White Sox keep rolling with four-game sweep of Angels

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John Danks tossed a two-hit shutout this afternoon as the White Sox completed a four-game sweep of the Angels.
Since beginning the season 24-33 amid stories about how manager Ozzie Guillen and general manager Ken Williams were feuding the White Sox have won 22 of 27 games to pull within a half-game of first place in the AL Central.
Even more impressive is that they’ve won series versus three different first-place teams (Tigers, Braves, Rangers) during that 27-game stretch and just took four straight from an Angels team that was 46-38 before coming to Chicago.
If the Rangers beat the Orioles tonight the Angels will be 6.5 games out of first place in the AL West, which is certainly unfamiliar territory for Mike Scioscia and company. In fact, the Angels haven’t been this far out of first place since 2006.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.