beckham second in the lineup could be because they know he will get more pitches to hit in front of Jose Abreu. Opponents aren’t going to want to dance around a hitter that has so much RBI potential hitting behind him.

If the perceived plan works, Beckham will start producing, the White Sox can trade him for some high-level young talent and Semien will take over at second, with Johnson possibly taking the position at some point in the near future.

But the more Beckham can put all those scenarios out of his mind, the better he will be.

“I got a better feel today,” he said. “I mean, it was bound to happen. I was bound to do better than like 1-for-6 or so. I wasn't panicked. It was one of those things. I've kind of been here before. I’m glad I happened to do it.”

How odd that after all these years of trying to reach his maximum potential, he could finally do it this season only to get traded because of it.

“I mean when you pull an oblique, there should be more moments where you don't have the same swing because obviously the oblique has so much to do with your body and your swing and everything, so you kind of got to find it,” Beckham said. “But [hitting coach Todd Steverson], I worked with him today and he gave me a good idea, and I just took and ran with it. A lot of credit goes to him.”

Tough decisions ahead for White Sox

April, 24, 2014
Apr 24
1:13
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Marcus SemienRick Osentoski/USA TODAY SportsMarcus Semien has been a bright spot in the Sox offense, including his grand slam against Detroit.


CHICAGO -- They call them good problems to have, but there will be no easy decisions when it comes to the Chicago White Sox's suddenly crowded landscape at second base.

Gordon Beckham is back from the disabled list and is set to take back his second-base job, but Marcus Semien has performed well there and has been one of the bright spots in the team’s new-look offense.

The facts are this: With a $4.175 million contract for this season, Beckham is going to have to play. But as Semien shows he can handle the challenges that come with a big league roster spot, he needs to be on the field as well.

(Read full post)

White Sox set roster at Triple-A

April, 2, 2014
Apr 2
12:15
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte set its 25-man roster on Wednesday in advance of the team’s season opener on Thursday.

The Knights will open a new downtown Charlotte ballpark on April 11.

Third baseman Matt Davidson, infielder Carlos Sanchez, outfielders Jared Mitchell and Jordan Danks, and pitchers Andre Rienzo and Dylan Axelrod highlight the squad.

The complete active roster:

Pitchers: (13) Axelrod, Mitchell Boggs, Scott Carroll, Javy Guerra, Deunte Heath, Ryan Kussmaul, Charlie Leesman, Jake Petricka, David Purcey, Zach Putnam, Rienzo, Eric Surkamp, Taylor Thompson.

Catchers: (2) Josh Phegley, Hector Gimenez.

Infielders: (6) Dan Black, Davidson, Alex Liddi, Sanchez, Tyler Saladino, Andy Wilkins.

Outfielders: (4) Danks, Mitchell, Denis Phipps, Blake Tekotte.

Sox's system is loaded at second base

March, 18, 2014
Mar 18
12:25
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Say what you want about the level of talent in the Chicago White Sox's farm system -- and many baseball analysts have taken their shots -- but second base is where the organization has no shortage of rising young players.

Guys like Micah Johnson, Marcus Semien, Carlos Sanchez and Leury Garcia all are considered viable options at second base for the future.

And with the oblique injury to Gordon Beckham, that will sideline the second baseman for a week and possibly more, there will be plenty of at-bats in upcoming Cactus League games for the next generation of middle infielders.

Johnson and Garcia add blazing speed to their overall package, Semien adds more of a power element along with the versatility to play shortstop and third base, while Sanchez was having arguably the best big league camp of anybody while batting .538 (7-for-13) before he was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.

Stockpiling middle infield talent continues to be one of the bigger challenges for organizations. While shortstop talent is most desired, a lack of second-base talent can send teams scrambling for options.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals have recently signed Cuban middle infielders. In October, the Dodgers added Alex Guerrero on a four-year, $28 million contract, while earlier this month the Cardinals added Aledmys Diaz on a four-year deal for around $8 million.

"It's tough to find middle infielders in the draft," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "There are only a couple every year that are true middle infielders, and you're not always going to have the chance to draft them. For us having the opportunity to sign a middle infielder (in Guerrero) with his age and his experience at the international level we thought it was worth it."

The Dodgers went as far as to double up on Cuban middle infielders, also signing shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena to a five-year deal.

The White Sox have Garcia and Semien who can play shortstop, but neither is considered to be the defensive equivalent of Alexei Ramirez. The White Sox did draft junior college shortstop Tim Anderson in the first round last year.

While Anderson remains plenty of years away, a new second baseman could be in place as soon as next season. Beckham will make $4.175 million this season and could be in the $6 million range next year, which is his last of arbitration eligibility. Beckham reaches free agency in 2016.

It isn't impossible that Beckham could be traded this season to a team in need of second base help, especially if the White Sox have come to the conclusion that will be headed in a new direction anyway next year.

If the White Sox have shown anything this past offseason it is that they aren't afraid to make trades from an area of strength. With four left-handers in the rotation, they moved one early this winter for an upgrade in center field and in the leadoff spot when lefty Hector Santiago was part of the deal that brought back Adam Eaton.

And with Nate Jones emerging as a closer for the future, the White Sox went ahead and traded closer Addison Reed for third baseman Matt Davidson.

Johnson, Semien, Sanchez and Garcia all are coming, with one of them likely to take over at second soon, and maybe one or more used in trade packages to land talent in other areas.

White Sox make three more moves

March, 14, 2014
Mar 14
12:00
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago White Sox’s major league locker room shrunk by three more players Friday as moves were made in advance of the Cactus League game against the Cleveland Indians.

Right-hander Nestor Molina, left-hander Frank De Los Santos and infielder Carlos Sanchez all were optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.

The moves leave 44 players in big league camp: 21 pitchers, four catchers, 13 infielders and six catchers.

Crowd gathering behind Beckham at 2B

February, 18, 2014
Feb 18
2:50
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Chicago White Sox have a glut of middle infielders coming up through the system, which means if Gordon Beckham has designs on holding his current job much longer, now is the time to show what he can do.

It seems to be the same mantra every spring: When will Beckham show the growth that his breakout 2009 season suggested?

[+] EnlargeBeckham
AP Photo/Paul BattagliaTwo injuries slowed Gordon Beckham last season.
Over the years, Beckham's offense struggled, but he made huge strides with his second-base defense. His power numbers climbed, but his batting average and on-base percentage were not what the White Sox were looking for from a potential No. 2 hitter.

Last year, Beckham had a chance to put it all together, but first came a broken bone in his hand, then came leg issues late in the season. He played in just 103 games last season, which is the same number he played in his rookie year, interestingly enough.

Last season's on-base percentage of .322 was second to his .347 mark in his rookie year, and while his home run total was down (mostly a result of the hand injury), his slugging percentage of .372 was his best in the past three seasons.

"Last year I felt good about what I was doing, and I think it was showing on the field," said Beckham, who made his first appearance in camp Monday. "I feel like I dealt with a lot, and I felt like I had a pretty good year last year considering how healthy I was.

"To fight through that actually gives me more confidence for this year. I think I'm in a good spot and everything feels good. I just have stay healthy. If I can stay healthy, I can do what I am capable of."

Aside from getting married this offseason, Beckham added some muscle in preparation for the season.

"I weigh maybe a little more than I have in the past coming in, but I lose a lot of weight, or I have in the past, during the season, so my idea is to bulk up a little more and lose a little bit less," he said.

Maybe the strength will help him fight off all those second-base candidates lined up behind him in the system. In big league camp alone there is Carlos Sanchez, Leury Garcia, Marcus Semien and Micah Johnson, who isn't on the 40-man roster but got an invite anyway.

Beckham, who is signed for $4.175 million this season, has one more year of arbitration eligibility remaining before he becomes a free agent in 2016. His rising salary combined with all those rising second-base prospects seem to be at odds, but Beckham remains focused on team goals over individual achievements.

"There are a lot of things that are different, and it's just a different season," Beckham said of the 2014 club. "Last year I think there were a lot of things that didn't go our way, and then it just steamrolled. If we get off to a little better start -- I'm not saying we have to get off to a good start -- but just go out there and do the fundamentals and try to relax and I think that it will all come together for us."

Sanchez earns winter league honor

January, 9, 2014
Jan 9
1:50
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- White Sox tidbits Thursday included a productive winter for a top prospect, a scheduled appearance for an old friend at SoxFest and the addition of a utility man.

Infield prospect Carlos Sanchez was named rookie of the year of the Venezuelan Winter League after batting .358 in 58 games with 10 doubles, four triples, a home run, 31 RBIs and 48 runs. His 30 walks helped him to a .428 on-base percentage.

Sanchez batted .403 against left-handers and hit .418 with runners in scoring position.

The White Sox also announced Thursday they signed infielder/outfielder Eric Patterson to a minor-league contract. He played with York in the independent Atlantic League last season and also at Double-A Huntsville in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

(Read full post)

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Conor Gillaspie
BA HR RBI R
.305 5 46 46
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 33
RBIJ. Abreu 93
RJ. Abreu 67
OPSJ. Abreu .962
WC. Sale 10
ERAC. Sale 2.12
SOC. Sale 158