White Sox try to stay in the moment against Indians (Jul 29, 2017)
CHICAGO -- As the Chicago White Sox roster gets younger seemingly by the day, manager Rick Renteria is getting the most out of his veterans as long as possible.
With next week's trade deadline looming, interest continues to remain high for possible trade pieces like outfielder Melky Cabrera and even pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, who will start Saturday against the Cleveland Indians.
But in what has already been a season of change, Renteria has attempted to prepare his young team for even more roster revisions. With so much youth around the clubhouse, though, Renteria has leaned on experienced players to maintain as much order as they can.
"I think you're just looking at the big picture," Renteria said Friday before his team dropped its 16th loss in 18 games with a 9-3 loss to the Indians. "It's all about what the whole organization believes (veterans) can continue to contribute.
"I think that as we continue to move forward and with the players that we have within the system, it's almost like a natural progression that something occurs or there's a trade or a deal. We just have to deal with it and continue to move our younger guys into those slots."
While the constant movement has become a way of life for the White Sox, opposing teams -- especially those within the American League Central -- must adjust to a roster that looks much different than it did earlier this season.
The Indians enter Saturday having won eight straight games.
For managers like the Indians' Terry Francona, that means trying to scout players he doesn't have much information to go on with. That includes White Sox rookie second baseman Yoan Moncada, whom Renteria batted in the cleanup spot in Friday's series opener.
While Moncada is widely considered baseball's top prospect, his recent call-up leaves Francona with little to go on when it comes to putting together an accurate scouting report.
"He probably hasn't hit his stride yet, but he's a pretty good talent," Francona said.
With all of Chicago's new faces, Francona prepares the best he can, but said there comes a point when all of the advance work reaches a limit.
"(The White Sox are) clearly building for the future," Francona said. "But once the game starts, it's 'go play.'"
Corey Kluber (8-3) will start Saturday for the Indians looking for his second straight victory after back-to-back no-decisions. Kluber allowed one run and five hits and struck out a season-high 14 on July 23 against the Toronto Blue Jays.
As Kluber appears back to his Cy Young form from a year ago after dealing with a stiff neck, Gonzalez (5-9) may be turning a corner. He ended the White Sox's nine-game losing streak earlier this week by beating the Chicago Cubs after only recently coming off the disabled list with AC joint inflammation in his shoulder.
Renteria sees more confidence in a healthy Gonzalez. But considering plenty of teams are looking for reliable pitching, Gonzalez's time with the White Sox could also be limited. So for now, Renteria will take everything he can get.
"I think when you're feeling good about yourself, physically speaking, I think your confidence level rises," Renteria said. "He's got a skill set -- he's been around the game quite awhile and he's pitched effectively over his career and very well at times.
"I think it's kind of a combination of things that are allowing him to be who he is."