Tag:White Sox
Posted on: August 20, 2010 10:07 am

Vizquel interested in playing in 2011

Omar Vizquel Omar Vizquel may be 43, but he isn't ready to go home.

Since taking over as the team's regular third baseman following the injury to Mark Teahen, Vizquel has hit .312/.376/.376 in 214 plate appearances. Just five days prior to the torrid streak, the longtime shortstop had admitted that 2010 was probably his last season.

Vizquel was in the midst of his second full season as a bench player, and wasn't taking it well. ''Your mental process is different," he told the Chicago Sun-Times . You take different ways to prepare, and I don't know if I can do it another year. ... It makes you doubt sometimes. I don't think I want to go through that process again.''

Now that he's hitting and breaking out his usual defensive wizardry, Little O is reconsidering his stance.

'I think it would be sad that if at the end of the season I look back, look at my year, and say, 'Man, I don't think I can do this anymore,"' Vizquel said. "Taking a look at the numbers and the things that I have done this year, it will give me a good possibility to come back next year and try and see if a team is interested in wanting me again.''

Vizquel is expected to continue starting at third base even with Teahen back and is very likely to get at least 29 hits, which would push him to 2,800 for his career. Being so close to such an incredible milestone might spur Vizquel to hang on until he can reach 3,000 hits although that might not happen unless he accepts a position with a non-contender to get the playing time required.

Even then, he'll need at least two seasons to get the milestone as he has never amassed 200 hits in a season; his career high is 191, set in 1999 when hitting .333 for the Indians. Otherwise, Vizquel may have to play three or four more years to get 3,000 hits which seems outlandish. But Jamie Moyer was enjoying a solid year at age 47 before getting hurt, so who knows?

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 19, 2010 10:26 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 10:26 pm

Punto re-injures hamstring

Nick Punto
Appearing in his first game since July 28, Twins shortstop Nick Punto aggravated his left hamstring injury Thursday night sliding headfirst into second base against the White Sox.

Punto came off the disabled list Monday after being out with a hamstring strain. Thursday, he had two hits early in the game then hurt himself sliding into second base. He was replaced by Alexi Casilla.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 18, 2010 7:53 pm

Guillen goes off... again

Ozzie Guillen What's a day without an Ozzie Guillen rant?

Today's topic? Jim Thome, who hit a two-run walkoff homer on Tuesday against his old club.

The Chicago Tribune 's Mark Gonzalez has highlights of the reported 13-minute tirade.

Here's the basics:
"For all those people there saying it was my fault about Jim Thome, yes it's my fault," Guillen said. "If those people don't like that, [bleep] them."

Guillen reminded reporters that it was Thome who waived his no-trade clause on Aug. 31 to accept a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers and that he's getting more playing time with the Twins recently only because slugger Justin Morneau has been sidelined since July 8 because of a concussion.

"I'm not afraid," Guillen said. "I can care less what people think. We're in second place. When Jim Thome was here, we finished third three times out of four years (actually two third-place finishes and one fourth-place ending). We went to one playoff because he hit a home run to go to the playoffs.

"Listen, I don't make that decision, we made that decision. It was hard for me to do this. A lot of people in Chicago talk about Jim Thome. How about J.D.? I think Jermaine Dye did more stuff for the Chicago White Sox than Jim Thome did, with all my respect to Jimbo.

"What's going on here? I don't get it. Why do people forget about J.D.? People don't even talk about J.D. at all. If Thome was a better player than J.D. for the White Sox, that's the answer. J.D.'s not playing for the Twins."
What's more, Guillen said the fact the game went to extra innings wasn't because his team fought back, nope, it's because Ron Gardenhire took out starter Scott Baker, who gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings.
"That's Gardenhire's fault for bringing those guys [Jon Rauch, Matt Capps] into pitch," Guillen said. "He should have left that guy in that started the game and then we're still playing. I'm not running away from anybody. I don't run from anybody because I sleep very well last night, I played golf this morning. I didn't change anything. I rode my bike, go to sleep and as soon as I'm done with [this game] I'm going to go back to sleep. Same stuff." Same stuff, different day. But it's still mighty entertaining.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: August 18, 2010 2:22 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2010 8:06 pm

Adam LaRoche clears waivers

Adam LaRoche Do you suppose Adam LaRoche even unpacks his bags anymore? Does he dare to buy fresh fruit?

In 2009, the first baseman was traded from the Pirates to the Red Sox to the Braves. In January he signed with the Diamondbacks, but now he could be on the move again.

John Gambadoro of Phoenix-area radio station KTAR reports via Twitter that LaRoche has cleared waivers, which means the Diamondbacks can now trade him to any team. He'd be a nice pickup for a contender, and fairly cheap -- he's owed a little over a million remaining on this year's salary, and has a mutual option for 2011 that can be bought out for $1.5 million (or picked up for $9.5 million). What's kind of odd is that his contract called for the option to escalate from $7.5 million to $9.5 million if he was traded, pretty much assuring if he changes addresses during the season, he'd have to do so again next year.

LaRoche has always been a second-half player, and he's doing it again this year. He's batting .381/.409/.762 with six homers and 11 RBI in August and on Sunday hit his 20th homer. The White Sox and Rays are looking for power, and even after signing Carlos Beltran, the Red Sox might consider LaRoche a superior option to platoon with Mike Lowell.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: Colorado's Brad Hawpe has also cleared waivers, according to the Denver Post's Troy Renck (via Twitter ). The suitors for Hawpe would likely be about the same as LaRoche, though he may be a tad less desirable.  Hawpe is owed roughly $2 million and he can void the $10 million  club option for 2011 if traded. The buyout for that option is $500,000.

UPDATE: Renck tweets he expects a move with Hawpe after tonight's game or before tomorrow's game. Hawpe may be outrighted. In addition, Texas seems to have some interest in picking him up.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 17, 2010 5:34 pm

Jenks should be available Wednesday

Bobby Jenks White Sox closer Bobby Jenks said he''ll be available on Wednesday for manager Ozzie Guillen.

There had been speculation the White Sox would have to place him on the 15-day disabled list with a sore back, but he told reporters on Tuesday that he'd be available for the team's second game against the first-place Twins.

"[The spasms] were like a little cramp that wouldn't release," Jenks said, according to the Chicago Tribune .

Jenks warmed up on Tuesday at Target Field.

The White Sox could use even the struggling Jenks, as J.J. Putz blew two saves this weekend against the Tigers.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 17, 2010 2:04 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 2:18 pm

White Sox coach wants to see a fight

Juan Nieves So, feeling nostalgic for the good ol' days of the Reds-Cardinals series? Get ready for the three-game series between the White Sox and Twins starting tonight at Target Field.

The teams had a little run-in last week when Chicago's Carlos Quentin was hit twice and manager Ozzie Guillen took exception to the beanings.

It's not just Ozzie that's fired up, either. Here's what White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves had this to say Sunday on a Chicago radio show (via the Star Tribune ): "I've even thought of telling guys, 'hey [Matt] Thornton, smoke [Joe] Mauer, see if you can start a fight.' We're not afraid of anybody."

If Mauer gets hit in any of these three games, there could be some serious fireworks.

The Twins currently lead the White Sox by three games in the AL Central and Chicago is seven games back in the wild card.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 12, 2010 10:16 pm

GM assumes no moves for White Sox

The White Sox reportedly tried and failed to make a big move at the non-waiver trade deadline, and general manager Kenny Williams thinks that in baseball's current climate, the team he's got is probably the one he's going to have for the duration.

"There is a lot of claiming going on," Williams told MLB.com on Thursday, indicating that he's seeing a lot of waiver claims being put in by teams since the start of the month.

Any player traded in August must clear waivers, giving any team a chance to claim him. A good team like the White Sox is at a disadvantage, because a claim by any team in the American League with a worse record (and, in the case of an NL player, every NL team) would supersede Chicago's claim. The player's team has 48 hours to work out a trade with the claiming team or pull them back (which is what usually happens).

There was a time when teams let players pass through waivers as an unspoken agreement, but not anymore. Teams put in claims because they see it as a chance to grab a player, or just a chance to keep the player from being acquired by a team ahead of them in the standings. The only players who make it through usually are having bad seasons with bad contracts. That makes it tough to do anything of substance.

"I'm just assuming everyone is going to get claimed," Williams said. "That's how I go about it."

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Tags: White Sox
Posted on: August 12, 2010 11:46 am
Edited on: August 12, 2010 12:20 pm

Jenks trying to reclaim closer's spot

Bobby Jenks Bobby Jenks has had quite an up-and-down season for the White Sox, currently scrapping to lead the AL Central Division.

Despite racking up 140 saves in 249 2/3 innings with a 3.28 ERA from 2006-09, Jenks is struggling with a 5.01 ERA on the season, racking up 23 saves. The burly right-hander has been effective in just one month, with an 0.75 ERA in June that saw him rack up 10 saves. Otherwise, he's been a horror show and has lost his job multiple times according to manager Ozzie Guillen, only to come out and pick up saves the next several games. This latest iteration has the choke collar on Jenks tightened, as Guillen isn't willing to put him back in a save situation until he proves himself after pitching a clean ninth inning Tuesday in a non-save situation.

''What I see from him, it was good,'' Guillen told the Chicago Sun-Times . ''Is it good enough? Not yet. I want to see him one more time to see how he's doing. I want him to grab his job. I want him to be the guy. We all want that. Maybe he's the one who doesn't believe we want him there, but we do want him there."

Guillen has flexibility in a two-headed setup monster tandem of J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton, so he can easily afford to mix-and-match save situations. However, Jenks may actually have had little cause to lose his job past dumb luck. His xFIP is a sterling 2.57, with his .385 BABIP leading the way in damage. While BABIP is in part driven by ballparks, it is far more driven by luck and defense, which have abandoned him so far in 2010. In addition, his home runs are leaving the park at a greater clip than average, unsurprising when one considers his home park.

Lastly, he has stranded just 63.4 percent of runners on base, significantly below his 73.5 percent career average, which is similar to league average. All told, the 29-year-old has been unlucky.

The problem is that Jenks is up to $7.5 million a year in an environment where only truly dominating closers get megabucks over an extended contract. Closers are still being paid archaically under arbitration, much to Jenks' and Jonathan Papelbon's pleasure, but the free agent market figures to be colder.

And with Thornton under the fold and a possible resigning of Putz by Chicago, Jenks may find himself non-tendered in the offseason as he will have one more cycle of arbitration and could sniff $10 million, especially with a strong finish. If so, he shouldn't have any trouble finding a closer's gig for 2011, but would certainly have trouble matching that $7.5 million payout.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
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