Suggestion box: Break time

Quick note: I’ve been out of town for my brother’s wedding, but I’ll be all caught up by tonight. I have a few ideas for the All-Star break, but if anybody wants anything about the first half in particular to be addressed, feel free to drop suggestions in the comments.
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Minor league roundup:

  • Charlotte 9, Gwinnett 4
    • Brent Morel singled, doubled, tripled and drove in three.
    • Buck Coats went 3-for-4 with a double and two walks, raising his average to .318.
    • Jordan Danks was 1-for-4 with an RBI, walk and strikeout.
    • Brandon Hynick allowed three runs on five hits and a walk over seven innings. He struck out two, and allowed two homers.
    • Carlos Torres, working out of the bullpen, allowed a run on two hits and a walk over two innings, with two K’s.
  • Lynchburg 5, Winston-Salem 4
    • Joe Serafin allowed all five runs in the first inning. He pitched 5 2/3 scoreless after that.
    • Eduardo Escobar went 2-for-4.
    • Jon Gilmore and Jose Martinez (one K) both had a single over four ABs.
    • Brandon Short was 0-for-4 with a K and an HBP.
  • Kannapolis 4, Augusta 0
    • Brady Shoemaker was 3-for-5 with an RBI; Kyle Colligan 2-for-5 with an RBI.
    • Miguel Gonzalez had two singles over four ABs.
    • Nick Ciolli wore the collar, striking out twice.
  • Elizabethon 5, Bristol 1
    • Jacob Petricka was dinged up for four runs on eight hits (one homer) over five innings, but good news: zero walks, six strikeouts.
    • Tyler Saladino went 4-for-5 with a double.
    • Rangel Ravelo was 0-for-4 with a K; Daniel Black 1-for-4 with two K’s.
  • Missoula 9, Great Falls 5
    • Ross Wilson doubled and drove in two, his only hit over four ABs.
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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cushinglee

When it comes to the first half, where do you start? This has to be one of the craziest seasons I’ve ever seen as a lifetime White Sox fan. And we haven’t gotten to the second half yet, or the fallout from whatever’s going to be on that MLB show. If you write a book about this season, it will be 600 pages long.

ceverettsdinosaurs

Now that Brent Morel is heating up for Charlotte I started getting excited that he could handle the promotion. However, then I went and looked at his stats and noticed that his OBP has never been very good (including at Charlotte right now) and his slugging is a bit lackluster. He’s never had an OPS above .874, and that was in rookie ball. Generally, his OPS has hovered in the high 7s and low 8s. Is this something to get excited about? I know he plays plus defense at the hot corner, but are we blowing his performance out of proportion?

bigfun

Some people are definitely getting ahead of themselves. His .396 BABIP doesn’t look real. I don’t think he’ll be a fast-moving prospect like others in the Sox system. He’s only 23 right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t become a starter until 2012. More of a Chris Getz development schedule than a Gordon Beckham or even Viciedo schedule.
Ultimately I think he could be a league-average-ish 3B with a plus glove and minus bat, which is an underrated commodity in the Sox system at the league minimum price. Not sensational, but a useful player.

sars

speaking of plus glove, minus bats…i actually found myself longing for joe crede the other day when pondering on how good the defense has been. crede was one hell of a third baseman.

blacksox56

Anybody know how Sale’s doing so far out of the pen?

brent

I was asking my buddy the same question yesterday. I was told that he has given up zilch in very limited action thus far (like 3 IP)

ceverettsdinosaurs

3 K’s to one BB in 3IP for Winston-Salem. He hasn’t given up any hits yet.

brent

I’d be interested in a follow-up story on this season’s most important White Sox. I think we were all spot on with CQ. His resurgence has coincided with the Sox turnaround. I would like to see an analysis on how your predictions (and ours) compare to reality. Maybe do a follow-up list and poll.

knoxfire30

Boy those royals can hit! Ok I had to get that out of the way.
Who are these guys, the whitesox have gone from push over to throat slashers in probably the most dramatic first half turn around of my lifetime. Sweeping series, not being satisfied with 2 of 3, adding on in games to finish off opponents. MERCY!
Suggestions, how about looking at the log jam and tough decesions that are about to occur when Mark Teahen is back.
Also, how about some inside on the surgery Jake Peavy is about to have on Wednesda, I guess he is trying a newer procedure that no other pitcher has had done before????

soxfan1

I’d like to hear the same – Any insight on Peavy’s surgery or recovery period.

winningugly

Did you see Will Carrol’s piece in Baseball Prospectus today? Encouraging.

bigfun

Some great suggestions. If you can talk a bit about Hudson’s start that would be cool too.
I was at the game (very scary stepping away from the spreadsheets, but I managed) and it looked like his fastball and maybe his slider weren’t finding the zone often enough, but I thought his changeup looked good. I checked Brooks Baseball and it seems to suggest that he practically only threw fastballs and changeups, but those categorizations don’t always label pitches correctly.

Shinons

Maybe a compilation of Greg Walker insights and observations?

newcomer

Did you hear him on the Score yesterday? I was on the road, and it was a good listen. He was talking about the video room and how he thinks the Sox are the best in the biz at picking up when pitchers tip their pitches.

blacksox56

did anyone else notice when ESPN references ESPNChicago that the White Sox are never up there? I noticed Jim saw it Sunday. I was watching the game with my girlfriend (and i’ve done a good job of converting to a Sox fan) and even she asked why the shitty Cubs were up there and not the Sox…

stopdrop8

Yes. I notice this all the time and it pisses me off. They even have notre dame up there sometimes in place of the sox.

marshlands

Dodgers DFA’d Ely for Link. What a story!

bigfun

Technically he was just optioned to AAA, right? Isn’t a player only DFA’d if he is out of options and then gets traded or goes through waivers?

marshlands

Shit, yeah, you’re right. They optioned Ely to AAA!

marshlands

I’ve never watched baseball

Ben

A few topics I’d be interested in your insight on.
I’m curious what this team can do differently with the lineup. I know recent performance suggests not changing anything, but does it make more sense to have Ramirez or Visquel batting second, etc. Someone else mentioned the Teahan situation; I’m very interested to see who goes down when he’s healthy or if maybe the Sox would look at moving him with Viciedo playing fairly solid ball in his limited appearances. Finally, Andruw Jones has been a bit more productive of late with more playing time, but a lot of what you wrote on the 4th still applies. What are your thoughts (given the past week) about his role on the team?

bigfun

Viciedo, Lillibridge, and Vizquel could cause some interesting domino effects. My guess is that they won’t put Teahen in right field, so I think they will DFA Jones and have Teahen and Viciedo split most of 3B and the DH.
Less likely but possible would be sending down Beckham instead and splitting second between Lillibridge and Vizquel.
If I was GM I would probably just DFA both Jones and Kotsay, put Teahen in right, Quentin at DH, and de Aza as the fourth outfielder.

Shinons

Seems like platooning Vizquel/Teahen/Kotsay for righties and Jones/Viciedo/Lillibridge for lefties would be pretty logical.

bigfun

Yeah, something like that might make the most sense with a roster loaded with so much bench fodder. I assume Beckham would have to be sent down in that scenario?

Shinons

I would assume someone would have to be taken out of the equation, I just didn’t want to guess who – although I wouldn’t figure that it’d be Beckham. If he hasn’t been sent down yet at this point, probably ain’t going to happen.

pander

They still have to make room on the 25-man when Teahan comes off injury.
I assume Marquez went down to make room for Hudson. The bullpen, as it stands, is pretty much untouchable. Which is a shame, because Linebrink basically serves no useful, unique purpose, other than a far too-expensive inning-eater in low-leverage.
The starters are pretty much set too (inasmuch as if we trade, we’d still end up needing to keep all five active). There’s only one day off in the next few weeks, and it’s not at a point to allow us to swap to a 4-man rotation with off days.
So to bring back Teahan, we have to drop one of the players on the team.
Jones has a bat that’s waking up, and he’s probably our third best outfield defender behind Rios and Pierre. Add to the fact that he’s ANDRUW JONES, and Ozzie/Kenny love them some vets? He’s going nowhere.
Omar’s been a good infield defender with a consistently-improving bat. He’s not going.
Gordon’s been finally showing signs of life at the plate, with multiple XBH in the KC series. Not going anywhere.
Viciedo’s come and up and raked. Hasn’t drawn a walk though. Defense is better than advertised, and I’d argue better than Teahan’s as far as the eye test is concerned. Sample size is too small for any metric though. He MAY go down, but isn’t likely, and probably shouldn’t.
Lillibridge has been insane when he gets at bats. I think he’s 5/5 as a pinch hitter with 7 RBI. That’s more pinch hits than the Sox usually get in a half-season. He’s the hottest bat in the lineup outside of TCQ, and yet he’s probably, minus this hot streak, the player most likely to get the send-down.
Kotsay has been solidly unspectacular of late. He’s better than he was early this season, and provides a rare lefty bat for us who can spell Konerko OR play in the OF. Unlikely to get sent down.
So I think the Sox would just give Teahan an extended rehab down in AAA and wait for Lillibridge’s bat to cool down. It’d be stupid to send him down when he’s hitting the tar out of the ball, but they’re going to eventually to show that they didn’t absolutely fuck up a three year deal to the fourth-best 3B on their team.
Which they completely, utterly did.

Shinons

Extremely longwinded, but I agree.

striker

Anyone know if the Padres had insurance for Peavy’s contract and if so if that carries over to the Sox? If so, it’s even more likely we pickup a Haren or an Oswalt.

bigfun

I would be curious about this too. My impression is that insurance payouts for injuries generally aren’t high enough to have a big impact on payroll, but it’s hard to say since that info isn’t made public.
I don’t think Oswalt or Haren is too likely of a match, though. Oswalt is very expensive and Haren is signed for two more years plus a club option after this, which means Arizona will ask a lot for him, and he would fit better on a team that needed him for more than just the rest of the year.

marshlands

I would worry about Haren’s FB/HR problems as related to The Cellular Bandbox, but if Floyd can get down, who knows!

nicholasgoers

Now that Dayan Viciedo and Daniel Hudson are both in the major leagues the White Sox top prospect is probably Brent Morel, or Chris Sale but after that is there anyone? Who would the Top 5 or :gulp: top 10 after Morel and Sale? I don’t want to sound bleak while the team is playing so well, but this farm system looks really empty right now without these new draft picks.

bigfun

Tyler Flowers is their best prospect currently in the minors

blacksox56

the sad part in that statement is, he can’t even hit in AAA and wasn’t he supposed to be near major league ready when we traded for him for vazquez two years ago? and he’s supposed to be our best prospect…

bigfun

Supposed to be according to who? He hadn’t played above high A when they traded for him. He wasn’t close at all.
Anyway you were complaining about the same thing a month ago (here) and the answer is still the same – his overall minor league numbers are very good, and as Jim has noted, his slump may well have been a Don Cooper mechanical issue.

blacksox56

no must have missed your response or just didn’t remember it. but either way, wasn’t that the reason why he was the key piece in the vazquez trade…because of the reason that he was supposed to be “near” major league ready?

bigfun

I don’t think so. According to who? He was in A ball, so I don’t know why anyone would think that.

blacksox56

maybe your right…it’s tough to say now cause the trade is nearing two years old, i just thought i remember reading that flowers was the center piece because he had a huge upside and was near major league ready. also thought that was the reason they were so willing to ship aj out in may was because flowers was supposed to be able to be called up…could be wrong, i’ve been wrong before