Chuck Garfien @ CSN tweets:
Kenny Williams makes it official. Chris Sale will start the season in the bullpen.
other Garfien tweets:
KW wants three lefties in the bullpen to go after the tough lefty hitters in the Central division.
Ozzie says that he’d prefer that Thornton be the Sox closer, but will take his time to make a decision.
Peavy threw 40 pitches off the mound. Said he felt “free and easy.” Good first day.
Until Peavy is ready, Sox will fill gap with off days and a couple possible candidates. Ozzie forgets their names.
Merkin says their names are Phil Humber, Charlie Leesman, Jeff Gray or Lucas Harrell.
BTW, now we know the answer to the previous post, Did Kenny Williams change Don Cooper’s mind on Chris Sale? No, he didn’t.
UPDATE: Merkin expands on the bullpen-starter decision:
The 22-year-old rookie had been in discussions as a possible temporary replacement for Jake Peavy in the fifth starter’s spot, assuming Peavy’s road to full recovery from season-ending surgery to repair a torn latissimus dorsi muscle in his right shoulder doesn’t lead him to Opening Day. But during organization meetings involving the White Sox front office and coaching staff held Thursday morning, it was decided the White Sox were best armed with Sale as a full-time reliever on the heels of his stellar 1.93 ERA posted out of the bullpen in 2010.
That decision won’t alter the White Sox decision to use Sale as a starter in Cactus League action, a plan Williams believes will be best-served for the southpaw’s overall development.
“This is very important because I had to explain this to my coaching staff as well,” Williams said. “The reason I had Chris Sale prepare as a starter is because that’s what he has done his whole life.
“So if you now tell him to prepare differently, might you not see the guy you last saw in September? We want him to prepare as he did so we can expect the same guy to show up. That means using all of his pitches and building him up as a starter.
“He has shown he can transfer that to a relief role,” Williams said. “Had we said he’s going to be a reliever from Day 1, might he prepare as a reliever and not build his arm up and legs up? We want him to be the best guy we just saw.”
Scott Merkin writes at whitesox.com:
Chris Sale will be part of Thursday’s work group including starters Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, John Danks and Gavin Floyd. A decision will be made over the next six weeks whether Sale will end up in the rotation as a temporary Peavy replacement, if needed, or work out of the bullpen.
Cooper didn’t want ‘Sale to be Peavy ‘s temporary replacement’ to even be an option.
FutureSox has a new scouting report on SS Tyler Saladino:
… Tools wise scouts don’t seem to love him offensively, but those numbers made him an interesting prospect in the seventh round. As expected that power hasn’t translated as a pro (3 HR in 213 AB in 2010), but he still has solid doubles power. He has decent speed and walks a lot, making him a potentially solid No. 2 type hitter. …
JJ looks into his crystal ball and predicts the last pitcher in the Sox bullpen:
After struggling as a starter for the first four years of his professional career, Carter saw success after being moved to double-A Birmingham’s bullpen in 2010. The 24-year-old right-hander posted a 3.91 FIP and struck out about a batter per inning with the Barons before striking out 16 and walking none in 10 Arizona Fall League innings. He features a typical power arm repertoire, throwing a mid-90’s fastball, a good slider, and a good changeup. …
From Ozzie Guillen’s comments at the CSN awards last night:
Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith, who famously lost seven teeth when he was hit in the mouth with a puck last season, also earned Guillen’s respect.
“You are a tough….guy. Too bad I can’t curse here,” said Guillen, who often attends Blackhawks games with his wife. “Baseball is easy. If one of our players has got an ingrown toenail, they don’t want to play. Then I see (Keith) and your teeth come out…it’s amazing what you guys do, it really is.”
and on Gordon Beckham:
“I love you, bro. You know why I love you? Because you almost got me fired last year. And I am still playing you,” Guillen said. “But what I can say about Gordon is that this kid came up out of high school and college and two days in the minor leagues. He thought baseball was easy. My personal opinion is that what Gordon went through last year…I was kind of excited about it, I was happy, because that teaches him for the rest of his career. He’s got a chance to be a Hall of Famer, he’s got a chance to be a pretty good ballplayer. He’s got a chance to be a great hitter. And if he listens to me, he’s going to be better. What this kid went through…not too many people can handle that, especially when you are a kid and you have had success all of your life playing baseball. God puts you in a position to fail, to see how really you love this game.”
“I look at the roster and the games earlier in the season and how we’re going to play it, I look at the fifth starter,” Guillen said. “We’re going to use the fifth starter maybe one or two outings because of the day off and we can bump people, move people in the rotation.”
“I don’t expect him to be out there,” said Guillen, aware that Peavy will trying to convince him, general manager Ken Williams and pitching coach Don Cooper that he’ll be ready by April 1. “We have a Plan A,” Guillen said. “Plan B is going to be with Peavy there on roster as the fifth starter.”
“I think for him, he has to be in the bullpen,” said Guillen, who wasn’t sure if Sale would handle the closer or set-up duties. “I know he was a starter in college. But I already saw him in the big leagues last year in the bullpen, and I loved it.”
Coop says Sale will be a starter eventually:
“Chris Sale is going to be a starter,” Cooper told a radio audience Thursday. “I am just not sure it’s going to be right now. When Kenny makes the decision to start Sale, it’s going to be to stay there. People say, ‘Let Sale start.’ Well, what if Peavy is ready in three weeks? Now we move Sale [from the rotation to the bullpen]? It’s a little much for anybody, let alone a rookie, to jump from role to role. When the decision is made for Chris Sale to start, I welcome that challenge to get him over the hump as a starter. But he has already shown that he has a chance to be a real quality reliever.’’
SG @ RLYW:
I suppose this is where I should tell you that it’s still too early to treat these as gospel and we still have position battles and rosters to finalize, as well as playing time allocation and injuries to deal with, but that doesn’t seem to prevent some people from taking them seriously and insulting my mother anyway, so I won’t.
The previous standings (December 28) were:
The Sox are up, while the Twinkies and the Tigers are down.
BTW, seems Kenny read the suggestions at that post!
Here’s the broadcast schedule (pretty table). The broadcast schedule is also available at whitesox.com (portable). (more…)
… Doc didn’t just burst on to the baseball scene. He exploded with the force of super nova. At 19 years old, [Dwight] Gooden was utterly dominant, winning 17 games while striking out 276 batters (11.4/9 innings) and posting a 1.07 WHIP. In 1985 (or “The Summer of Doc“), the 20-year old Gooden put together one of the greatest seasons by a starting pitcher the baseball world had ever seen, posting a record of 24-4, striking out 268 batters (8.7/9 innings), and compiling a WHIP of 0.956 and an ERA of 1.53 (good for an ERA+ of 229). In 1986, at 21-years old, he finished the season with 17 wins, 200 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.10 all while anchoring the starting rotation of one of the greatest single season teams ever and winning the World Series.
He was, as the graphic above illustrates, arguably the greatest young pitcher out of the gate we have ever seen. The graphic above shows the top 25 pitchers in terms of rWAR over their first three seasons, age 17-23. …
There is a familiar name on that graphic…
Merkin @ CWS:
… Prior to his Tuesday media chat, Peavy threw a 40-pitch session off the mound featuring fastballs and changeups. It was preceded by long toss from up to 120 feet. The plan is for Peavy to throw off the mound again on Friday and then the Monday three days before White Sox pitchers and catchers report to Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 17.
Going through the work off the mound, even at 60 or 70 percent, by Peavy’s estimation, certainly has erased any doubts in Peavy’s mind about letting loose without fear of an injury recurrence. Now, it’s a matter of building up arm strength.
“It’s taking longer than I would expect to get my arm strength back, but I don’t think anybody’s arm strength is there at this point,” said Peavy, who had to find his arm slot again while working in November and December, instead of just easing back into throwing. “I hope Spring Training builds that up. Past that, I don’t have any hesitation.
“By mid-March, I better have good arm strength. If I get to the end of camp and I can’t throw the ball 90 mph, then it’s time to worry.”
Pain or soreness for Peavy has been limited to the normal level expected when any pitcher starts to prepare for Spring Training. But otherwise, Peavy seemed upbeat as always and on the right track to return. …
UPDATE: Audio here (4:31) (direct link).