Today’s ‘B’ game lineup:
Mitchell lf; Danks cf; Flowers c; Viciedo 1b; Kroeger dh; Nix 2b; Lillibridge ss; Morel 3b; De Aza rf; Floyd p
Besides G. Floyd, D. Cabrera, C. Torres and D. Hudson are scheduled to pitch.
BTW, Jim says pay attention to the walk and strikeout numbers.
Guillen ultimately made the decision to bypass the return of Jim Thome or the addition of a full-time, left-handed designated hitter to use this position as a rotating talent slot. Guillen will employ Mark Kotsay, Andruw Jones, Jayson Nix and Omar Vizquel as the DH, while giving a day off without giving a day off from time to time to position-player starters such as Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin.
There are plenty of doubters who believe the offense will not succeed at its optimum level with the variety of players filling this slot. But Guillen believes he can better suit his offense to different styles of pitchers by using this flexibility to maneuver the lineup. …
Somehow the addition of a 700 OPS bat to the DH committee doesn’t make me feel any better.
Does that role include playing?
Guillen and general manager Ken Williams stressed recently how these young reserves should not count themselves out. Williams specifically addressed Nix’s situation when asked Thursday if he would have a talk with Nix before the holiday party.
“Jayson has a role on this team,” Williams said. “So, I absolutely will.” …
Williams said the possibility of rookie Tyler Flowers becoming the primary backup catcher to A.J. Pierzynski becomes a strong consideration each day.
“As we sit right now, he’s probably the leading candidate to be the backup,” Williams said. “… Tyler Flowers is going to hit. And that’s one thing we have to consider.”
Another consideration is that teams are starting to sign catchers, even at eye-opening prices. The New York Mets doubled free agent Henry Blanco’s salary by agreeing to a one-year, $1.5 million contract as a backup catcher.
The Mets have yet to land a starting catcher but are considering free agent Bengie Molina. The Sox had interest in Blanco but could shift their sights on Mike Redmond, a dependable contact hitter who was a member of Florida’s 2003 World Series champion team, in which Guillen served as a coach.
More at the link: Jake Peavy, Omar Vizquel, Andruw Jones, Brent Lillibridge, Jayson Nix, Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, Brandon Hynick.
Merkin on how things shape up:
… Jayson Nix, who is out of options, certainly has not been knocked out of the Major League picture, especially with his ability to play the outfield and three infield positions — not to mention adding his own burst of power off the bench. He could also be part of the rotating designated-hitter spot.
While the White Sox figure to make one more major position player addition, probably to fill the leadoff spot through an outfielder, the return of Scott Podsednik still ranges from remote to inconclusive. Podsednik and his camp continue to look for a multi-year deal, an area where the White Sox are not willing to go.
“It is still early in the process and we have had several teams express interest in Scott,” said Ryan Gleichowski, Podsednik’s agent, in an e-mail. “Our goal is to keep the lines of communication open with the White Sox. We will continue to see how things develop.”
There also figures to be at least one White Sox bullpen upgrade, although the team has five veterans currently set and holding down relief spots. There also is a group of four or five young hurlers who the South Siders can turn to in support of one of the American League’s top starting rotations.
Cowley has more on the Pods situation:
The signing of Jones still doesn’t solve the hole at the leadoff spot, as talks with Scott Podsednik have once again stalled with the two sides still in a staring contest.
The Sox have spoken to representation for Coco Crisp, but a source close to the situation said that Crisp would still be Plan B if things don’t change with Podsednik very soon.
The White Sox signed veteran shortstop Omar Vizquel to a one-year, $1.375 million deal on Monday, according to a source close to the situation. Vizquel, who turns 43 in April, will be a backup middle infielder. …
With Vizquel on board, the youthful utility tandem of Jayson Nix and Brent Lillibridge has been put on further notice. Guillen spoke at the end of the 2008 campaign as to how Nix needed to make better contact and Lillibridge needed to take greater advantage of his speed to secure their respective roster spots. There figures to be one spot left between the two of them, although even before Vizquel and the White Sox agreed to terms, Nix understood the task facing him.
“My focus is on making the adjustments I need to make and to come in being the most complete player I can be,” Nix said. “From there, whatever happens, happens. “If I’m on my game and doing what I’m capable of doing, opportunities will come. I’m just focused on doing what I need to do to help the team more.”
Stats: B-R, FG.
Here’s the press release.
UPDATE: Vizquel says he won’t have a problem accepting his backup role.
Rosenthal (via MLBTR):
White Sox close on Vizquel. One year deal to be backup
42-year-old Vizquel earned $1 million as a backup last year. He played 2B, 3B, and SS. Is Kenny getting his guy again?
Stats: B-R, FG.
The Chicago White Sox are in negotiations with Omar Vizquel‘s agents, Arn Tellem and Tom Reich, to sign the future Hall of Fame shortstop for the 2010 season, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The source said a deal is close to being done.
The Chicago White Sox are talking to veteran shortstop Omar Vizquel about a contract and a deal is expected in the coming days, sources confirm.
If a deal is close, it’s not expected to be announced Friday. The White Sox said Friday that beside the five additions the club made to its 40-man roster, there would be no other news.
And here’s SoxNet’s take.
UPDATE #2: Cowley:
“I hear they are talking,” Guillen said in a phone interview. “I’ve talked to Vizquel in the past, but they aren’t telling me anything. I just got back from Venezuela, and I guess Kenny and Rick didn’t want me running my mouth down there. “I’ll tell you what, though, if this kid is on the team there’s no way in hell he’s wearing No. 13.”
This kid is 3 years younger than Ozzie! Beckham was 2 years old when this kid made his MLB debut!
it won’t be shortstop:
“I’m not saying he’s not a good shortstop,” Guillen said of Beckham. “I think if he moves somewhere, it should be to second base. The last three months, (Ramirez) played pretty good.”
Also, Ozzie put Jayson Nix and Brent Lillibridge on notice again:
“I expect those two guys to change their games and play the way we think they can play,” Guillen said. “They have to go out and give us better at-bats. If they don’t, we have to go a different way.”
Nix batted .224/.308/.408/.716 with 28 BBs and 64 Ks in 290 PAs.
Lastly Scot Gregor speculates about a possible bullpen pickup. Gregor throws out the name of Will Ohman.
The White Sox’ manager issued stern warnings to utility players Jayson Nix, Brent Lillibridge and even rookie catcher Tyler Flowers. They all need to start playing “small ball” if they hope to stick on the 25-man roster. … “I take the heat for everything, so I have to demand some stuff,” Guillen said. “You are going to continue to do that, you won’t be with us. It’s going to be tough for them to be here. I don’t think they play the game they should be playing in the big leagues. You’ve got to hit and run, you’ve got to move the guy over. You can’t strike out 60 times when you’re a backup player. You can’t. OK, you have a few home runs, but you can’t strike out that many times. Their game’s got to change because the way we’re going to play from now on, it’s a different ballgame and we’ve got to be prepared for that.”
Nix (.224/.307/.409/.716) has 63 strikeouts in 254 ABs. Here are Nix’ 2009 Batting Splits. Flowers has 8 Ks in 16 ABs. Lillibridge has 25 Ks in 93 ABs.
Videos: Gordon Beckham (1:28), Chris Getz (1:06), Jayson Nix (1:17), Sox Rookie Music Video (2:23)
Interviews: Gordon Beckham, Chris Getz, Jayson Nix (and non-rookies Jermaine Dye, Gavin Floyd, Ozzie Guillen)
Here’s everyone’s answer to ‘What scares you?':
Gordon Beckham: The dark
Chris Getz: –
Jayson Nix: Swimming in the ocean
Jermaine Dye: Snakes
Gavin Floyd: Sharks, but I’m really fascinated by them
Ozzie Guillen: Rats
Snakes! I hate Snakes!
Here’s Ozzie Guillen:
“[Nix] is going to be my utility player as long as he wants to. This kid is a great utility player. I think our plan is having [Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez] and Getz at their positions for the future. [Nix] can help us a lot when we need him. He’s playing very well, but am I going to pencil him in every day? Time will tell. Now we have three guys and we count on those guys for a long time.”
So, we have: 2B: Getz, SS: Alexei, 3B: Beckham, UL: Nix
Seems Ozzie doesn’t think Nix > Getz
UPDATE: More Ozzie on Nix:
”When he hits them, he hits them pretty good. ‘He’s got unbelievable bat speed. I’m very surprised the team he played with in the past [the Colorado Rockies] let him go. I’m sure they had their own reason. He’s going to be a White Sox for a little while.”