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Gee, wouldn't it be great to have the bats of Magglio, Uribe and Pods in the lineup and the arm of Rauch in the bullpen? AJG
The White Sox won a 2005 World Series without Magglio, who was hurt when he joined Detroit. I know he's hitting .321 for the Tigers as of this writing, but I'm not sure his salary would be a fit here.
It would be great to have Juan Uribe here in the clubhouse as well as on the field. But it was my understanding that the Sox were moving in a younger direction on the left side of the infield in 2009 and that Juan wanted more money than he settled for last season ($1 million). Nevertheless, the San Francisco Giants love him in the clubhouse as well as on the field.
The Podsednik situation seemed murky, but at some point last winter the Sox elected to pursue Juan Pierre, Oakland settled on Coco Crisp, and Kansas City signed Podsednik, who is having the best start of the three players.
As for Rauch, he's doing fine. But I don't think relief is a worry for the Sox at this point. And it still could be a concern for Minnesota later this season.
Dan Hudson was a serious contender for the fifth starter position in spring training, so how is a washed up pitcher Freddy Garcia - whose career was over three years ago - on the active roster? Also, after trading for Tyler Flowers -- one of Atlanta's top prospects -- they decide to keep Castro as the back up catcher to A.J. and send Flowers down. Ron Munry
A: The decision to keep Freddy as the No. 5 starter was based on his experience and what he did in his final six weeks with the Sox in 2009. It's obvious that he did have a rough spring, but he also has the ability to pitch with his smarts, as he did in an exhibition game against Milwaukee and in his first regular season start against Minnesota.
It's become more evident that he has to change speeds more effectively with pinpoint control to be effective. He doesn't have the blazing fastball to get away with mistakes. The decision to push his start back to Saturday is a wise one. Several teams in the majors have trouble with a fifth starter, and the Sox could be no different.
I think Hudson pitched better in spring training than anyone expected but him. Keep in mind that he jumped from Class-A to the majors in one year. The Sox's scouting department deserves a lot of credit for scouting and drafting him in the fifth round.
It's not the worst thing in the world for Hudson to start the 2010 season in the minors, but I'd expect a promotion if he continues to pitch well and Garcia continues to falter. Freddy is scheduled to start Saturday against Seattle and the following weekend against the Yankees. He pitched very well at Yankee Stadium last August, but this is a different year.
As for the Castro-Flowers debate, why not Mike Redmond? He was a free agent and signed for less with Cleveland than Castro did. Flowers needs to play every day, especially after he had a rough spring training. It's wise for the Sox to be patient with Flowers because it's tough to develop top-notch catchers. Flowers is a hard worker, and the Sox have a pretty good minor league catching instructor in John Orton.
Keeping Flowers on the major league roster would have stunted his development. And the pitchers like throwing to Donny Lucy when A.J. isn't starting, so you have a pretty good situation.
The White Sox recently put a minor league pitcher (Santo Luis) on waivers and he was claimed by Boston. Why was he placed on waivers at this time of year? Was he on the 40-man roster, and opening up a spot on the 40-man roster the reason for putting him on waivers or was he a "bad boy?" Could you explain the waiver process for major and minor leagues? Ron Reichman
Ron, great to hear from you. And congrats to your UCLA Bruins and their 27-6 start under John Savage. Just think had Trayce Thompson gone to Westwood instead of signing with the Sox? Thompson is batting .353 with two home runs for Class-A Kannapolis.
Luis was on the 40-man roster in spring training but didn't make an impact. There are times during the year where players will be placed on waivers to create room in the event of an acquisition, or the team will feel that player isn't deserving of being on the 40-man roster.
Luis is 26 and wasn't going to make a push toward making the big league roster soon. But Boston obviously saw some talent and was willing to put in a waiver claim.
I'm a die hard Sox fan and I am tired of seeing the them repeat the same mistakes for the past few years. They can't hit pitchers they are seeing for the first time. They start the season not hitting. And finally the lack of situational hitting. All three problems have been happening for the past few years no matter who we bring it, so I think it's more than just the players. So then who is to blame? Greg Walker for lack of preparation? Advanced scouts for giving bad scouting reports? Ozzie because he says blame him if they lose? Or am I missing someone? Mike from Orland Park
It's only 14 games as of this writing, but there are too many seasoned players for these problems. It's not Greg Walker because he's at the ballpark as early as anyone, working with hitters and pouring over reports and pitchers' tendencies.
Advance scout Bryan Little provides the information and double-checks it with the video people.
It's on the players for various reasons. With the exception of Konerko, who has been a notorious pull hitter until recently, I don't see too many players hitting successfully to the opposite field, especially with runners in scoring position. Teahen has done a better job of taking what the pitcher gives him, but this has to happen more frequently with his teammates.
Mark, What can the Sox do to shake this thing up ? Move Gordon to the seventh spot? A.J. to the second slot ? Maybe. What I think they should do is, no matter what it takes, get Adrian Gonzalez. I'm sick of all the bull that comes from Kenny and Ozzie. This team has no time to waste. Twins look great, and Boston will get Gonzalez. Rick Rannochio
Funny you mention Gonzalez because Konerko has been one of the more productive hitters in what could be his final season with the Sox. Gonzalez will cost more than what the Sox gave up for Peavy (four pitching prospects), and Gonzalez is eligible for free agency in 2012 and will command one of the biggest contracts in the game while Peavy remains on the books through 2012 and Alex Rios through 2014.
Gonzalez is a terrific player, but I see Boston having the goods to fulfill whatever San Diego is seeking.
At the same time, I think Beckham is evolving as a dependable No. 2 hitter with his bunting and I expect his power to pick up. With a bigger emphasis on running, I don't expect A.J. to move up in the batting order unless Pierre is moved out of the leadoff spot and causes the Sox to put a right-handed hitter at the top of the batting order.
Mark, I have been a Sox fan forever and am as frustrated as everyone. One thing that has bothered me since last season is how no one is mentioning Scott Podsednik. This guy kept our hopes alive last season and wasn't even a consideration this year. I realize he doesn't have the greatest arm in baseball, but he was a spark last season. That being said, take a look at his numbers this year. He's hitting over .450 and has seven stolen bases this year. Kenny jumped on Juan Pierre and it seems to me, NEVER gave "Pods" a second look. I haven't given up on our boys, since it's still early on, but if these early games are any consideration, it's going to be a long season. Thanks for allowing me to vent. Marty Goldberg,
People have taken note of Podsednik's fast start. He and Jayson Nix played with the biggest sense of urgency last season, largely because there was a lot at stake for both players.
The Sox had some interest in re-signing Podsednik as early as last October after the season ended, but talks never advanced and the Sox explored other options, including Pierre. I know Juan has gotten off to a slow start, but he did pick up steam with the Cubs in 2006 and last year with the Los Angeles Dodgers after Manny Ramirez was suspended.
Like the Garcia-Hudson comparison, the Pierre-Podsednik matchup bears watching throughout the season.
Do you see this Sox team as being a contender? Honestly!!!! Ken Sabala
I still think the Sox will push over the .500 mark and have a chance to win the division. But they have to get in sync so that it's not always the pitching carrying the offense and vice versa. There already have been too many stressful games for the pitching staff, which usually takes its toll down the stretch.
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