The Chicago White Sox pitching prospects had a rough go of it their first time around the rotation last week, but this weekend the top-prospects saw better results, for Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. Carson Fulmer also impressed again in his second outing of the spring late last week.
Last Monday Lucas Giolito made his spring debut for the White Sox against the Chicago Cubs, getting hit very hard in his two innings of work, and surrendering a run on three hits, including a deep home run off of the bat of Addison Russell in the second inning. Giolito struggled to command his curveball, leaving his fastball vulnerable last Monday in Mesa, but in his second start of the spring this past Saturday afternoon Giolito looked much more impressive.
Giolito turned in three scoreless frames against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, allowing just one hit while striking out three Angels hitters. Command was no issue for Giolito on Saturday, as he threw 17 pitches, with 16 of them being strikes. The White Sox top pitching prospect is now 1-0 with only one run on four hits over five innings of work this spring, and has notched five strikeouts to just one walk thus far.
Reynaldo Lopez, who was shelled in his spring debut against the Cincinnati Reds last Tuesday, giving up five runs on four hits, and being pulled from the game after an inning and a third of work, was much better the second time around on Sunday for the White Sox.
Lopez allowed just one run on three hits on Sunday versus the Arizona Diamondbacks over the course of three innings of work, recording three strikeouts versus just one walk. Lopez had an impressive sequence with Paul Goldschmit during his outing on Sunday. With a runner on second base, Lopez fell behind 2-0 against the Arizona slugger, and then proceeded to strike him out on three straight pitches.
Michael Kopech who also had a less than stellar outing his first time out for the White Sox last Tuesday against the Mariners was scheduled to follow Lopez in Sunday’s match-up with the Diamondbacks, but instead threw a sim game at the discretion of White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. Cooper said that he wanted the 20-year-old’s next work to be in a “more controlled situation” instead of a packed stadium this time around.
Kopech is not scheduled to pitch in a live game at all this week, but is slated to throw side sessions on Tuesday and Thursday this week. See the full pitching schedule for this week at the bottom of this article.
Carson Fulmer was also impressive in his second outing of the spring on Thursday despite giving up a pair of runs in his second inning of work against the Giants late last week. Fulmer began the game by striking out the first three Giants hitters, before surrendering a pair of runs on three hits in the second inning. Fulmer has pitched three and two-thirds innings this spring, allowing only those two runs on four base-hits. Fulmer has recorded seven strike outs to just one walk, and has been good from a control standpoint, hitting the strike zone in 31 of his 37 pitches thus far.
Another White Sox pitching prospect that has has had a solid start to the spring has been Zack Burdi. The former Louisville Cardinal has tossed three scoreless innings thus far, allowing only two hits while striking out four hitters, and hitting 100 miles per hour on the radar gun already this spring. Burdi is the closer of the future in Chicago, and the 21-year-old Downers Grove native may just be donning the black and white pinstripes sooner than some think if he continues his current performances. In his first pro season in 2016 after being taken in the June MLB Draft, Burdi shot through the White Sox minor-league system as fast as his heater zips by opposing hitters, and was rumored to be called up to join a struggling White Sox bullpen in September. The club ultimately opted to keep Burdi down, rather than expose his already heavy 2016 workload to meaningless innings as the White Sox were already out of playoff contention by September.
Danish had a horrid major-league debut with the White Sox in 2016 and eventually headed back to the minor-league level licking his wounds after being lumped up by opposing hitters to the tune of an ERA over 10. Danish looks much better this spring however, posting a perfect 0.00 ERA over his first four outings thus far.
Danish has tossed three and two-thirds scoreless innings out of the bullpen to this point, allowing only three hits and a walk, while striking out four hitters over that span.
White Sox Pitching Schedule 3/6 – 3/11
Wednesday vs Milwaukee: Carson Fulmer (SP), Anthony Swarzak, Tyler Danish, Dylan Covey, Juan Minaya, Brian Clark, Brad Goldberg. Side Session: Michael Ynoa, Reynaldo Lopez, Dan Jennings, Aaron Bummer, Jace Fry, Chris Beck, Carlos Rodon (Batting Practice)