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Kade McClure Looks Sharp In Injury Return



Tommy John surgery has taken down some of the best pitchers in the White Sox organization.

Carlos Rodon and Michael Kopech were expected to be big parts of Chicago's rotation this season, but they are both out until 2020 after having reconstructive elbow surgeries.

Top prospects Dane Dunning and Jimmy Lambert are also sidelined after having Tommy John, the former in March and the latter in June.

Righthander Kade McClure is back from his own health issue, but it was his knee, not elbow.

"I'm feeling great and doing the things I did prior to having surgery, but even stronger,” McClure said. "It was a long road, but I'm glad to have that behind me now."

On the rise with high Class A Winston-Salem last season, McClure recorded a 3.02 ERA through eight starts before injuring his left knee fielding a ground ball. Surgery knocked out the 6-foot-7, 225-pound righthander for the rest of the year.

McClure came back strong this season. After opening the year at low Class A Kannapolis, he moved back to Winston-Salem in June. Overall the 2017 sixth-rounder out of Louisville logged a 2.73 ERA through 19 starts with 87 strikeouts and 23 walks in 105.2 innings.

"I’m just trying to really attack the zone and cut down on the number of walks,” McClure said. "You obviously can’t control everything, but I put the ball in the zone and trust the defense behind me.”

Since he was limited to 41.2 innings last year, McClure's workload is being closely monitored and he won't be pushed too hard over the remainder of the season.

Starting next year, he'll begin making a realistic push toward Chicago. McClure would love to play in the same town as his old Mentor (Ohio) High teammate, Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

"We talk about it all the time,” McClure said. "That’s my goal one day, whether that be next year or two years or whatever it is down the road. I would love to play for the White Sox and in Chicago while Mitch is still in town. I’d have a free place to stay, so I can’t complain about that.”

CHI-LITES

— After going 2-for-26 and striking out 14 times in nine games with the White Sox, catcher Zack Collins was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.

— Chicago claimed first baseman A.J. Reed on waivers from the Astros and added him to the 25-man roster.

Brendan-McKay

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