Archive for the ‘Chicago White Sox’ Category

MLB: Spring Training-Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox

Everybody knows what an ace looks like. Big numbers, big arm, big paycheck. There are more teams than aces as true number ones are few and far between.

The Chicago White Sox have one of those guys in Chris Sale. He’s big, weird, and really, really good. Their number two starter? Something of an unknown commodity in Jose Quintana. Unknown as he once was, Quintana is now rich as the ChiSox and the left-handed starter agreed to a five-year deal (with options) that could be worth $26 million.

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MLB: New York Yankees at Chicago White Sox

Addison Reed is a pretty good reliever. He was better in 2012 than in 2013 but, by and large, he’s a decent end-of-game option. The White Sox have no real need for just a such a player, heading into a rebuild phase with young players at many key positions. A proven closer one season away from an expensive arbitration payday is a luxury they don’t really require.

It makes sense that Arizona would make a move for a younger pitcher that still has crucial “closer” experience. Their bullpen lead baseball in blown saves last season, tied with the Astros at 29. Somehow, the Snakes’ bullpen in 2013 feels worse than it actually performed. Adding Heath Bell is a sure way to swing opinion the wrong way, but the former Padres and Marlins stopper was quite good in Arizona, earning himself a new job in Tampa Bay to be their end of game guy.

The blown saves are unsightly but David Hernandez rebounded after a shocking demotion to AAA and J.J. Putz was excellent in the second half. Brad Zielger was excellent throughout the season. The blowups live long in the mind Arizona’s general manager Kevin Towers so they got more bullpen depth, more saves and a new pitcher, adding presumptive closer Addison Reed from Chicago in exchange for third base prospect Matt Davidson.

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Early Monday afternoon, the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired reliever Addison Reed from the White Sox for prospect third baseman Matt Davidson in what I think qualifies as our first major post-Winter Meetings move of the offseason. For the White Sox, the move is simple — Davidson is not Jeff Keppinger and can play third base.

But for Arizona, this trade goes down as yet another odd move in Kevin Towers’s quest for not just winning, but winning the Right Way. As such, I can do little but wonder what infractions against the Kevin Towers-Ken Kendrick-Krik Gibson Arizona Way the 22-year-old corner man committed in his time with the organization.

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MLB: Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels

A rather dramatic three-team deal just threw the Winter Meetings into gear, with the Angels shipping out slugger Mark Trumbo to the Arizona Diamondbacks along with two players to be named later, Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago of the White Sox headed to Anaheim and Adam Eaton on his way to Chicago.

It’s a big deal, as the Angels had so little room to maneuver they needed to make any deal involving Mark Trumbo. The Orange County native, an useful power hitter about to get more expensive as he hits arbitration for the first time, represents tantalizing power from the right side of the plate. It was too much for Arizona to resist, as they give up a stalled pitching prospect and their exciting center fielder to get the ever elusive right-handed power bat.

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Boston Red Sox v Chicago White Sox

The 2013 is full of terrific redemption stories, most of them residing on the New York Yankees. Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells are putting together seasons many refused to believe they still had in them.

Vernon Well, in particular, looks like a new man. A few changes to his swing and setup have the former Blue Jays center fielder swinging like it’s 2006. Or 2010. Maybe 2003. One of those odd years in which Vernon Wells is good, I can’t tell which one.

While Vernon Wells might steal all the headlines with his multi-positional verstality and (dead cat) bounce back to relevance, he isn’t the only recovering Blue Jays outfielder putting together a solid first half in 2013. Wells’ old outfield mate Alex Rios is swinging the bat better than just about any outfielder in baseball, actually.

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Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians

With the departure of long-time Chicago White Sox starting catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Tyler Flowers officially became the man behind the plate in the Windy City. Flowers’ “power and patience” skill set as a minor leaguer made him a key piece of the 2009 Javier Vasquez trade with the Atlanta Braves.

After a few promising cameos at the big league level, this year is a big one for the converted first baseman. Flowers started the season hot with home runs in his first two games of the season, but contact issues have dragged his numbers down here in early April.

Getting Blanked spoke with Flowers about his approach to preparation, making adjustments based on the count, getting back to a good space and much more in the first edition (hopefully of many) of My Approach.

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Toronto Blue Jays v Chicago White Sox

Remember when the Houston Astros moved to the American League and it ruined everything forever? While the Astros’ move to the AL West is mostly painful for the Astros themselves, there are many more dominoes of suffering yet to fall in this chain. No one will suffer more than you, the fan of baseball, now subjected to interleague play on every day of the year.

With 15 teams in each league, one from each league must be facing off at all times. The Reds and Angels started the season and the Royals and Phillies battled in Philadelphia this past weekend.

Games played in National League stadiums are subject to NL rules, meaning no DH. Interleague is what it is, the merits of which will not be debated here and now, but let’s consider this a bonus gift from the interleague gods. Because it gives rise to glorious questions like “will Adam Dunn play left field this week?”

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