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The good news is the White Sox would’ve had no pressing need for Konnor Pilkington. The bad news is that Cleveland is making good use of him.
The Sox sent their third-round pick from the 2018 draft to the Guardians for César Hernández at last year’s deadline. While Hernández flamed out, Pilkington is turning in early positive results, including his first MLB victory with eight strikeouts over five shutout innings against Kansas City on Wednesday.
Pilkington’s stock was dependent on his velocity, which sagged into the high-80s during his time at Mississippi State. The White Sox nursed him back to acceptable over his time in the organization, but he seems to have taken the next step. His four-seamer averaged 93.3 mph, which is why he could throw it two-thirds of the time (60 of 91 pitches). The question is whether a foundering Royals team made him look better than he is, but given the price paid, Cleveland will happily take production in whatever form.
- Romy Gonzalez struck out in both at-bats before departing. We’ll see if it’s a recurrence of his leg injury, or whether it was the 10-0 score being an opportunity to take it easy on him.
- Eloy Jiménez went 1-for-4 as DH.
- Yolbert Sánchez, 2-for-4 with a double.
- Carlos Pérez was 0-for-3 with an HBP.
- Adam Haseley cooled off: 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Kade McClure in relief: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
- José Rodríguez went 2-for-6 with a double, stolen base and two strikeouts.
- Lenyn Sosa was 3-for-6 with two doubles and a strikeout.
- Yoelqui Céspedes, 3-for-5 with a homer, two doubles and an HBP. A CS was the only blemish.
- Jason Bilous starting in the second inning: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR.
*Céspedes’ big night:
- Oscar Colás returned to the lineup, tripling and tripling up on strikeouts.
- Bryan Ramos was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
- Luis Mieses, 0-for-3.
- Adam Hackenberg went 0-for-1 with two walks.
- Matthew Thompson: 5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP
- Wes Kath was 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.
- Colson Montgomery raised his average to .300 with a 3-for-3 night, with a double, two singles and a sac fly.
- DJ Gladney went 1-for-4 with a homer and two strikeouts.
- Wilfred Veras, 0-for-4 with a K.
- James Beard had his first big game in a while, going 3-for-4 with a homer.
*Montgomery’s big night: