Twins 14, White Sox 2: Reynaldo López, Eloy Jiménez leave early

If you chose to tune out from this game after the first two innings, you missed Luis Robert’s first major-league home run.

It was a moonshot, so much so that it didn’t look like a lock to leave the yard as Minnesota center fielder Jake Cave tracked it to the wall. But the angle at which he launched it (37 degrees) masked how hard he hit it (111.4 mph), and it ended up plopping a few rows deep into the bleachers just left of center.

The inaugural dinger accounted for the only two runs the White Sox scored all afternoon, and really the only good news, unless you like the idea of Adam Engel collecting three hits.

The bad news wasted no time establishing itself.

Reynaldo López came out underpowered, but retiring Max Kepler and Josh Donaldson on a pair of groundouts suggested he might’ve been easing into his afternoon.

Then he failed to retire any of the last six batters he faced. He issued a walk, gave up a double to Nelson Cruz, walked Eddie Rosario, then gave up a grand slam to Jake Cave for the second immediate 4-0 hole in three games. Luis Arraez recluttered the bases with a single, and by the time López ran a full count to Marwin Gonzalez, he had thrown just 19 of his 38 pitches for strikes.

He left that full count on the mound, departing the field with what the White Sox called right shoulder tightness. It made sense, because while López has sometimes displayed that kind of ineffectiveness, it’s usually not with the kind of velocity he showed. His fastball topped out at 94.4 mph.

López’s injury seems like it’ll deal a blow to the White Sox rotation, but the bigger question is how much company he’ll have around the league. Baseball’s biggest news today is that Justin Verlander is done for the year after one start due to an elbow injury. Michael Kopech might’ve made the right call, even if his wife weren’t pregnant.

Gio González finally made his White Sox debut 16 years after the White Sox drafted him, and got his fellow Gonzalez to swing over the top of a slider for the rare one-pitch strikeout to end the first. He probably could’ve called it quits there, but he ended up taking six runs’ worth of lumps to get the game through five.

Cave’s slam hurt López, but it literally injured Eloy Jiménez, who rattled himself against the left-field wall in the process of trying to track it. He stayed in the game temporarily, but departed an inning later when lightheadedness recurred as he chased a line drive to the gap. The White Sox trailed 9-0 after two, so it’s a minor miracle that this game wasn’t even uglier than a 12-run blowout.

Other details of the game worth logging, so we don’t have to readily remember:

*Ross Detwiler threw two perfect innings in relief. Kelvin Herrera did not, allowing four runs on three hits, two of which left the yard. His time seems limited.

*Nelson Cruz had one of the homers. He had a cycle worth of total bases, with two homers, two doubles and seven RBIs.

*Engel came off the bench for Jiménez and collected half of the White Sox’s hits. Yasmani Grandal reached base three times, with two walks and his first hit with the team. Robert’s homer registers as the only other triumph from the lineup.

*Tim Anderson (0-for-5, two strikeouts) and Edwin Encarnación (0-for-4, three strikeouts) had particularly rough days. Anderson also bobbled Donaldson’s first-inning grounder, but recovered in time to get the out after a successful challenge.

*Nicky Delmonico went 0-for-3 with a groundout and two popouts to the left side. He worked another really long at-bat, but those battles are a byproduct of an inability to put hittable pitches in play. Also, he overthrew two cutoff men.

*Cheslor Cuthbert replaced Delmonico as a pinch hitter in his White Sox debut and popped out to shortstop as well.

The good news? The White Sox are done with the end of August. And if Siberian slap-fight rules still apply to this season series, then it’ll be the Twins’ turn to take an open hand across the face. And if they don’t apply, at least there are only seven games left.

Record: 1-2 | Box score | Statcast

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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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Shingos Cheeseburgers

That’s about as deflating as a non-sweep can go.

EE was the leading candidate for receiving the annual Career Cursing Sox Free Agent Signing Award and he maintains that lead after this weekend.


I’m a little hesitant to call him washed after one bad series, during which he hit a home run.

As Cirensica

Exactly..He’ll be fine.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

He’s probably not washed but for a franchise with a strong recent history of late career offensive guys cratering 1 for 12 with 6Ks and two pop outs doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Especially when you see Nelson Cruz who’s 3 years older do what he did this weekend.


If its any consolation Lopez did not have the worst start of the day. You can add Otani as another person that might be hurt by the goofy season.


Rick Porcello was slightly better, but the Mets’ bullpen as been about as good as the Sox today. Maybe this kind of thing happens when it’s 90 degrees for opening weekend.


The outfield alignment for most of this game with Delmonico and Engel both playing was a little too reminiscent of last year when they couldn’t produce major league players in too many positions. It’s a bit of a self-inflected wound – having Madrigal on the roster and being able to use Leury in one of those spots would improve the situation.


Ehren Wassermann sighting!

As Cirensica

Since I have been starving for baseball after this prolonged off-season, I somehow watched this whole game. Yes, it was a torture, but I did watch Robert’s homer. What I found more worrisome is the Gio Gonzalez was very hittable. Yet, this is just one start. I do hope Lopez recovers. He is not an exciting pitcher, but he is a heck of a lot more exciting than seeing Detwiler as our 5th starting pitcher.

Recently Tommy-John’ed Rodon is prone to injuries, and with Lopez out and Gio ineffective, all the sudden we look in a precarious situation. Another recently Tommy-John’ed pitcher, Dunning, might become available. Maybe we will see Lambert starting. And with that, all the sudden we are back to square one when we had great assets (Sale, Quintana, Abreu, Eaton, etc) but a lot of dreg. The Delmonico experiment needs to end soon. We just were happy when the Sox showed the door to Tilson and Cordell, and now we have an even worst RF. It is heartbreaking.


All good points. Depth continues to be an issue. The failure of any the second-tier OF prospects to turn into anything useful (Rutherford, Basabe, Gonzalez) is rearing its ugly head.


That was a 2.7X more fan-murdering game than in a typical season.


It was very obvious from the outset that Lopez had absolutely nothing in the tank today. I don’t know if his injury is wounded pride or not, but he didn’t belong out there. It just seems like Renteria cannot adapt on the fly. His moving Delmonico from 7th to 6th to 2nd after he continued to show nothing is maddening. I’m a little worried that he will not be able to adequately manage a contending team.

That being said, even though they lost 2 out of 3, I saw enough to be excited about this team. Robert looks like the real deal, Eloy and Moncada are studs, Giolito didn’t pitch as bad as his line showed (Leury cost him 3 runs), and Keuchel looked outstanding. I expect big things from Cease this year, and they have enough live arms in the bullpen that they should be able to have 3 or 4 reliable ones to choose from.

I know Madrigal is being kept down for service time issues, but he should be up on the earliest day that will allow them to gain a year of service. Then the awful Delmonico experiment can mercifully end. There is no reason this team should have any automatic outs in the lineup, and that automatic out should never bat 2nd. And I think Abreu needs to go to Ricky and tell him it’s okay to lower him in the lineup. With the bats that we have, there is no reason Abreu should hit 3rd. He needs to take one for the team and move himself down to 6th or 7th.


Abreu always starts slow, but this season will be over before he gets into a groove. But regardless, he should absolutely be hitting lower in the lineup.

Trooper Galactus

Madrigal showing up exactly when the team gains a year of service time is not gonna fly. Clearly Delmonico will have to suffer a conveniently timed “injury”.


Where have you gone Michael Kopech, Sox nation turns its lonely eyes to you


My over reaction from this weekend isn’t pitching related. I’m ready to move Eloy to full time DH. Enough is a enough. This guy can’t stop himself from completely self inflicted injuries. It’s not like these are flukey muscle pulls (which he is also prone to…). These are complete self inflicted injuries.

At a certain point the best course of action for his own development is DH. He can’t help the team if he’s on the bench. If he’s concussed than he can’t play tomorrow and possibly can’t play the whole series against Cleveland. That just can’t keep happening.

I’m also dangerously close to done with the Lopez SP experiment. I’d give him one more start this year. Then I’d move to Gonzalez, Lambert, or dunning.

Trooper Galactus

This assumes Lopez can even make another start this year. Something was clearly wrong with him and he was tossing a lot of changeups by the third batter, probably his worst pitch.


Engel should be ahead of Delmonico on the depth chart. They’ll probably both start while Eloy rests his head, but Nicky should be the first to hit the bench once a starting corner outfielder gets healthy.

Trooper Galactus

Nicky should have been DFA’d at the start of the season. Basabe, Rutherford, and Adolfo could hit .000 and at least provide defense and the hope of further development.


This stood out from the recap from the White Sox page:

“Meanwhile, López was gone after grimacing and bending over on the mound following the seventh pitch to Marwin Gonzalez on a 3-2 count. According to López, the shoulder pain was present from the start.

“The pain was increasing with every pitch. It was more difficult every pitch,” López said. “The pain didn’t let me fully concentrate in the game or every pitch.

“It’s very difficult to pitch when you’re feeling something like that. I tried to battle through it. When you’re there, you’re just trying to do your job and try to battle. At some point, there’s nothing else that you can do. I just wanted to get through that inning.”

If the pain was noticeable from the start, Lopez could have worsened his injury by throwing nearly 40 pitches. I am just thinking about that game a couple years back when Abreu sensed something was up physically with Lopez and had to talk Lopez into leaving the game.

I really (I mean really) hate to use the word “maturity” (or lack of) in describing baseball players, and especially this season. But two years ago was a teaching moment for Lopez, and perhaps the word should apply to Lopez in this narrow context.


But isn’t that the manager’s job to make the call that he doesn’t look ready to go. I noticed after the first batter that something was wrong. He kept throwing the same pitch, that changeup that usually sailed way outside to the lefties. And with the wind howling out to left, it is no surprise that Cave hit a routine fly that carried out of the park to left, and got Eloy injured. I know it’s only 3 games, but there were so many decisions that Ricky made that were just perplexing (and stupid). I really think he is in over his head with a competitive team. But we all know that Hahn/Jerry/Kenny will keep him there for years.