Manager: Rick Renteria (2nd season)
Last 10 games: 3-7
Who to watch: 1B José Abreu (.270 with 22 HR, 78 RBIs); SS Tim Anderson (130 hits, 26 SB); 3B Yolmer Sánchez (133 hits, 30 2B); DH Matt Davidson (20 HR, 58 RBIs); RHP Lucas Giolito (10-10, 5.76 ERA); RHP Reynaldo López (5-9, 4.22 ERA); RHP Jeanmar Gómez (4.82 ERA)
Season series vs. Orioles: 2-2
Sept. 14: RHP James Shields (6-16) vs. RHP Luis Ortiz (0-0); 7:05 p.m., MASN
Sept. 15: RHP Reynaldo López (5-9) vs. RHP Yefry Ramirez (1-5); 7:05 p.m., MASN
Sept. 16: RHP Lucas Giolito (10-10) vs. TBA, 1:05 p.m., MASN
Inside the White Sox:
For those who don’t call Chicago’s South Side home, it may be difficult to take any positives away from this year’s White Sox team. After all, the club is 32 games below .500 and will miss the postseason for the 10th straight season. Still, those who have followed the Sox on a nightly basis have watched as the team continues its rebuild with one of the youngest rosters in the majors. Hitters have emerged, while the starting rotation has taken its share of licks in an effort to develop. It may not be too much longer before the White Sox make their return to the playoffs.
To achieve their goal of playing baseball in late October, the White Sox have to hope their collection of young talent can continue to progress. Eight of Chicago’s regular starters are younger than 28 years old, but have already established themselves as everyday faces in the lineup. Third baseman Yolmer Sánchez leads the White Sox with 133 hits, and is second with 30 doubles. Meanwhile, shortstop Tim Anderson has collected 130 hits, and is tied for 10th in the majors with 26 stolen bases. For power, the team relies on designated hitter Matt Davidson, who has clubbed 20 home runs this season. That number is second on the team, behind one of the club’s oldest players, first baseman José Abreu. At = 31, Abreu has quickly become a veteran in the clubhouse, and leads the team with 22 home runs and a .270 batting average. Second baseman Yoán Moncada, arguably one of the White Sox’s best young players, is battling a sore hip, and may not be available this weekend.
Veteran James Shields starts tonight’s series opener. Shields is no stranger to the Orioles, having faced them 28 times in his career. He is 11-8 with a 3.85 career ERA against Baltimore, including a quality start on May 22. Shields will look to bounce back from his last start in which he gave up six earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Angels. Chicago’s youth movement extends to the starting rotation with Reynaldo López. The 24-year-old is in his second season with the White Sox and commands a respectable 4.22 ERA. Despite a 5-9 record, López hasn’t lost a decision since July 27, and has picked up three straight quality starts heading into Saturday’s matchup. One of Chicago’s other young arms, 23-year-old Lucas Giolito, will start Sunday’s series finale. Like most young pitchers, Giolito has endured some ups and downs during his first full season in the starting rotation. In a start against the Orioles earlier this season, Giolito had a night to forget. He lasted just 1 1/3 innings, giving up seven earned runs, tied for his shortest start of the season. He’ll look for redemption Sunday.
In the bullpen, Jeanmar Gómez handles the closing duties. Gómez took over the role after Joakim Soria was traded to the Brewers at the trade deadline. Joining Gómez are relievers Héctor Santiago, Jace Fry, and Juan Minaya.