White Sox Minor Keys: Aug. 1, 2018

Eloy Jimenez's checklist could be so secretive that even he doesn't know what's on it

Our man in Charlotte Jonathan Lee spotted Rick Hahn at BB&T Ballpark before the Knights’ game against Norfolk, making Eloy Jimenez’s day off a little more intriguing.

Also worth noting: Jimenez’s comment to Jonathan before the game.

You might recall that, during Hahn’s infamous weaksauce deflection, he refused to tell reporters the boxes Jimenez and Kopech had left to check. The important thing was, “They know what’s on the list.”

So Jonathan asked Jimenez about the checklist.

If you can’t listen to the video:

  • Jimenez: It wasn’t weird, it’s just — he says so, I have to check the box. Every time I go to play, I try to do the best.
  • Lee: When he says checkboxes, what do you think he’s talking about? What particular boxes is he talking about?
  • Jimenez: (shakes head, smiling) I don’t really know.

Birmingham 2, Mississippi 1 (Game 1, 9 innings)

  • Joel Booker went 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • Luis Basabe and Danny Mendick both were 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Alex Call doubled, singled and struck out twice.
  • Jameson Fisher went 1-for-2 with a sac fly.
  • Kodi Medeiros before the game was suspended: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP

Mississippi 1, Birmingham 0 (Game 2, 7 innings)

  • Joel Booker struck out all three times at bat.
  • Alex Call and Danny Mendick were both 0-for-3.
  • Jameson Fisher were 0-for-2 with a K.
  • Bernardo Flores went the distance: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, K.

Augusta 5, Kannapolis 2

  • Luis Curbelo went 0-for-3 with a walk.
  • Nick Madrigal, 0-for-4.
  • Justin Yurchak was 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Evan Skoug, 1-for-4.

Billings 6, Great Falls 4 (12 innings)

  • Lenyn Sosa went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts and a sac bunt.
  • Steele Walker. 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Amado Nunez singled thrice and struck out twice.
  • Jhoandro Alfaro raised his average to .303 by going 3-for-4 with a double.

DSL Padres 8, DSL White Sox 7

  • Harold Diaz went 1-for-5 with a double and a strikeout.
  • Jose Rodriguez, 2-for-5 with a stolen base.
  • Jefferson Mendoza was 2-for-4 with a double, walk and strikeout.

Charlotte vs. Norfolk suspended
Winston-Salem vs. Carolina PPD

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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This box checking thing sounds like miscommunication.  

If I give the benefit of the doubt to Hahn, he’s said “work on xyz”.   And Eloy and Kopech know what those specific things are.  Then Hahn calls it “box checking “ but never used that term with the players.  

So if you ask Eloy what he’s supposed to be working on, he probably knows.  But if you ask him what boxes he’s supposed to check, he has no idea what you are talking about. 

Patrick Nolan



Yeah, I see that.  I certainly wasn’t saying that they STILL need to work on stuff. But I think if the question was posed differently Eloy would have said, “week I’ve done everything they’ve asked (checked the boxes) so I’m ready. “ 


Rick has long since run out of excuses regarding Eloy’s promotion. Now it just looks like incompetence on his part. And with Covey’s and Kopech’s recent outings, he’s run out of excuses for keeping Kopech down. It’s now been two days since the trade deadline and absolutely no action from Rick. I decided after the deadline passed with no action to not watch this team until he brings up Eloy. If he does not care to put his best players on the field, why should I watch? And I’ve been a White Sox fan for 50 years. I can’t ever remember being this mad at the front office, and they’ve given me plenty of reasons to get mad over the last 50 years.


You’ve never been this mad at the FO before? You’re either being really hyperbolic or have erased the 2015-2016 offseason from memory.


In those years they were trying to make something out of nothing. It may have been stupid to try that, but with payroll restrictions, they tried to do what they could to surround Sale, Eaton, Q, DRob, Abreu with pieces that could win. And had they hired a competent manager in 2012 (Francona was available), that team might have had a chance to win. This is just willful ignorance. There can’t be any sane person that thinks that Eloy should not be up now.


Can you imagine having to catch for Alec Hansen and Medeiros in back to back games? I think that could qualify as a war crime.


I haven’t been reading much about the White Sox lately but has anyone posited an actual ironclad excuse Hahn may have to keep Eloy and Kopech down post-August 1st?

Side note, I was on the same plane as a player for the Dodgers minors SS Jacob Amaya. He was promoted from Ogden to Great Lakes and was on the same godforsaken flight that caused us to be grounded in Des Moines for three and a half hours.


WRT Eloy, he could be getting the Kris Bryant treatment. Bryant was called up to AAA on 6/19 in 2014, made a fool of AAA pitching all season, but didn’t get a call up until next year. Eloy was called up on 6/21 and has similarly made AAA look dumb.

Whether doing that is a good idea (I tend to think not) or whether Eloy is comparable to Bryant at that point (Bryant had way higher strikeout numbers) is another question.

Kopech – who knows? I guess the walk rate is still pretty high. Who knows?


Blackmail to sign a long-term contract?

Brett R. Bobysud

If they’re doing this solely for service time purposes, to me it’s almost impossible Eloy signs a long-term deal at any point with the Sox.

Same with Bryant and the Cubs. Scott Boras isn’t going to Bryant forget that the Cubs cost him a potential $20 million season in his prime.


In Eloy’s case, he was just about ready this year and the argument was avoiding Super 2. Now they may want to wait til next year? There may be no fans left if that happens.


Why not leave Jiminez and Kopeck at Charlotte? The team in Charlotte is at least as good as the White Sox. The White Sox have only one player who would start for any other MLB team and only 5 or 6 who would make a 25 man roster.


The idea is to have your best players playing at the major league level. If your minor league team is as good as your major league team, that’s a serious problem.


Let’s not get carried away. The Charlotte roster has exactly one Major League caliber hitter right now.


I don’t disagree with that. But if he’s better than any of your major leaguers, why is he still there?


Because the idea that your best players should be playing in Chicago is a dumb one that the FO has explicitly said is not how they’re operating.

Michael Kopech has been better than at least one of their starters all season. Why should his development be dictated by how much Giolito sucks?


I’ve always had the mindset that you don’t want to let good players get stale. Continue to challenge them. If they are as good as you think, they will respond to the challenge. Hahn’s thinking is pretty much the opposite. Wait until they have mastered one level, then when there is nothing left prove, promote them. Cease, Rutherford, Gonzalez, Madrigal are four that come to mind. They are elite prospoects. Challenge them. You’d be surprised what you might find.

Eagle Bones

You’d also ruin a lot of guys like they did before.

Cease and Gonzalez have already been promoted recently, I think they’re fine where they’re at for now. Rutherford was having serious issues last year and he hasn’t exactly destroyed WS (which is a hitters park), I have no problem with them taking it a little slow with him.


So you’re saying don’t challenge the elite players? It’s management’s job to find out which players can handle promotions and which can’t. What can Eloy and Kopech gain by staying in AAA right now?

Eagle Bones

There’s a happy medium between leaving guys at a level or multiple years while they’re mashing and promoting a guy every time he has a hot week or two.


You are absolutely right. But it looks like Hahn treats everyone the same. He’s gotta check these boxes. That’s lame. You’ve gotta know which guys can flat-out play, not just check off your boxes. That takes pressure off management. And if he can’t tell the difference without having them check off some “boxes”, then he shouldn’t be making decisions on evaluating talent.

Eagle Bones

They moved Eloy up from AA after only 300 PAs and started Kopech at AA last year after 50-60 innings at each of the A ball levels. Jordan Guerrero started this season at AA after two years at the level (the second of which was very good). It seems to me they are handling these guys differently.


I guess my frustration comes from the fact that one of the best hitters in the entire organization and one of the 2 or 3 best starters in the organization are still in AAA because they haven’t checked some imaginary “boxes”. Whether Hahn is under orders from above to keep them from having their service clock starting yet, or whatever reason, it is laughable that these two guys are not with the Sox. And that sentiment is shared by almost except the front office. I just can’t stand the fact that this team has become a laughingstock and they’re doing nothing to help it.


Hopefully, by this time in 2020, this will all be a distant memory and we will be actually talking about a pennant race.

Eagle Bones

I think the reason I haven’t been able to get as fired up about these non-promotions as some is that this is a mistake they could resolve at any time. I mean they could literally promote both of them today. It’s not like they made some awful trade or FA signing that’s irrevocable. This can and probably will be fixed in short order. It’s just an annoyance. I guess if you want you can tie this back to “they don’t know what they’re doing” and I wouldn’t necessarily argue with you there. I’m still assuming they’ll shift their philosophy on things like this as they move up the win curve, but who knows.


FYI- The Sox promoted Madrigal and Walker an hour ago.

Brett R. Bobysud

The big reason Gonzalez & Rutherford haven’t been promoted beyond W-S at this point is because Birmingham has a full outfield with Basabe, Booker, Call, Fisher & Polo, none of whom are ready for the jump to AAA.

lil jimmy

This is the heart of it. Like chess, there are spaces that can be occupied, but only one player at a time
Jacob May was just released. He’s been around since 2013. He is a person they nurtured for years, hoping for the best.
Everyone wants to grab “checking boxes”. Life is not so simple.
You can’t un-ring a bell.
This is baseball. No Arm Chair Quarterbacks aloud.


Even at second base?


The only strength Hahn has shown as a GM is contracts. Keeping Jimenez and Kopech down for service time issues cuts into that. Jimenez especially has earned his big league promotion. Bring him up already.