Yesterday’s injury to DeWayne Wise necessitated some fancy dancing by Kenny Williams in the past 24 hours.
Wise was placed on the 15 day DL with a grade three shoulder separation.
Jerry Owens contract was purchased from AAA Charlotte, and he is now with the big club in Detroit.
Scott Podsednik was signed to a minor league deal.
It’s not that we don’t think you can do the job BA, it’s just that we don’t think that you can do the job.
In other news, today’s game against the Tigers is rained out. No makeup has been rescheduled.
Apparently Dewayne Wise did the best job of impersonating John Fogarty, as Dewayne has been tapped as the starting centerfielder and lead off hitter heading into the regular season.
Brian Anderson will start the season as the fourth outfielder. Jerry Owens has been waived.
Coming into spring training there was no expectation that any one of these three guys was going to remind anyone of former southside hitman Oscar Gamble, and frankly none did. These guys didn’t make us remember Chet Lemon, or Rudy Law for that matter!
So with any one of these three, at best, you’ve got a mediocre stick in center, IMO, if you’re not going to get offense from the position, you have to put a strong glove in the field (especially centerfield, especially with Dye and TCQ in the corners). Anderson was and is that guy. IMO he should be the one starting.
WIth his waiver, the Jerry Owens experiment is for all intents and purposes over. Jerry was a nice kid with some decent tools, and very good speed. Unfortunately he could not translate that speed into strong defensive coverage of center, and since he was unable to steal first base, he could not translate taht speed into offensive production.
Thanks for the memories, Jerry. We have some lovely parting gifts for you.
Less than two weeks left until the hostilities begin in earnest.
This is what we know. Anderson will start in center. Fields will start at third. Getz will start at second. Corky Miller will be the backup catcher. Contreras will be ready to fill either the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation.
What we don’t know. Who will fill the other starting spot, either Marquez or Richard at this point, as it appears the Colon will not be ready, and Poreda will likely be sent to Charlotte to work on his “second pitch”
Who will lead-off. Getz is the most likely candidate, but it’s really all up in the air at this point.
The major surprise of the Spring Training; 1 and 1a, the health of Contreras, and just how good Beckham is.
The major disappointment of Spring Training, none of the three candidates for the center position took advantage of the opportunity to make the job theirs. Anderson gets it by default almost because he plays the best defense.
The Sox bats came to life today against the Padres.
Paulie Walnuts went three for four with a homer and three RBI
Fields went three for three, A.J. went two for four, and Wise went two for six with a homer and four RBI in the leadoff slot.
According to reports, Ozzie is giving serious consideration to starting Wise in center and putting him in the leadoff slot. I question his defense, especially in an outfield that also features TCQ (who is adequate in the outfield) and Dye whose skills in the outfield are (lets find a politically correct term) fading.
Personally, I would prefer Anderson in the outfield and at the bottom of the lineup with either Getz, Beckham, or Lillibridge starting at second and at the top of the order, but nobody asked me.
According to Scott Merkin, the centerfield situation will get a little murkier before it gets clearer as Lillibridge will be played in center in coming games.
Thome has been held out of his last start with tightness in the back. Doesn’t sound like anything major, but when you get as old as Jim is, and you start talking about a back injury, that’s cause for concern.
The John Van Benschoten experiment may be ending, as he got touched up again for two runs in an innning, bringing his ST ERA to 9.82. Thanks for playing John, we have some lovely parting gits for you…..
On-field preparations for the 2009 season begin in earnest tomorrow for the Sox.
Three major position battles are tee’d up to take place this spring in center, at second, and at the end of the pitching rotation.
At second the battle will between Sox farmhand Chris Getz, and offseason acquisitions Brent Lillibridge and Jayson Nix. I expect that the slot will go to the guy who shows the greatest aptitude at the plate, as that man may, by default, end up as our leadoff hitter. I am betting on Lillibridge here.
At the end of the rotation Sox farmhands Clay Richard, and Aaron Poreda will compete with new acquisition, Jeff Marquez. Richard has the most experience at the big league lever. Poreda, by all accounts has the best stuff (although he probably needs to improve his second and third pitches to have success as a major league starter), and Marquez has a good sinker (which KW loves). I suspect that the spot will go to Richard with Poreda in the pen, and Marquez down in Charlotte (although options could alter that decision).
Finally, the black hole at center will be filled by Brian Anderson, Jerry Owens, or Dewayne Wise. The relative deficiencies of these players are well documented. Anderson is a defensive standout, who struggles mightily at the plate. Owens has extraordinary speed, but does little else very well. Wise, is a gritty veteran who stand out in no particular area.
If Lillibridge grabs hold of the leadoff spot, I am hopeful that center will be filled by Anderson. If none of the second basemen seize the lead off spot, we could see Owens in center. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t have to happen.
All of that said, the most exciting thing that will occur in Glendale, Az. this spring is the arrival of Dayan Viciedo. He is a big, 19 year old third basemen who comes to the Sox from Cuba. As with A.Ram. last year, reports regarding Dayan’s talent are amazing, but overall he is something of a mystery to Sox fans. But we do hope that KW has caught lightning in a bottle for the second year in a row.