The White Sox’s rebuild compares favorably to where the cross-town Cubs were five years ago, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune writes. The White Sox already have Tim Anderson, Carlos Rodon, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, all of whom could still be with the club several years from now. (The newly signed Robert, by the way, recently reported to the White Sox’ Dominican Summer League team.) Of course, the White Sox have already traded a number of key pieces, including Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, and they aren’t likely to perform as badly as the 2012 Cubs did, meaning they won’t have access to some of the draft picks the Cubs received (including the No. 2 overall pick in 2013, which netted them Kris Bryant). And obviously, a good start to a rebuild doesn’t always lead to the sort of success the Cubs have had. But the number of premium talents the White Sox already have in place would appear to put them in good position overall. Here’s more from the Central divisions.
- Andrew McCutchen’s struggles this season could potentially leave the Pirates with a decision about whether to exercise his $14.5MM 2018 option (which comes with a $1M buyout), Travis Sawchik of FanGraphs writes. That call wouldn’t have seemed like a difficult one even after McCutchen’s lackluster 2016 season, but after a modest .232/.313/.419 start in 2017, it perhaps seems possible now. The Pirates could also consider dealing him at the deadline after keeping him over the winter. McCutchen did recently make a mechanical adjustment and is batting .394/.500/.727 over the past two weeks, and he could change his outlook entirely with more of that kind of hitting. Of course, the evidence that he can continue to hit so well after over a year of mediocre work at the plate is still a bit limited, and as Sawchik suggests, the Pirates are running out of time to figure out what to do with him.
- The Royals have announced that they’ve recalled righty Jake Junis from Triple-A Omaha and optioned fellow righty Seth Maness to Omaha. Junis will start tonight against the Astros; the Royals’ rotation has struggled lately with injuries to Danny Duffy and Nate Karns, and will now lean on Junis, who has a strong 2.34 ERA, 12.1 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 42 1/3 innings in Omaha thus far this season. (Junis has also already made three appearances in the big leagues, striking out six but walking seven over 6 2/3 innings.) Maness briefly pitched for Omaha earlier this season while he was returning from injury, but this will be the first time he’s been optioned to Triple-A since the Cardinals first selected his contract in 2013. He’s allowed five runs, four earned, while striking out four and walking two in 9 2/3 innings with the Royals this season.