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Jimmy Rollins on time with White Sox: “A lot of the guys that were outspoken are no longer there.”

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Giants shortstop Jimmy Rollins spoke about his brief stint with the White Sox in 2016. As Craig recapped back in December, the White Sox had two of baseball’s biggest stories of the year and for the wrong reasons. Adam LaRoche abruptly retired when team president Ken Williams said he couldn’t bring his son Drake into the clubhouse. And Chris Sale shredded up his jersey in protest because he felt the throwback jerseys were uncomfortable and would have forced him to alter his mechanics. The White Sox traded Sale to the Red Sox in December.

Rollins had signed with the White Sox on February 22 last year but the veteran had a forgettable stint, hitting .221/.295/.329 with 11 extra-base hits and eight RBI in 166 plate appearances before being released on June 15.

Rollins is now with the Giants on a minor league deal. Unsurprisingly, Rollins was asked about his time with the White Sox and Courtney Cronin of Mercury News has video:

It was a clubhouse in disarray after that point. Although we did great. It’s always a little players versus the front office but I think just because of the way it was handled — a lot of the guys that were outspoken are no longer there. They’re in better places if you ask me, but they’re no longer there.

[…]

Maybe my third day there and the funny part was, when Adam came in, I had just went to the bathroom so I didn’t hear anything. And I came out and like, “He’s retiring.” I’m like, “Why is everybody so sad?” You celebrate a guy retiring. He had a great career and he made his decision. Then I found out why and then… chaos. Don’t have to worry about that here [with the Giants].

Rollins has never been one to mince his words as he was at times critical of the team during his 15-year stint with the Phillies. And Rollins’ criticism of the White Sox isn’t anything we haven’t already heard.

Yankees sign top two draft picks

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The Yankees signed first-round draft pick Clarke Schmidt and second-round pick Matt Sauer on Saturday, per a team announcement. Schmidt, a right-hander from the University of South Carolina, is set to earn a signing bonus of $2,184,300. According to MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin, that’s much lower than the typical $3+ million allocated for a No. 16 overall pick. The opposite is true for Sauer, whose projected $2.5 million signing bonus tops the suggested $1.2 million reserved for a No. 54 pick.

Schmidt, 21, boasts an impressive four-pitch repertoire and profiles as a front-end or mid-rotation starter, according to reports from Yankees’ VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer and ESPN’s Keith Law, among others. He carried a 4-2 record through nine starts in 2017 and turned in a 1.34 ERA before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery last month to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. While the Yankees won’t see him pitch at any level until late 2018, they seem confident in his makeup and ability to rebound over the next couple of years.

Fellow right-hander and Righetti High School senior Matt Sauer is a different story altogether. The 18-year-old hurler appears destined for the bullpen with a polished fastball-slider combo and a promising curveball and changeup. He dazzled on the mound this year, going 9-1 with an 0.98 ERA and two shutouts over 78 1/3 innings. While the Yankees seem most interested in his pitching skills, Sauer showed some pop at the plate as well, touting a .427 average with 24 RBI through 135 plate appearances.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.