Adrian Nieto, C: The young catcher continues to impress in limited chances despite never playing above the Single-A level before this season. Nieto had three hits Sunday at Houston in his 10th start at catcher and now is batting .324. Tyler Flowers will continue to be the everyday catcher, but Nieto’s chances of staying on the roster through the season continue to improve.
Chris Sale, LHP: While still on the disabled list, Sale is getting closer to a return. In a rehab start with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday, Sale tuned up with four innings, striking out 11. Yes, that is correct, of the 12 outs he recorded all but one was by strikeout. Sale is with the White Sox in Kansas City as his next move is being determined. He is expected to throw one more time before returning early next week.
Conor Gillaspie, 3B: Since coming back from the disabled list after suffering a bruised hand, Gillaspie has hit the ground running. He is currently riding a six-game hitting streak, going 9-for-22 (.409) over that stretch with two RBIs. In the 10 games since he has returned, Gillaspie has a hit in nine of them and is batting .382 (13-for-34) in that span with a .432 on-base percentage.
Team health: Having the ace pitcher (Sale) and the leadoff man (Adam Eaton) go on the disabled list has been one thing, but now the White Sox are without offensive force Jose Abreu for at least two weeks and possibly more. There have now been 164 games missed by players who made the Opening Day roster, and that doesn’t count Gordon Beckham, who started the season on the DL and missed 22 games.
Scott Carroll, RHP: After an impressive debut when Carroll gave up one earned run in his first start and no earned runs in his second outing, things have been much different. Carroll gave up six runs over four innings in a defeat to the Chicago Cubs on May 8, then gave up six runs over five innings in a loss to the Oakland A’s last week. He will pitch in Kansas City on Monday, not far from his hometown of Liberty, Mo.
John Danks, LHP: That idea that Danks has figured out how to operate with reduced velocity is losing steam. Danks has given up eight runs in two of his last four outings, and over his last five starts he has a 1-4 record and an 8.23 ERA. After giving up one home run in five April starts, Danks has given up seven home runs over four May outings, including a season-high three Sunday at Houston.