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White Sox cancel SoxFest for second consecutive year

The fan convention was scrapped because of COVID-19 protocols.

AP Photos

The White Sox canceled their annual fan convention for a second consecutive year Friday, citing coronavirus protocols.

“The White Sox have made the difficult decision to cancel SoxFest 2022, the team’s annual fan fest that was scheduled to be held in January at McCormick Place,” the team said in a statement.

“As we continue to try to predict and manage COVID-related protocols in indoor settings, we believe it is not possible to carry out the traditional experience and activities that have made SoxFest special, like autographs, photos and guest appearances.”

Strength coach Thomas let go

The contract of strength-and-conditioning coordinator Allen Thomas is not being renewed as the Sox “re-image” that department, general manager Rick Hahn said. Thomas finished his 18th season, one in which the Sox were riddled by injuries.

“Availability’s a big part of winning, and it’s important for us to find a way to maximize their availability,” Hahn said. “Sometimes stuff just happens. But we want to make sure we’re doing everything within our power to keep guys healthy, keep them on the field and keep them productive. Which, again, has led us to re-examining what we’re doing in that area.”

Hahn confirmed what manager Tony La Russa said earlier this week that the entire coaching staff will return.

Vaughn, Sheets possibilities in RF

With free agents such as Nick Castellanos on the market, right field is an area where an upgrade is possible, but internal options such as Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets are in play. Both are converted first basemen, with Sheets adding a needed left-handed bat to balance the lineup.

“We feel very bullish on the futures of Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets,” Hahn said. “We envision them playing significant roles on multiple White Sox clubs going forward.”

Hahn said both are also DH possibilities and provide flexibility as natural first basemen. He also said it was too soon to determine specific roles for 2022.

Roster moves

Outfielder Brian Goodwin, right-handers Evan Marshall and Jimmy Cordero and left-hander Jace Fry were outrighted to Triple-A Charlotte. The team also purchased the contract of left-hander Anderson Severino from Charlotte. The moves drop the 40-man roster to 34. Cordero, Fry, Goodwin and Marshall will become free agents.

Trainer’s room

Righty Lance Lynn (knee) is in the midst of a three- to four-week rest-and-rehab period and will be evaluated soon. Adam Engel had cleanup surgery on his left shoulder.