White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

April 27, 2012

Paul Konerko: The Road to 400 (video)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 27, 2012 9:30 pm
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More Paulie videos here.

What does the future hold for Gordon Beckham?

Chris Cwik:

Gordon Beckham has not lived up to expectations. After being selected eighth overall by the Chicago White Sox in 2008, Beckham was expected to be one of the team’s future stars. And after a strong rookie season, it looked like Beckham might achieve that goal. Since then, however, Beckham was struggled mightily. For the 25-year-old, 2012 is a make-or-break year. The early signs do not look encouraging. …

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March 3, 2012

Robin Ventura’s batting order thoughts

Ventura wants:

Chris Sale had a good start in today’s intrasquad game:

Sale said he was mindful during warmups and at the start of the game to not go hard from the onset.“

Just taking it nice and easy and really loosening it up because you have time,” he said. “You’re in no rush. That was nice to go out there and flip some in and start stretching it out and pick it up as it goes.”

Shingo Takatsu, aka Mr. Zero, made an appearance!

And a photo from today’s game. Chris Sale pitches to Alex Rios:

More pictures here.

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February 29, 2012

Chris Sale’s 1st Spring Training start: Friday, March 9, 2 pm CT @ WGN-TV [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 29, 2012 11:00 pm
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Broadcast Schedule.

UPDATE: First 5 starts:

John Danks is set to start the team’s Cactus league road opener on Tuesday in Tempe against the Angels, with Jake Peavy pitching Wednesday at home against the Brewers and Gavin Floyd on Thursday in Surprise against the two-time defending American League champs from Texas. With Chris Sale pitching Friday in Glendale against the Cubs, the opening rotation appears to be set up, although nothing official has been announced by manager Robin Ventura past Humber on Monday.

Jose Quintana starts Monday’s “B” game against the Indians, with Simon Castro and Brian Bruney also pitching. Will Ohman, Jesse Crain, Addison Reed, Hector Santiago, Pedro Hernandez, Charlie Leesman and Nestor Molina pitch Monday after Humber, who is ready to test his early work in actual games.

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February 28, 2012

Paulie’s 2012 analysis

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 28, 2012 11:30 pm
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Scott Reifert:

“We’re starting with a new staff, kind of a whole new era here, and I think you can start building something now. The teams the past few years have been about: try real hard this year to win, you failed, and then you come back next year and try again from a totally different angle. I think what’s happening here is that they’re trying to build something a little more stable, a little more sustaining. If we go out and compete this year and it doesn’t happen – and you see this with some other teams in the league – you build up momentum and use that to build from the year before and I think that’s why it could be successful. I’m not conceding anything, especially in today’s game there’s way too many teams and with another wild card spot, I mean there are all kinds of other things that are available to make the playoffs and there seems to be a lot of parity. I think with the amount of young guys that we have you have to throw that into the equation if we don’t make it to the playoffs but we do it right and go out and compete well. If you look at it at the end of the year and Morel’s had a really good year, Beckham’s had a good year, Addison Reed’s had a great year – those are all good signs that it’s moving in the right direction and that’s what in my mind can be determined to be a success. Again, you don’t concede anything because anything can happen if you go out there and play hard. There’s a very fine line between those teams that finish in first place and second or third so who knows. You have to give a lot of respect to Detroit right now, not because of what they did in the offseason, but because they became a really good team at the end of the year. They were pretty good all year but at the end of the month they just took it to another level and they are the team to beat. They got a lot of guns and we’ll see what goes on there.”

Reifert has more. Schouwen has even more.

Other White Sox links:

February 8, 2012

White Sox Announce 2012 Broadcast Schedule

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 8, 2012 10:30 pm
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whitesox.com press release:

The Chicago White Sox, Comcast SportsNet, WGN-TV, WCIU-TV and WSCR-AM 670 (The Score) have announced the team’s television and radio broadcast schedules for the 2012 season.

Comcast SportsNet (CSN) will televise 101 regular-season White Sox games beginning with the season opener on Friday, April 6 against the defending American League champion Texas Rangers in Arlington at 1:05 p.m. CDT.  CSN also will air Opening Day at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday, April 13 vs. the reigning AL Central Division champion Detroit Tigers at 1:10 p.m.

WGN is scheduled to broadcast 30 Sox games this season, beginning with the club’s second game of the year, and first night game, on Saturday, April 7 at Texas (7:05 p.m.).  WCIU will begin its 25-game schedule on Tuesday, April 10 at 6:05 p.m. at Cleveland.

Five White Sox games are scheduled to be broadcast nationally as part of the FOX Saturday Baseball “Game of the Week” package, beginning April 21 at Seattle (3:05 p.m.).  ESPN will air the White Sox at Rangers game on April 8 as part of its “Sunday Night Baseball” schedule with coverage starting at 7:00 p.m.  Additional Sox games may be added to the ESPN and FOX slates later in the season. …

Here are links to the 2012 Schedule (Opening Day is April 6), to the 2012 Broadcast Schedule, and to the 2012 Printable Schedule. The Broadcast Schedule has all games in one page making search easy.

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Listen to J.J. Kenny and stay away from A.J. Burnett.

November 26, 2011

Sox thinking to trade a pitcher to Cincinnati to get Yonder Alonso?

Phil Rogers:

Can Yonder Alonso become a solid left fielder? That’s the question the White Sox are studying as the Reds shop the left-handed-hitting slugger for pitching. Alonso would be blocked with Paul Konerko at first base and Adam Dunn as designated hitter, although if the Sox really are willing to let Mark Buehrle walk you wonder if they also would approach Konerko about waiving his no-trade clause.

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October 11, 2011

Robin Ventura, Harold Baines, and Paul Konerko get stuff

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 11, 2011 11:00 pm
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Robin Ventura got a 3-year deal:

While Guillen moved on to a four-year deal running the Miami Marlins, Ventura took over the White Sox under a three-year deal with no options. The hiring of Guillen and Ventura by Williams were somewhat similar, in that they were previous organization staples as players and, although neither one had prior managerial experience, Williams and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf knew what to expect with their personalities and commitment to the organization.

Harold Baines got some hitting coach responsibilities,

“[The staff] will fit together such that Harold will be putting more time into the mental side of some of our hitters’ approaches,” Williams said. “He was pretty good at it, and remains a valuable asset in that area. But he will take a greater role along those lines … as will Robin. That’s what I meant by a coaching staff that will work together. It’s all intertwined, not just on one guy to solve the problems of our hitters.

“Robin will be very involved in every aspect — whether it be player development and offseason conversations with the players, the coaches, the scouts, everything. That’s just baseball and the way we like to do things. It’s an all-inclusive style of management.”

and Paul Konerko got coach consideration,

Perhaps the most stunning news to emerge from the White Sox’ press conference introducing Robin Ventura as manager was general manager’s Ken Williams’ revelation that he considered Paul Konerko as a player-manager candidate. It never got to a point where Williams asked Konerko about the possibility.

“Well, it was considered long enough for me to realize that Paul is a very cerebral person and he would probably drive himself nuts right now playing and managing at the same time,” Williams said Tuesday. “But that’s the kind of respect I have for him that yeah, I did consider it. Then I thought I think I would rather him be focused more on hitting third or fourth in the lineup and driving in 100 runs rather than trying to worry about 25 other guys in addition to it. We are trying to win.”

Kenny is pulling Hawk’s leg.

October 7, 2011

Sox ask and are granted permission to talk with Phillies minor-league manager Mark Parent

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 7, 2011 10:05 pm
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Jim Salisbury:

The Chicago White Sox have asked for and been granted permission to speak with Phillies minor-league manager Mark Parent about a job on their major league coaching staff, according to a baseball source.

Parent is the manager of the AA-Reading. Is Parent being considered for the bench coach job? Kenny said he’ll likely stay in-house for the hitting coach, but he’d ask for permission to speak to the bench coach guy Ventura wants.

BTW, Brett Ballantini has Buddy Bell on top of the list:

While minor league director Buddy Bell has been adamant about never wanting to manage again, Williams initially misspoke and implied Bell would be on Ventura’s staff, then caught himself and said the executive staff would be supportive. That doesn’t lock in Bell as the guy the White Sox are seeking permission from (the Kansas City Royals) to become bench coach, but it does shoot him to the top of the list.

Other White Sox links:

October 6, 2011

White Sox next coach: Paul Konerko

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 6, 2011 11:01 pm
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Chuck Garfien:

In case Ventura doesn’t succeed as manager, believe it or not, his replacement might already be lurking inside the White Sox clubhouse. Just like Ventura had no clue he was on Williams’ radar in the 1990’s, this player probably doesn’t realize it either.

“As I’d freely admit right now, Paul Konerko can be a major league manager just because I’ve had 10 years worth of conversations with Paul Konerko,” Williams said. “And as a result, I’ve come to the conclusion that this guy certainly has the necessary stuff. He’s a little busy right now, you know, becoming an MVP. But one day he too will hopefully be considered if he wants to do it along the same line. This might be out of left field or a surprise, but to people who are within the organization, not so much.”

Can’t say I’m surprised. After the Ventura announcement, very little will.

And Kenny Williams said the Sox next hitting coach will likely come from within the organization:

“I have talked about that with Robin and because we’ve had so much growth within our system and we got so many young players as well as guys trying to rebound, we are probably going to stay within the organization,” White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said. “We’ve still got to have some conversations on it and whether or not Frank is spoken to about or not, that’ll be Robin’s choice at the time.

“But I’m thinking initially, because we have history with some of our young players that have now come through and have performed well, we’ll probably stick with that,” Williams continued. “But Frank will undoubtedly be welcomed to add any advice he has and he’ll be part of the family because he is who he is and he’s got a lot to offer.”

Mark Gonzales says two candidates are minor league hitting coordinator Jeff Manto and Charlotte hitting coach Tim Laker.

Other White Sox links:

September 14, 2011

The Sox won’t resolve Ozzie Guillen’s situation until after the Marlins have hired a manager says Jayson Stark

Stark @ ESPN:

Who will be managing the White Sox next season? We tossed that question at a baseball source who is tight with team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, and got this succinct reply: “Ozzie Guillen.”

The same source also said, with zero equivocation, that if the Marlins think they can wait this out and then scoop Guillen off the unemployment line this winter, they’d better re-think. Unless the folks in Florida want to trade a big-time player to the South Side, the source said, the White Sox won’t make any move to resolve Guillen’s future until after the Marlins have hired a manager.

Seems like the Sox want to make others think Guillen isn’t going anywhere so they have more leverage in any negotiations that take place. I’m not confident it will work. There is also this nugget:

White Sox officials have been telling people in the game they need to cut payroll next year after going over budget this season. And they also have five starters under contract for next year, even without Buehrle.

So an executive of one team who spoke with the White Sox brass says the only way he sees them making room for Buehrle is if he’s willing to “be creative” about his next contract. AND the club would have to be able to trade one of its current starters — most likely Gavin Floyd. Can all that happen? Of course. But it’s still a lot of hoops for Buehrle and his team to jump through.

I think Buehrle will be “creative.” Maybe a 2-3 year offer would be enough. Sign him Jerry!

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September 9, 2011

Non-displaced fracture for Brent Lillibridge. Recovery will take about six weeks.

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 9, 2011 11:01 pm
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Scott Merkin:

The White Sox put Lillibridge on the disabled list prior to Friday’s game. But the good news was that the fracture was non-displaced, so he will not require surgery.

“Two to three weeks in this hard cast and another soft cast for two weeks,” said Lillibridge, joking how the cast he’s currently sporting allows him to play video games and drive a little bit. “About a six-week process.

“Having it happen at the end of the year, I’m happy it wasn’t in June trying to come back. I won’t be swinging until late November anyway. If it was going to happen, it happened at this time and I appreciate it. Obviously, I wish I was finishing and having some fun out there still.”

Hopefully Lillibridge recovers fully and comes back strong next year. He had a heck of a season this year (one that I didn’t expect).

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August 26, 2011

Kenny down to 5 cents

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 26, 2011 11:08 pm
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Mark Gonzales:

“I’ve made no secret about it quite a while that we are limited from a payroll standpoint at this point and time,” Williams said. “We haven’t earned our fans’ patronage enough to put us in that position, and that’s nobody’s fault except our own fault.

“Anything that would come across right now, even if it were appealing from a talent standpoint, we are not in a position to be able to do it.”

Other White Sox links:

August 5, 2011

Is Paul Konerko sending a message to Alex Rios?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 5, 2011 11:41 pm
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Gonzales @ CT:

Paul Konerko recalled how he salvaged his 2003 season, when he batted .197 in a poor first half but elected to make some changes under new hitting coach Greg Walker and raised his average by 37 points.

It’s tough because in the second half, I felt I was as good as any hitter in the field, and you look up and you’re hitting .220,” Konerko said. “But I told myself I’m going to survive. People need to gain a little perspective on the outside.”

And it may be working:

Alex Rios said he’s started the process of revamping his batting stance in an effort to resurrect his production.

Rios, who didn’t start for the White Sox on Friday night for the second consecutive game, said he has moved his hands away from the middle of his body and said he will continue this if he feels aggressive and comfortable.

This is the start of a process that Rios hopes won’t require the entire offseason to get comfortable with. …

Frank Thomas suggested to Rios to change his batting stance last Sunday:

For Rios, on the other hand, Thomas suggested an entire overhaul of his plate approach.

“Right now, he’s fighting himself,” Thomas said. “For me, I would change that stance. We talked about it the other day. There’s nothing wrong with going in the cage and messing around with it. We saw one of the most successful players to ever play this game, Cal Ripken, he had a new stance every week. I told Alex, the bottom line is hitting the baseball. Go in the cage and figure something out, Get comfortable, because he’s not comfortable right now.”

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A.J. Pierzynski and Gordon Beckham think the booing of Adam Dunn isn’t helping

Merkin @ BOG:

“I love Adam Dunn, on and off the field,” Pierzynski said. “Everyone’s been there. If you’ve ever played this game, you’ve struggled. This is not an easy game to play. It’s not something that you can go out there and say this or that and it works. It’s not football where you can get yelled and screamed it and it makes you play better. There’s only so much you can do. You’ve got to put the work in. He’s done that. He’s put the time in and he’s trying to make adjustments.”

Until those adjustments pay off in consistent offense, the boos will continue to cascade down upon Dunn’s broad shoulders at U.S. Cellular Field. Opposing pitchers will continue to target Dunn in potential game-changing situations, and the baseball nightmare will continue to be reality for the affable slugger. …

“It’s not easy when people don’t seem like they are behind you, and I know it’s tough on him,” Beckham said. “Obviously he wants to do well, we want him to do well. I definitely wouldn’t be taking it like he’s been able to. He’s been upbeat the whole time but it still hasn’t come for him. There’s still time and I believe there’s still time. If he can just get going for us in any capacity, we have a good chance to win.”

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