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Depleted, struggling White Sox trudge onward

James Shields. (AP)

Meanwhile, a White Sox team shredded even thinner by the recent trades of Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Todd Frazier trudges on with less.

Amid the buzz of Yoan Moncada’s Sox debut Wednesday at Guaranteed Rate Field was the realization in the clubhouse that things could get worse for a team owning the third-worst record in baseball.

So it goes playing for a rebuilding organization.

“We lost two of the best relievers in baseball,’’ right-hander Anthony Swarzak said. “It’s unfortunate for our team. But on the other side, the organization just got deeper. You have to know that it really was a good thing — there is no other way to say it. Everybody in the room from Day 1 of spring training knew this day was going to come. Now it’s here, and you just have to deal with it.”

Swarzak, who has a 2.45 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 11 walks in 44 innings, knows he could be the next to go.

“I haven’t heard anything, and I don’t know if I will,’’ Swarzak said. “If it happens, it’s going to happen, but if it doesn’t, that’s OK because I like where I’m at.’’

Adapting II

Right-hander James Shields, 35, said he always enjoyed the role of mentor to young players, and with more prospects likely coming up in the coming weeks, Shields likes where he’s at in that role.

Shields has been on successful rebuilding teams — the Rays and Royals — and he also likes where the Sox are at.

“I’ll tell you what, there are some promising young players,’’ Shields said. “Stacked in pitching. And their position players are starting to get stacked up a little bit in the minor leagues, so the excitement has to be at an all-time high.

“The fans should be excited. You obviously want to win now, but do you want to win for one year or 10?’’

Clippard to close

Tyler Clippard, the major-leaguer who came with three prospects in the Yankees trade, was part of the deal largely as a salary shred for the Yanks, who are taking on all of Robertson’s and Frazier’s salaries, including Robertson’s $13 million next year.

A two-time All-Star reliever with the Nationals, Clippard (4.95 ERA) has struggled this season. He will be the ninth-inning guy in Robertson’s place, manager Rick Renteria said.

Stunned by the deal, Clippard was said to be unhappy after he was informed by Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

“It’s tough to leave those guys, but it’s the nature of the business,’’ Clippard said. “I’ve had some time to kind of take it all in and am getting acclimated with some of the guys. I’m liking the energy and liking the guys. It’s time to go to work.’’

Clippard, 32, is making $6.15 million in the last year of his contract. He could have taken two or three days to report to the Sox, but “I’m never a guy who wants to miss a game,’’ he said.

Up next

The Sox are off Thursday before going to Kansas City to play the Royals this weekend. Shields, Mike Pelfrey and Derek Holland, in order, will start for the Sox.

Quintana won’t pitch against the Sox when the Cubs play their crosstown rivals four times next week.

Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

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