As expressed in previous posts, I had two wishes for the White Sox going into the trade deadline. One: Don’t deal Edwin Jackson. And two: Get Colby Rasmus. Well, I guess too many people had been making wishes and mine got drowned out. Yesterday afternoon, it was revealed that neither wish would be coming true. Jackson was dealt to the Blue Jays in exchange for pitcher Jason Frasor. I still had hope for Rasmus, until I learned that the only reason the Blue Jays acquired Jackson was so that they could flip him to Cardinals in exchange for Rasmus.
So Edwin Jackson is a Cardinal. Colby Rasmus is a Blue Jay. And Alex Rios is still a White Sock.
There was one good thing about the Jackson deal though. The horrifically dreadful Mark Teahen and his $5.5 million-a-year contract were also sent north of the border in order to get Frasor. I don’t know much about Frasor, but I do know that I personally would trade Teahen for a bag of peanuts. A .203 batting average and 11 RBIs this season? He’s all yours, Canada.
So, after learning that the Sox beat Detroit last night to win the series, I was eager to see what the standings looked like. I scrolled down the White Sox homepage to learn the glorious truth (3.5 games back, 1 game under .500, thankyouverymuch), but next to the standings, I noticed something odd in the ‘Team Leaders’ box.
Hm, I always thought that in order to be a team leader, you had to be, you know, ON THE TEAM. Oh well. It was nice to see a pop of color on the White Sox’ depressingly black-and-white homepage. We’ll miss you, Edwin.
(Until you give up 7 runs in your next start. Then I will pity Cardinals fans.)
EDIT: As of 8:45 p.m., the White Sox don’t have a strikeouts leader at all. Ah, the fun of the trade deadline 🙂
I never like waking up in the morning feeling sore, but I’ve also never pitched a major league baseball game. I guess after a few innings of work, albeit in a spring training game, you do get sore, and it’s not a bad thing. Unless you happened to have recently undergone surgery to reattach a muscle to your bone, then you might be more paranoid about soreness than the average pitcher.
Thankfully, Peavy was sore in what he deemed to be appropriate places, so his continued rehab will go according to plan: a simulated game today and a start on Wednesday. I am very pleased. With every pitch, Peavy is closer to returning sooner than anticipated (originally the target date was July 14, the first date after the All-Star break). While our rotation is strong, it’s always nice to have another guy to help shoulder the load. (Excuse the pun. I’ve been hanging out with theater kids for the past two weeks.)
Ozzie, as always, has something to say after the Sox have opened spring with an ugly 1-5 record. Apparently, if things do not come together soon, he will begin “throwing people under the bus.” In Ozzie-speak, that means sending people down. Candidates look like Dallas McPherson, who partnered with that obscene Mark Teahen to commit three errors at third in the last game, and Brent Lillibridge, who killed a potential rally by getting picked off at first. I know it’s only spring, but tension already seems to be in the air. Maybe they just need to get the jitters out of their system before the run to the division crown? I hope…
Finally. Tomorrow afternoon, I will come home from school and watch the White Sox spring training opener against the Dodgers on MLB Network. I am so excited. I realize that spring training essentially meaningless, but after such a long and dreary winter, I can’t wait to see my boys. Before every game, White Sox VP Scott Reifert tweets the game’s lineup. When I saw “Lineup for tomorrow’s Cactus League #WhiteSox opener: JP7, Beck4, Rios8, Dunndh, PK3, Q9, AJ2, Ram6, Morel5. Play Ball!” appear on my Twitter feed, I grinned. I forgot the little things that I miss when there is no baseball.
Among other exciting storylines in tomorrow’s game is the debut of new acquisition Adam Dunn, who will be hitting third in the lineup (that tweet above is inaccurate. It was posted very early, so I guess some tinkering was done after the fact). It’s very exciting that we now have a true DH in the lineup, and even though it’s very early, it’d be nice if Dunn could make a good first impression. I don’t want to be making this face by the bottom of the ninth.
Poking around the depth chart, a couple of interesting things catch my eye. One is that Brent Lillibridge is apparently Utilityman Supreme. The depth chart has his name under second base, shortstop, left field, center field, and right field. That’s quite a list. Whether or not he actually makes the 25-man roster remains to be seen. After all, a .194 career batting average isn’t desirable. But it would be nice to have someone to call on for defensive purposes when in a pinch.
Another thing I see on the depth chart is that Brent Morel is currently listed ahead of Mark Teahen in the third base slot. According to an article on MLB.com, the two are currently in a “friendly battle” for the starting spot. We may be a ways off from decision time, but just the notion of Mark Teahen sitting on the bench makes me jump up and down inside. Lindy’s Baseball Magazine has these glowing words to say about him:
- Continues to leak bat speed and power
- Substandard 3B
- Has lost range to both sides and struggles throwing.
They ultimately give him one star, which according to their key means he is a bench player. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Hopefully with Morel at the hot corner, I won’t have to do this every time a ball is hit to third.
(I just realized that in previous entries, I have consistently referred to Brent Morel as “Brett”. It’s even in my tag cloud. Whoops.)
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!