White Sox Ramping Up For Return To Play

By 670 The Score
(670 The Score) White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has spent the last three-plus years rebuilding the organization and the last three months wondering if this team would even take the field again in 2020.

While he's a measured lead executive of an MLB team, Hahn is also a fan at heart.

"It's just going to be good to have baseball back, man," Hahn said on a video conference Thursday. "It's going to be good to be back playing. It's going to be good to see Luis Robert running around center field. It's going to be good to see (Lucas) Giolito continue to build, where (Yoan) Moncada has grown to. 

"Fundamentally, it's just going to be good to watch some baseball. There's only so many times I can watch that Eloy (Jimenez) home run at Wrigley last year and not wind up thirsty for more. Let's go."

After three months away from ballparks during the coronavirus pandemic, MLB will return with a 60-game regular season that's set to begin July 23 or July 24. With that, the White Sox are preparing to retake the field.

The White Sox will reconvene for team activities and start on-field work on July 3, with their home ballpark of Guaranteed Rate Field serving as the site of their big league camp. The White Sox haven't yet finalized a second site for their taxi squad to conduct its work. Hahn anticipates the taxi squad will be comprised of 16 players who report July 15.

"It's going to be a three-week ramping up," manager Rick Renteria said.

Part of preparation for the regular season could include the White Sox playing exhibition games against the Cubs. That's a possibility for Chicago's two teams, Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney told 670 The Score on Thursday.

The White Sox have begun to plan how their roster and taxi squad will shape up, Hahn said, though he needs to see how certain players look once they report to training camp. The team must also evaluate the important issue of player health.

The White Sox haven't had any reported cases of the coronavirus, Hahn said. He also hasn't heard from any players or coaches unwilling to play during the pandemic.

For Hahn, there's a genuine excitement getting this White Sox team on the field in 2020 -- even during such a challenging time.

"I'm happy to put my executive hat firmly back on and be focused on White Sox baseball," Hahn said. "And the fact that coming back will provide people with some level of distraction, excitement and optimism about the future."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.