I'm still curious to see if Jose regains his velocity after he returns.
I think it's possible, but the Sox's concentration should be on pitching. They have plenty of outfielders.
Was there any more said in the clubhouse or from Ozzie Guillen concerning Orlando Cabrera's decision against Texas to run past third base coach Jeff Cox's hold signal that ultimately allowed Cabrera to score? Is this a sign of disrespect in the clubhouse or would Ozzie be more inclined to side with Cabrera since he scored? --Ryan, Batavia
Nothing more was said. In this case, Cabrera felt confident he could score but I think Ozzie would talk to a player if he felt he blatantly disrespected a coach.
What's the book on Jon Link, the closer at Birmingham? His numbers look good. Is he regarded as a top prospect? --Charlie Frago, Little Rock, Ark.
I like Jon's strikeouts to innings pitched (39 to 39 1/3). He's 24, so keep that in mind when evaluating a player at Double-A. He could be considered a late bloomer, and the fact he hasn't allowed a home run this year is very encouraging.
As a disclaimer I want to tell you I am a Cubs fan, but I appreciate good baseball wherever it is played. So I can understand why the White Sox feel slighted that they only had a pair on the All Star team. I think A.J. Pierzynski or Jermaine Dye or certainly a couple of their pitchers deserved a spot on the squad. My question, though, is why Sox fans and/or the media dwell on the comparison between the number of Cubs on the National League team and the number of Sox on the American League team? A better and more relevant question is how did Texas land four players while the Sox only had two? --Terry Hunt, Big Rock
Several Texas position players are having great offensive years. I also think you could have made a strong case for A.J. and Jermaine for the AL All-Star team, and Scott Linebrink was superb in a set-up role and deserved strong consideration.
The Cubs benefited from having a great first half and that their fans made a strong push to see their players in the game as starters.
I have been wodering why it seems Ozzie Guillen lets the starting pitchers give up so many runs before pulling them for a relief pitcher? --Ken Pojman, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Ken, great to hear from someone from one of my favorite towns in America.
I think Ozzie wants to show faith in his starters and wants to allow them to get out of the jams they created and pitch with their heads as well as their arms. With the bullpen struggling recently, the starters may be asked to get out of major jams.
I understand why the White Sox are pushing Javier Vazquez back a few extra days for rest, and to get him back on track. But why wouldn't they pitch him against K.C. in the final game of the series vs. pitching him against the Rangers? Wouldn't he have a better chance against a weaker K.C. lineup? --J. Wilson, St. Louis
One of the options was to have Javy start the second half against the Royals. I'm not sure having 11 days off is the perfect cure, but I expect Javy to regain some of the dominance he displayed earlier this season. He's also lined up to pitch on the road against Detroit and Minnesota.
I have come to the conclusion that if you looked up "career .500 pitcher" in the dictionary you would find Javier Vazquez's picture. For all the talent in the world, it's hard to believe he doesn't have an awesome winning percentage. He has the 2nd most strikeouts of all pitchers since 2000 but yet continues to get traded because he doesn't win often enough and especially in big games. How can the Sox rely upon him for the 2nd half? --Marty Peters, Brandon, Fla.
Entering Monday's start, Javy is 122-120 lifetime. I find it alarming. I thought he'd have a better winning percentage than Andy Benes (155-139). There are a lot of factors for this, but I think they'll be forgotten if Javy can give the Sox a strong second half that helps lead them to the playoffs.
His performance becomes even more magnified with Contreras out for at least the rest of the month.
Why don't the White Sox have a relief pitcher who can induce ground ball outs in late-inning situations? (Does anyone remember Bob Locker?) I attended the recent Texas series and can tell you first hand the ninth inning of the second game was a nightmare. With runners on base each pitcher they brought in got hammered because they were trying to strike the batter out instead of trying to induce them into an inning-ending ground out. Does anyone of our relief pithers know how to throw a "slider?" Thanks Mark, keep up the good work! --Michael Mucker, Wichita Falls, Texas
Bob Locker! I remember him when he pitched for Oakland and helped the Swingin' A's to the 1972 World Series and had a 2.75 ERA in 576 career appearances.
The acquisition of Scott Linebrink was due in part to his ability to throw sinking fastballs, which is important at U.S. Cellular Field. Some times the situation calls for a strikeout, which is why Octavio Dotel is used in certain situations. But I think right now the bullpen is just going through a slump that it needs to snap out of soon. The bullpen did spoil a lot of people in the first half with its success.
Just trying to figure out why Pablo Ozuna is out and Juan Uribe is in. Could it be they want Uribe for second base next year with Alexei Ramirez moving to his natural position at shortstop? --Bill, Roseville, Calif.
I can't see Uribe staying next year unless the Sox can't find a bona fide alternative. But Ramirez's defense at second keeps getting better. Ramirez has one of the strongest arms I've seen at completing double plays.
What is going on with the White Sox's first-round pick Gordon Beckham? Has he signed yet with the team? Is he playing in the minors? --Brent, Athens, Ga.
Brent, great to hear from someone from Athens. Looks like the Bulldogs will be the football team to beat in the SEC, if not the entire country. They'll get a chance to show their skills against Arizona State and Kyle Williams, son of Sox GM Kenny Williams, early in the season.
I expect negotiations with Beckham to accelerate soon. Only three of the first 11 picks have signed. Expect Beckham to receive a bonus of more than $2 million, based on the slotting system.
Do you think the uncommon number of errors Joe Crede is making is related to his back surgery? I notice he still makes diving stops to his left or right without problems but when he has to bend over on balls hit directly to him he has problems. --Michael Mucker, Wichita Falls, Texas
I think Joe's back is as fine as can be for someone who underwent this kind of surgery. He's performed all the back exercises. I just think he needs to stay in a rhythm of fielding and throwing in one smooth motion.