9/3/2014 1:52 A.M. ET
Taylor eager to make most of September promotion
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Michael Taylor was as surprised as anyone when he received the news of a September promotion from Triple-A Charlotte to the White Sox.
"It was a nice surprise, obviously. I was expecting to be on a plane flight home yesterday," said Taylor with a smile. "Obviously when our manager told us, I was excited, elated and got about the process of getting focused and figuring out what the next step was.
"You grind all offseason and play all year for a chance to play in the Major Leagues. So I'm really excited."
The right-handed Taylor, 28, moved right into the White Sox starting lineup Tuesday in left field. He was reunited with hitting coach Todd Steverson, who he worked with as part of the A's, after hitting .375 with runners in scoring position for Charlotte after being acquired by the White Sox from Oakland on June 14 in exchange for right-hander Jacob Sanchez.
"He's everything you want a guy to do," said Steverson of Taylor, who was added to the 40-man roster. "He really hasn't had that much of a chance at the big league level on a consistent basis of playing. He's older now. He kind of knows himself, knows the type of role he'll probably have to play in today's game and hopefully it'll work out for him."
"Let's see if the change of scenery and some of the things he worked on at Charlotte and talked about with Trick [Steverson] over the last few months are able to take hold and he can fulfill that potential," said Hahn of Taylor, who hit .306 with six homers and 38 RBIs for Charlotte. "A few years ago, he had tremendous upside. It just hasn't clicked for him just yet. We'd like to take a little time this month to see what's there."
Eaton ejected after striking out in sixth inning
MINNEAPOLIS -- Suppose a player was ejected from a game but nobody really knew. That's the scenario that fell upon Adam Eaton during the White Sox 6-3 victory over the Twins in 10 innings Tuesday at Target Field.
Eaton took a called third strike with one out in the top of the sixth, but was then replaced by Jordan Danks in center field to start the bottom of the sixth.
The feisty White Sox leadoff man explained the rest of the tale from his first career ejection, handed down by home-plate umpire Greg Gibson.
"I just didn't think it was a strike," said Eaton with a broad smile. "I had a little tidbit after I left. I went to take a look at it and kind of had the same feeling.
"As soon as the inning ended, I had one one-liner and maybe another line, and he had enough apparently, so he threw me out. I didn't know I got thrown out until I was grabbing my glove and HB [Harold Baines] said, 'Hey you got thrown out.' It was an experience."
Teammates joked with Eaton to get his money's worth on the ejection. Eaton passed on that opportunity.
"That's what they were saying -- you've got to get your money's worth," Eaton said. "But I would really look like a you-know-what if I run out there and I yell at him, so it's one of those things, I guess."
White Sox players take part in Strike Out Cancer Day
MINNEAPOLIS -- White Sox players took part in "Strike Out Cancer Day" across Major League Baseball on Tuesday by wearing K Cancer T-shirts with a large, backward K in colors representative of their team city. The day is an extension of the ongoing initiative 108 Stitches led by St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Jason Motte.
Tyler Flowers, the White Sox players representative and team representative for this cause, spoke of the White Sox supporting Motte's initiative but also picking St. Baldrick's Foundation as their cancer-based charity of choice. St. Baldrick's is directed at conquering childhood cancers, with pitcher John Danks having previously been involved in the cause by getting his head shaved during Spring Training as a show of support for kids going through treatment.
"It's a great cause and it's also helping each team individually, too," Flowers said. "They decided to try to get everybody on board and really promote it and they picked a specific day. I think it's a good event for a good cause."
Mitchell not called up, but still in team's plans
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jared Mitchell was not part of the seven players brought to the Majors by the White Sox prior to Tuesday's contest against the Twins, with September rosters expanding to include outfielders Michael Taylor and Jordan Danks, pitchers Chris Bassitt, Eric Surkamp and Scott Carroll, catcher Josh Phegley and infielder Marcus Semien.
That decision by the team doesn't mean that the left-handed-hitting outfielder has fallen completely out of the White Sox future plans.
"He's not ruled out for the future," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn of Mitchell. "Again, there are a lot of considerations that go into who gets September playing time. Just because a player is not brought up doesn't mean he's not part of what we have going on.
"Other players might be ahead of them in terms of let's see what they can do at the big league level. Other players have different contractual timelines that have to be figured out in terms of whether they can contribute or not before others."
The White Sox have contractual control over Mitchell through 2015, whereas Taylor would have become a Minor League free agent if not added to the 40-man roster. Mitchell was the team's top pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, but after losing the 2010 season to a tendon tear in his left ankle, has struggled in finding offensive consistency.
Consistency came for Mitchell, 25, upon a return to Double-A Birmingham after a dismal start with Triple-A Charlotte in 2014, where he took off with a more consistent approach at the plate. After hitting .299 with 10 homers and 20 RBIs over 39 games for the Barons, Mitchell continued his success in a return to Charlotte and finished the year with a .230 average for the Knights.
"He obviously responded very well to the demotion at Birmingham," said Hahn of Mitchell. "That could have gone one of two ways, especially at his age and the fact that he had already been to Charlotte for a while. But when he got sent back, he responded well to what was given to him and what he needed to do to improve. He then earned himself a promotion back to Charlotte and performed fairly well at Charlotte, too.
"Right now, the arrow on Jared Mitchell is pointing up. At the same time, we do have a crowded outfield. We had some other players we wanted to give the opportunity and see here in Chicago for the next few weeks, Michael Taylor being an example of that. We just felt that it was good for Jared to finish the season on a positive note, knowing exactly the progress he made."
Abreu takes break from lineup in cautious move
MINNEAPOLIS -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura wouldn't describe American League Most Valuable Player candidate Jose Abreu as injured. But his day off Tuesday, following a team day off Monday, was designed to make sure Abreu's general soreness doesn't turn into something worse.
"He's not injured, but every time you look at him it looks like he might get injured," said Ventura of Abreu. "He wants to play, but I think we're just making sure he doesn't do anything worse. For right now, just give him a day."
Ventura has tried to give Abreu a break without taking him out of the line up by using him at designated hitter. He hopes to have Abreu back Wednesday, although with another off-day Thursday, Abreu could benefit from four straight days of inactivity.
Entering Tuesday, Abreu had hit in 60 of 67 contests he played since June 15 and had a .500 average as part of a current 12-game hitting streak.
Third to first
• With two scheduled days off this week on Monday and Thursday, the White Sox will skip the Chris Bassitt/Scott Carroll spot in the rotation in Cleveland. Ventura didn't sound as if the team had any plans to move to a six-man rotation once this run of days off ended.
"Not as of right now. We'll still stay with five," Ventura said. "You keep [Chris] Sale every five, six days and Q [Jose Quintana] right behind him. They wouldn't throw this time through and maybe the next time one of those guys will get that one."
• Phegley will get the start behind the plate for Wednesday's contest at Target Field.
• Ventura does not intend to use Semien in the outfield, although he did work there in Charlotte.
"Once the ball is hit to you, you just try to be an athlete and make every play," said Semien, who would rely on Danks and Mitchell in center if he had any questions about playing left.