Spare Parts: Dane Dunning is throwing again

Plus: The Cubs are out, Paul Molitor is fired, and the Dodgers are in trouble

To follow the last weeks of the regular season was to absorb one blow after another, but the offseason has started with an encouraging development: Dane Dunning is throwing without pain.

Dunning’s season ended on June 23 after calling for the trainer in the fourth inning during a start where he’d allowed four hits and four walks. James Fegan said Dunning had felt a twinge in his elbow as a normal part of warming up, but the pain went away. On June 23, it didn’t go away.

It’s not there now:

Right now, Dunning is free of pain. He threw his first full side session Monday, more than 14 weeks after his initial injury, and sprayed 25 fastballs with no issue other than an acceptable lack of command. After a slow and cautious return, the White Sox are determined to get him some innings in instructional league to test out that his elbow responds well to game stress before sending him into a restful offseason.

“He’s bouncing around with a lot of energy and is optimistic that things are moving in the right direction, which they are,” said player development director Chris Getz. “We’ve got it mapped out where certainly we’re going to incorporate all of his pitches and really make sure he’s getting a healthy amount of work so he can comfortably go in the offseason in preparation for next year.”

That’s not to say it won’t return, and there’s the possibility it can come back with a vengeance. But given that Michael Kopech is out until 2020 and Alec Hansen is a mystery, the White Sox could use anything it can get from that caliber of pitching prospect.

In unrelated White Sox news, they outrighted Dustin Garneau to start the 40-man roster pruning. It’s now at 39.

Spare Parts

So it appears Javier Baez’s attempt to plant the flag before the start the postseason didn’t take. Baez tried — he delivered the game-tying RBI single in the eighth that briefly whipped the crowd into a frenzy — but the Cubs couldn’t score, and that was the story of their season. They posted zero or one runs in 40 games this season.

I participated in the season-ending roundtable at FutureSox, where I had to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about Gavin Sheets.

The Twins’ new front office might’ve wanted to fire Paul Molitor after an underwhelming first half of 2017, but a late surge and a wild card spot made it difficult. After a disappointing 78-win result this season, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are going to pick their man.

At least Molitor got Joe Mauer’s potential last game right, although the White Sox also get credit for cooperating.

The Dodgers are the latest team whose dealings in the international market have risen above the others into overly egregious. It doesn’t help that the evidence accusing Los Angeles of shady operations in Latin America comes from … the Dodgers themselves. They rated their corruption in an easy-to-read chart:

— One particularly remarkable document shows that Dodgers executives in 2015 went so far as to develop a database that measured the perceived “level of egregious behavior” displayed by 15 of their own employees in Latin America. That is, using a scale of 1 to 5—“innocent bystander” to “criminal”—front-office executives assessed their own staff’s level of corruption. Five employees garnered a “criminal” rating.


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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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Jason Benetti was terrific in a three-man booth that focused on analytics last night. If the Sox are willing to employ three broadcasters, they have a play-by-play voice who deftly manages traffic.

Patrick Nolan

Could have done without FreelandCam dominating one of the game’s most tense moments though.


I admit most of my reaction is from the ninth inning on. The cadence and thoughtfulness of the discussion struck me as something I would be happy to get on a regular basis.

lil jimmy

I wonder how tough the MLB will be on the Dodgers. Atlanta tough?


I wonder how tough the DOJ will be on the Dodgers.


GREAT news about Dunning. Since the initial injury and estimate of 6-8 weeks, it’s been absolute quiet about him in the press, and given all the other injury issues, I am sure lots of us were starting to worry about him. Here’s hoping he’s ok going forward.


Claudell Washington didn’t have the happiest time at Comiskey, but he had his moments. I’m sad to learn he has advanced prostate cancer and no health insurance, but — judging from this Athletic profile — he appears to have no regrets.

Are regrets possible when you were on an All-Star team with Hank Aaron and count Orlando Cepeda as a mentor?

Washington still marvels at witnessing Cepeda’s genius in action. He remembers being in the dugout next to the Cepeda, who was a hitting instructor for the White Sox. Cepeda was calling out the pitches before they were thrown.

Washington was amazed. He wasn’t the type to read a pitcher or set up what he wanted. He leaned on his hand-eye coordination. If he liked it, he hit it. That got him in trouble with two strikes. He could be duped into chasing. He countered by not letting himself get two strikes. But Cepeda opened his eyes that day to the game inside the game.

“Then I came up to pinch hit,” Washington said. “Orlando said, ‘Hey, C-Dub. First pitch fastball down and in. Turn on it.’ I got a fastball and I rattled it. I cleared 350 with it. I mean it had some air under it, too. I was thinking ‘I’ll be damned.’ I wasn’t that advanced. I didn’t know how to set up and sit on balls until I got to the Yankees.”

Lorenzo Barcelo

When did players start receiving health insurance for just being in the majors?


that rumor that you play one day in MLB and you get health insurance for life, is bogus.

Right Size Wrong Shape


Josh Nelson

Addison Russell suspended for 40 games retroactive September 21st

lil jimmy

that’s the easy part. Needs to grow up, makes amends, go to counseling, and most likely be traded.