From what I can gather, the process of signing players in Latin America (especially after the signing bonus and birth certificate fiascos) is much more lengthy. I believe Jerry has some guys that he’d like to announce as signed but can’t until it’s cleared through Major League Baseball. I can tell you for a fact that Jerry and his scouts are working hard to make inroads in Latin America. The process is just more difficult for the reasons listed earlier.
January 23, 2011
[Gordon] Beckham says one of his goals is to bunt for a hit more in 2011. #SoxFest
Get yourself together Bacon. Slap-hit singles is Pierre’s style. We want doubles, triples and home runs dammit.
January 22, 2011
Williams seems satisfied with Alejandro de Aza, Brent Lillibridge and Dayan Viciedo competing for the final utility/outfield slot. “De Aza is a lot better than you think,” Williams said. “I spent more money this off-season than I ever thought, and we’re tapped out. I can’t go back to Jerry anymore because we’ve just overextended ourselves beyond belief.”
Ballantini: Rick Hahn basically says White Sox will never offer a Cliff Lee-type contract to a P: “We can allocate resources in better ways”
Ballantini: Hahn on sabermetrics: It’s a factor in our decisionmaking but we dont mind othr people not thinking so. They dont need to see behind curtain
Cowley: KW asked about good and bad trades – said he thought his best was going to be Bartolo in 2003.
Gonzales: Fan asks if frank t considered as hitting coach. Oz: NO! Says coaches don’t make enough $ and frank can’t take heat — Ballantini: Says coaches don’t get paid enough, and you need to be a very bad hitter to be a hitting coach. Frank’s hitting came too naturally.
Jerry Reinsdorf: “Yeah, it was a tough call because we’ve really taken a chance and stuck our necks out. If this team bombs and we draw 2.2 million people next year, we are going to lose a lot of money. So, we are betting that we are going to be good.”
more Reinsdorf: “Last year was a difficult year. We weren’t as good as we thought we could be. Our attendance (2.2 million) was down. Financially, it came out OK. Thinking about this year, we had to make a decision for the long term: Were we better off to try to get better, or were we better off to use this as a rebuilding year? That’s the thing that took us a long time to make up our minds.”
Kenny Williams: “You can get player X, Y and Z to make it all come together. If get X without Y and Z, you don’t want to get caught in middle. We decided to strike and strike quickly.”
Jordan Danks will get a chance to show his stuff in big-league camp this spring, but he doesn’t have much of a chance of making the big-league roster. Williams said Danks, the younger brother of John Danks, still needs to play every day and the current OF spots are set with [Juan] Pierre, Alexis Rios and Carlos Quentin. As for [Brent] Morel, Williams thinks he could still be useful playing four times a week with the big-league team, which seems to suggest a Morel/Teahen 3B platoon, at least at the start of the season.
As for Quentin, Guillen boldly predicted that the high-intensity run producer will have a season like he did in 2008 when he was an MVP candidate before a late-season hand injury. Perhaps it was Guillen’s way of saying that Quentin will be expected to deliver up to his potential, something he will only be able to do by staying healthy.
January 21, 2011
While Williams has great respect for the handling of his pitching staff, he doesn’t like that pitching coach Don Cooper expressed strong feelings about keeping left-hander Chris Sale in one role for the sake of the 21-year-old.
Williams prefers to have Sale trained this spring as a starter while Jake Peavy recovers from a detached latissimus dorsi muscle under his right shoulder, which could last into April. “But to have (Sale) prepare as a reliever and take away one or two of his pitches because that’s what guys tend to do, I don’t think it’s wise, ” Williams said. “My pitching coach will ultimately fall in line with his general manager and his manager. Coop should probably speak to us before he speaks to you guys.”
Cooper didn’t attend SoxFest because of obligations involving his children.
Williams did anticipate that Jake Peavy could miss up to the first month of the regular season but stated that he has received positive text messages from his injured pitcher.
Nevertheless, Williams intimated that Chris Sale will prepare this spring as a starter until Peavy is healthy.
UPDATE: Merkin @ CWS:
The reason Chris Sale prepared himself as a starter this offseason was not necessarily because he is expected to be inserted into the 2011 starting rotation. General manager Ken Williams simply didn’t want Sale to break from the usual routine he employed over the past few years at this formative stage of his career.
“If you now try to have him do something he’s not used to doing, you might not get the guy you just saw the last half of the season,” Williams said. “I think it’s important for him to always prepare — for all guys, not just him — as they always have to get the most out of him.
“As we are currently set up, it’s my feeling he ultimately will be in the bullpen. We won’t have that need, at least no longer than 30 days, if we have it at all. But to have him prepare as a reliever and take away one or two of his pitches because that’s what guys tend to do, I don’t think it’s wise.”
Williams also doesn’t believe Sale would be hampered by moving back and forth between starter and reliever in the same season.
“When you can do it, you can do it,” Williams said. “He’s shown he can do it. Leave him alone.”
UPDATE #2: Peavy thinks he will be ready by Opening Day.
Williams also confirmed that [Dayan] Viciedo would be moving to the outfield, remarking again that the young player “has the potential to be very special” and that “we need to find a place for him to play.” The GM wouldn’t rule out Viciedo as a future infielder, but definitely endorsed his current move to the outfield, making it imaginable that the young slugger could fill a hybrid role of corner outfielder/DH/corner infielder that could see him playing a couple of games a week in 2011.
Prior to the start of Friday’s opening SoxFest Town Hall Meeting involving general manager Ken Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen, Williams announced the team exercised its 2012 option on Guillen’s contract. So, one more potential off-the-field distraction was removed, with the questions of Guillen’s future erased for at least the next two years.
The Red Sox showed interest in Soriano, and appeared willing to do a one-year deal for him to be their closer. Had that happened, Boston would have found a new home for Papelbon, probably Oakland or the White Sox. … The Red Sox talked to the A’s and White Sox about Papelbon. But the A’s wound up signing Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour to bolster their bullpen in what turned out to be a solid winter for them despite their failure to land third baseman Adrian Beltre. The White Sox signed Crain but will likely try Matt Thornton as their closer, with 2010 draft phenom Chris Sale also a possibility. Sale might also start the year as the fifth starter and stay in the rotation until Jake Peavy returns. The team sees Peavy’s likely return date as sometime around June.
6. Chris Sale, White Sox: Wow, that was fast. Sale was in Chicago just two months after being drafted in the first round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. And he wasn’t there just to check out the scene; he ended up closing games during a pennant race. His long-term role, though, should be as a starter, so he can use his plus fastball, above-average slider and outstanding changeup to greater effect. He has a terrific mound presence and is mature, so he should be able to handle the opportunity to join the White Sox rotation soon without any real difficulty.
On his absent change-up, and newly prominent slider: Chris expressed that the gradual disappearance of his change-up (a go-to pitch in college), and emergence of his slider (a show-me pitch in college), was more of a thing that just kinda happened without any particular design. He postulated that it may have been due to him facing an inordinate number of lefties, but views it as a positive development, because he’s still really comfortable with his change-up, and now has developed equal confidence in his slider.
January 20, 2011
The Sox don’t have a pick in the 1st round due to the Adam Dunn signing. Their 1st pick comes at #47 in the supplemental round due to the loss of J.J. Putz. They don’t have any other pick before the 2nd round. The Rays have 10 picks in the 1st and supplemental rounds (#24, #31, #32, #38, #41, #42, #52, #56, #59, #60)!
UPDATE: Merkin @ CWS:
Although Guillen couldn’t provide any clarity on Sale’s immediate future, he did admit that breaking camp with a “closer by committee” is not a routine he wants to follow.
“That’s a good thing for the pitcher, knowing what [his] position is going to be,” Guillen said. “I think that’s one thing we’re looking for and I hope we do.
“You look around and Matt Thornton is the guy with experience. The guy was there before. You look at Sale and we don’t know. We got to wait to see if Peavy is ready and see if we use Sale or somebody else. I got to wait for that. But pitching, Cooper knows about that and [general manager] Kenny [Williams] has an idea and I feel comfortable either way.
“Having Sale in the bullpen is a plus,” Guillen said. “That depends on Peavy and who’s going to cover early in the season.”
January 19, 2011
The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on minor-league contracts with right-handed pitchers Brian Bruney, Jeff Gray, Josh Kinney, Shane Lindsay and Miguel Socolovich, catchers Donny Lucy and Jared Price and infielder Dallas McPherson. All eight players, in addition to six players within the White Sox system, have received non-roster invites to the club’s spring training camp in Glendale, Ariz.
Right-handed pitchers Kyle Bellamy and Brandon Hynick, left-hander Charlie Leesman, outfielders Jordan Danks and Brandon Short and catcher Josh Phegley all received invites to major-league camp from within the organization. Five of the 14 spring training invitees have major-league experience.
… White Sox pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Thursday, February 17, with physicals and a workout scheduled for the same day. Position players will report and undergo physicals on Tuesday, February 22. The first full-squad workout also will take place at that time.