|White Sox, Orioles open series with future in mind|
BALTIMORE -- The series between the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles will provide a glimpse into the future for both franchises.
The Orioles began a full rebuild of the franchise in July when they traded several key veterans, including All-Star shortstop Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton. This has allowed the team to get a look at several younger players.
Chicago has also promoted numerous minor leaguers to provide them with an opportunity to shine at the major league level. The White Sox are confident that some of these players are ready to make an immediate impact.
"When you have depth in the organization and there's competition for roles in your position, you don't have time to let down," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "There's an edge that you have to develop in order to be able to compete."
The White Sox (57-89) snapped a seven-game skid with a 4-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals in 12 innings Wednesday night. They enjoyed a day off before heading to Baltimore.
The Orioles avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Oakland Athletics with a 5-3 victory Thursday night. Baltimore (42-104) also snapped a six-game losing streak.
"It's always this time of the year you wonder about (running out of gas), you worry about it, especially with young guys who are pitching in the time of year they've never pitched before, most of them," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "But there's a different type of toll it takes sometimes. That's also part of the evaluation of some of the young pitchers. You're looking for that guy who can do certain things this time of year."
So far, Baltimore has 14 players who made their major league debut this season, tying the franchise record set in 1955.
The Orioles keep that trend going this weekend and rookie Luis Ortiz will make his debut as a starter in the opener against Chicago. Ortiz was part of a July trade with Milwaukee for second baseman Jonathan Schoop.
Baltimore is dealing with a couple key injuries with Andrew Cashner (knee) and Alex Cobb (blister) expected to miss at least their next start. The Orioles are expected to bring up another pitcher this weekend for depth.
"I look at it as a chance to see some other people we wouldn't have, OK?" Showalter said. "I really do."
Chicago will counter with James Shields (6-16, 4.58 ERA). The right-hander needs 13 1/3 innings for his 10th career season with at least 200 innings pitched. He is 11-8 with a 3.85 ERA in 28 starts versus Baltimore, including 7-2, 3.81 in 13 outings at Camden Yards.
Shields took the loss in his last outing against the Los Angeles Angels, allowing six and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.
"I didn't really feel strong in the bullpen," he said after the game. "It was just one of those days where you don't have very good stuff. I wish I would've went deeper in the game, but unfortunately that's the way it goes sometimes."
White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada was held out of the lineup with a sore hip in the finale against the Royals, but should be available against the Orioles. Infielder Matt Davidson also has been held out of the lineup with "sore knees" and his status for the weekend is uncertain.