White Sox Minor League News and Notes, 3/5 to 3/19

Luis Robert attempts to shield his eyes from the sun in Cactus League action, 2018 (Kim Contreras / FutureSox)

Luis Robert attempts to shield his eyes from the sun in Cactus League action, 2018 (Kim Contreras / FutureSox)

Coming off a 14-0 walloping by the bats of the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, the White Sox made a series of transactions as the opening day roster comes closer to fruition. Among the cuts was fledging right-handed pitcher Michael Ynoa, the once top-100-rated Baseball Prospectus prospect, who saw his time as Southside organization filler come to an unceremonious end with his release.

His departure opens a spot in the pen, and more importantly means there are six more spring training games to go until the Opening Day 2018.

With that, let's get you up to date...

Plague of injuries

The injury bug kept biting, as a new bevy of White Sox minor leaguers and youngsters went down. 

  • Luis Robert was diagnosed with a moderate sprain of a ligament in his left thumb, after he slid into a base March 7. His hand will be immobilized for six weeks, and the team expects him to return to game action in approximately 10 weeks. 
  • Right-hand pitcher Alec Hansen was dealing with bout of forearm soreness. Sox GM Rick Hahn expects he'll begin the season at AA without restrictions, the Sun Times reports. Our own Julie Brady spotted him stalking the grounds with a glove on a few days back, for what it's worth.
  • The Tribune reported INF Nicky Delmonico partially dislocated his left shoulder after colliding with... 
  • Tyler Saladino who suffered a concussion March 13. The utility infielder was thought to have been entered into the concussion protocol, but the concussion protocol does not exist in Spring Training, the Sun Times reports. Delmonico is ready for return with Saladino likely ready just behind him.

Prospect performance highlights

Tarnishing a trio of notable prospect home runs, Carson Fulmer continued to show why top tier talent evaluators see him as a bullpen piece with a disastrous start against the Brewers March 14, followed by an unsteady but helfpul improvement yesterday.

  • Carson Fulmer continued to get hit, and hit hard. The latest being March 14, with a line that read as such 1.2 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 3 HRs, 1 HBP, 1 WP.  At least until Monday, when Fulmer bounced back, pitching 4 solid innings of no hit ball, striking out four and giving up three walks. Somewhere Don Cooper pulls what's left of his hair out in frustration.
  • Luis Robert hit a monster of a grand slam March 7, which makes his injury that much more demoralizing, but he did it with the injury which provides some confidence in a quick return.
  • Eloy Jimenez launched a bomb against the other Chicago team March 10.
  • Adam Engel had a first-pitch leadoff homer against a Seattle lineup that featured the return of Marco Gonzales March 12. 

Transactions

SIGNED

  • LHP Robbie Ross as a minor-league free agent, with a non-roster invite to spring training
  • SS Jerrick Francees, 17-year-old Aruba native, as their first signing from that island

ASSIGNED

RELEASED

Team Performances

This section of the weekly News and Notes will cover how the affiliate teams have performed in the past week and overall. For those who can't wait, the White Sox are at 12-11 in Cactus League contests.

News and Links, to get you caught up

  • The Knights will be live on your TV, if you have NBC Sports Chicago. Check their full broadcast schedule out, and write the dates down in your calendar. 
  • The FutureSox podcast has been resurrected with the first episode up now. New host Clint Cole, one of FutureSox's newest contributors, spoke to MLB Pipeline prospect guru Jim Callis.  
  • SoxMachine's Jim Margalus took a fascinating look at the backup catcher battle, finding teams are running wild on Kevan Smith.
  • The Athletic's James Fegan had a very busy week, publishing pieces on Michael Kopech, A.J. Puckett and Carson Fulmer. ($)
  • Fangraphs' Jeff Sullivan took a look at Lucas Giolito, finding the just graduated prospect may be regaining some of the form that made him a consensus top prospect in 2016. I find the comparison to James Paxton to be intoxicating. 
  • Minor League Baseball announced a series of new rules for this season, including the controversial rule which will put a runner at second base in the 10th inning of a tied game. Pitcher's mound visits will also be restricted and the pitch timer will be whittled down to 15 seconds.

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