Attack of the Pod Person, Bad Contreras

You know, if we’re talking about rampages, it’s only fitting that Podzilla started the damage.

Scott Podsednik received the “Where Will He Play Next Year?” treatment before delivering the game-winning hit in a 5-4 victory over the Angels Wednesday night. Imagine what those articles would look like if came a day later.
It’s a fun question, but it’s something that can’t even be addressed until he makes it through the season healthy.
For his part, Pods is saying the right things: He wants to stay in Chicago, he doesn’t mind tutoring a Jordan Danks or Jared Mitchell, and Greg Walker(!) is actually helping him.
Who’d’ve thunk that Podsednik would be answering these questions to the media? And that those answers sound great?
Ozzie Guillen, on the other hand, has to answer the same old questions about Jose Contreras.
Contreras came into his start on Tuesday with issues throwing strikes two of his last three outings. Make that three of four. He walked five in 2 2/3 innings, showing perhaps the least control to date.
There is some silver lining in this slump.
No. 1: This is a familiar problem.
Contreras is arguably the streakiest pitcher in the league. He dominated in May last season, then regressed throughout June and into July before heading to the DL. And who can forget this six-start stretch in 2007?
Guillen has every reason to handle Contreras with a short leash. Contreras’ Cuban Pride is the elephant in the room, but there’s enough rough history to give Guillen the ability to make a confident executive decision as he shapes a four-man rotation during Jake Peavy’s rehabilitation. If he is willing.
No. 2: Bobby Jenks gives the Sox roster flexibility.
If Jenks’ battle against kidney stone wages on, the Sox are going to need to do something. D.J. Carrasco probably won’t be available for a few days after going four innings on Tuesday, and they’re without a fifth starter on top of that.
It’s a little unfortunate — had Jenks not pitched in the 14-4 blowout of the Yankees on Aug. 1, the Sox would’ve been able to retroactively DL him to July 26.
But you can look at it both ways. If the Sox decide to put Jenks on the DL retroactively to Aug. 2, the Sox have a lot more room to juggle a roster. The Sox would have space to rotate not only fifth starters and sixth relievers, but a fourth starter as well, should Guillen deem Contreras not up to the task
I doubt such a drastic move will be made, especially since Contreras’ next start would theoretically take place against the struggling Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
Another Contreras flop, however, and Dan Hudson becomes a real possibility.
Hudson extended his scoreless innings streak to 28 innings with six more on Tuesday. He’s struck out 30 batters over his last 26 innings to just 12 hits and four walks.
It seems surreal on the surface to consider Hudson a viable option this late in the game, especially since he started the season in Kannapolis. But if Contreras pulls off another faceplant, he’ll probably be on the front of Kenny Williams’ mind.
In their 108-year history, the White Sox have never made the playoffs in two consecutive seasons. While Williams’ biggest move may not have 2009 implications, I think he’ll pull out all the other stops in an attempt to make history. With the way he’s pitching now, Hudson has to factor into the equation, big-time.
Minor league roundup:

  • Louisville 2, Charlotte 0
    • Norris Hopper and Josh Kroeger had two hits apiece, constituting Charlotte’s entire hit total.
    • Matt Zaleski struck out six over six strong innings, with the only damage coming from a solo homer.
    • Jon Link walked one over a scoreless inning.
  • Birmingham 4, Mobile 0
    • Hudson is real damn good: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 66 of 94 pitches were strikes.
    • Dave Cook hit his 20th homer, and Lee Cruz hit his second. Both were two-run shots.
    • Jordan Danks went 0-for-3 with a walk and his sixth steal; C.J. Retherford had a 1-for-4 night.
  • Wilmington 3, Winston-Salem 1
    • Jacob Rasner allowed two runs on six hits and three walks over six innings, striking out five.
    • Tyson Corley retired all five batters he faced.
    • Justin Greene and Brent Morel both drew the collar; Seth Loman hit a solo homer.
  • Kannapolis 7, West Virginia 5
    • Charles Leesman was no good, allowing eight hits and four walks over 4 1/3 innings with zero strikeouts.
    • Jared Mitchell went 2-for-4 with an RBI; Daniel Black did the same with a double.
    • Jon Gilmore went 1-for-4 with two runs scored.
    • Luis Sierra, giving catching a shot, hit a two-run homer.
  • Kingsport 10, Bristol 6
    • Miguel Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, double and two walks.
    • Daniel Wagner, Leighton Pangilinan and Kyle Davis each went 2-for-5.
    • Matthew Heidenreich was the only effective pitcher, throwing a scoreless inning.
  • Great Falls 7, Billings 3
    • Zach Kayne went 3-for-4 with a triple and a walk.
    • Kyle Colligan doubled, singled twice and drove in a run.
    • Jimmy Ballinger was so-so: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.
    • Jacob Wilson and Matthew Hopps threw two scoreless innings apiece.
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Pods has solved the leadoff question for us this year. I guess it depends on how our roster changes next year whether he is back or not. Too bad the guy can’t play at least an average defensive position.
One thing for sure, he’s been a great addition! If he keeps it going this year, at the least he may have some trade value.


Hudson’s progression is very impressive I still think its a bit of a leap though to think he could get a meaningful late August start, sox have options in Garcia, Colon, Torres, even Egbert who they may consider in a pinch. Not in love with any of those guys but typically thats just how coop and ozzie operate.
I still think Peavy makes it back faster then most expect, I would be very surprised if he didnt make atleast 1 start for the big club in August.


On the pods issue, if he makes it thru august and september you are almost forced to bring him back in 2010, unless of course a chone figgins signing occurs…. It wont hurt if its a 1 year deal for not that much salary and he is on board with working with Mitchell and Danks in spring, although both those guys have much more power potential then pods.


I don’t know what “working with Mitchell and Danks” means, but I couldn’t be less interested in Pods having any influence over them whatsoever. Fundamentally, he’s a baseball disaster. There is no ignoring that he has somehow put together a VERY nice run at the plate this year, but I don’t want any duplicates of him. Replicating his production is one thing; replicating his style of play is quite another.
That said, if he does stay healthy and productive the rest of this year, I too see no way he isn’t brought back to play LF with Q! in RF and (please dear God) a real, honest-to-God CF.


Scotty Pods has got to be the Comeback Player of the year!! He looks better than he did in 2005. I’d say the Sox should bring him back for 2010 while Danks & Mitchell get ready. Scotty could play LF with Quentin moving to RF if we sign a better CF. Dye & Konerko could share 1B & DH. It great to see #22 having the success he’s had.


I was wondering what kind of stuff Hudson has, and found a few scouting reports.
This one is from 2008, before he was drafted:
And this one is from last month:
Looks like he’s made good improvements over the last year, adding 4+ mph on a 4 seam fastball (91-94), has a good or possibly plus slider, and has significantly increased his effectiveness against lefties. Circle change is average, and his curveball is a get me over (we all know what Hawk things of those).


Please no Freddy Garcia. That’s all i ask.