Tag:Brent Morel
Posted on: December 10, 2011 12:05 pm
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Homegrown Team: Chicago White Sox

Magglio Ordonez

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

If there's an opposite of the Oakland A's and Billy Beane's Moneyball, it's Kenny Williams and the White Sox. The White Sox have not drafted well and searched to fill holes through free agency, spending money and taking big chances in trades. While Williams' way makes him the butt of some jokes and nobody's making a movie about him anytime soon, he does have something Beane doesn't have -- a World Series trophy.

Lineup

1. Alexei Ramirez, SS
2. Gordon Beckham, 2B
3. Michael Morse, 1B
4. Chris Young, CF
5. Carlos Lee, DH
6. Magglio Ordonez, RF
7. Ryan Sweeney, LF
8. Brent Morel, 3B
9. Chris Stewart, C

Starting Rotation

1. Mark Buehrle
2. Gio Gonzalez
3. Daniel Hudson
4. Brandon McCarthy
5. Clayton Richard

Bullpen

Closer - Jon Rauch
Set up - Matt Guerrier, Chris Sale, Addison Reed, Boone Logan, John Ely
Long - Lucas Harrell

Notable Bench Players

Not surprisingly, when looking at the state of the organization (and the state of that lineup), the White Sox are thin on bench players, with Dayan Viciedo making a push for the starting lineup as well as Chris Getz on the infield and Mike Cameron in the outfield.

What's Good?

There's no Adam Dunn, for starters. The rotation is good, especially at the top with Buehrle and Gonzalez. The rest of the rotation is good enough, as well. While Rauch isn't the top closer around, the rest of the bullpen is talented.

What's Not?

The lineup isn't going to strike fear into too many pitching staffs, even though there are nice pieces. The corner outfielder and DH are all on the down side of their career. There's also not much depth on the roster among position players.

Comparison to real 2011

The White Sox finished 79-83 in 2011, thanks to poor seasons from Dunn, Morel, Beckham and Alex Rios. The rotation is likely a little better in real life than this team, while the bullpen is better here than in real life, evening out. The lineup may not put up a lot of runs, but the White Sox didn't, either. The real team has an impact bat in Paul Konerko and a good complimentary piece in Carlos Quentin. This lineup doesn't have those kinds of weapons, so I'm not so sure our hypothetical team could match the 79 wins the White Sox finished with in 2011.

Next: Baltimore Orioles

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Posted on: May 17, 2011 11:00 am
Edited on: May 17, 2011 11:05 am
 

Pepper: Galarraga rotation spot in danger



By Evan Brunell


BLOWUP: Think Armando Galarraga is nervous about doing his job? Check out this meltdown against a reporter...

Reporter: Do you worry about your spot in the rotation?
Galarraga: No, why would I be worried? Is there something I have to worry about?
Reporter: Well, after tonight's performance, possibly...
Galarraga: You think? Why don't we talk about it at the end of the season? I don't count five starts.
Reporter: Aren't you disappointed?
Galarraga: I'm disappointed for this start. I'm not disappointed for the rest of the season. What are you talking about? What are you talking about, "When I next start"? Huh? Who you say I'm gonna be worried about my next start? Huh? (Unintelligible) ... my next start, or are you saying I'm gonna lose my job. Are you trying to say that?

Galarraga has made eight starts on the year so far and has a 5.91 ERA to show for it. He was already in danger of losing his job prior to Monday and then gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings to the Padres, walking two and whiffing one.

Hey, it's not easy to be someone like Galarraga -- a fringe major-league player who won't ever haul in millions of dollars unless something changes fast. He's got minimal job security, is on his third team in his career and clearly sees the writing on the walk. Just chalk this one up to a bad day. Athletes are asked a lot to stand before a microphone day in, day out on both good and bad days -- and woe to those who aren't in the right frame of mind and run out of patience. Everyone's allowed one of these days. (AZ Snakepit)

APT COMPARISON?
What to do when a diminutive white player gains a cult following, the appreciation of a manager and minimal impact on offense? Easy -- compare him to David Eckstein, which Rays skipper Joe Maddon did to Sam Fuld. (St. Petersburg Times)

GOODBYE: Tyler Colvin was optioned to Triple-A to get more at-bats, as he's been buried behind the hot play of the outfielders. But GM Jim Hendry wasn't forgiving in his evaluation of Colvin. "He had a really good year for us and since the first days of spring training he never played up to that level. We're in the production business. It wasn't that he wasn't given enough at-bats. He didn't earn enough at-bats. The other guys here outplayed him, too." (Chicago Tribune)

A STEP FORWARD: Danny Espinosa has been slumping lately and especially hideous from the left side. So naturally, when the Pirates brought in a right-handed reliever to flip Espinosa, a switch-hitter, to the left side of the plate, he cracked a two-run homer to send the Nats to victory. (MASN Sports)

It's all injuries, all the time today at Pepper...

TUESDAY TEST: Chipper Jones will test his injured right knee Tuesday after receiving two cortisone injections. If all goes well, he could be back in the lineup Tuesday night. But if his torn meniscus doesn't respond, he may need arthroscopic surgery, which will force him to miss two  to three weeks of action. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

SORIANO OUT:
Rafael Soriano will likely be put on the disabled list if the latest report is any indication. Soriano told reporters that he will probably miss another week or two unless his examination Tuesday goes splendidly. He hasn't pitched in the last seven games and threw his team under the bus (again) by saying he didn't think he would have affected the outcome of these games and the poor offense is responsible for the futility. (New York Times)

GUTIERREZ EN ROUTE:
Franklin Gutierrez has been sidelined all year with a mysterious stomach ailment, but is progressing so well he could debut this week. He DHed at Triple-A Monday and will play a full nine in the field on Tuesday before going to Seattle for a status report. (Seattle Times)

BROXTON TOSSES: For the first time since hitting the disabled list, Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton played a game of catch. Exciting, right? There is no timetable yet on Broxton, nor any (public, at least) word on the next step. (MLB.com)

NISHIOKA TURNS CORNER: The Twins can't wait to have Tsuyoshi Nishioka back and received good news to that effect as "he's starting to turn the corner," trainer Dave Preumer says. He underwent sprinting drills Monday. (MLB.com via Twitter)

TILLMAN INJURED: Despite only having two pitches to work with, Chris Tillman was handcuffing the Red Sox through five innings and 88 pitches. He left the game and saw his bullpen cough up the game. Why? Now we know it's because he left the game with back tightness that flared up during the fifth. It was the second injury removal of the game, as Derrek Lee left the game in the third with a strained oblique. (MASN Sports)

DAVIES TOO: Vin Mazzaro gave up 14 runs against the Indians and is the story nationwide, but that never would have happened if not for Kyle Davies. Davies left Monday's game after just 21 pitches with shoulder soreness. He underwent a MRI, and the team is currently waiting for the results. If Davies hits the DL, Mazzaro may have been a candidate to replace Davies in the rotation... but then that whole 14-run thing... (Kansas City Star)

Rangers ON COMEBACK TRAIL: Good news for the Rangers, as two-thirds of their expected starting outfield could be back in the fold before long. Josh Hamilton is expected to head on on a rehab assignment as early as Wednesday and should be back with the big-league club at some point in their six-game homestand that begins May 23. Meanwhile, Nelson Cruz doubled in his rehab start Monday and could rejoin Texas on Friday. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

TEAHEN UP IN AIR: Mark Teahen, sidelined by a strained oblique, will be evaluated on Tuesday before a decision is made on whether to DL him. It's too early to guess which direction this goes in, but if Teahen is on the DL, it will constrain third base candidates to Brent Morel and Omar Vizquel. Dayan Viciedo will receive the call from Triple-A if needed. (Chicago Sun-Times)

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Posted on: May 10, 2011 1:12 pm
 

White Sox starting to 'put it on the board'



By Matt Snyder


The Chicago White Sox were a popular pick to the win the AL Central prior to the 2011 season. I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you why I picked them. The starting rotation is strong and the offense looked to be powerful.

Instead, the offense was abominable through last Friday. The White Sox had dropped eight of nine games and sat in last place in a pretty bad division at 11-22. While the back-end of the bullpen has been a serious concern, the most head-scratching problem with the team was the lack of offense. From April 15 through May 6, the White Sox scored more than three runs four times -- two of those were four-run games. They scored either zero or one run seven times. This was a 20-game stretch.

If you look at the currrent seasonal totals for American League ballclubs, the White Sox rank 10th in runs, 10th in batting average, ninth in on-base percentage and 10th in OPS. The problems were evident all over the place. Adam Dunn had an awful transition to the AL, possibly affected by his appendectomy (though Matt Holliday seems to be just fine). A.J. Pierzynski can't hit anymore. Juan Pierre hasn't been getting hits like he usually does and has gotten caught stealing (eight) more times than he's stolen a base (six). Alex Rios got off to a pitiful start while Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez have scuffled more times than not as well.

You can say what you want about that collection of players, but you cannot dispute there is lots of talent there. I've seen many fans complaining about having a bunch of strikeout machines, but only three AL teams have struck out less than the White Sox. There is lots of power, but there is also speed and it's not an overly old bunch. The oldest one is Paul Konerko and he's been raking.

Now, with a three-game winning streak, it appears the lineup is waking up from its collective funk. Konerko has been consistent and hitting well all season. Carlos Quentin has had some insane hot streaks. He's up and down, but still has a .944 OPS with eight home runs and 23 RBI. They just needed everyone else to wake up and it could very well be happening.

In the past three games, the White Sox have scored 19 runs. Two of those came in the pitcher's paradise known as Safeco Field, too.

Some of the individuals who had been struggling are waking up, which only alleviates the collective pressure on the entire lineup.

Beckham went 6-15 (.400) in the series with two doubles, a home run, three RBI and three runs. Ramirez went 3-8 with a double and a home run in the past two games. Dunn went 5-13 (.385) with three doubles and four runs in the last three. Rios has gone 11 for his past 28 with a 1.036 in the past seven games. Even Brent Morel went 5-8 over the weekend.

The White Sox are still just 14-22 and a whopping 9 1/2 games out on May 10. That's an uphill climb. But the bats are starting to wake up, the bullpen hasn't been near as bad in recent weeks and Jake Peavy is coming back to bolster the rotation. There are five games left on a west-coast trip against some pretty good pitching. If the White Sox win two of those games, the 5-4 trip would be considered a success and they'd be coming home to a seven-game homestand in one of the best hitter's parks in the majors.

If you still don't buy the Indians -- and note that the rest of the division is flawed -- don't count the White Sox out. Remember, baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint.

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Posted on: May 7, 2011 3:24 pm
 

Teahen getting more playing time at third base

By Evan Brunell

TeahenOzzie Guillen is desperate to turn around the fortunes of the 11-22 White Sox, so backup infielder Mark Teahen has been playing third base with more frequency.

"[Teahen has] been great [with the glove]," Guillen said to the Chicago Sun-Times. "That’s why he keeps playing. That’s why he continues in the lineup and that’s why I’m going to use him a little bit more. He’s playing very well at third base."

Teahen (pictured), who doesn't quite boast a great bat but offers one good enough plus defensive versatility, has proved capable of manning the hot corner after losing the job to rookie Brent Morel. While Morel hasn't lost the gig, his .187/.197/.240 line in 77 plate appearances is enough to open up more playing time for the ex-Royal even though Teahen isn't exactly raking himself with a .234/.333/.340 line in 54 PA.

"I have a lot of confidence in this kid," Guillen said of Morel. "He’s not hitting, well we only have two guys hitting and everybody else is struggling."

Even though Morel is Chicago's long-term answer at third base, the situation in Chicago is getting dire enough that a move may have to be made if Morel doesn't snap out of it soon. Yes, Guillen is right that no one else is hitting, but that's not an excuse to keep trotting out someone who is overmatched at the plate; Morel certainly fits that bill thus far.

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Posted on: March 20, 2011 10:02 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/20: Morel wins 3B gig

Morton

By Evan Brunell

We're getting to the part of spring training where players on the bubble who are given serious consideration for a job start looking for pink slips in their locker. Just one good (or bad, as Andrew Miller will probably find out) day could be enough to swing a decision. So who helped and hurt themselves today?

3 UP

1. 3B Brent Morel, CHW: 4 AB, 2 H. Morel's day at the plate was nothing to write home about, but he received good news earlier in the day when manager Ozzie Guillen told the youngster he had won the third base job. Morel's known for his glove more than stick, but he should be able to hold his own on offense. Now, Mark Teahen will be bumped to a backup role and certainly is available in a trade.

2. CF Chris Heisey, CIN: 6 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 2 RBI, 2 K. Heisey appears to have won the fourth outfielder's job in Cincinatti, besting Fred Lewis and Jeremy Hermida. The 26-year-old also impressed off the bench as a bench player, although he struggled when drawing the starting assignment. He could eventually emerge as a starter, but a career as a solid No. 4 outfielder appears more likely.

3. SP Charlie Morton (pictured), PIT: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Where did this come from? Morton has a 1.29 ERA in spring training after finishing last season with a 2-12 record and 7.57 ERA in 17 starts as a 26-year-old. However, Morton has likely fought his way into a rotation spot by dint of his excellent spring in which he has punched out eight and walked just one in 14 1/3 innings.

3 DOWN

1. DH Jack Cust, SEA: 4 AB, 1 H, 1 RBI, 3 K, 4 LOB. Seriously, this is a typical Cust line right here. Cust is known for a low batting average, strong eye and solid to good power (he banged two homers on Saturday). Cust is going to be looked upon to help Seattle move past their brutal offensive season last year, but his power has been largely dormant the last two years.

2. SP Andrew Miller, BOS: 0 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 0 K. There's been plenty of ink written about the promise Andrew Miller has and how Boston may be the place for him to put it all together. One start doesn't make that go away, but this brutal outing underscores just how long to go Miller has to be anything of value to the big-league team. The odds are still stacked against him. Miller had long odds to make the Red Sox bullpen anyways, and this outing may have just sealed his fate.

3. SP Edinson Volquez, CIN: 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 3 K. Volquez has never been one known for control, but he seems to have particularly struggled with it on his return from Tommy John surgery. That's not uncommon, but for Volquez to continue to have these issues speaks to a larger issue, whether that's a tougher time in returning from the surgery or an underlying issue of dude just not having command at all. Given the Reds lack a frontline ace despite not wanting for depth, Volquez's struggles are concerning.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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Posted on: January 22, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2011 10:59 pm
 

ChiSox 3B job up for grabs; Morel the favorite

MorelWhile Friday got upstaged by the Vernon Wells trade, the White Sox held a town meeting and revealed some important things about the White Sox.

Chief among them was the announcement that Ozzie Guillen's 2012 club option was being picked up, tying the skipper to the team for two more seasons.

However, there was plenty more. For one, Guillen announced that the only starting job up for grabs is third base according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. All other positions are settled, but third is down to Mark Teahen and Brent Morel, with Morel in the lead for the gig.

"Morel (pictured) is gifted defensively, but the 23-year-old still has some work to do with the bat. In 70 plate appearances for the White Sox, he hit .231/.271/.415, but that came on the back of a .322/.359/.480 line in 527 PA split between Double- and Triple-A.

[Morel] can probably play four days a week, and you can still get the benefit of having his defense out there and growth offensively," GM Kenny Williams told Gonzales.

With Teahen and Morel handling third base, that freezes out Cuban Dayan Viciedo, who bashed five home runs in 106 PA for the White Sox at just age 21. Viciedo may be ticketed for Triple-A, but is also trying to learn the outfield in the hopes of winning a bench job as the Chicago Sun-Times reveals. If he was to stick with the team, he would help back up first, third and the outfield.

However, given Teahen's versatility of playing right field and a need for a backup center fielder -- Alejandro De Aza is the internal candidate there -- it's likely Viciedo is shipped out.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 22, 2010 12:30 pm
 

Sale tops White Sox prospects

Sale The White Sox are among the teams with the worst farm system, thanks to the owner forcing GM Kenny Williams to adhere to bonus slot recommendations from the Commissioner's Office despite no reason not to. Complicating matters is William's eagerness to contend every season, even if that means trading away solid prospects.

However, the ChiSox still have a couple intriguing pieces in the farm system, highlighted by Baseball America 's No. 1 prospect of the system in Chris Sale.

Sale (pictured) was plucked in the first round of the 2010 draft and pitched out of the bullpen down on the farm to get him ready for the majors. He was able to contribute to Chicago down the stretch drive, which tells you everything you need to know about how close Sale is to the majors.

With the season over, however, the White Sox are rightly returning Sale to his starting job. Sale draws comparisons to Randy Johnson given his stuff and overall build, but placing a Hall of Famer tag on someone who hasn't even put in a full year of legal drinking yet is a lot to ask. If Sale can stay healthy, he could emerge as an ace in Chicago. If he can't or has durability issues, the closer's job in his future.

Backing up Sale on the prospect lists are two third basemen in Brent Morel and Dayan Viciedo.

Morel is the player that figures to stick at the hot corner and could win the starting job at third in spring training although he will have to fend off Mark Teahen and Omar Vizquel. Morel's game isn't power, but rather hitting for a high average, although power could eventually develop.

Viciedo, meanwhile is a Cuban defector who has game-changing power but can't draw a walk to save his life. That's not quite an impediment to success (as Vladimir Guerrero can attest to) but it is a major stumbling block and it remains to be seen if "The Tank" can overcome that deficiency. While he has been a third baseman to date, many view his future at first or DH. If Paul Konerko does not return to the club, Viciedo could be the heir apparent at first.

The rest of the list:

1. Chris Sale, lhp
2. Brent Morel, 3b/ss
3. Dayan Viciedo, 1b/3b
4. Jared Mitchell, of
5. Eduardo Escobar, ss
6. Gregori Infante, rhp
7. Jacob Petricka, rhp
8. Brandon Short, of
9. Trayce Thompson, of
10. Anthony Carter, rhp

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 14, 2010 5:31 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:25 am
 

R.I.P White Sox: Never a dull moment

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Now: the Chicago White Sox.

There's one thing about these Chicago White Sox, they're never dull. And that was the case again in 2010 as Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen had their own reality show and provided more than enough fodder in an ultimately unsuccessful season.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Jake Peavy The vaunted White Sox rotation never quite lived up to its billing -- Jake Peavy (pictured, left) had his search cut in half with injury, and even before that he was medicore, going 7-6 with a 4.63 ERA. Mark Buehrle, John Danks and Gavin Floyd were merely slightly above average.

The team's hole at designated hitter was only magnified by watching their old flame -- the one they dumped -- marry up, as Jim Thome not only hit 25 homers, but he did it for the division-winning Twins. And then there's Manny Ramirez ... but that's an old story.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

The White Sox went on one of the longest hot streaks of the season, a stretch of 25 victories in 30 games to erase Minnesota's 9 1/2-game lead. But after that, the team just couldn't keep it going and saw its own lead in the division disappear.

Paul Konerko (pictured, below) had a fabulous season, hitting .312/.393/.584 with 39 homers and 111 RBI. (If you're talking about Konerko, it's good for him this season came in the final year of his contract.)

HELP ON THE WAY

The White Sox got a glimpse of the future at the end of the season. Brent Morel played 24 games and didn't put up the prettiest numbers at the big league level, but he could be the starting third baseman next season.

More impressive was 2010 first-rounder Chris Sale. The organization expects the left-hander to start. As a reliever -- in an attempt to limit his innings -- Sale showed the potential of a future ace. Fresh out of a small college, he wasn't intimidated by big league hitters, appearing in 21 games and amassing just a 1.93 ERA. He struck out 32 batters in 23 1/3 innings and walked 10 with a WHIP of 1.071.

Paul Konerko EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

Since winning the World Series in 2005, it's been title or bust for Williams and Guillen. That's not going to change now.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The biggest question for Williams will be if he can afford to keep Konerko, a White Sox mainstay. Konerko had a huge year and is a free agent, but he'll also be 35 on opening day and will command a big price tag, plus a multiyear contract. If you're going to spend that kind of money, why not give Adam Dunn a shot? Or, heck, go for broke (which they've been known to do) and sign both. The team certainly wouldn't lack power with a Konerko-Dunn tandem.

It'll be easy to let Bobby Jenks go, but who to replace him as the club's closer? I like Matt Thornton, but I'm not so sure Williams/Guillen is ready to lean no the lefty and take him out of the set-up role.

2011 PREDICTION

The Magic 8 Ball tells us to ask again later, there's too much time between now and April to know just what the White Sox will look like. This much is sure, the White Sox will be interesting, even if it's just the manager and general manager.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .




 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com