5/23/2014 1:27 A.M. ET
Carroll sees bullpen role as opportunity
By Scott Merkin and Adam Berry / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- There's nothing but an upbeat attitude coming from Scott Carroll in regard to his move from the White Sox rotation to the bullpen.
Although Carroll has started in 112 of his 143 professional appearances, he views the continued chance to stay on the big league roster as a long reliever and spot starter as the organization's belief that he can help the team.
"It's another great opportunity," Carroll said. "It shows me that they want me up here. They think I can contribute. They still see my skills and what I can bring to the team as something that's valuable up here at the big league level. I'm going to embrace this situation and take the bullpen as a great experience."
Carroll posted a 1-3 record with a 6.49 ERA over five starts. With Chris Sale returning Thursday, the White Sox elected to keep Hector Noesi in the rotation and designate reliever Frank Francisco for assignment. Carroll believes long relief represents the most structure you can have in the bullpen, in that he'll be pitching multiple innings but not multiple days.
"We liked how he can keep the ball on the ground and perhaps in a relief situation can come in with runners on base and get a double play and perhaps add a couple innings behind us to add a little length that's needed in the bullpen right now," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. "[Noesi] is more comfortable in the starting role, and we feel we've made progress with him in the starting role in terms of getting him where we want him to be.
"Having a regular schedule for that makes it more likely we're going to get to the point where we want to with him than putting him in the pen right now and not being as consistent with his usage," Hahn said.
White Sox admire Jeter on and off the field
CHICAGO -- The unofficial meeting of the White Sox/Derek Jeter mutual admiration society came to order Thursday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, with Jeter beginning his last four games played at the home of the White Sox.
Everyone from Paul Konerko to Gordon Beckham to manager Robin Ventura to general manager Rick Hahn heaped pregame praise upon Jeter, who entered Thursday with 3,356 hits over his 20-year-career with the Yankees.
But it was Jeter, the person, leader and professional who impressed the White Sox as much as what he accomplished between the white lines.
"Obviously, numbers-wise, he's done a lot of stuff," said Beckham. "I just look at the kind of aura and the kind of guy he is. Playing against him, you can kind of tell this is a great guy that plays the game the right way. That means more to me as a guy that wants to emulate what he does, much more than any hit that he got."
"I've always had a lot of respect for him," said Ventura. "You get more when you play with him and see what he goes through on a daily basis, the pressures and also how successful he's been. It's just how he interacts with his teammates or the fans. Just his presence has been the most impressive. I have the utmost respect for what he's done. He's always been a class guy."
Ventura and Jeter played together on the same infield in parts of the 2002-03 seasons. As a high school student in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Jeter would make the 148-mile trip to Chicago and see Ventura in action.
His connection to Ventura as a manager is solely as an opponent. But Jeter believes Ventura is a good fit for the job.
"He was never too high, never too low. He doesn't seem to panic. He understands the daily grind," Jeter said. "He was a great teammate. I enjoyed getting to know him. I played against him with the Mets, the White Sox, and then got an opportunity to play with him. I think you'd ask all those guys over there, they'd tell you how much they like playing for him."
Jeter also had high praise for Konerko, who is making a final lap of the American League in his 16th season with the White Sox. The two are the longest-tenured active players with their present teams and very similar in regard to being captains and how they comport themselves. But Konerko knows Jeter plays the toughest position in the toughest city to play.
"So I don't think anybody has had a tougher road to hoe as far as all the stuff you have to deal with on and off the field, and he's done it for 20 years as good as you could possibly do it, and won and done well personally, statistically," Konerko said. "Every player knows the stuff you have to deal with and has an insight -- not to his level -- you kind of know what different guys have to deal with.
"And he's had to do deal with the most and done it the best, with the most class. It's definitely appreciated by myself and the players in the game. When a guy like that, as good as he is, and has everybody staring at him and looking at him for 20 years, you hope it falls into someone's lap like his, who handles it right and does right by it, and he's never let anybody down. It's really amazing. He might be the best ever when it comes to that."
Abreu on the mend, wearing boot on left ankle
CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu was at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday receiving treatment on his left ankle, which placed him on the disabled list Sunday with posterior tibia tendinitis. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said that Abreu remains in a boot and will do so through the weekend to immobilize the ankle, with the slugger then being evaluated next week.
"So far, he's progressing and we continue to be optimistic about him being ready about the time the 15 days are up," said Hahn of Abreu, who can come off the DL on June 2. "We want to be as forthright as we can be in explaining our thought process beyond placing a guy on the DL and when we expect to come off. Sometimes it takes a little longer for soreness to go away or for inflammation to decrease."
Hahn used Chris Sale as an example for this scenario.
When Sale was placed on the disabled list retroactive to April 18 with a flexor muscle strain his left arm, the White Sox thought it was an injury similar to one that had slowed him down during his first year as a starting pitcher. They also thought he could be ready to return when his DL time was up.
Instead, Sale made his first start since April 17 on Thursday.
"It turned out to be the same injury. We were right about that," Hahn said. "It just took a little longer to get the inflammation out. By then, we had to start the process of rebuilding his arm strength."
Hahn doesn't mind playing the bad guy in putting a player such as Abreu, Adam Eaton and Sale, players who want to be out there as much as possible, on the disabled list to protect their health and the team's future. In the case of Abreu, he doesn't expect Abreu's ankle issues to become chronic.
"Is it something we will have to monitor for the rest of the season? Sure," Hahn said. "But with any guy we are going to have to be cognizant with any issue they have.
"When Nate Jones comes back, his back. Or Chris tonight with how his arm is feeling. You are aware of it going forward through the balance of the season. To project it out as an annual concern throughout his career, there's no basis for that at this time."
Davidson seems to be turning corner at Triple-A
CHICAGO -- Matt Davidson, the White Sox third baseman of the future acquired this past offseason from Arizona for closer Addison Reed, is hitting .201 with five homers and 14 RBIs for Triple-A Charlotte. But the 23-year-old, who has battled through a deep hand bruise, has gone 12-for-34 recently, with two homers and two doubles.
"Prior to the hand bruise, which is now behind him, it was more a matter of timing for the most part," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. "It's not entirely rare where you see a guy who performs really well in the spring, he gets reassigned and then all of a sudden he gets off to a poor start at his Minor League affiliate.
"Matt wasn't quite where he was when he left camp, from a timing standpoint, offensively. We've been real pleased with the defense, but he wasn't able to carry over in the early part of the Minor League season what he was doing for us in Glendale. He then had the hand thing and now that the hand thing seems to be behind him, I think he's turning a corner."
Montas takes no-hitter into seventh inning
Right-hander Francellis Montas may have been regarded as something of an afterthought in the three-team deal that sent Jake Peavy to the Red Sox and Avisail Garcia to the White Sox last July. But Chicago also picked up three Minor Leaguers, with Montas chief among them.
Montas, the White Sox No. 16 prospect, showed Thursday night that he's more than just a footnote on that Trade Deadline deal, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning and striking out 11 batters as Class A Advanced Winston-Salem beat Boston's Salem affiliate, 6-3.
Montas gave up just one run on two hits and one walk over eight innings against his former employer's Carolina League club. The Red Sox had managed only one baserunner against Montas entering the seventh inning, which he began with a strikeout. But he served up a one-out double, Salem's first hit, followed by an RBI single that broke up the shutout bid.
Montas promptly ended the inning by inducing a double-play grounder, then he struck out his final two batters in a perfect eighth inning.
Montas struggled last season, finishing 5-11 with a 5.43 ERA. But the 21-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA in four starts this season, holding opponents to a .171 average while recording 26 strikeouts and only four walks.
Third to first
• Closer Matt Lindstrom will have surgery on Friday to repair a tear in the sheath, which protects the peroneal tendons, of his left ankle. His recovery time is approximately three months.
• The White Sox 2.43 bullpen ERA stands as the third best in Major League Baseball since April 26.
• New Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston threw out one of Thursday's ceremonial first pitches.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.