March 29, 2010
Mark Gonzales remind us that Jayson Nix and Sergio Santos don’t have any minor-league options left and must pass through waivers to remain with the Sox if they aren’t named to the roster. OTOH, Alejandro De Aza and Brent Lillibridge have minor-league options and can be sent to the minors. Erick Threets and Greg Aquino have signed AAA contracts and will remain with the Sox even if they aren’t included in the team’s the roster. Conclusion: Sergio Santos with his 98mph fastball and his three above average pitches ain’t going anywhere. BTW, Jim warns on the danger of taking a 13th pitcher in Jayson Nix’s place.
Last year, when there was NOT a man on on second, runners on first scored 42.6% of the time on a double. When there was a guy on second, runners from first scored 45.3%. You read that right, there is no such thing as clogging the bases.
“First Base,” one of the new spots debuting this week, is an homage to something most baseball fans probably don’t give much thought to — the first base bag. The voiceover theatrically reminds us there are only 30 of them in Major League baseball as the camera pans down a white line to finally reveal the bag itself in all its understated glory. Then we see a slow-motion image of White Sox left fielder Juan Pierre running toward first base as the voiceover announcer tells us, “You either sprint to first or jog back to the bus.” This spot ends with the tag “White Sox Hustle: It’s Black and White.” …
UPDATE: Video of the new commercials.
March 28, 2010
“He throws the ball very well,” Guillen said Sunday of Santos, 26, who was an infielder until last season. “I think it’s something I like, (pitching coach) Don Cooper likes and (general manager) Kenny Williams likes. We got to sit together and see what’s best for the club or see what we’re going to do next.”
March 27, 2010
Tyler Flowers’ unimpressive spring showing makes it more likely the White Sox will look to extend catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s contract during the season.
AJ wants to stay:
“Obviously, everyone knows how I feel about the White Sox organization, the city of Chicago,” Pierzynski said. “I’d love to stay here, but at the same time it takes two people to want that. If they don’t want me back, I can’t force their hand and say, ‘Hey, I want to come back no matter what.’
“If they don’t want me back, they don’t want me back. Hopefully that’s not the case. But we haven’t really gotten into it, we haven’t really talked about it, so we’ll see what happens.”
… “They know how I feel, so we’ll see,” Pierzynski said. “They’ve got other problems to worry about – (Paul) Konerko is a free agent at the end of the year, they have heavy salary lined up for next year. It’s going to come down to money, and I’m sure it’ll also depend on how Tyler does and how he develops.” …
… “I have a pretty good idea what’s going on,” Guillen said. “I want them to turn the lights on after Sunday. We have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to get ready for the season.
“Now we have guys playing nine innings almost every day to get ready. But we’re going to play the guys in our regular lineup and maybe make changes here and there to see what we do. I think the pitchers have to step it up a notch.
“It’s time for everyone to forget it is Spring Training and try to play the game we thought. If you have a good spring, it doesn’t mean anything. But if you have a bad spring, it’s time to move on and play the best you can the last week of Spring Training.”
No ‘Flippin’ the switch’ this year.
UPDATE: Peavy got the message:
… His next start is scheduled for Thursday night, when the White Sox depart Arizona and take on their Triple-A Charlotte squad in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Peavy will taper down his pitch count on that night, but views this start as a little more like the regular season.
“I can’t wait to turn the lights on and … and you know that Charlotte start, they sold about 15,000 tickets they told me,” Peavy said. “I’m excited to get out there with adrenaline in a big-league game and compete. I’m excited about that.
… Mark Kotsay recalled Guillen found ways to inject his style into the Sox’s 2005 World Series champions.
In one instance, Guillen called for Juan Uribe to lay down a squeeze bunt that enabled Pierzynski to score an insurance run in the clinching game of the American League Division Series at Boston.
“People look for his antics, but he always knows what’s going on,” Juan Pierre said. “He’s not scared to put on a signal, like a squeeze play. In the past, there wasn’t much he can do because of all the home run hitters.
“He’s excited, and so am I because that’s what my game is tailored to.”
… ”The stuff is outstanding,” pitching coach Don Cooper said. ”He has three above-average pitches. He has what people drool for. I asked him this question, ‘Now that you see what’s going on here, are you sorry you didn’t do this awhile back?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’ve thought about that more than a few times.”’ …
… As if Thornton’s deceptive 95 mph-plus fastball wasn’t headache enough, the southpaw has been spending camp fine-tuning a slider he has tinkered with in the past but never perfected.
If he can carry what he’s been doing in Cactus League play over to the regular season, then the Sox have not just an elite setup man, but a closer-in-waiting if Bobby Jenks is injured or not performing this year or in 2011. …
March 26, 2010
From Merkin’s mailbag:
I know this comment sounds strange, considering Flowers is pegged as the organization’s catcher of the future. But in my humble estimation, you have to keep Pierzynski for another couple of years. I really think he’s as valuable as any player on the team, in terms of all the intangibles he brings to the equation. He calls a good game, is one of the game’s better catchers on offense and possesses the sort of strident leadership you need in a winning clubhouse.
“We should give A.J. more rest,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “That’s our plan.”
Guillen said the Sox’s fortunes will dictate how often he is spelled by veteran Ramon Castro, who didn’t join the Sox until late last May.
Pierzynski, 33, has caught at least 1,000 innings for eight consecutive seasons and last year became the first catcher in franchise history to bat .300. He also can become a free agent after this season and could be the premier catcher on the market now that Joe Mauer has re-signed with the Twins.