o Return to Unsettled Bullpen and Catching Situations
My weekly offseason opinions and observations about the White Sox and more…
Mets short list
Pale Hose Assistant General Manager Rick Hahn is one of the leading
candidates for the New York Mets GM job along with the likes of long-time MLB
exec Sandy Alderson
and L.A. Dodger Assistant GM Logan
White. How valuable has Hahn been? Just listen to his boss, Kenny Williams: “I know I’m going to lose him
(at some point)
and it’s going to be a heavy blow.” An unnamed baseball exec told
the New York Post: “His
fingerprints are on everything Kenny does.”
Fall League report
While the Sox have six prospects with the AFL’s Peoria
Saguaros (a seventh, catcher Josh
Phegley, was set to play but was sent home with a health issue), the
main player to keep an eye on is centerfielder Jared
Mitchell. The MVP of the 2009 College World Series with LSU and the
No. 1 Sox draft choice just weeks later was injured in spring training and
missed the entire 2010 season. So his performance this fall is the first step
on his road to recovery. For the record, Mitchell knocked out three hits in his
first game and in his initial five
contests he boasted a .389 on base percentage.
magic of Herm Schneider
Year after year, the White Sox are at the top or among the
healthiest teams in the major leagues. Highly respected Herm Schneider is the reason why. During
the course of the 2010 season, the Sox tied the Arizona Diamondbacks for fewest
trips to the disabled list and had the fewest days spent on the DL.
offers his two cents
Viewers of the ESPN week-day show First Take are being treated to a pundit
better known around Chicago as the White Sox starting catcher. That’s right, A.J. Pierzynski,
appearing from an Orlando, FL studio, is offering his analysis of the
postseason–and he’s doing a pretty good job. Any Sox sighting in October is a
welcome addition to the universe, though it’s still up in the air whether A.J., a free agent, will be in the Sox fold come 2011.
update (sort of)
Speaking of free agency, it would be a shocker if news concerning Paul Konerko‘s status would come out before the end of the World Series. But, just for
the record, he hasn’t gone anywhere yet.
GLENDALE, AZ–After witnessing a tie on Sunday against the Reds and a blowout loss against the Royals last night, it was fun to be part of yesterday’s 6-1 Sox win over the Rockies at Camelback Ranch.
When the White Sox picked up outfielder Alejandro De Aza off of waivers from the Florida Marlins last October, it was pretty much greeted with a ho hum attitude. I had heard of De Aza, but knew very little and wondered how he would fit in with the 2010 Sox.
So who is Alejandro De Aza?
A native of the Dominican Republic, he will be 26 in April. He bats and throws lefthanded, is six feet tall, 175 pounds with great speed and the ability to play outstanding defense. He was originally signed by the Dodgers, but picked up by the Marlins in the 2004 Rule 5 draft. He actually earned the starting centerfield job for Florida in 2007 and started the season on fire. In nine games he went 20-33 (.606), but went on the disabled list with a hairline fracture of an ankle. He didn’t appear in the big leagues in 2008 and in ’09 he batted .250 with a .385 on base percentage for the Marlins in 22 games.
So far this spring De Aza has made the Sox brass look good. He’s played in six games, going 5 for 11 (.455) with two RBI and a .538 on base mark. Yesterday, in the South Siders’ 9-5 win over the A’s, De Aza went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored while playing both left and center.
The Sox outfield picture is a crowded one with Juan Pierre, Alex Rios, Carlos Quentin, Andruw Jones, Mark Kotsay plus Jordan Danks and even Jared Mitchell (who was just sent to the minor league camp) in the wings. As a result, it is very unlikely De Aza will make the major league club out of spring training. But if he continues doing what he’s doing, I can certainly see him fitting in nicely with Ozzie‘s “new look” White Sox some time this season.
This spring, a lot of the buzz is being directed toward another Sox No. 1 draft pick out of the SEC–Jared Mitchell, the club’s top selection in 2009 from LSU.
Both a football and baseball star in college, Mitchell (pictured here at the plate against the Dodgers last Saturday) began his pro baseball career last summer in impressive fashion. At high-A Kannapolis he hit .296 with a .417 on base percentage and a .435 slugging mark.
Mitchell, who is a non-roster invitee in the major league camp, has already turned heads in Arizona. In his first three games he has gone 4 for 9 (.444) with two doubles, a triple, a .500 on base percentage and an astronomic .889 slugging percentage.
Yesterday, in the 5-4 loss to Mariners, Mitchell was electrifying as he hit an opposite field triple to left. Some observers were trying to figure out the last White Sox player who was such a blur around the bases.
While Beckham was called up last June after his outstanding spring, Mitchell is surely destined to spend a bit more time in the minor leagues to gain the necessary experience to make the big league roster. But it’s hard not to imagine that Beckham and Mitchell will soon be spearheading the Sox fortunes.
Note of the day: After Carlos Quentin‘s two-homer outburst on Saturday, it was nice to see both Alex Rios and Paul Konerko go deep against Seattle yesterday–especially Rios after his subpar ’09.
It was a Saturday of epic proportion. Well, maybe not epic, but boy it was fun.