JJ explains his concerns with the strategy behind today’s failed double steal in the 1st inning:
The White Sox’s first spring training game of the year started off perfectly. After Juan Pierre walked, Gordon Beckham laced a single to put runners on first and second with nobody out and Adam Dunn coming up.
And then Pierre and Beckham took off running. Pierre was thrown out at third, and Clayton Kershaw struck out both Dunn and Konerko to end the inning.
The result isn’t what I’m concerned about. The execution isn’t what I’m concerned about. It’s the idea. …
Guillen did say that he would prefer to avoid a repeat of the Sox first inning when Juan Pierre was thrown out at third with no outs and Adam Dunn at the plate. Guillen admitted he told guys he wanted to be aggressive in spring training, but maybe not that aggressive.
“I hope he doesn’t do this during the season,” Guillen offered. “I hope it’s a spring training thing.”
The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on 2011 contracts with the following 17 players:
Catchers (1) – Tyler Flowers
Infielders (4) – Gordon Beckham, Eduardo Escobar, Brent Lillibridge and Brent Morel
Outfielders (2) – Alejandro de Aza and Stefan Gartrell
Pitchers (10) – Anthony Carter, Kyle Cofield, Freddy Dolsi, Lucas Harrell, Gregory Infante, Nate Jones, Jeff Marquez, Jhonny Nunez, Chris Sale and Sergio Santos
All members of the White Sox 40-man roster are signed for 2011.
Mark Gonzales tweets today’s “signings should put Sox’s projected 2011 payroll slightly over $125 million.”
UPDATE: Gordon Beckham leads today’s signings with a $485,000 deal.
Ozzie Guillen responded to Bobby Jenks. Gonzales @ CT:
“Too bad that all the stuff we had between me and Kenny interrupted his career because he did a lot of bad things last year,” Guillen quipped. “We lied for him, we protected him. I’m the first manager in the history of baseball to give a guy a week off to take care of his kids when his father-in-law was sick. It wasn’t even his wife, it even wasn’t a (family) member. But it was out of respect I have for his family. I sent him home because he had to babysit his kids because his father-in-law was sick. I don’t think any manager is doing that. But coming from him, I expect that.”
“We don’t miss him,” Guillen said. “You ask 30 guys in there. By the way, I was asking for his phone number to talk him to about it, and nobody had his phone number. None of his (former) teammates had his phone number. That you can tell what happened. But (criticism of ) me, that’s fine. He wasn’t talking about the ballclub, he was talking about Ozzie and Kenny (Williams). I respect that. ”
“Thank God he wasn’t talking about the club. If Bobby was taking about the club, I would have been everywhere on ESPN because I will rip his guts. But he was talking about me. I can take that. Just be careful of what you say about Oney because Oney will say stuff he’s not supposed to be saying. That’s just a warning for him just in case somebody don’t call him. Just stay away and don’t name Oney for this because it will be pretty ugly.”
Scot Gregor @ DH:
“First of all he can’t make any comments about last year because he was never in the clubhouse,” Guillen said. “He spent more time at his house than he did in the clubhouse. They told me about it. I didn’t read it yet. The only thing I can say is that I feel bad for him because I think the way we treated this kid, just the White Sox and myself, or our front-office people, we helped him a lot on the field and off the field.”
“Just worry about Boston, don’t worry about the White Sox,” Guillen said. “He has to worry about Boston and what he has to do for them. And I bet you (Red Sox manager) Tito Francona won’t put up with the (bleep) we put up with here. I have Tito’s number here to call him and say make sure you tell Bobby to worry about the Boston Red Sox and don’t worry about what happened here or whatever. We don’t miss him.
Brett Ballantini @ CSN:
“Please, someone who knows [Jenks], please [tell him not to] talk about Oney,” Guillen said. “It’s going to be ugly. I talked to my wife about it, to make sure to tell Oney to let it go. It can [end] bad. Me? That’s OK. Kenny is OK with it—I talked to Kenny. But Oney? Stay away from Oney. He’s not a good kid. When you go to that point with him, Oney knows a lot about a lot of things. Make sure [Jenks] stays away from [Oney].”
“He had a lot of problems, but we were loyal to him by playing him. I was a very bad manager because I kept him as my closer when he couldn’t [close]. He has to look [at] himself in the mirror.”
“I’m very sad,” Guillen said. “I’m not even mad about it. I’m very sad about the way he thinks about us. Am I going to say anything bad about him? I’m not going to waste my time—he’s not part of my program. It’s very sad because he should look at himself in the mirror, and all the things he said in the paper, to realize what he said. Like I said in January, if there was one player I ever managed, I did more stuff for him than anybody else, on the field and off the field.
“He did a lot of bad things last year. We lied for him. We protect[ed] him.”
UPDATE: Audio from ESPN (3:15).
Could Phil Humber be the 5th starter if Jake Peavy isn’t ready on the start of the season?
‘‘I kind of like what Humber’s doing,’’ Cooper said. “My thing is, give us the ammunition that we need to keep you around. If you attack the strike zone, if you get ahead, that’s the ammo. If you’re not — well, sorry.’’
‘‘I’m really happy with what I’m seeing,’’ Cooper said. ‘‘But what often happens with the young guys is they look good now, but when . . . hitters step in there, all of a sudden they get distracted.’’
… Cooper also wants Humber to tinker with a cut fastball.
‘‘Something I’m kind of working on,’’ Humber said.
John Sickels lists his sleeper picks:
Rienzo is an SBT favorite. Here are some recent updates on him:
Intriguing sleeper…report contains a breakdown of his mechanics, which are pretty Tim Lincecum-esque
Diamond Futures, 12/21/10:
Rienzo uses a low-mid 90s fastball to key a relatively well-developed three-pitch repertoire. He carries his velocity deep into games, and looks like a potential back of the rotation starter.
Rienzo flashes pretty decent stuff, featuring a mid 90s fastball and developing offspeed stuff. Along with this, Rienzo has displayed pretty decent control.
Bloom @ CWS:
White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy said he felt fine on Thursday a day after throwing a 40-pitch side session. Peavy is penciled in on March 4 to make his first start of the spring in Chicago’s fifth Cactus League game — against the Angels in Tempe, Ariz.
That would place Peavy on target to start the fifth game of the regular season on April 6 against the Royals at Kansas City, barring any regression from surgery this past season to repair a detached muscle in his right shoulder.
“I’m far ahead of where I thought I would be at this point,” Peavy said. “But I can’t push it and I’ve got to be cautious.”
also, Ozzie named Mark Buehrle as the Opening Day starter.
CSN’s Brent Ballantini:
Jake Peavy looked strong on the mound today, throwing 40 pitches and earning at least one, “wow, very good” from pitching coach Don Cooper. Peavy threw about 12 breaking balls, facing Omar Vizquel, Lastings Milledge and Eduardo Escobar, and reported no abnormal discomfort afterward. The hurler is due to scale the mound again on Saturday for a workout to be determined. Cooper as much as said he saw more than expected from Peavy today. Ramon Castro, who caught Peavy’s session, thought that the fireballer’s breaking stuff was season-ready, but he estimated his fastball at around 70-80%.
Gonzo reports “Peavy threw with more velocity.”
UPDATE: Merkin @ CWS:
Those reins became a little looser on Wednesday during Peavy’s second 40-pitch live bullpen session in the past three days. Once again, the outing was split up into two “innings,” with Peavy throwing 20 pitches, sitting down and giving way to Gavin Floyd, and then coming back to throw 20 more.
Of those 40 pitches, Peavy estimated 10 or 12 of those were of the breaking ball variety. It marked a significant climb from just the handful of off-speed pitches Peavy threw on Monday.
Having these breaking balls look crisp and sharp becomes another bonus in this climb to a regular-season return.
“It looked like the old Peavy, breaking ball stuff,” said White Sox catcher Ramon Castro, who was behind the plate Wednesday when Peavy threw to hitters Lastings Milledge, Omar Vizquel and Eduardo Escobar. “With the fastball he’s not there yet, but he’s going to get there.”
“Now he is throwing the ball better,” said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper of Peavy. “He probably went up a notch in intensity. He certainly is doing what everybody else is doing. It’s a credit to the surgeons, Jake and Herm [Schneider, White Sox head athletic trainer], following up on all the things he is supposed to be doing.”