KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Blake Rutherford grew up a Yankees fan. Left-handed pitcher Ian Clarkin spent parts of the past four years within the Yanks' system.So Tuesday's seven-player trade with the Yankees sending these two prospects to the White Sox originally was a bit of a shock for both."It was
KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Blake Rutherford grew up a Yankees fan. Left-handed pitcher Ian Clarkin spent parts of the past four years within the Yanks' system.
So Tuesday's seven-player trade with the Yankees sending these two prospects to the White Sox originally was a bit of a shock for both.
"It was definitely difficult to leave the organization. I grew up a big Yankees fan, but also just because of the relationships I had with my teammates I came in with," said Rutherford during a Friday conference call. "Surprised, I'm not really sure. Overall, I'm just excited about the opportunity with the White Sox, but it is sad to leave behind the friends and relationships I had with the Yankees."
"There was a lot of emotion," Clarkin said. "You are sad to leave the guys, but at the same time, I was overpowered with excitement. I'm extremely excited to be here and I'm ready for a new opportunity."
Clarkin, 22, did not pitch in 2015 due to elbow inflammation. He acknowledged the difficulty of working through the playing absence, but added he has a chip on his shoulder, has gotten better through adversity, and he is simply focusing on his start Sunday for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.
Rutherford, 20, has been projected to have 20 home run-potential although he has only hit five over two seasons in the Minors. Like all of these players acquired in the rebuild, Rutherford understands the process remains in its earlier stages toward his extended success.
"I'm not really worried about the power numbers," Rutherford said. "I'm just worried about continuing to learn and develop my swing. I'm only 20 years old, so I can only imagine hopefully I am going to continue to get bigger and stronger and maybe some of those line drives will turn into home runs."
Big night on the farm
Thursday proved to be another top night for the White Sox rebuild.
Michael Kopech hurled eight scoreless for Double-A Birmingham, striking out eight and not issuing a walk. It marked his ninth outing this season allowing one run or fewer.
Eloy Jimenez went 3-for-5 with his first homer as part of the White Sox for Winston-Salem. He is 9-for-22 with seven RBIs since joining the Dash as the headliner of the Jose Quintana trade.
Jake Burger, the team's top pick at No. 11 overall in the 2017 Draft, finished 5-for-5 with two doubles and a triple for Class A Kannapolis. Burger is 15-for-37 with seven extra-base hits and seven RBIs for the Intimidators.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.