Hudson throws a fastball that tops out around 93 miles per hour, but Triple-A pitching coach Richard Dotson said the fastball seems harder, given Hudson’s “closed-off” delivery. Hudson mixes in a slider and changeup to keep batters honest. I can’t really see Hudson dominating in the majors with just three pitches. And it’s great that his delivery is “closed-off” but he needs three above-average pitches to succeed at the major league level. I’m not sure he has that repertoire yet. …
September 3, 2009
ESPN’s Peter Gammons has a long-awaited interview with White Sox GM Ken Williams about the trades that sent Jim Thome and Jose Contreras packing. Williams argues that the trades did not amount to “a raising of the white flag” and says he was trying “to do right by players who certainly did right by us.” …
Nevertheless, Guillen said he would take his chances with his current squad heading into 2010. “I don’t know if we’re going to live with this team next year, but if this is opening day, yes. We win the division if this was opening day. When you got (Alex) Rios, (Jake) Peavy, Freddy (Garcia) throwing well, (Gordon) Beckham playing well, we got a good club. Yes we do.”
Not to mention benching Alex Rios in favor of Dewayne Wise or Scott Podsednik 2 times a week. BTW, Wise wants a chance to get 400 or 500 at-bats in a season.
For freaking Tony Pena?
Smoak, who had only 14 professional games under his belt coming into 2009, finishes the season with a .290/.410/.443 slash line at three levels as he heads off to the 2009 Baseball World Cup as a member of Team USA. In 106 minor league games, the rough equivalent of two-thirds of a season, the switch-hitter drew 75 walks, a great sign for a middle-of-the-order hitter who projects to do everything offensively other than run.
… The  option in Dye’s contract might have been another obstacle. If traded, he has the right to convert his $12 million mutual option into a player option within 72 hours of his assignment, according to major- league sources. The Giants might have feared taking on significant payroll for next year, but they also could have negotiated with Dye to restructure his deal. As it stands, Dye is guaranteed only $1 million beyond this season — the value of his buyout if the White Sox decline his option. Perhaps Dye will return to the White Sox at a lower number. He also would make sense for the Giants as a free agent, and the Cubs could be another fit if they trade right fielder Milton Bradley. Dye has eight homers and 12 doubles in 115 career at-bats at Wrigley Field.
While the White Sox included Jermaine Dye in the list of names on Kenny Williams’ I’ll-trade-all-these-bums e-mail Monday, clubs that checked in on Dye came away with the impression the White Sox were significantly less interested in dealing him than they were in moving some of their other names. “The pieces they moved didn’t affect them,” said an official of one club. “But they wanted something good for Dye.”
If his sore right elbow cooperates, Jake Peavy still plans on making a start for the 2009 White Sox. After shagging fly balls and throwing a few balls before the White Sox faced the Cubs today at Wrigley Field, Peavy said he still believes a major-league start is a real possibility. A major test will come Friday at U.S. Cellular Field, where Peavy hopes to step on a mound and resume pitching for the first time since his elbow forced him out of a minor-league rehabilitation start Saturday. …
Tyler Flowers: Flowers cannot match Posey’s overall game but this White Sox prospect could make veteran A.J. Pierzynski expendable after the 2010 season – if not before. Flowers might struggle to hit for a high average because he has trouble making contact sometimes (30.5 K%), but he posted a .246 ISO in 248 double-A at-bats before moving up to triple-A. Flowers, an average backstop, also takes a ton of walks, having posted a 19.2% walk rate in 2008 and a rate of 18.7% in double-A in ‘09. Flowers has been a lefty killer in his minor-league career and hit .358 against them this year with an OPS of 1.119.
Flowers is not slated to get much playing time for the White Sox until they completely fall out of the playoff race. But the Braves’ 2005 draft-and-follow will give a sneak peek as to why the White Sox expect him to be their everyday catcher in 2011. Acquired in the Javier Vazquez trade last winter, Flowers showed once again this year why he’s one of the better catching prospects in the minors, mainly because of his bat. He has plus power from the right side and enough patience to get into hitter’s counts where he can drive the ball. Behind the plate he’s still a work in progress. He continues to struggle to block balls in the dirt and threw out only 27 of 93 basestealers between Double-A and Triple-A.