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White Sox Show Interest in Henry Blanco

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Jason Gage

Accountant By Day, Sports Analyst By Night

Mark Gonzalez is reporting that the Chicago White Sox have expressed interest in former Chicago Cubs back-up catcher Henry Blanco. Blanco, 38, is widely regarded as a premier defensive back-up, having thrown out 43% of would be base stealers in his career (40% in 2009). By comparison sake, Sox catchers threw out just 32% of would be base-stealers.

 

SN Take:

Blanco has excelled as a back-up all over baseball and his bat versus left handed pitching (.322, 429, 1039) and throwing arm (40% CS in 2009) would fit perfectly in Chicago. Blanco's presence would also enable the Sox to use Tyler Flowers in one of a few ways:

  1. If the Sox deemed Flowers ready offensively, they could utilize Flowers bat at DH while he continued to work with Don Cooper, AJ Pierzysnki, and Henry Blanco on the nuances of being a catcher.
  2. If the Sox ultimately determined the Flowers wasn't ready (see below), the team could keep Flowers in AAA, where he can hone his offensive and defensive game.
  3. The acquisition of any back-up could hypothetically allow GM Ken Williams to trade Tyler Flowers. Flowers does have the most power potential in the Sox system, but he also has some well documented swing flaws. Still, he's a safe bet to put up above average offensive numbers at the catching position, while playing league average defense, at a minimal cost.

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4 Comments

JimH. said:

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Mark Gonzalez quoted some White Sox sources a while back stating the Sox want, and expect, Flowers to spend at least 1/2 year in AAA. It is no surprise they are looking for a backup catcher. I thought they should've signed Blanco the last two years.

Jason Gage said:

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His defense and bat vs lefties would be such a nice addition to our bench. Add in Kotsay and Nix and you are talking about the makings of a pretty darn solid bench.

Jason Gage said:

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I completely agree with you. I've long thought that Blanco made a lot of sense for the Sox and given the Sox comments on Flowers and there ultimately plans he'd be a great fit as a back-up.

I think by signing Blanco (or another solid back-up) the Sox are telling the fans that Flowers isn't quite ready and there is nothing wrong with that.

Kevin Goldstein, who did BP's top 11 prospects and was once one of the higher up guys at BA (and he's also a Sox fan) commented on Flowers and indicated that he felt Flowers still had some serious holes to his swing.

Based upon what I saw of Flowers in his limited major league action I would agree that Flowers still has some things to work on offensively, although his eye and power and the catcher position should make him a safe bet to be an above average offensive catcher.

Mario Scalise said:

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I'd be ok with something like this, but was hoping Flowers would get a few games behind the plate this year. Also, Blanco is 38 ... kinda iffy to expect a 38-year-old to continue to both play good defense and hit.

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