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White Sox Update: Weekend Recaps, Pham, Opening Day Starter

by Jordan Lazowski

Opening Day is just a few weeks away, and with camp becoming more routine for the White Sox, there hasn’t been a shortage of storylines.

Here’s a recap of anything you may have missed over the weekend, including game summaries and some recent news on both Tommy Pham and the White Sox’s next Opening Day starter.

Grifol aware of, but quiet about, Opening Day Starter

A few weeks ago, Pedro Grifol pretty vocally backed Dylan Cease as his Opening Day starter. With Cease now off to greener pastures in San Diego, Grifol needs a replacement. Today, he made it clear that he does in fact know Cease’s replacement in the Opening Day lineup – he’s just not going to share it yet.

White Sox interested in Tommy Pham

With 49 players still in major league Spring Training camp for the White Sox, you may be led to believe they’re done adding potential options to the team in 2024 for now. However, with the Cease trade and Michael Kopech’s move to the bullpen, the White Sox could still be looking to add some talent. However, based on rumors today, the help might not be in the rotation.

According to Bob Nightengale’s Sunday Notebook, the San Diego Padres and outfielder Tommy Pham are in talks on a one-year, $3 million to $4 million deal. However, according to Nightengale, should that deal not come through, the White Sox are interested in Pham. It’s not clear how exactly the right-hander would fit into the lineup – though, he did experience a resurgence of sorts last season, hitting .256/.328/.446 in 129 games last season. The 36-year-old hits RHP and LHP equally well, so he could perhaps serve as a platoon bat for Dominic Fletcher in right field.

Saturday Recap: Sox drop both games of Split Squad

(Recap written by Nicole Reitz)

The White Sox lost twice Saturday, as they faced the Giants and the Mariners during their split-squad matchups. 

In the last TV broadcast of the spring, the Sox fell to the Giants 11-6 and did not leave viewers with the best image of what to expect on Opening Day. Down 3-0 in the fifth inning, the Sox capitalized on terrible defense from the Giants. With bases loaded, Paul DeJong grounded into a fielder’s choice, allowing Gavin Sheets to score off a throwing error. Max Stassi singled to score Kevin Pillar, followed by Tim Elko grounding into a double play to score Mike Moustakas, tying the game. San Francisco quickly took the lead as Jared Shuster gave up seven runs in the seventh inning. 

Later, Chuckie Robinson hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh, but scoring stopped until late in the ninth inning when the South Siders added two more runs to the board. 

Michael Kopech made his first spring appearance as a reliever and threw a 1-2-3 inning. 

As for the game against Seattle, the offense was quiet for the Sox as they fell 8-2. The sole Sox runs came from Zach Remillard and Rikuu Nishida.

Offensive Recap

  • Chuckie Robinson: 2-for-2, HR, 2 RBI
  • Tyler Neslony: 1-for-2, R, K
  • Colson Montgomery: 1-for-2, R
  • Yoan Moncada: 1-for-2, 2B, K
  • Zach Remillard: 1-for-3, R, 2B, 2 K

Pitching Recap

  • Michael Kopech: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
  • Chad Kuhl: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 K
  • Jared Shuster: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 0 K

Sunday Recap: White Sox, Athletics Tie

It’s not the most exciting outcome, but it’s not a loss!

Nick Nastrini started the game for the White Sox, lowering his ERA on the Spring to 0.82 in the process with four scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, walked two, and struck out two – and has continued to stake his claim to a starting role on the major league team to start the season. He was followed by Jesse Chavez and Jonathan Cannon, the latter pitching the bulk of the remaining innings (4) and giving up one run while walking none and striking out four.

On offense, both Gavin Sheets and Korey Lee continued their hot Springs with multi-hit performances that included both of their third home runs of Spring Training. Korey Lee is now hitting .350 with a 1.317 OPS in Cactus League play, while Sheets is hitting .317 with a 1.030 OPS. Both may be on the outside looking in for the Opening Day roster based on offseason additions – but they’ve certainly made the decision tougher for the White Sox at the very least.

The White Sox remain 8-15 on the Spring after this game.

Offensive Recap

  • Gavin Sheets: 2-for-4, HR (3), 2 RBI, R, 2 K
  • Korey Lee: 2-for-3, HR (3), RI, R, BB, K
  • Rafael Ortega: 1-for-1
  • Eloy Jimenez: 0-for-3, R

Pitching Recap:

  • Nick Nastrini (SP): 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Jesse Chavez: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  • Jonathan Cannon: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Other News and Notes

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Featured Image: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

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