From Joe Jackson to Frank Thomas, A Look at the Chicago White Sox, Both Past and Present
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It’s been a tough offseason. The White Sox seem to have gotten worse with Mark Buehrle leaving for the Marlins. Carlos Quentin was traded as was Jason Frasor and Serio Santos. It looks like the other teams were going to keep quiet then the Tigers ran into problems when it was announced that Victor Martinez was going to be on the shelf. Then they responded and then some by signing Prince Fielder to a nine year deal.
That most likely makes the Tigers the favorites to win the division not just this year but next year. The Indians also seem to be getting better and it looks like the White Sox are doing more then just regrouping.
Kevin Goldstein released his list of the top eleven White Sox prospects and while he doesn’t give anyone a five star, there’s still some talent. Topping the list and the lone four star prospect is Addison Reed. Reed has been pegged as the closer of the future and he’ll get that chance in 2012. I’m not high on the White Sox in 2012 so his chances might be limited but Reed looks like a keeper. He was even sharp at times in his short time with the White Sox last year.
Right handed starter Nestor Molina is number two. He spent most of his time at High-A and he’ll most likely throw most of his innings at Birmingham in 2012. Goldstein says he’s not a front line starter but he could be solid number three guy in a decent rotation.
Number three is Trayce Thompson and he’s also a couple of years away. Thompson is a masher and it’ll be interesting to see how he develops. He’s also good for a walks so you could see the second coming of Adam Dunn. Jake Petricka and Simon Castro round out the top five.
1) Addison Reed RHP
2) Nestor Molina RHP
3) Simon Castro RHP
4) Trayce Thompson OF
5) Jake Petricka RHP
6) Keenyn Walker OF
7) Jhan Marinez RHP
8) Tyler Saladino ss
9) Juan Silverio 3b
10) Ozzie Martinez ss
John Sickels produced his Top Twenty White Sox prospect list and it’s sad to say that the system is pretty thin right now. Their top guy was given a B+ and you get into the C+’s pretty quickly. Topping the list is Nestor Molina who came over from the Blue Jays. The big question here is whether he’s headed to the pen or if he might stick in the rotation.
Number two is Addison Reed, another right handed pitcher. Sickels call him the top closer prospect in baseball. This hard thrower is the White Sox closer of the future and he should be fun to watch. Round out the top five are Tyler Saladino (SS), Trayce Thompson (OF) and Hector Santiago (LHP). Santiago is the most major league ready (he’s already made his debut).
The White Sox gave John Danks the biggest contract they’ve ever given to a pitcher with a five year, $65 million extension. He’s still only 26 and he’s put together some nice seasons for the White Sox. Last year’s disastrous first couple of months (he started 0-8) really tested his mettle and he bounced back nicely after that. Also, with Mark Buehrle moving on, Danks was the next most logical choice to build the White Sox rotation around.
It’s funny how things work out. Way back in 2006, I was really high on Brandon McCarthy and then they traded him to the Rangers for Danks (and Nick Masset). At the time I was bummed but that deal has worked out nicely because Danks has had some quality season where as McCarthy had pretty much flamed out until a resurgence this year.
It’s official. After 12 seasons, 2,476 2/3 innings and 161, Mark Buehrle is no longer a White Sox. With eleven seasons over 200 innings, Buehrle has been a work horse for the team and he’s usually done with above average pitching. He doesn’t have much of a chance to win a Cy Young (he’s only gotten votes once and he finished in fifth place), he’s a work horse that many teams would love to have. In all of his seasons, he’s only had an ERA+ of under 100 once and that was his subpar 2006 season (the only season he’s had more losses then wins).
And now he’s a Marlin. I’m glad he signed with the an NL team and not a team like the Tigers where we’d see him more often because it’ll pain me see him another uniform. It’s hard to believe he’s only 32 because he seems like he’s been around forever.
With the current compensation rules around for one more year, the White Sox are trying to pick up a draft pick as they offered Mark Buehrle arbitration. Buehrle is a Type B free agent so the White Sox will get a sandwich pick out of the deal if he goes somewhere else. A pretty good move and it was expected.
Juan Pierre on the other hand wasn’t offered arbitration. He was also a Type B guy but the White Sox probably didn’t want to take the chance of his accepting.
Losing Buehrle is going to be a blow though. He’s not flashy, but he’s been one of the more consistent left handers in the game for the past ten years. He’s also a horse and it’s hard to find someone who throws 200 innings year in and year out. He’s also one of the last cogs from the 2005 team.
When do White Sox tickets go on sale? There’s some solid teams on the schedule and I want to make sure I get mine.
The White Sox made some adjustments to their 40 man roster as the deadline to set it for the Rule 5 draft came and went. Deunte Heath and Charlie Leesman were both added to the 40 man and that means no player can pick them up during the Winter Meetings in the Rule 5 draft.
It was an interesting choice because Jordan Danks and Terry Doyle were both left unprotected. Danks played a second consecutive season at Triple A and with all of the outfielders the White Sox have, he must have been deemed expendable. Doyle didn’t have a great season down in the minors but he shined in the Arizona Fall League. Still, both Heath and Leesman could make the 2012 team so it’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out, namely will a team scoop up Danks or Doyle next month.
The White Sox are watching the playoffs for another year and while this one was kind of disappointing because we were in the mix in August, the team didn’t get the job done. Paul Konerko was head and shoulders the best hitter on the field for the White Sox with another fantastic season. His 31 home runs were seven more then the next closest White Sox and 16 more then the second closest. Despite sporting a .388 OBP, Konerko managed to cross the plate just 69 times and 31 of those were because of home runs he hit. That number tells it all and it’s no surprise that the White Sox were near the bottom in runs scored this season.
After that, there’s quite a drop off with a mediocre Carlos Quentin as the second best hitter. He belted 24 home runs and he drove in 77. He was also the only other regular with an OP over .800.
And then you have Adam Dunn and Alex Rios. Rios’ numbers look awful with a .613 OPS but they actually look solid compared to Dunn’s horrific season. Dunn hit just 11 home runs and he had more strikeouts (177) then he had batting average (.159). And this was a guy who got paid $12 million. And his attempts against left handed pitching were just laughable. He went just six for 94 against lefties in 2011.
Ozzie Guillen is also gone so now we’ll get to see how Robin Ventura does. It’s interesting that they went outside of the box on that one but Guillen had worn out his welcome.
The White Sox may have fallen out of the race but Jake Peavy got it done and he could be a bright spot in the rotation next year. He improved to 7-7 and he gave up four hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 shutout innings. Sergio Santos struck out two in the ninth and he picked up his 29th save of the season.
Alex Rios hit his ninth home run of the season, a solo shot in the fourth inning. Adam Dunn didn’t get a hit but he walked three times and scored a run. Alejandro De Aza went two for three with a run and an RBI.
The win kept the White Sox at 71-69 on the season. It’s almost kind of sad what the Twins have become. They’re the worst team in the American League but this is a team that’s been decimated by injuries. Still, they’re a team you like to see on the schedule when your team starts to struggle.
Man, for a while it looked like the White Sox were checking out. They didn’t do much at the trade deadline and then they dropped six games at the end of July and into the beginning of August. Since then, they’re won seven of their last nine and they’re a game under .500 and five games back of the Tigers. It’s still going to be a tough road, but the White Sox don’t look as out of it as they did just a couple of weeks ago.
Yesterday they evened up their series with the Royals with a 5-4 win. Jake Peavy had a mediocre start but the offense got just enough for the White Sox to walk away with a win. Paul Konerko hit a two run home run and the go ahead run came on a bases loaded walk to Alejandro De Aza. Juan Pierre had a nice game and he went three for four with a stolen base and two runs. Tyler Flowers hit a solo home run to pitch in as well.
Peavy struck out six and gave up four runs in 6 2/3 innings. Jesse Crain pitched 1 1/3 shutout innings and he picked up win number seven. Chris Sale pitched a shutout ninth and he picked up his fourth save.
The rubber game is this afternoon. Danks gets the ball for the White Sox and Jeff Francis throws for the Royals.
For the first time since mid-April, the White Sox were a .500 team. That didn’t last long because they fell to the Boston Red Sox yesterday in an 10-2 beatdown. The good news is, the Tigers lost but the both of those teams made some additions at the trade deadline. The more immediate problem for the Sox is their schedule. They finish up against Boston today then they play four against the Yankees before heading out on a week long road trip.
Phil Humber was the started who got roughed up and he fell to 8-7 on the season. He gave up four runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Brian Bruney was pummelled for six runs in less then two frames in his relief appearance.
Paul Konerko and Gordan Beckham hit solo home runs and that was it for the White Sox. They only mustered five hits against Jon Lester and the only reason they got on the board was because two of those went over the fence.
The rubber game is this afternoon. Mark Buerhle throws for the White Sox and Andrew Miller goes for the Red Sox.
Four pitchers combined to shutout out the Nationals today as the White Sox do their best to creep up in the standings. John Danks left the game early with an injury and Jake Peavy got the bulk of the action with four shutout innings with seven strikeouts. In all, the four White Sox hurlers struck out 13 Nationals.
Ramon Castro went two for three with a pair of RBIs. Alex Rios and Brent Morel both had three hits in the 3-0 win.
The win puts the White Sox at 37-40. The first step is getting to .500 but the Sox are only four games out (five in the loss column). Their big problem is that 6-11 record in the division. Flip that and the White Sox would be in first place. I still think this team is poised to make a run in the second half so my guess is that White Sox tickets are going to be hard to come by in the second half of the season.
The White Sox still sit in fourth place in the American League Central but if second place is an immediate goal, they’re almost there. They’ve won two straight and seven of their last ten and they now sit at 22-26. Not impressive, but they’re only two game back of the second place Tigers. They still have a long way (nine games) to catch the Indians but at least they’re moving in the right direction. It’s also nice that they’re putting some distance between themselves and the Twins.
Hitting is still a problem and the White Sox have just a .389 slugging percentage as a team. Paul Konerko is earning that contract extension he got but it kind of goes downhill after that. Carlos Quentin has the power numbers but he’s hitting right around .250 so he needs to turn it up. Alexi Ramirez has been pretty good and it’s nice seeing his OPS above .800. Alex Rios and Adam Dunn need to turn it up though.
On the pitching side, all five starters have been decent but nobody has quite gone lights out yet. I like Phil Humber’s numbers but you wonder how long that’s going to last with that strikeout rate. Edwin Jackson is getting the punch outs, but he’s giving up way too many hits.
The White Sox take on a rejuvinated Rangers team because they’re getting some big names back in their lineup. John Danks goes for his first win of the season and he faces Alexi Ogando, who hasn’t lost a game yet.
The Chi Sox finished 1-7 this week. Tigers Pitcher had the Sox hitless through 7 innings, when a controversial hit wasn’t ruled an error. Brandon Inge grabbed a hard hit grounder and botched the throw to Cabrera at 1st. Inge told the press it should have been an error. The Tigers pitching went deep in all 3 games against the Chi Sox, shutting them out in the last two games of the series. Adam Dunn continues to struggle with the adjustment to the DH position. It’s not time to hit the panic button on Chicago’s south side yet, although many are thinking it’s time to move the hand closer to that button.
The White Sox went 2-5 this week ending with the Angels sweeping them. Injured starter, Jake Peavy, is due back quite soon. “[I am] just waiting for the days to come up and see what happens,” said Guillen. “Right now, I want Jake back. But I don’t count on him right away because that’s too much to ask.” Guillen says it’s too early to be upset or worried about the “up-side down” Central standings. “Kansas City is playing pretty good ball. Cleveland is playing very well,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. “I said [the Indians are tough] when we left Cleveland, and people laughed at me.”
The Sox are off to a quick start, as well as the Royals, with a 6-3 start. In a 4 game set against the Rays, the Sox went 3-1 with the loss coming on Friday. It was released Friday that slugger, Manny Ramirez, would be suspended for 100 games for testing positive for a second time for banned substances. In the first game of the series, Edwin Jackson pitched 8 innings, allowing only 4 hits and an earned run. Jackson is now 2-0 on the season. Gavin Floyd also pitched a gem, allowing 4 hits and no earned runs in 8 innings. The White Sox are looking very strong in their starting rotation. The offense is on a tear right now too.
The White Sox got off to a quick start offensively, scoring 23 runs combined in their first two games against the Tribe. Their Season Opener was blown open in the 4th inning, where the Chi Sox scored 8 runs. Quentin hit a two run double in the 7th to give the Sox so breathing room in yesterday’s win. The Sox went for the sweep today, but the Tribe pitching held them to only one run. The Sox also hit into a double play that started off a popped up bunt. Though the Sox bats fell short today, it is a very impressive start to their season.
White Sox catcher, AJ Pierzynski, leaped up in celebration after the last out in the Chi Sox 7-3 victory over the Diamondbacks. The White Sox, previous to that game were 0-12 with a tie when Pierzynski was behind the plate. Although the White Sox were below .500, they are confident they completed their Spring Training mission. Ozzie Guillen has been very impressed with the squads situational hitting. “You always want to win,” Pierzynski said. “At the same time, it’s not the most important thing. Everyone here looks like they are climbing, and that’s what you want at this time of spring.” They are not worried about their record, pointing at the 2001 Seattle Mariners who had a 13-19 record before the regular season. Don’t except the White Sox to have such a record with AJ behind the plate come regular season.
Jake Peavy was shut down after yesterday’s outing after throwing 80 plus pitches. In the locker room after the game, he told the press that he’s going to rest today, throw a bullpen on Monday, and hopes to be ready to pitch against the Cubs. Earlier today, Peavy started to take anti-inflammatory medication to stop the shoulder pain. The doctors told Peavy that “rotator cuff tendinitis” could be the issue causing pain. Peavy said that what he’s been experiencing has been “a culmination of start after start after start”. The pain in his shoulder has been getting worse with each start. Peavy did not do well in physical tests he was given today and is no longer going to be making his first appearance of the season on April 6th against the Royals. The team doctors have decided to slow down his recovery process. This is not the news Chi Sox fans want to be hearing right now.
Edwin Jackson gave up 4 earned runs in 4 innings in yesterday’s 4-1 loss to the Rangers. The Sox line up composed of all the players that will most likely be starting on Opening Day with the absence of Gordon Beckham. Rangers’ pitcher, Matt Harrison, pitched 4 quality innings against the Sox. Ozzie Guillen has Lastings Milledge slotted to start against the Dodgers next. Milledge seems to have made an impression on Guillen and will be showcasing his talents hoping to earn a spot on the 25 man roster. Closer John Danks is also slated to make an appearance against the Dodgers.
After throwing two scoreless innings on Friday, Peavy woke up Saturday morning feeling soreness in his arm. Sox fans shouldn’t be worried because the soreness”only in the right spots.” He added that it felt good to feel soreness in his lats because it is a sign of good soreness. He noted that he was far from a hero and there is still a ways to go on the road to recovery, but he remains optimistic for the season to start. Peavy’s doctor projected Peavy will start 15 to 20 games this season.
Good news as the Sox are approaching their Cactus League Opener, Jake Peavy is readying himself with the club. After a season-ending surgery last season on his right shoulder, Peavy is back with the team. Peavy through a 40 pitch bullpen on Wednesday followed by some long toss on Saturday. Peavy told mlb.com that he believes he is past the “grueling part” of his recovery, and though he is not 100%, he feels healthy. As the actual season gets closer, the competition for starting spots get more serious. Mark Teahen and Brent Morel seem to be fighting it out for the starting position at 3rd base. Teahen, the veteran and Morel, who is said to have Joe Crede like defensive abilities are helping eachother out in the midst of this competition. Teahen is helping the youngster with defensive skills and Morel is helping Teahen get acquainted to new coaching. It is still up in the air if Peavy will be ready Opening Day and who will be starting 3rd.
With the White Sox getting ready for the start of the 2011 season, so is their veteran, almost 44 year old Omar Vizquel. After 22 major league seasons, he says to keep motivated during Spring Training, you have to set goals and “do something out of the ordinary everyday to kind of push yourself”. Whether it’s a great double play a game or try to steal two bases, you should always have a goal to acheive and to stay motivated, he says. Visquel enters the season 201 hits shy of entering the legendary 3,000 hit club. Though his body keeps getting older, Vizquel’s “youthful enthusiasm” keeps him young enough to compete with the best youth in the league. Look out for Vizquel and the rest of this Chi Sox team come April time.
With the pitchers and catchers due to report to the Chi Sox spring training in 4 days, the question Chi Sox fans are asking is “Will Peavy be ready“? White Sox manager hopes so and joked around with Peavy during their half hour phone conference regarding the status of his arm. “You better be ready for Spring Training or I’m going to get fired,” Ozzie jokingly told Peavy. The 29-year-old pitcher wants to be back to his team for Opening day against the Tribe on April 1st, but he will listen to the doctors and trainers input before making the final decision of coming back. The Sox are hoping for the speedballer to return to their starting rotation at the start of the 2011 season.
The White Sox just signed Cuba native, Alexei Ramirez, to a four-year, $32.5 million contract. It seems as if Ramirez wants to spend his entire career on the south side of Chicago. Though Ramirez played centerfield at first, his successful transition to shortstop gives the Sox one of the best double play combinations in the Major Leagues, with second baseman Gordon Beckham. The Louiseville Slugger Silver Slugger Award was given to Ramirez in the 2010 season for being the best offensive shortstop in the American League. It was a no-brainer to extend Ramirez’s contract for both sides. Alexei loves Chicago, and both general manager Kenny Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen agree he is a great fit both on and off the field. Look for Ramirez to be turning double plays at US Cellular Field for years to come.
Last week the White Sox were looking at Rafael Soriano but it looks like they opted for a lower cost option and signed Will Ohman to a two year, $4 million deal. Ohman’s a lefty and he’s made his rounds, pitching for five different teams over his major league career. I don’t like all of the walks, but he punches out about a guy and inning and over his career, lefties hit .208 against him.
The White Sox have thrown their share of money around this off-season. This looks like a decent, low risk move although you wonder why they gave him a second year with it being so late in the offseason. Still, $2 million per year isn’t all that bad and even being on the hook for $4 million over the life of the deal is small compared to a lot of the numbers being thrown around these days.
On a slightly different not, does anyone know when individual White Sox tickets go on sale. I have some games I’d like to go to and want to buy them as early as possible.
If you’re a Sox fan, you have to be pretty happy about the offseason. They got Paul Konerko back and slugger Adam Dunn is in the fold. One hole though is at closer and now that Bobby Jenks is on board with the other Sox (Red Sox), the White Sox need to move on. Apparently one of the guys they’ve been talking to is Rafael Soriano although Jon Heyman doesn’t think the White Sox have the funds left to bring him home.
Matt Thornton will probably be the closer if the White Sox don’t sign someone but Rafael Soriano would really shore up the pen. Soriano has missed time over his career because of injuries but four of the past five seasons he’s logged at least 60 innings and last year he led the league with 45 saves and was lights out most of the year even with his strikeout rate declining.
The White Sox have definitely been busy this offseason. First they made a big splash by signing Adam Dunn to short up their lineup. Then they re-signed Paul Konerko. What’s interesting about that is that it almost didn’t happen. Apparently the White Sox were close to walking away but a day later, Konerko was back in the fold. Three years, $37.5 isn’t a huge sum these days but for an aging and inconsistent player, we’ll see if the White Sox should have held their ground on this one. Still, they had a hole to fill with no real alternate solution and with Dunn already there, they needed a second big bat.
A vital cog in the lineup could be Juan Pierre. If he can get back to his old form where he hit .300+ and he gave the team a decent enough table setter, it could go a long way towards the White Sox being in the mix. Jake Peavy coming back from his injury is another wild card as well.
The Chicago White Sox gave themselves some veteran insurance in the form of Omar Vizquel at a decent price of $1.75 million. Vizquel was pretty much forced into playing a lot of third base last year and while that’s not the plan for 2011, you just never know. He’ll probably see most of his time as a back up second baseman and shortstop if all goes as planned.
In other news, Mark Buehrle nabbed the Field Bible award for the second straight year. Alexei Ramirez, didn’t win the award, but his point total put him atop American League shortstops.
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