White Sox: Top Prospects Shine in Spring Training Action
White Sox top prospect hits his first home run of Spring Training while pitching prospect has a scoreless outing in his first start.
White Sox fans have been looking for any good news they can find over the past few weeks. Well, some good news came on Tuesday despite the White Sox losing both of their split-squad contests.
Eloy Jimenez hit his first home run of Spring Training and Dylan Cease pitched a scoreless inning. Jimenez has been struggling at the plate this Spring but was able to hit an opposite field two-run home run in the Sox 7-4 loss to the San Diego Padres at Camelback Ranch.
Through 17 at-bats including the Sox contest on Tuesday, Jimenez is hitting just .176 and has six strikeouts at the plate. His home run on Tuesday was just his second extra-base hit of Spring Training. While many Sox fans would like to see Jimenez make the team out of Spring Training, he might be better suited to start the season with Triple-A Charlotte for a number of different reasons.
One of those reasons could be service time manipulation. Another reason could be his defense although he did flash some leather on Tuesday against the Padres. Jimenez wasn’t promoted to the Majors last season despite a strong showing in Triple-A. The reasoning behind keeping him in the Minors was he needed more work on his defense. For the sake of Jimenez, hopefully, he gets enough outfield reps this Spring to improve on his defense.
Zack Collins also hit his first home run of Spring Training in the Sox loss to San Diego on Tuesday. Collins is currently hitting .364 through 11 at-bats this Spring. Collins will likely begin the season with Double-A Birmingham but could very well end the year in Triple-A.
While most of the Sox were playing the Padres at Camelback Ranch, the other players dropped an 11-0 contest to the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Ariz. Despite the shutout loss, Cease was able to start the game with a scoreless inning pitched for his first action of Spring Training.
In one inning pitched, Cease gave up two hits but didn’t allow a run as Jason Kipnis was thrown out at third base when attempting to advance with one out on a single hit by Carlos Santana. Matt Joyce would later end the first inning with a flyout hit to center field. For Cease, his first start of the Spring was a success and he should be able to pitch more innings in his next outing.
First Roster Cuts
After the Sox split-squad contests on Tuesday, they announced their first round of cuts. Included in the cuts were Blake Rutherford, Nick Madrigal, Bernardo Flores, and Jordan Guerrero. Each player will be reassigned to minor league camp. Madrigal hit .308 in his first Spring Training with the Sox through 13 at-bats.
Rutherford, in his second Spring Training with the Sox, hit .267 in eight at-bats. Flores pitched 6.1 innings this Spring and compiled a 5.68 ERA and recorded five strikeouts. Guerrero didn’t have a good showing however as he had a 15.75 ERA through four innings pitched for the Sox. With the moves, the Sox trimmed their roster to 58 players remaining in camp.