Nick Madrigal Remains In The Picture
After a subpar showing in spring training, second baseman Nick Madrigal used the coronavirus shutdown to work on his game and try to get his confidence back.
“I had a lot of time to kind of evaluate how I was playing in spring training, just kind of slow things down,” Madrigal said. “In spring training, I feel like I was not pressing, but I didn't feel like as comfortable as I am now.”
Arriving at White Sox summer camp at Guaranteed Rate Field in early July, Madrigal was up and definitely in the running to win the starting job at second base.
"We know that he has a skill set to play the game, the major league baseball game,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “Our hope this year, before everything that was going on, was to be able to continue to get him seasoned a little bit more, get down there (Triple-A Charlotte), have some more at-bats, go through the whole process. But I think he's felt more and more comfortable.”
At the outset of 2020, the White Sox felt more comfortable with veteran switch-hitter Leury Garcia playing second.
That's why they reassigned Madrigal—the No. 4 overall pick in 2018 out of Oregon State—to their taxi squad that is training in nearby Schaumburg, Ill., home of an independent Frontier League franchise.
“I know the overall numbers for the Cactus League going back to Glendale (Ariz.) and the three (exhibition) games here aren't extremely impressive for Nicky,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “But he certainly much more looked the part over the last three weeks. To his credit, he came in ready to compete and we still think the world of him and believe he's going to help us at some point over the summer.”
Rookie center fielder Luis Robert was Madrigal's teammate last year at Charlotte, Double-A Birmingham and high Class A Winston-Salem. He's a big fan of the 5-foot-7 hitter who struck out just 16 times in 532 at-bats while playing stellar defense.
“He’s a player with good speed, good defense and great, great contact,” Robert said. “Those tools are going to make him a big leaguer.”
— Righthander Carson Fulmer was designated for assignment after his command issues continued in summer camp. Fulmer, who was the No. 8 overall pick out of Vanderbilt in the 2015 draft, was claimed on waivers by the Tigers.
— Two rookie righthanders, Jimmy Lambert and Codi Heuer, made Chicago's Opening Day 30-man roster. Lambert was a promising prospect at Double-Birmingham last year before having Tommy John surgery in late June.