MINNEAPOLIS — Oscar Colás was surprised when he learned that he would be representing the Chicago White Sox in the All-Star Futures Game.
“I was like ‘What?’ I honestly couldn’t believe it,” Colás said through an interpreter Wednesday afternoon during a Zoom interview. “It was a good moment.”
The gardener will participate in the event, highlighting some of the best prospects in baseball, Saturday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Major League Baseball, along with MLB Pipeline, Baseball America and the 30 major league teams, selected the players.
“It means a lot,” Colás said. “It is a big step for my career. Just being (recently) promoted from (Class A) Winston-Salem to (Double-A) Birmingham, it’s a good opportunity.”
Colás has been successful in his first season with the organization.
The Red Sox and Colás reached a $2.7 million deal. announced in January during the international signing period. He was ranked as the No. 5 international prospect for 2021 and is the No. 2 prospect in the Sox organization, according to MLB.com.
The 23-year-old Cuban summed up his first months by saying that he was “surprised because all the results have been very good. He didn’t expect them to be as good as they have been because he knew this was a process. But I’m definitely happy with the results and the adjustments I’ve made, and I plan to keep moving forward and get the results and development I’m hoping for.”
Colás slashed .311/.369/.475 with seven home runs and 42 RBI in 59 games with Winston-Salem. He was promoted to Birmingham on Tuesday and went 4-for-9 with two doubles in his first two games.
His previous experience included playing in the National Series, Cuba’s top league, from 2016 to 2020; the 2017-19 Japan Western League; and the Japan Pacific League in 2019.
“The biggest adjustment for me is how I was able to get comfortable with a little bit of mechanics,” Colás said. “I used to get a leg kick when I was swinging and then at the end of spring training we made adjustments to not do that and keep my foot on the ground, just so we could reduce the strikeouts and have more contact. with the ball
“And it was a pretty easy adjustment, and the results were there right away. I was surprised because I was doing that since I was in Cuba and in Japan. I got good results, but now that I don’t do that, I see that I have better results and I can see the ball better and that’s a surprise because I never thought it would be something that I would be comfortable with.
When asked why the transition from Cuba has been smooth, he said adjusting in general “hasn’t been that easy, especially off the field. But on the pitch, the key has been to be myself. I’m the type of person who doesn’t try to be anyone else. I just try to be myself and do what I know I can do on the pitch.
“I have a lot of confidence in myself. I know what I can do. I don’t try to do more than I can do. … It’s just trusting myself and believing in the things I can do.”
[ As Chicago White Sox eye another opportunity vs. Minnesota Twins, Tony La Russa talks accountability — starting with himself ]
[ Column: It’s a big weekend between Cubs catcher Willson Contreras’ potential swan song and the underperforming White Sox ]
That has put him in position to go to Los Angeles for the Futures Game. He is eager to share as much experience as he can with his family.
“I’ll (probably) just go there and call my family in Cuba and show them all about the All-Star Game and everything related to the festivities there,” Colás said. “When I was in Cuba, I wasn’t really thinking about it. I never thought about being an All-Star and being in an All-Star Game or something like that because we didn’t have that information.
“Now that I’m going to be there and I’m going to be surrounded by some of the best players and prospects in the league, it’s something that, boy, do I want to share with my family. … Hopefully just share that moment with them. It won’t be in person, but I’ll do my best to show you what that’s like.”
Red Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez was not in the starting lineup Thursday for Game 1 of the series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field after leaving Wednesday’s road game against the Cleveland Guardians stiffly. on the right leg.
But manager Tony La Russa said: “The scan was reasonable.”
Jiménez limped after making a running catch at left-center for the last out of the sixth inning at Progressive Field. La Russa did not rule out Jiménez playing at some point this weekend.
“See how he feels in the next few days, be careful with him,” La Russa said. “And (there is a) possibility that he plays this weekend. The scan didn’t show anything drastic happening.”
Jimenez was on the disabled list from April 24 to July 6 after suffering a torn hamstring behind his right knee running to first against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. His rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte take a short break for what the team called “normal leg pain.”
“He actually felt something like that during his rehab in Charlotte,” La Russa said. “I rested a bit and came back fine. That’s what we’re counting on.”