Hostetler confident Sox can land first-tier guys

Hostetler confident Sox can land first-tier guys

CHICAGO -- Nick Hostetler has no clear-cut vision in regard to the early stages of his first MLB Draft as the White Sox director of amateur scouting, with the South Siders picking at No. 10, 26 and 49 today.

"As many lies and as many stories that are being told right now -- I just left the room, and I'm going to say there are 31 guys we counted that are going to go before we pick at 10, according to the advisors and the agents," Hostetler said prior to Wednesday's game. "Once tomorrow morning starts to hit, the truth kind of comes out, and we'll start having a better idea then."

The White Sox are looking for the best player available but are also looking for more baseball-directed talent as opposed to raw athletic ability. Outfielder Corey Ray and catcher Zack Collins are a couple of names attached to the team's pick at No. 10.

Draft Preview: White Sox

"We're hoping that out of our first-tier guys on our board, that we get two out of those, if not three, for 49, as well," Hostetler said.

White Sox play a special baseball game
Nate Jones and Tyler Saladino took part in a special baseball game Wednesday morning at U.S. Cellular Field with visually impaired teens from Vision Resource Program at Curie High School. The students participated in a sensory-focused tour of U.S. Cellular Field before running the bases and playing beeper ball.

Jones had one word to describe the kids on the field.

"Impressed," Jones said. "I was glad to be a part of that. These kids are vision impaired or blind and they are out there playing baseball. They are doing the same things that me and you are doing. It was awesome to see. Just the smile on their faces was great."

Jones also was impressed with the talent shown by these kids playing beeper ball.

"I had no expectations at all, and once they started hitting the ball, I'm like, 'This is pretty legit,'" a smiling Jones said. "This is awesome and I didn't know anything about beeper ball. It was just great, an all-around great day."

Putnam cleared to pitch
Zach Putnam was available for Wednesday night's game against the Nationals, after the right-handed reliever had not pitched since striking out Rene Rivera with the bases loaded as the only batter he faced on June 1 in New York.

Putnam escapes bases-loaded jam

White Sox manager Robin Ventura mentioned postgame Tuesday that Putnam had felt right elbow discomfort.

"He's good now. [White Sox head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] cleared him," Ventura said. "He'd been sore and you've got to stay away from him. Right now, they say he's fine to go. So he's available today, and if we need to use him, we can use him."

With James Shields lasting only two-plus innings in his White Sox debut, Putnam came on in relief and worked a scoreless frame, extending his scoreless-innings streak to 9 2/3.

Putnam told media members Wednesday that he felt fine, a sentiment he expressed in Detroit, and to talk to the trainer or manager about the situation. Ventura said the soreness came up in Detroit and an MRI was done on Putnam's elbow.

"At that point, you give him some time to see if anything was in there at first. Herm did everything and he's cleared to go," Ventura said. "When he's not available, that part can be frustrating. But at this point, he's been cleared to pitch and he's available. That's the way I look at it."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.