Reading Room: Flowers can build off first start

Tyler Flowers made his first start of the season on Wednesday, and it won't be the last if Ozzie Guillen lives up to his word.

Tyler Flowers made his first start of the season on Wednesday afternoon, and while he didn’t make the most of it, he didn’t hurt himself.
You can throw a couple “buts” into his performance. He went 0-for-3, but he went to center and right field, and his deep fly set up an RBI single. He struck out once, but it was on a legitimately tough down-and-in curve he went too far on. His batting average is .000, but he threw out one of two attempted basestealers.
(Scouts have been down on his defense this year, but I’m still skeptical. I think it’s odd that his defense suddenly improved when his offensive stock went up last year, and then suddenly regressed when his bat did. Given that catcher defense is tough to quantify, that’s just a little too tidy of a narrative for me. Flowers showed a quicker release than Pierzynski, although it all looks a little rushed. He’s a big boy, and parts gotta move.)
Ozzie Guillen said that Flowers will get a few more looks:

“I think right now we’re going to see him play,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “That’s why I’m giving him the opportunity now to see how he’ll do with it. Maybe I’ll start him two or three more times, that’s what I would like to do. Unless [GM] Kenny [Williams] comes down and says, ‘Listen, I need to see this kid.’ In the meanwhile, I have A.J. to finish up the season and I have [Ramon] Castro to finish up the season. If Kenny comes to me and says he wants to see [Flowers] more, well then I will do that.”

That sounds fair — even fairer if Flowers can start at DH once, too. I don’t think he’ll get enough of an opportunity to start planning on him, but they still have to keep him as a big part of the picture. One bad season shouldn’t sink a guy like Flowers, especially at such a tough position.
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It’s also nice seeing Brent Morel getting positive feedback from his boss:

“I love the way Morel plays, I really do,” Guillen said. “I believe in defense, and that guy has a good chance to play in the big leagues. That’s another thing, I don’t know if it will be next year or this year, but I like the way he plays.”

Morel’s slowed down offensively, going hitless in his last two starts with three strikeouts. He seems to be struggling with pitch recognition low in the zone, but this is typical of his progression. The beginnings of his Double-A and Triple-A careers started slowly with an abnormally high amount of strikeouts, but eventually he came around.
The Sox probably shouldn’t count on Morel starting the year at third, but if they had a similar stopgap situation as they did this year — maybe Omar Vizquel and Mark Teahen (after repeated floggings at Camp Cora), they could give Morel a month or so to get acclimated. But that’s a bridge to cross later, because Morel could make it moot with a hot spring.
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Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*HISTORY! Well, not the kind Hawk Harrelson would be happy about:

The starting rotation did a lot of good things this season, just not lately. In going seven innings and allowing three runs (two earned) in a no-decision, Edwin Jackson continued a record winless streak by the starters.
The starting rotation is 0-10 with a 6.78 ERA in its last 17 games.
The 17 games without a victory by the starters is an ongoing franchise record. The previous record of 15 was set in 1985.

What a weird season.
*Paul Konerko found a way to bring out the Eeyore act, saying he’d have no problem calling it a career if he didn’t get an offer he liked. That seems highly unlikely and overdramatic, especially by his standards.
*J.J. notes that Andruw Jones has the fourth-highest WAR on the team among position players.
*Mike lists the number of unimpressive September performances by the Sox in recent years.

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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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dalton

“What a weird season.” That’s in large part why this season will be so memorable for me. The Sox abysmal start; their torrid winning streak; our lockdown starters fading as we fell out of contention; Manny; Konerko’s terrific year; Rios coming back to form; Vizquel; Buerhle’s gem to start the year; Thome being Thome, and the bitter conclusion to end it all.

Shinons

I’d add to that list the Williams and Guillen & Co. drama, the reality show, and the kinda accidental Edwin Jackson deal. And it all started off with Teahen’s unexplainable extension…

fustercluck

It’s wise of the guys to pump Carter’s stock like they did, first career hits, first homer. Gotta force the perception that Kenny don’t trade no junk. They did a commendable job lying down for Gio, too.
Too bad Manny doesn’t feel good enough to play anymore, but at least it waited until after the Sox lost the division. Lucky timing! I guess all those singles really took it out of him.
Oh, as for the content of the article where I’m posting my inane comments: tl;dr.

bigfun

Glad to see the Examiner following up on Jones. I was looking at his stats yesterday and wondering if he would get some credit for salvaging his year.
Jones was one of the only moves I unequivocally liked last offseason from a cost/benefit perspective, so I’m glad to see that it ultimately paid off.

alwayssox

What I find interesting about Jones is that folks didn’t seem too enamored with his season last year, but this year his stats are about the same. (I think they were virtually identical a few weeks ago and now he has picked it up to where they are marginally better.) But folks seems to be viewing his numbers differently.

bigfun

He was healthier, and the Sox used him about four times as much in the outfield as the Rangers did, which adds a lot to his value.

knoxfire30

Should we all be a little more worried about Floyd’s shoulder, cooper didnt exactly sound like it was no big deal to go get it checked out today during his interview on the score.
I want to like Morel, but I feel a poor mans joe crede coming. Lots of glove, and a ton of hype followed up with a 250 average and lack of obp somewhere in the 310 range. Its hard to win with those guys if lots of other things dont go right.

rhythm

“Crede was a Triple Crown winner, after all” – LMFAO!
Hey Knoxfire, do you realize that Crede’s career OBP is .304? Fangraphs, baby, it exists!
I like Morel, dude signed my ticket to the game on Monday night (a folded 8.5 x 11 printed at home, as stupid as that is), plays a solid third, and will be an average hitter. I’d like to see him as the heir to the (semi-)recent throne of solid White Sox 3B; Ventura to Crede to Morel.
The season may be done, but there’s still plenty to watch! (or so says the guy with no time / feed to actually watch the games)

knoxfire30

with the whitesox crede was about a 250 ave 310 obp guy its not like i was amazingly far off of 304
and what jim is referring too was that crede was a two time triple crown winner in the minors who came up with much more hype then morel

fustercluck

“I’d like to see him as the heir to the (semi-)recent throne of solid White Sox 3B; Ventura to Crede to Morel.”
Note that there’s a pretty sharp drop after Ventura. Looking at FanGraphs/Baseball-Ref, Ventura was worth about 58 WAR over his career, Crede 13.

knoxfire30

I think yesterday marked the freaking THIRD time someone on the sox got caught by the fake to third go to first move that NEVER works. Pretty hilarious side note.

bigfun

It will be interesting to see if Morel can develop some more power, which he would need to earn the Crede comparison. Until then, he falls more on the Hannahan/Kouzmanoff 3B spectrum.

ricksch

Can’t believe you’re even discussing Flowers ONE START as the team plays, or actually FACE-PLANTS out the string. Talk about a slow news day.

ricksch

didn’t want to give you a hard time but everyone always talks about sample size and yet this kid’s three at-bats get parsed over like the Zapgruder film.
went to last night’s game to prove my loyalty and waste a perfectly good Saturday night. Morel looked good at 3rd. Had a long talk w/ Linebrink about donating his unearned salary to charity.

ricksch

btw — is everyone willing to admit the Hudson trade is a franchise dunning disaster? Kid only has 11 QS in 11 GP. An ERA of 1.69 and a WHIP of 0.84!!! Or is that too small of a sample size?
Kenny is off the rez. It’s hard to even have hope w/ him and Ozzie making decisions. Manny’s 2 RBIs at $2m+ per? Teahen proving he’s as bad at RF as 3B? The string is playing out and needs to yank those two gasbags into the crapper.