Keynan Middleton faces White Sox for the first time since trade, culture comments

Keynan Middleton faces White Sox for the first time since trade, culture comments originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Keynan Middleton, the former White Sox, now Yankees reliever, executed his first outing against his former team and back in Guaranteed Rate Field since he was traded and made eye-popping comments about the team’s culture.

Middleton got the bump for two innings. He threw 27 pitches, 18 of which were strikes. He allowed two hits and one earned run while striking out one batter.

On Sunday night, ESPN reported details Middleton informed them about the White Sox’ clubhouse.

“We came in with no rules,” he told Jesse Rogers. “I don’t know how you police the culture if there are no rules or guidelines to follow because everyone is doing their own thing. Like, how do you say anything about it because there are no rules?

“You have rookies sleeping in the bullpen during the game. You have guys missing meetings. You have guys missing PFPs (pitcher fielding practices), and there are no consequences for any of this stuff.”

Rick Hahn dutifully responded to Middleton’s comments, denying their validity.

“Quite frankly, it’s a little bit ironic that Keynan’s the one saying this because my last conversation with him face to face was a week ago in this clubhouse where he sought me out to apologize for his unprofessional behavior – unprofessional behavior that Pedro [Grifol] had called him out on and had an individual meeting with him about, and Keenan wanted to apologize for,” Hahn said. “I told him at the time I figured that was a one-off and not something that anyone needs to get into greater detail of. And he shared that he understood there was a trade deadline coming up and that if we moved him, he would be very interested in returning to us as a free agent.

“As for the content of the report, unfortunately, I mentioned to you a few weeks ago that there’s going to probably be some palace intrigue around here, and you had to be careful about sourcing and what kind of information was out there and who was saying what and not getting both sides.

“No one in this organization for the last several weeks has run from the fact that we’ve had cultural issues and we need to improve the leadership in that room,” Hahn said. “We’re going to continue to strive to get better in that area. But one thing we’re not going to do is stand idly by while false reports are put out there about the character of the men that remain in that room.”

Middleton was traded just before the buzzer sounded on the MLB trade deadline. The Yankees sent back minor-league pitcher Juan Carela in return for the standout reliever.

Middleton signed with the White Sox last offseason, becoming one of their most valuable arms out of the bullpen.

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