Adam Dunn not in Sox lineup tomorrow. So he won't break MLB record for worst qualifying batting average.
— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) September 28, 2011
September 27, 2011
Williams was extremely candid during the sit down, telling us that he had offered to step down as Sox GM on multiple occasions and that he would “work within the organization if that was what chairman Jerry Reinsdorf felt was best for the franchise.”
However, Reinsdorf has committed to Williams to be the man to fix a team that woefully underachived this season.
“So much so that on a couple of separate occasions I went to Jerry Reinsdorf and I said, ‘Hey listen, If I’m the cog here in the machinery that’s a problem let’s talk about a transition thing because I love the organization, and I got value here and in the scouting world. I’d like to stick around a little bit. Put another banner up there, so if I’m the one here that is the cog that’s a problem let’s figure it out.’ It wasn’t so long ago that I did that again and also in that same conversation I said whether or not Ozzie is the decision I’m telling you straight to your face I can work with anyone, no matter what’s been said and what’s been done at this point. I can sit down here like men and work it out, and that opportunity didn’t come about.”
… Making sure I understood correctly, I asked: If Jerry said to you he’d make Rick Hahn the GM, you would’ve said fine if that’s what it took to get the Sox another title?
“With open arms, I’d welcome it,” Williams replied. “This isn’t easy. I think Jim (former Cubs GM Jim Hendry) just a few weeks ago said, he used the phrase all-consuming; there are only a couple of other people in this town that understood what he was talking about. When that time comes I’m more than willing that if I’m being ineffective, whether from a personnel standpoint or a manager standpoint, I’ll step aside and we’ll go out have a steak and smoke a cigar, it’s not a problem.”
Video at the link.
UPDATE: Here’s part 2 of the interview.
When he’s healthy, Marinez has the kind of power stuff you want to see in the back of a bullpen. He was healthy enough in 2010 to start the year in Jupiter and end it in the big leagues, though an elbow issue ended his year in July. Along the way, he struck out 13.7 per nine in the Minors, thanks to an improved breaking ball to go with his fastball. If he can improve his command and stay healthy — big ifs — he could see some saves in the future. Shoulder soreness slowed him this spring, but he’s pitching in Double-A Jacksonville’s bullpen now.
The 2006 11th-round pick had a breakout 2010, going to the Futures Game, helping Jacksonville win a Southern League title, finishing third in the system with a .302 average and earning a callup to the big leagues. He makes consistent contact and is selective at the plate. He plays a solid shortstop, though he’s currently blocked by Hanley Ramirez. He’s already been called upon to help in a utility role this year.
A contract extension for White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper figures to become official on Tuesday afternoon with the announcement of a new multi-year deal that will precede a two-game stint as manager in place of Ozzie Guillen.
Cooper is finishing his ninth full season and 10th overall as Chicago’s pitching coach, having begun the task on July 22, 2002. He has worked under managers Jerry Manuel and Guillen, and soon will be practicing his craft for a third — whomever is hired during the offseason to replace Guillen.
With Guillen released from his contract after Monday’s 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays to pursue other opportunities and bench coach Joey Cora apparently heading to the Marlins with Guillen, Cooper will run the show over the final two days of the 2011 season as the team’s interim manager.
CSN reports first base coach Harold Baines will get a multi-year deal too, but third base coach Jeff Cox and hitting coach Greg Walker won’t get new deals.
UPDATE: The extension is for 4 years:
Of Cooper, Williams said, “Well, the pitching has been as consistent over the last decade, and that’s a testament to our scouting department, to our player development department, to Don Cooper, directly in his direction. It’s something that’s well deserved and I’m happy, thrilled to know that he’s going to be on board here for the next four years.”
UPDATE #2: More Ballantini:
Martinez has the toughness and pedigree to appeal to Williams. Likewise his mentorship under universally-admired mentor Joe Maddon and Tampa Bay’s success with maximizing roster potential. But reading the tea leaves of Williams’ pregame comments on Tuesday, where, unsolicited, he mentioned that his “clear choice” might not be hired by the World Series because his choice might be involved.
“We have to wait and see who the players are in the World Series and if there’s someone on a playoff team that I ultimately might want to talk to, it might have to drag a little bit.”
For those who feel Williams is leaning toward Sandy Alomar Jr., the Cleveland Indians are not in the playoffs; unless the GM is initiating heavy subterfuge and misdirection, he’s already told us that his top candidate is in playoff contention. …
First, RHP Jhan Marinez:
The top relief prospect in the Marlins organization entering the season, Marinez seemed poised to make the leap to Florida in 2011. Instead he spun his wheels in Double-A, though he did earn a berth in the Futures Game in July. The wiry, fast-armed righthander throws an explosive four-seam fastball that sits 92-96 mph and reaches as high as 98. He’ll also show a sinking two-seamer. Marinez flashes a solid-average to plus power slider on occasion, but it comes and goes, disappearing all too often. When it’s there he’s got the stuff to close games out. However tantalizing the stuff, he must exhibit better command and control of both pitches to succeed. Durability has been a concern in the past, though his 56 appearances were a career high this year.
And, SS/2B Ozzie Martinez:
The No. 5 prospect in the Marlins system coming into this season, Martinez broke out in 2010, batting .326 in 43 big league at-bats while filling in for shortstop Hanley Ramirez in September. When he’s right, he sprays line drives from gap to gap with a level swing. He showed strong hands and excellent hand-eye coordination last year, when he looked like a potential No. 2 hitter with doubles power. Martinez’s plate discipline took a hit this year and he never got going offensively and his confidence suffered. At times he fell into a pull mode, getting away from what made him successful earlier. Mentally he wasn’t the same player, both at bat and in the field, where his play at short went from steady to erratic. He has the skills to play second and third and could fill a utility role. The strong arm is still there, as are the rest of his tools, but he showed only occasional glimpses of the all-around game that had Florida so excited a year ago.
Those reports sound better than I hoped they would!
The minor league pitcher in the compensation for releasing Ozzie Guillen from his contract will be Jhan Marinez
RHP Jhan Marinez‘ stats:
|2007||18||2 Teams||2 Lgs||FRk-Rk||FLA||2||3||.400||5.47||8||5||0||0||0||0||26.1||19||22||16||1||23||0||29||3||0||9||126||1.595||6.5||0.3||7.9||9.9||1.26|
|2010||21||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A+-AA||FLA||1||1||.500||1.71||36||1||25||0||0||10||42.0||21||9||8||2||21||1||64||1||0||8||162||1.000||4.5||0.4||4.5||13.7||3.05|
|AA (2 seasons)||AA||4||8||.333||3.25||71||0||31||0||0||9||74.2||56||31||27||8||49||0||94||1||2||15||322||1.406||6.8||1.0||5.9||11.3||1.92|
|FRk (2 seasons)||FRk||4||4||.500||6.10||25||7||4||0||0||1||59.0||58||47||40||1||45||47||8||0||16||279||1.746||8.8||0.2||6.9||7.2||1.04|
|Rk (2 seasons)||Rk||1||1||.500||6.86||15||1||2||0||0||1||21.0||26||19||16||0||18||0||22||3||1||2||106||2.095||11.1||0.0||7.7||9.4||1.22|
|A+ (2 seasons)||A+||1||2||.333||2.50||50||1||24||0||0||5||68.1||40||21||19||5||34||1||86||5||0||9||278||1.083||5.3||0.7||4.5||11.3||2.53|
10) Jhan Marinez, RHP, Grade C+: 4.27 ERA with 62/36 K/BB in 46 innings for Jacksonville, 42 hits. Outstanding K/IP ratio, strong stuff, too many walks.
The C+ grade is from the time he published his Marlins prospect list on back in January.
A source told MLB.com that the players coming to the White Sox figure to be utility infielder Ozzie Martinez and a Minor League pitcher, after Guillen was released from the one year remaining on his contract per his request to pursue other opportunities.
SS Ozzie Martinez‘ stats:
|2007||19||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A–A+||FLA||39||131||114||8||21||5||0||0||6||8||2||12||25||.184||.268||.228||.496||26||3||1||4||0||0|
|A+ (2 seasons)||A+||131||486||433||54||110||16||5||1||45||16||4||42||51||.254||.324||.321||.645||139||15||4||5||2||0|
|A (1 season)||A||85||331||304||44||90||11||3||6||29||5||5||13||46||.296||.331||.411||.742||125||12||4||8||2||0|
|AA (1 season)||AA||130||587||516||90||156||28||4||5||54||13||9||49||64||.302||.372||.401||.773||207||10||9||11||2||0|
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||49||194||171||21||45||4||1||1||21||7||4||19||21||.263||.335||.316||.651||54||4||0||3||1||0|
|A- (1 season)||A-||38||130||114||8||21||5||0||0||6||8||2||11||25||.184||.262||.228||.490||26||3||1||4||0||0|
|AAA (1 season)||AAA||88||371||339||43||83||15||1||3||26||11||4||21||57||.245||.296||.322||.618||109||9||5||3||3||0|
7) Osvaldo Martinez, SS, Grade C+: .230/.286/.306 with 18 walks, 48 strikeouts in 278 at-bats for New Orleans. 3-for-20 in the majors. The bat is going to be a big problem, and he only ranked this high due to the weakness of the system. Baseball America had him fifth.
As I said earlier, could the minor league pitcher be 20-year old Class-A+ prospect LHP Chad James?
John Sickels had this to say for Chad James:
3) Chad James, LHP, Grade B- 3.89 ERA with 114/47 K/BB in 134 innings for High-A Jupiter, 155 hits, 3-15 record. He hasn’t been awful but is hittable. Young at 20.
Sickels’ grades are from last year. Comments are from his review.
“Was it time for a change? I don’t think so. I guess things were accelerated. We had no intention of firing him. This was kind of acquiescing to some of his desires more than anything. It is what it is. I can’t, I don’t wish to expound on any of the peripherals to the degree that they become more of a story than they really are.”This is a case of a man making a business decision for himself and his family. And we respect it. We respected it enough to allow this to happen. Obviously we didn’t agree with the request for an extension and in answer to your question, yes, we’ve had I can’t tell you how much dialogue on the subject.”