Around the Horn: Giolito/Donaldson spat, June HR woes, and White Sox Futures Game participants

Lucas Giolito
Lucas Giolito (Carl Skanberg)

Lucas Giolito didn’t have the best start last night against the Minnesota Twins. Josh Donaldson tee’d up on Giolito’s center-cut fastball for a two-run homer in the first inning. As Donaldson crossed home plate, he was yelling something to his dugout. 

Donaldson is no stranger to creating drama by hitting home runs at Guaranteed Rate Field. Last year, he got ejected after crossing home plate. His ejection helped the White Sox win that game and clinch a postseason berth. As far as suggesting Giolito is guilty of using illegal substances, we still don’t know for sure if the White Sox ace was, but his spin rate results are dropping since June 20. 

Eno Sarris of The Athletic is doing a terrific job tracking the impact since June 20 of MLB’s enforcement. A standard deviation is around 150 rpm for fastball spin. Giolito’s spin rate drop is between one standard deviation and two standard deviations. 

I’m not aware of Giolito having a reputation for using illegal substances before June 20. Still, if the spin rate will be the source of truth-telling us which pitchers were, Twins starter Kenta Maeda should be scrutinized. Hell, it will be difficult not to find a pitcher who is not impacted by MLB’s enforcement of illegal substances by pitchers. 

Donaldson’s verbal jab got Giolito’s attention, who had some choice words during his postgame conference. 

I’m looking forward to the next Donaldson vs. Giolito at-bat. Speaking of spin rates, Dylan Cease’s start today will be his second since the enforcement, and there was a significant fastball rpm drop in his previous start. 

White Sox June Home Run Woes

Today is the last day of June, and the Chicago White Sox as a team have only hit 19 home runs for the month. That’s the fewest in the American League, and only the Arizona Diamondbacks have hit fewer (17). The White Sox have scored seven runs in back-to-back games without hitting a home run, which is impressive in its own right, but still concerning where the power has gone. 

Especially with the monster months we are witnessing across baseball. Kyle Schwarber has hit 16 home runs this month!

Shohei Ohtani has hit 13 in June!

Vlad Guerrero Jr., Jose Altuve, and Jonathan Schoop also have double-digit home run totals in June. 

The White Sox did receive hopeful news that internal reinforcements are coming soon to help with the home run problem. Eloy Jimenez broke the news on Instagram that he feels 100% and could be playing in rehab games next week. 

Yesterday, the White Sox announced that Luis Robert is cleared for baseball activities. He ramps up over the next four weeks to follow Jimenez in rehab. 

Still, the White Sox offense needs to generate more power as it could be another month before Jimenez is back with the team. That attention needs to be directed at Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada. This offense can’t afford those two only hitting a single dinger while batting in the middle of the order. 

Jake Burger and Yoelqui Cespedes Invited to Futures Game

College World Series Final

Tonight is the last College Baseball game of the season. Mississippi State and Vanderbilt will clash in the College World Series final. Both Game 1 and Game 2 were lopsided victories, so it will be interesting to see if Game 3 follows a different path. I assume it will because we’ll get treated to a Kumar Rocker vs. Will Bednar duel on the mound. Great night to having multiple screens as Game 3 starts at 6 pm CT, and White Sox vs. Twins at 7 pm CT.

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Loved Giolito’s response and sox should take note today no bean ball crap no suspensions win they games they are playing for nothing sox are trying to punch their ticket into October

Feel good story of the year Jake Burger just mashing at AAA and now a futures game invite is awesome.

Been a great college baseball season and I am glad college baseball is growing in popularity and we get a lot more sec and acc matchups on tv then ever before but its absolutely ridiculous for the NCAA to have Omaha set the all time attendance record (pat themselves on the back about it) then cancel the hopes and dreams of the entire NC State baseball team, absurd!

Last edited 2 years ago by knoxfire30

Question for anyone who typically enters the stadium early. I’ll be at the game with my five year old tomorrow. Do we have the opportunity to view any home / away batting practice if we arrive when the gates open?

Trying to evaluate if it’s worth arriving early or if just means the boy will lost steam by the fifth/sixth inning.


I arrived when the gates opened at 5:40 yesterday and the Twins hit for another 45 minutes or so. Hopefully, there is not any rain coming for this afternoon because the Twins might hit inside if that happens.


Thanks – forecast looks perfect for tomorrow, so hopefully we will get our chance at a bp homerun ball.


Another thing to be aware of is that sometimes teams skip batting practice for a day game after a night game. Not sure what the Sox or Twins typically do though.


Donaldson seems to be the modern day AJ Pierzynski — a guy who takes pleasure in stirring the pot.

April 2018: when he was with the Blue Jays, Donaldson hit a towering home run off Sox pitching and then stared down Daryl Boston and made a whistle gesture toward him and the Sox dugout afterwards. He even apparently even changed his at-bat music to further cement his status as a troll.

Last edited 2 years ago by NancyFaustsOrgan

I remember the whistle incident. I think D-Bo and Donaldson in that case took it as friendly jab rather than the more antagonistic incidents when he moved to the Twins.


A nice write-up of Burger in Longenhagen’s prospect notes. Cespedes is also mentioned, but mostly to reaffirm his previous opinion.


Kris Bryant might make a nice little rental for us

20 appearances in right field this year, 12 in center, and 22 in left.


The Twins are trying to get back into the race by starting nonsense with the Sox. We need to ignore the noise and just keep beating them.


Nobody likes Josh Donaldson. His teammates like that he’s good at baseball.

I think this is much ado about nothing.


Marshall and Bummer to the IL. Kopech and Fry activated.