The Chicago White Sox's front-office shakeup this week on the heels of a busy trade deadline doesn't signify a long-term organizational transition, according to manager Pedro Grifol.
"It's definitely not a rebuild," Grifol said, reflecting on the firing of executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn on Tuesday. "When you have Robert in center field, and Eloy and Vaughn and Timmy, I don't consider it a rebuild."
Still, a player who wasn't on Chicago's radar to start the season — or even in the organization — is in tow now, too, illustrating at least a short-term state of flux.
Rookie catcher Korey Lee, acquired from the Houston Astros in a deadline deal for reliever Kendall Graveman, made his White Sox debut on Thursday in the series opener against the A's, an 8-5 Oakland win.
Lee singled in the fifth inning for his first hit with the club, and he is glad to have an opportunity to show his talent over the final five weeks of the season.
"Absolutely. I'm here. I'm here to contribute. I'm here to catch. I'm here to do my job," Lee said. "Control the pitching staff, doing my job on the basepaths and also hitting a little bit. I'm grateful for this opportunity with the White Sox."
The A's are glad to face a team they have handled this season. Oakland took two of three against the visiting White Sox from June 30-July 2.
The Athletics, who have won three of their past four games overall, got a victory Thursday over the White Sox courtesy of the long ball. Shea Langeliers had two homers and four RBIs, while Zack Gelof, Brent Rooker and Tony Kemp also homered.
Langeliers boasts four home runs in the past four games. What has contributed to the power surge?
"Honestly, not trying to hit the long ball," Langeliers said. "Just keeping it simple. Just focusing on staying present in the moment, get a good pitch to hit and put my 'A' swing on it. And not try to do anything more than that."
White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease (5-6, 4.50 ERA) is set to oppose Oakland righty Zach Neal (0-0, 8.25) on Friday. Cease hopes to reverse course on a disappointing August in which he is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in four starts covering 18 2/3 innings.
Cease took a no-decision at Colorado on Sunday, allowing five runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings with two walks and six strikeouts. He is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four career starts against Oakland, including a no-decision on July 1, when he allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Neal will make his first start of the season after seven relief appearances, including five since the Athletics recalled him from Triple-A Las Vegas on Aug. 3.
He lost his lone previous appearance against Chicago, when he gave up four runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings during a start on Aug. 21, 2016.
—Field Level Media