When you turn on sports radio, you expect to hear breaking news. However, you don’t expect to hear that two promising players were traded to the Kansas City Royals for a couple bats and a bucket of baseballs.
Oh, we got Mark Teahen too, but I’m more excited about the equipment.
The Sox dealt corner infielder Josh Fields and second baseman Chris Getz to Kansas City today for slugging utility man Mark Teahen. Teahen will most likely play second base seeing as we sent Getz away. Mark may also play right field if we decide to unload Jermaine Dye on someone (which seems to be the reason for this trade).
Could Brent Lillibridge slide into the second base slot? What about moving Ramirez to second, Beckham to short stop, and then bringing in — or bringing up — a third baseman?
We also inked first basmean and outfielder Mark Kotsay to a one-year deal today. I’m glad to see Mark will be coming back to the Sox. I remember listening to AM 670 The Score on the day we got Kotsay from Boston, and this person sent a text into the station that was read on the air, and the text said, “Kotsay is a slightly better version of Darrin Erstad.”
I could only chuckle in agreement, but he’s still a good player.
It’s games like this that suck the life right out of me…
There was Gavin Floyd; cruising through the first 2 innings when pesky Mike Aviles came up to bat in the 3rd, with two outs, and smacks a double at the center field wall. We attempted a comeback in the 7th inning when Jermaine Dye clubbed a flair into shallow center that resulted in a single. He was stranded, though, and our hopes for a win were smashed, slashed and buried. The Royal’s bullpen took over and eventually Joakim Soria (and his insanely awesome facial hair) closed out the ballgame. 2-0 loss for the Sox.
Things I Noticed
- A.J. Pierzynski continues to prove himself as the smartest player in Major League Baseball. From knowing how to block a ball in the dirt to following a runner down the baseline to cover and empty first base — the dude has brains like no one else in the game.
- Gavin Floyd’s curveball = the epitome of nastiness.
- Sox fans attending the game boo Wise at the plate but cheer for him in the field. Hypocrites!
- Matt Thornton’s dominance went nowhere this off season.
Things I Want to Continue
- I’d love to see Fields extend his spectacular play streak to 3 games tomorrow in the rubber match.
- Our bullpen needs to keep dominating opposing hitters. Checking my scorecards, they’ve struck out 9 of the 23 hitters they’ve faced and have only allowed 1 hit. That’s a .043 average.
- Scott Linebrink is 3-3 in strikeout opportunities. Keep ’em coming, Scott. Keep ’em coming.
Things I Want to See End
- Paul Konerko is 5-38 lifetime against Zack Greinke. When we play them next, Paulie’s due for a jack or two. Only thing it’d hurt would be Greinke’s ERA.
- Keeping on the topic of Konerko, my dad and I realized it’s been taking him awhile to heat up. If he could get going’ a little earlier, I’m sure it would help us out a lot.
- Carlos Quentin… I am loving the intensity, but it’s only the second game. Calm down.
Gavin Floyd, though he gave up the 2 runs, was amazing tonight. He struck out 9 through 7 innings and walked only 2 (one better than Buehrle’s three yesterday). I’d also like to mention that, for the most part, he had pinpoint control of his pitches. There were only three or four times I can remember that a pitch either slipped or took a nosedive into the plate.
As far as our offense went, there’s really not much I can say. We went up against, probably, Kansas City’s best pitcher in Zack Greinke and got what we should have been expecting. Not that you should go into a game expecting to be shut out, but I didn’t think we’d get much done against this guy. Jermaine Dye hit two of our three hits, the other going to Pierzynski in the 5th inning.
Dewayne Wise hit a lot better in today’s game than he did yesterday. He struck out only once — a big improvement over yesterday — and made good, solid contact the rest of the time. Maybe tomorrow he’ll get a hit?
Speaking of tomorrow, 1:05 is the starting time! John Danks will take the bump for the Sox and Kyle Davies will go for the Royals in the third and final game of this series.
Until my preview tomorrow, and forever until the day I die,
I feel awkward saying that I’m glad yesterday’s game was postponed. It was a gorgeous day on the South Side (or so I hear, seeing as I wasn’t there) for today’s ballgame.
The game didn’t look so hot in the first couple innings. In the second inning Mark Buehrle served up a home run to Royals’ third baseman Alex Gordon, putting them up 1-0 quickly. The Sox came back, though, in the bottom of the inning as Josh Fields drove in Jim Thome to tie it up at 1.
The Royals pulled ahead 2-1 and stayed there until the Sox opened up a can of “Dramatic Comeback” Energy Drink in the eighth inning. Fields led off with a single, followed by a pop fly to center field off the bat of Dewayne Wise (ending his strikeout streak at 3 consecutive). Chris Getz then singled, moving Fields to third. Up comes Carlos Quentin with the chance to put the Sox up by 2 runs with a blast to anywhere he wanted, but he struck out on a 1-2 pitch. That left everything up to veteran first baseman/designated hitter Jim Thome! And, wouldn’t you know, Mr. Incredible came through with a 3-run blast to dead center field to put the Sox up for good.
My number one concern going into the game was our bullpen. It hasn’t changed much since last year and the 2008 season was one of the worst I can recall for our relief corps. But Clayton Richard was a beast, mowing down all 6 hitters he faced in the 6th and 7th innings — collecting 1 strike out to go with it. I was really happy to hear Richard dominate the Royals (even though they are the Royals), followed by Dotel’s striking out the side in the 8th inning.
On the offensive side of the ball, I was really disappointed with Dewayne Wise’s performance. I know it’s only the first game but, watching the “highlights,” one of the balls he struck out on was obviously outside the zone and he needs to learn to stay away from those. I’ll also give him the benefit of the doubt seeing as it was his first Opening Day start and the butterfiels must’ve been fluttering like crazy.
Chris Getz, on the other hand, really impressed me. 2-4 with a double and a run scored is pretty darn good! Josh Fields went 2-3 with a pair of singles and a run batted in. Thome was, in my mind, the player of the game; going 3-4 with 3 batted in and the go-ahead home run is Opening Day-clutch to the max.
Fields’ play in the field also impressed me. Let me just say, real quick, that I think Fields is going to be an intricate piece of our success this year and is going to turn out to be something real special. His experience as a quarterback may turn out to be an advantage not many infielders can wield! He has an acceptional arm and a pretty long range for a young guy.
I could sit here and analyze all day, but I won’t. That’s boring and doesn’t make for a good read. Though it’s the job I’m pursuing, I’m not getting payed for it at this point so I’ll end my rant here.
Until tomorrow (following the 7:05 game), go Sox!
We all like a good batch of young, talented players. And I am not one to argue the worth of a prospect. But what if none of the players have ever played together at a big-league level? What if it’s a whole new team of youngsters with absolutely no chemistry?
The Sox are going into the 2009 season with a team full of new ballplayers. Dayan Viciedo, Josh Fields (though he’s played before), Cole Armstrong, Chris Getz and a few other pitchers all have never played — or never played long — at this level. We’ve still maintained a handful of the experienced players, but for the most part we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for an opening day roster.
Spring Training hasn’t started yet, I know, but I can already tell we’re headed for a roller-coaster ride of a season. Sporting News, in their annual preview magazine, see the AL Central as follows:
At first glance I was shocked and appalled at this prediction but now that I have given it time to sink in… I realize the possible truth to their outlook.
Our infield depth has dropped considerably. Orlando Cabrera, Joe Crede and Juan Uribe are all gone. Uribe could play any infield position while O.C. and Crede were limited to only one slot, shortstop and third base, respectively. Alexei Ramirez, our current shortstop, can also play center and can beat the heck out of the second base position. Chris Getz, a promising rookie, is filling the second base role on the current Sox depth chart. In ten games on the South Side squad last year Getz had seven plate appearances with two hits for a .286 average.
Here are two ways the season could turn out based on my above comments.
- We crash and burn as Sporting News predicted.
- We sit in first place for a good portion of the year, then drop off the map
Now give me some time to argue with myself.
Maybe having a bunch of rookies is a good thing! All of these players will be fighting to keep their jobs which, more often than not, results in good statistics. Look at Evan Longoria last year. He was rookie trying to keep the job the Rays had given him at third base and he ends up winning Rookie of the Year. I won’t say that any of our players are in line for winning American League Rookie of the Year as David Price, steering clear of injury, will surely walk away with the award.
Though this has nothing to do with the topic, I am going to throw this into the equation.
Say Carlos Quentin matches or betters his 2008 stats. That will give us roughly 100 RBI and 36 home runs (+/-) from one player alone. Give Thome the same thing and we’re up to 200 RBI and 72 homers. Same for Dye and Konerko and we’re already at 400 runs driven in and 144 round trippers from 4 players alone. All of the above mentioned players are more than capable of producing those kinds of numbers and have in the past.
2008 – Carlos Quentin… you know the story.
2006 – Jermaine Dye drives in 120 runs and hits 44 homers.
2006 – Jim Thome parks 42 jacks with 109 driven in.
2005 – Paul Konerko hits 40 home runs and drives in 100.
There is proof that those players have had Ruthian seasons.
But, like in science, something has to be repeatable to be possible.
The Joe Crede era at third base has come to an official close. As I mentioned in my Free Agency post about a week ago, I’m looking forward to having Josh Fields playing at third for us in the upcoming season. Fields hit for an average of .244 during his one hundred games in the 2007 season, while filling in for an injured (and now departed) Joe Crede. He needs a little tuning on the defensive spectrum of his game, but other than that it looks like all systems are go for him at third!
OTHER FREE AGENT TALK
I just read on the mlb.com home page that my cross town rivals are possibly interested in The Big Unit? What benefit would that deal have on the team!? Their starting rotation, if management chooses to put him there, would most likely take a step down from where it currently is. Randy Johnson, granted a good pitcher a few years ago, is dropping down a steep hill where no once-highly-touted pitcher wants to end up at the bottom of. His speed is still where it was in his hay day, but he can’t control when he throws 100 and when he throws 92 as much as he could in, say, 2001.
The Yankee’s are looking for starting pitching like a child looks for candy. According to reports given by mlb.com, they’re pursuing CC Sabathia, Jake Peavy, A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe! They’ve already made a $137 million offer to Sabathia, which is a heinous amount to any pitcher. Peavy and the Braves have halted signing talks, so there is a possibility of him talking with New York now. Let me just say that if they get any one of these guys, their starting rotation will jump twenty feet from where it was last season.
There’s still a good three months until players report (and let me tell you, they aren’t coming soon enough), so a lot can happen between now and then.
I’m in the Latest Leaders for the first time ever! I’m number 47, yes, but it’s better than being 51!