Santos breakin' camp with big-league club

Congratulations to Sergio Santos. Just one year ago, he was giving up hopes of becoming a major-league shortstop.  Today, he’s made an Opening Day roster as a major-league reliever.
If he doesn’t pull a Larry Yount, Santos wins a White Sox prize pack including…
*A major-league salary! With per diem and perks.
*A major-league nickname! I can see the front-runner being “SERGIO!”

We already have RAAAAAAAANDY! , but then again, we could treat it as a matching set for the Sox’s least-valuable left-handed and right-handed relievers.
Personally, I like “Shabba Doo” or “Ozone.” The latter one works best for me, because if he walks two batters and hits another in his major-league debut, we can call him “No-Zone.”

Sergio Santos: Breakin' it, and makin' it.
Sergio Santos: Both breakin' it *and* makin' it.
*A eulogy in White Sox Outsider 2011! Something every player cherishes.
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Oddly enough, though, Santos doesn’t change the complexion of the Opening Day roster in comparison to the 2009 version. Just about everything else does.
More than half of the players who broke camp with the White Sox in 2009 aren’t around this year, and when you remember what that Opening Day roster looked like, that’s a good thing.
Here are the major changes, and by and large, the Sox are better off than they were at this point last season. The edge is in bold, and capital letters means it’s a big advantage:

Position 2009 2010
2B Chris Getz GORDON BECKHAM
3B Josh Fields Mark Teahen
Corner OF JERMAINE DYE Juan Pierre
CF Dewayne Wise ALEX RIOS
DH JIM THOME
Mandruw Kojones
Fourth OF Brian Anderson MANDRUW KOJONES
Backup C Corky Miller Ramon Castro
Backup IF Brent Lillibridge Jayson Nix
Backup IF Wilson Betemit Omar Vizquel
Starter Jose Contreras JAKE PEAVY
Starter Bartolo Colon Freddy Garcia
Setup man Octavio Dotel J.J. Putz
Second lefty Clayton Richard Randy Williams
Last man Mike MacDougal Sergio Santos

I think we can call MacDougal and Santos a “push.”  As excited as I am to watch him pop ‘n’ lock, he could be an equally big disaster.
There’s plenty of reason to worry about the offense, but the fact that Kenny Williams is starting from a better position helps take the edge off.  Now he has to concentrate on finding that second wave of talent.  He had a pretty good run last year, with Garcia and Scott Podsednik off the scrap heap and Beckham from the minors, and he’ll be hard-pressed to duplicate it.
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Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*Scott Linebrink sounds like a man running out of rationalizations.  Ozzie Guillen said two unintentionally funny things about him (in bold).

“If Liner does what he’s supposed to do, I think our bullpen is going to be a lot better. It can be dangerous.”

*Mark Buehrle finished his spring with five scoreless innings and says the off-season shoulder conditioning might be helping.  Bobby Jenks closed it out with two of his own, and Randy Williams retired four batters to keep his spring ERA at 0.00.
*Lisa Winston takes stock of the farm system on MLB.com.
*Joe Posnanski likes the pitching.
*Andrew makes a few insanely specific predictions for the 2010 season.
*J.J. isn’t necessarily opposed to expanding Randy Williams’ role.
*Oral Sox is back! I listened to their first podcast of the season at work, and so should  you.
*Larry’s back with the first weekly minor-league thread of the season at SSS.
*A new White Sox blog: Sabermetrically-oriented The Pale Hose Pariah.  Check it out as well.

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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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jmsdn58

The only place I disagree with you is with Bartolo Colon/Freddy Garcia. I would put Freddy’s name in bold and caps. He is a huge upgrade over that fat slob that we could’nt even find half the time.

jmsdn58

Yeah..So..Garcia has thrown 345 innings the last 4 years compared to Colon’s 256!!
Seriously though, I’m not going as far as to praise Garcia’s virtues, I just think he’s a huge upgrade over Colon. There is a slight age difference with Garcia being 33, and Colon being 35 going into the season last year. I just cant think of that many guys that would’nt be a huge upgrade to Colon.

ryno

If you factor in defense, I think Dye’s edge over Pierre might be smaller than you think, if he has an edge at all.
It’s certainly counterintuitive to think that moving from Dye to Pierre isn’t a massive downgrade, but since Jermaine was the worst defensive outfielder in baseball for the last few years, the switch to an average or slightly above average (if noodle-armed) fielder makes a pretty big difference. In terms of WAR, Pierre leads Jermaine 4.0 to 1.0 over the last 3 seasons. My gut still doesn’t believe it, but my brain is coming around.
And I agree with jmsdn58 about Freddy vs. Bartolo. I would think Freddy is at the very least a push with Bartolo, based on preseason expectations for each of them in their respective seasons.

ryno

If we’re talking about preseason fan confidence, I think Jermaine definitely gets the all caps bold edge. Even I still sort of feel that way, in spite of Pierre’s defensive edge. I’m mostly just using the defensive difference to talk myself into the Juan Pierre era.

striker

That 2009 vs. 2010 comparison is why I think we will be much better than last year. The difference between Peavy and Contreras, and Garcia and Colon, Rios and Wise, Teahen and Fields, Beckham and Getz, etc. will offset Thome vs. Kojones.
MLB Network previews the White Sox tonight. 8pm EST/5pm PST

knoxfire30

Its amazing the roster turnover for this team heading into the season. They certainly improved on paper, now they just have to show up and make it happen starting Monday.

mechanicalturk

How is the clear nickname frontrunner not Mr. Wizard?

knoxfire30

Garcia was good again…. Hudson stay loose kid!

JJ

What I really want to see is the White Sox play one of the “RAAAAAAAANDY” drops from Aziz Ansari’s Funny People character after every Randy Williams strikeout.

footsoldiersgalore

I prefer “Sugar” Santos after the movie character. Good luck to the kid.