Phil Rogers joined MLB.com in 2013, and has covered Major League Baseball since 1984.
|Ben Zobrist's a step ahead of Daniel Murphy on the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot. What's new?
More» Murphy delivers a solo home run in 6th|
|Shortstop Tim Anderson's energy and impact is the biggest of our five reasons you better not write off the White Sox, who start a three-game series with the Twins on Tuesday.
More» Anderson slugs a big fly to left|
|Theo Epstein said he wanted to build a "player-development machine'' when the Cubs hired him as their president of baseball operations in 2011, and he's done exactly that. So many impactful position players have arrived in the past two years that you might feel you can't keep track of them.
More»MLB Plus discusses Cubs prospects with Jim Callis|
|Late last Friday night, less than 20 hours after arriving in Chicago on a midnight flight from New York and about six hours after being shut out by Jake Arrieta and the Cubs' bullpen, Andrew McCutchen took to Twitter to express himself.
More» McCutchen collects RBI on an infield single|
|Brad Ausmus smiles when thinking back to his first impression of Michael Fulmer. "The beard stood out,'' Ausmus said. "He kind of had a big beard.'' Fulmer was the key piece acquired by the Tigers from the Mets for Yoenis Cespedes last July.
More»Fulmer extends scoreless streak to 28 1/3 innings|
|Yes, the rumors are true. The Cubs are very interested in upgrading their bullpen for the postseason run they see in their future and are as well positioned as anyone to persuade the Yankees to part with Andrew Miller or Aroldis Chapman.
More» Chapman fans Petit for the save|
|You know those reports about the Royals being so tired of Yordano Ventura's immaturity that they're going to trade him? Forget 'em. That's not going to happen, at least for the rest of this season and probably a whole lot longer.
More» Ventura strikes out ten, picks up fifth win|
|There's a lot of baseball between here and there, of course. But the Nats got out of the gate 9-1 and have looked like a postseason team every day since then, the only question being whether they'll hold off the Mets to win the National League East or grab one of the two Wild Card spots. They passed the Mets to take first place on May 29 and extended the lead Tuesday, when the Pirates swept the Mets in a doubleheader.
More» Harper smacks a two-run double to center|
|How good are the Cubs? They're good enough that they've rendered the power rankings a weekly anticlimax, just the way the Yankees did in 1998 and the Mariners did in the second half of 2001.
More»Cubs have something in common with 2001 Mariners|
|Adding James Shields in early June, when he still has time to make 20 starts and do much to take innings off a bullpen that has been overworked is the kind of calculated risk that can pay huge dividends. You never like to give up young talent -- and the White Sox have given up more than their share of it -- but the potential return here outweighs the risk.
More»Merkin on White Sox acquiring Shields for prospects|
|As tall as normal, but maybe a little thinner, Craig Sager strode to the mound to throw the ceremonial first pitch at Wrigley Field. He was dressed to the nines, as usual.
More» Sager discusses throwing first pitch|
|Poised to become the highest-drafted player from the White Sox ACE program, Corey Ray is ready for wherever the sport takes him next.
More» Corey Ray, college outfielder|
|Just consider this one of those cases where you have to hit rock bottom before you can start moving back toward the top. It might take a little while for the White Sox to get over their weekend in Kansas City, after the Royals pulled off a series of escapes worthy of a Dean Gunnarson television special. But it will happen.
More» Sale strikes out seven over seven innings|
|Young talent was a central theme of last year's All-Star Game, with a record 20 players who were 25 or younger suiting up at Great American Ball Park. There's a lot more of that in the pipeline for this summer's game at Petco Park, but the prodigies are under attack from a group of unsung candidates.
More» Martin crushes a walk-off homer in the 9th|
|With the Indians taking three of four from the White Sox -- and beating Chris Sale and Jose Quintana on consecutive days -- the AL Central is back to being almost anybody's division to take, just as it was expected to be in Spring Training. Here's a look at moves front offices could make to get an edge.
More» Kluber strikes out nine White Sox|
|In the immortal words of White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson, no problem, big guy. You can't win 'em all. Really, you can't. Not even if you're Chris Sale.
More» Ventura on Sale's rough night on the mound|
|Who you got as the best 1-2 combination of starting pitchers in baseball? There's no one answer, so go ahead and argue the point. You couldn't go wrong with the Cubs' Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester, the Giants' Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto or the Nationals' Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. Ditto the White Sox's Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. Maybe even the Indians' Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco when they're at the top of their games.
More»Sale starts the season red hot with a 9-0 record|
|No, don't do it. Don't overlook the Royals. They may have been 20-20 when they arrived at U.S. Cellular Field for a weekend series against the White Sox, but judging them by that record is like drawing conclusions about a movie in the first 30 minutes.
More» Escobar helps turn two to end inning|
|Chris Sale was piling up strikeouts at such a prodigious pace last summer that there came a point where he was clearly drawing a bead on the White Sox record.
More» Sale fans nine for third complete-game win|
|Baseball never stops being a game of adjustments, even for its high achievers. Jose Altuve won the American League batting title in 2014, but spent last season getting comfortable with a mechanical change designed to help drive the ball over the outfield more often. Chris Sale set a franchise record for strikeouts last season but went to Spring Training working to pitch deeper into games, even if it meant sometimes pitching to contact.