The latest revelation is manager Ozzie Guillen is considering batting Mark Kotsay in the third spot against right-handed starters to give the Sox a balance of left- and right-handed hitters at the top of the order.
That Guillen has Kotsay as an option is a tribute to Kotsay’s production because Guillen doesn’t want to bat a left-handed hitter high in the order just for the sake of balance.
But Kotsay is batting .429 with seven RBIs in his last 10 exhibition games. He also has four stolen bases and is running better than Carlos Quentin, who missed eight weeks last season because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Quentin ripped three singles Wednesday in a 10-3 victory over the Diamondbacks. ….
March 24, 2010
Guillen said after Wednesday’s game that his final roster cuts will probably come sometime next week. However, he may pare down the number of players in camp on Sunday or Monday.
Guillen and the White Sox coaching staff are trying to figure out whether the team can carry 12 pitchers to begin the season. Reliever Sergio Santos has created problems for the team because of his outstanding pitching so far.
“I got my team,” Guillen said. “We have one guy who is a tough problem. You know who it is. It’s Santos.” …
Dan Hudson is waiting for an answer:
“I’m just hanging on until they tell me (otherwise),” Hudson said. “I’m just hanging around the locker room until they kick me out – they haven’t really told me anything.” …
Kenny is impressed:
Sergio Santos, a converted infielder who looks as if he’ll break camp as a Major League reliever in just one year’s transformation time, stands at the forefront of this group.”I’ve been surprised how Santos, for a position change guy, can locate his fastball and throw a slider for strikes and a changeup behind in the count,” Williams said. “It just doesn’t happen.”
Santos, 26, entered camp with the reputation of possessing a high-octane fastball in the 98-mph range. But his pitchability, for lack of a better word, has been off the charts.
With nine strikeouts over 5 2/3 scoreless innings heading into his next scheduled outing Thursday against San Diego, the right-hander has put himself as the prime contender for that 12th spot on the pitching staff. Santos is out of Minor League options, so through this great spring, he also has made himself attractive to other teams with thin bullpens. …
… The question with the 32-year-old Aquino is whether this is a flash in a pan or if Don Cooper has done something to unlock his potential. The bottom line here is that the White Sox have pitching to trade, which should make Ken Williams‘ phone ring frequently in the next week. He’d love to move Linebrink, but would he deal Pena if his staff projected that Aquino could be just as effective? Could he receive an offer rich enough to deal Santos, who has the chance to become a right-handed complement to Thornton if not, ultimately, a candidate to replace Jenks?
Laumann likes very much what he sees from David Holmberg this spring, and thinks Trayce Thompson will probably eventually move to a corner outfield position. Not this year though. Laumann also touches on Jared Mitchell, Bryce Harper, Charlie Leesman, Leroy Hunt, Stefan Gartrell, C.J. Retherford.
March 23, 2010
“As a rule of thumb, twice a month something is going to come up. Sometimes it’s back-to-back in a week, sometimes every other week, but if you’re a White Sox player you just kind of prepare that it’s not boring around here and things kind of pop up. That’s just the way it is. There’s always some controversies that pop up here that are a little different than most teams, but that’s the way we roll here.’’
So, what do you do?
“You let it pass. Something will happen in the next week or two that will move us on from it – print it.’’
Fact is, Nix is on the team. Manager Ozzie Guillen made that obvious after the 6-1 loss to San Francisco, somewhat slipping up in talking about how many pitchers they would carry.
“We don’t know yet,” Guillen said. “Everything is … it’s tough because if we go more than 12 [pitchers], we need one more guy, utility guy would be [Omar] Vizquel and Nix. Everyone else would be rotating in the outfield and DH spot with [Mark] Kotsay.”
In other words, the real debate left is do they go 12 pitchers and go with Sergio Santos, who is out of options? Or do they take 11 and the lefty bat of Alejandro De Aza?
According to Williams, Flowers’ approach at the plate had changed when he was called up to the Majors last September and was exaggerated more this spring. The 24-year-old moved his hands behind his right shoulder, creating for a much longer swing, while adding a twist of the upper body and opening up his hips and leading with his hips.
“It was a double combination of bad,” Williams said. “Tyler had them more in a traditional place with a traditional load. Walk has talked to him about it. I talked to him about it. I have the greatest frame of reference to see him.
“I do see signs of him now getting his hands away from his body a little bit. He’s showing a shorter swing. His short swing is still very powerful. He’s better able to handle all the pitches when he does this. I’m encouraged by him at this stage.”
seven cuts announced prior to Tuesday’s game with the Giants.And the players surviving the moves stand as intriguing as the ones sent down or sent out.
Catcher Tyler Flowers and right-handed pitcher Carlos Torres were optioned to Triple-A Charlotte, while right-handed pitcher Ryan Braun, outfielders Jordan Danks and Josh Kroeger and infielders Brent Morel and C.J. Retherford were reassigned to Minor League camp.
… Tuesday’s moves give the White Sox 32 players in Major League camp and basically nine players fighting for two roster spots. The utility infielder battle, to complement Omar Vizquel, appears to come down to Jayson Nix and Brent Lillibridge, with Nix being out of options. …
March 22, 2010
Here’s what they have to say on Dayan Viciedo:
What needs to improve: A little bit of everything. So far in his professional career, Viciedo has been unable to hit the breaking ball with any sense of consistency, leading to frequent strike outs. His defense was also put into serious question, after committing 30 errors at the hot corner in 284 chances.
The Chicago White Sox are scheduled to announce their relationship with the Birmingham Barons will extend through the 2014 season at a Tuesday press conference.
The Barons’ player development contract with the White Sox was set to expire at the end of 2010. An 11:30 a.m. press conference at Regions Park is scheduled to announce the extension. …
Is it a coincidence that the Mauer contract and the Nathan surgery were announced on the day that Congress approved health-care reform?
Speaking of the twinkies the title of this article is sure to make a few heads explode in East Dakota: Did the Twins just lock up the next Jason Kendall?
And speaking of Jason Kendall.
March 21, 2010
“Right now the effort level is too high,” hitting coach Greg Walker said Sunday morning. That was before Teahen headed to the minor league complex to get extra at-bats in an effort to find the stroke that produced a .404 batting average against the Sox last season while playing for the Royals.
“There’s no fluidity to it. Everything is hard. He needs to slow the game down,” Walker continued. “All we’re looking for is the guy who hits to all fields and hits line drives and in gaps and drives in runs. He’s done it before.”
The Sox and Teahen realize two weeks are left before the regular season, but they want more signs of encouragement from their new third baseman, who is hitting .120 in 25 at-bats and hasn’t hit the ball with authority.
“All that matters is that he’s ready to go on Opening Day,” Walker said. “There’s still time. But to accelerate the process, he needs more at-bats.”