HOUSTON -- Jason Coats is a career .284 hitter over 1,713 Minor League at-bats as part of the White Sox system. He posted a .335 average with seven home runs and 24 RBIs this season for Triple-A Charlotte.
That vast success has not transferred to the Majors for the 26-year-old, who is 1-for-17 with eight strikeouts during his 2016 stint with the White Sox. But Coats is confident that his skills will play at the Major League level.
"I'm struggling a little bit, kind of pressing too much," Coats said. "As of late, I felt like my past handful of games I've gotten into, I felt way more comfortable -- more quality at-bats, taking the positive out of everything. I'm feeling better and better every single day working in the cages, and just prepared to go back in there when they need me."
Coats admits to putting too much pressure on himself when first arriving with the White Sox on June 4, trying to impress the rest of the team and coaching staff and hit a home run in every at-bat. The best advice he received was to relax and just play the game to the best of his abilities.
It's a tough challenge to try to get things right while playing sporadically, especially when Coats grew accustomed to being on the field every day in the Minors.
"Coming up through the Minors, I played every single day and really didn't miss any games. Now, it's a shift," Coats said. "But it's about making adjustments up here. I have to just do what I can to help the team. I've enjoyed it so far. Every day, I'm learning a little bit more even though I'm not getting in games. But every day, I come here prepared, just staying ready for when they need me."
News from the injury front
White Sox manager Robin Ventura mentioned Saturday that left fielder Melky Cabrera probably won't be back in the starting lineup until Monday afternoon's series opener against the Yankees. Cabrera missed his fourth straight game Saturday with a sprained right wrist.
"He's good at trying to work his way into the lineup, but the doctors are pretty adamant about having five days to get over it and be out of the woods of re-aggravating it," Ventura said. "It's more than likely, but you'll see him politicking to get out of it."
Justin Morneau continues to take on-field batting practice with the White Sox at Minute Maid Park and will begin a Minor League rehab assignment, most likely with Charlotte, this coming week. Morneau, who will add a much-needed left-handed bat to the White Sox lineup sometime after the All-Star break, is working his way back from offseason surgery to repair the primary flexor in his left elbow.
"It's nice to see that he's free and easy," Ventura said. "The first couple of times that he hit, you could tell he was a little unsure about letting it go. Right now, he's letting it go where you don't see that hesitation or tentativeness, which is another reason why it's safe to let him go out next week and let it rip and see where he's at."
The White Sox acquired catcher Alfredo Gonzalez from the Astros in exchange for cash considerations and have optioned him to Double-A Birmingham. To make room for Gonzalez on the 40-man roster, righty Daniel Webb was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.