Maddon Has Praise For Sox: 'Much More Formidable'

"It's just coming together," Joe Maddon says of the White Sox's rebuild.

Laurence Holmes Show
June 18, 2019 - 2:13 pm

(670 The Score) As the crosstown rivals prepare to meet for a two-game series at Wrigley Field that starts Tuesday, Cubs manager Joe Maddon had high praise for the White Sox as they continue in the third season of their rebuild.

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The Cubs enter the series at 39-32 and in second place in the NL Central, while the White Sox are 34-36. The White Sox have created some buzz with the breakout play of a handful of their youngsters, such as right-hander Lucas Giolito, shortstop Tim Anderson and third baseman Yoan Moncada -- three players who have caught Maddon's eye.

"You knew that was going to happen," Maddon said. "They've made a lot of great acquisitions over the last couple of years, a lot of young players, hungry young players that are starting to figure things out at a major league level. Ricky (Renteria) does a wonderful job as a manager there too, and I know he's X's and O's kind of guy. Fundamentally, I think they've gotten better too. But it's always about pitching. Giolito is really starting to figure it out. 

"More than anything, it's just coming together, when you have that many good young players. Moncada, I actually scouted him when he was a free agent. Before my first year with the Cubs, I went and saw him in St. Petersburg in a little workout situation. This kid is strong, he's got all kinds of ability. Anderson's starting to really find his way too. You can go on and on."

On Tuesday, White Sox right-hander Ivan Nova opposes Cubs left-hander Cole Hamels. Giolito will oppose Cubs left-hander Jon Lester on Wednesday, and Maddon knows the games won't be as easy for his team as they may have been in years past.

"They're good," Maddon said. "They're good.

"I'm really happy for their success. I mean that sincerely. They've become much more formidable."