According to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, the White Sox are willing to deal starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, who was acquired last season in a deadline trade with the Diamondbacks. It wasn’t specified what the White Sox want in return, though I hope that it would be something that might help us in a late-season push (Hey, I still have faith). Hardball Talk speculates that Kenny Williams may be looking for a third baseman, which would be fine with me. Unfortunately, Brent Morel seems to be the latest to fall into the black hole that is the White Sox’ Hot Corner.
As for Jackson himself, I can’t say I’d be sad to see him go. He looked good when he came to us last year, posting a 3.24 ERA and 77 K’s over 11 games, but has faltered this season, with a losing record and a 4.30 ERA over 17 games. You never know which Jackson is going to show up, and with five other fairly strong pitchers around him, I wouldn’t mind it if he was the odd man out. As a commenter on Hardball Talk said, the guy has the consistency of a shapeshifter.
DIGRESSIVE SIDE NOTE: In my previous post, I singled out Tyler Clippard as a player who should not be an All-Star. Turns out he was the game’s winning pitcher. Oops.
DIGRESSIVE SIDE NOTE PART II: Yes, the old theme is back. Unfortunately, it appears us MLBloggers have to use the standard themes in order to qualify for the Latest Leaders list. Kind of a bummer. I really like the sleekness of the old theme.
Finally, the long and torturous offseason is about to come to an end. We’re in the home stretch now: 19 days until White Sox pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch. In honor of this milestone, here are the top 19 reasons I can’t wait for spring training:
19) I live in Connecticut, where there is nearly 5 feet of snow on the ground and it is cold and gray outside. I would like hear news from a place where it is warm and sunny and, best of all, there is not a spot of snow on the ground.
18) I’m curious to see if Gordon Beckham plans on bringing back this stylin’ hairdo:
17) It’s officially time for the White Sox and Don Cooper to come face-to-face and either work it out or part their separate ways. It’s clear Don Cooper wishes he was with the Yankees right now, and it’s also clear that the front office is being petty towards him by communicating with him only via text-message. Both sides need to meet, and that will happen in Arizona.
16) Hoping Mark Buehrle will roll up the ball park in his killing-the-ozone-one-mile-at-a-time truck.
15) Is this the year Jordan Danks shows us something special and earns a roster spot? Always hoping to see the younger Danks roaming the Cell’s outfield…maybe my wish will come true this year.
14) I get to see Chris Sale throw again, and be reminded why he is our future ace.
13) Our big free-agent signing, Adam Dunn, is at long last unveiled, ready to show us that we finally have a stable, powerful, and productive DH.
12) The post-Bobby Jenks era in the bullpen will commence, and the race for the closer spot will begin. Will favorite Matt Thornton emerge with the role? Maybe hot-shot Chris Sale? Or even a dark horse, like Jesse Crain? The competition should be great to watch.
11) It’s always fun to see what color AJ Pierzynski’s hair currently is.
10) Can Jake Peavy return to form after his unprecedented shoulder surgery? That question will finally be answered for curious fans like myself.
9) I’m waiting waiting waiting for Mark Teahen to be removed from the hot corner, and will relish the moment when prospect Brett Morel earns the spot.
8) This year will be the year when Carlos Quentin revisits the MVP-caliber self he was in ’08. I just know it. The road back starts NOW.
7) Finally, I can start watching ESPN again. I don’t mind football, but I want some baseball news sprinkled in there. Otherwise, I start doing homework and actually become productive. And that simply cannot do.
6) I can also begin wearing my ChiSox apparel once again in places other than gym class. I don’t like wearing my Mark Buehrle shirt if I know there’s no game it will bring him luck in.
5) Spring training always coincides with the beginning of second semester. I’m halfway through the school year. Baseball reminds me that I’m almost there, that summer will come soon enough.
4) With the dawn of each new season comes hope. Hope that the ChiSox will not disappoint me this time. We will go 162-0 and win the World Series and watch those Twinkies cry themselves to sleep at night in last place. At least, that’s what I can hope for.
3) As teams take shape, I can make predictions for the season…and maybe this year, one will actually be right.
2) We all know that spring training will not end without a word from Oney Guillen and his Twitter feed. He’s not done yet. There’s always someone to bash.
1) And of course, where there’s Oney’s mouth, there’s the man who gave him that voice in the first place.
Or maybe not. But either way, it’s still very exciting. Tonight at 9 PM eastern time, MLB Network will be counting down the top 50 prospects from around the league. I’ve made a point of watching this show for the past two years for two reasons. 1) By this point, I am usually desperate for some sort of baseball talk that doesn’t involve discussion of washed-up free agents (Hi, Andruw Jones. How ya doing?), and 2) I enjoy watching games during the season and discovering that I’ve actually HEARD of these guys before. I went to a Giants game at AT&T Park last June, and when Madison Bumgarner came up to pinch-hit, I was the only one in my family who knew something about him other than the fact that his name was sort of funny.
But of course, it’s not Giants prospects I want to see on the screen tonight. I want to see White Sox prospects and marvel at how bright our future is, and then I want to see Twins prospects and grumble about the competition facing us. Looking at MLB.com’s top 10 prospect lists by position, it appears that neither team has top prospects at catcher, right hand pitcher, first, second, or short. The Twinkies have the No. 5 third baseman Miguel Sano, who is apparently a “physical specimen” with “above-average raw power and excellent bat speed.” Well, I certaintly wouldn’t want to have a specimen on my team. Specimens remind me of something like this:
The other two top Twinkie prospects are described somewhat less biologically. No. 5 outfielder Aaron Hicks has “a chance to be one of those five-tool types”, and No. 9 outfielder Ben Revere “is making a career out of proving people wrong” due to his small size. Ooh, goody, another Dustin Pedroia type. Lord knows how much I love “I’m short, so I can be arrogant” attitude.
Our prospects, on the other hand, are much more solid. No. 6 LHP Chris Sale (who we all know and love already) “should be able to handle the opportunity to join the White Sox rotation soon without any real difficulty” and No. 3 third baseman Brett Morel might “land the job at hot corner by Opening Day.” That would be lovely. The less time this guy spends fielding, the better.
We have no specimens. We have no guys who merely have chances or who feel the need to prove people wrong every minute. No, our top prospects are tough, developed, and most importantly, ready. Here’s to their success this season!