SCOUT­ING CUTS ON WAY FOR SOX

Chicago Sun-Times - - SOX NOTEBOOK - Daryl Van Schouwen

The White Sox are mak­ing cuts in their base­ball-op­er­a­tions de­part­ment, a source said Fri­day, con­firm­ing a re­port that a num­ber of top scouts won’t have their con­tracts re­newed when they ex­pire in Oc­to­ber.

The re­duc­tion in scout­ing man­power has been a trend across base­ball as teams rely more on data and video, but the coro­n­avirus pan­demic also is thought to be a fac­tor in the cut­backs. An ab­bre­vi­ated 60-game sea­son will open next week with no pay­ing cus­tomers in the stands. The mi­nor-league sea­son also has been can­celed.

A source said spe­cial as­sis­tant to the gen­eral man­ager Dave Yoakum, MLB ad­vance scout Bryan Lit­tle and pro scout Alan Regier are among those who won’t be re­tained. Yoakum, spe­cial as­sis­tant Bill Scher­rer and spe­cial as­sis­tant Nick Hostetler have been han­dling ma­jor-league scout­ing for the Sox, but the task might be cov­ered by a two-man team upon Yoakum’s de­par­ture.

Yoakum, 73, has been a mem­ber of the Pro­fes­sional Base­ball Scouts Hall of Fame since 2010. He is in his 29th sea­son with the Sox.

Sox chair­man Jerry Reins­dorf re­cently told USA To­day he was fac­ing fi­nan­cial losses ‘‘in the nine fig­ures’’ be­cause of re­duced rev­enues.

RO­TA­TION TBA

Al­though right-han­der Lu­cas Gi­olito is ex­pected to start the sea­son opener Fri­day against the Twins and left-han­der Dal­las Keuchel is ex­pected to go Satur­day, man­ager Rick Ren­te­ria wasn’t ready to make it of­fi­cial, let alone piece to­gether the rest of the ro­ta­tion.

Right-han­ders Dy­lan Cease and Rey­naldo Lopez and left-han­ders Car­los Rodon and Gio Gon­za­lez are in the mix, as well, and Ren­te­ria said he wants to keep them all in a com­pet­i­tive mind­set lead­ing up to the opener.

The Sox could use all six starters, per­haps in some pig­gy­back fash­ion, or one of the six could pitch in re­lief.

‘‘The depth is im­por­tant for us,’’ Ren­te­ria said. ‘‘[If] you have a mis­step by any one of your starters, you have guys in your pen who can pick them up and do mul­ti­ple things.’’

‘‘The more, the mer­rier,’’ Gon­za­lez said.

MON­CADA SUR­PRISES

Third base­man Yoan Mon­cada looked good do­ing leg work with con­di­tion­ing co­or­di­na­tor Allen Thomas and tak­ing ground balls with coach Nick Capra as he tries to get ready for the sea­son opener.

Mon­cada, who also tracked live pitches from Keuchel, had tested pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus but re­turned to the team Thurs­day af­ter two neg­a­tive tests.

‘‘I was ac­tu­ally pleas­antly sur­prised,’’ Ren­te­ria said. ‘‘His legs looked bet­ter than I thought they were go­ing to look — in his move­ments, in his ac­tions, in his ex­plo­sive­ness.

‘‘The big­gest thing for me is to make sure I don’t put him in a po­si­tion . . . that might ham­per him. All the in­di­ca­tions so far, knock on wood, he looks good. We’re do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to ex­pe­dite it with­out putting him in harm’s way.’’

BRING ON THE CUBS

Gi­olito will pitch in the in­trasquad game Satur­day, his last out­ing be­fore the opener.

The Sox will play ex­hi­bi­tion games Sun­day against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Mon­day against the Cubs at Guar­an­teed Rate Field and Wed­nes­day against the Brew­ers at Guar­an­teed Rate Field. All will be broad­cast on NBC Sports Chicago, and the game Sun­day will be broad­cast on ESPN out­side the Chicago area. ✶

MARK BLACK/AP

Left-han­der Gio Gon­za­lez likes the depth of the Sox’ ro­ta­tion. ‘‘The more, the mer­rier,’’ he said.

GETTY IM­AGES

Yoan Mon­cada

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