Tagged: Ozzie Guillen

Lastings Milledge Off The Bench?

Kenny signed the former first round phenom to a minor league deal with an invitation to camp.

It’s a good low risk, high reward proposition.  If he doesn’t get his stuff together cut him.  If he finally shows that he’s got his head screwed on straight, he could be a real benefit coming off the bench.

What manager better to get a guys head on right than Ozzie!  I’m not sure if that’s a joke or not, and I wrote it.

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All The Right Moves

Kenny Williams and the Sox are doing everything in their power to make a deep run into the playoffs in the 2011 season.

They signed Dunn, they resigned Konerko and AJ, they brought in some bullpen depth, they picked up Ozzie’s option, and now they’ve gone and locked up A.Ram for four years.

The only real question mark heading into the season is Peavy’s health, and with the strength that we have in the rotation without him, that is really a question that only impacts who the 5th starter will be.  Which is not to say that Peavy would be the 5th in the Sox rotation; but with Buehrle, Danks, Floyd, and E Jax, you’ve got pitchers with the talent necessary to fill the one through four spots in your rotation.

It’s February, baby!  Just a few more days until pitchers and catchers report!

A Fresh Start

My last entry was July 11!  That’s absurd.  A fresh start as we head into the hot stove league!

Adam Dunn was signed yesterday, as was A.J.  Put Paulie’s name on a new three year deal and all will be right with the offensive/fielding components of the Sox heading into 2011.  Ozzie & Kenny both know how strong the Twinkies are and see the Tigers doing anything but standing pat.  Glad to see that they are making a strong move to compete this coming season.

One caveat on that comment, Adam must, I repeat MUST leave his glove in D.C.  Dude’s a very good left handed bat, but he’s a butcher in the field.

With Morel taking over for Teahen at third and Dayan waiting in the wings behind Paulie, as well as Jared Mitchell and Jordan Danks in the OF things are looking good right about now.

Next thing up is the bullpen.  Gotta put together almost an entirely new crew for 2011.  Thornton, Pena, and perhaps Sale are all we have available to us right now that I have any confidence in.  Still wondering whether we will let Sale start the season in Charlotte and allow him to stretch into a starter.

Still and all with Adam and A.J. in the fold its a strong start to the offseason.

Are We For Real?

About the time that I am about to go into full blown training camp preparation, the Sox decide that they might know a thing or two about playing baseball.  So, here we sit on the 19th of June having won eight of our last ten, and only five and a half out, while our dear friends, the Twins, have gone five hundred over that same stretch.

Interleague play and series against the Cubs, Pirates, and Nats have certainly helped the cause.  But the starting pitching has been very strong, with suprisingly strong performances from Freddy Garcia and Gavin Floyd.

As with everything that happens with the Sox – at least in the eyes of their fans –  there is a dark cloud on the horizon.  Jake Peavy had fluid drained from his throwing shoulder, and in spite of that will start tonight having talked Ozzie out of putting him on the DL.

The positive spin on this is that the team has done well in recent weeks in spite of Peavy, not because of him.  On the other hand – we are most certainly going to need his arm down the stretch. 

At the moment – Peavy has gone five innings with four strikeouts.  Let’s hope

Greg Aquino, The Seventh Reliever

Sox.com ran a story on the final relief position tonight.  The reasonable expectation is that the following fellas have positions locked down in the pen: Randy Williams, Bobby Jenks, J.J. Putz, Matt Thornton, Scott Linebrink and Tony Pena.

As Merkin points out in the story: the final relief slot needs to have a pitcher who can work in any number of different roles. He might be called on to fill an inning late in a close game if this group of previously mentioned talent has been used frequently in a specific time period.

With regard to the remaining candidates for the 7th spot, Ozzie has said the following about Greg Aquino. “Aquino is very impressive. He throws strikes,” Guillen said. “Every time he’s out there, he does a good job. It’s a situation game. He can be on and see how he handles it very well.”

“He came back [in the ninth] and did the same stuff. He’s got a lot of experience. He throws strikes. Especially when you’re competing for a job, you can get wrapped up and all of a sudden you lose what you have. He takes care of it very well.”

Aquino is a 32 year old right hander who has pitched 145 games in the majors.

Sergio Santos is talented, but extremely green.  Dan Hudson is also talented, but also green, and is being groomed to be a starter.  It seems to me that the better place for Hudson is in the rotation in Charlotte. 

Given all of that, it seems to me that Aquino is your man.

 

 

Peavy Up, Mitchell Down, and Bogus Reports of a Dustup

Jake Peavy threw three scoreless innings Friday night, striking out three with two hits, and no walks in a split squad game against the Angels.

Unfortunately Friday was not a perfect day for the Sox as outielding prospect Jared Mitchell tore a tendon in his ankle making a catch in center.  His injury came in the split squad against the Cubs.  According to reports from the Sox the injury could cost the former first rounder the entire 2010 season.

We’re also seeing the first signs of last seasons fielding woes raising its ugly head.  Three errors in the game against the Cubs (all made by guys who we expect to see on the 25 man roster), and one in the game against the Angels.  While we have a stronger rotation this year than we did last, no team can afford to give the opposition extra outs when the games count for real

Finally there is the matter of the tension in the relationship between Ozzie and Kenny being reported in the Chicago media.  First off, no one has come forward with reports of any particular incident which would give an credence to these reports.  Second, if there is a tension in the relationship between these two its not totally unexpected given their competitive nature and their willingness to give unfiltered answers to just about any question that is asked of them.  That said, so long as it does not harm their ability to do their jobs, it should give no one any concern.

IMO, this sounds like the effort of writers and reporters to fill their respective space on a slow news day.

Less than a month until the boy head home to begin playing ’em for real!  Can’t come soon enough!