The dreaded third round of cuts has arrived to White Sox camp at Camelback Ranch, and lo, what carnage it has brought. Around the time this level of cuts comes round, some players who actually had good Springs, and are capable of playing in the Major Leagues, are getting the boot. Criminal!
This isn't necessarily the case for Jeff Gray, Shane Lindsay and Josh Kinney; fringe contenders who faltered badly in the final weeks. Seriously, Shane Lindsay made it through two rounds of cuts despite only getting 3 innings of work in official games?
Then there's Brian Bruney and Dallas McPherson. Sure, God knows what they would have had to do to make the team (Kill someone with a line-drive/fastball? Blackmail? Be overheard speaking approvingly of the Robbie Alomar trade by Kenny Williams?), but they provided hope that should the White Sox need an emergency replacement sometime this season, they will actually find someone replacement-level. Don't underestimate this, don't you dare.
Prospects Jordan Danks, Tyler Flowers, and Gregory Infante got the
inevitable boot as well. One could say that only Jordan Danks succeeded
in what he was in Glendale to do: stop striking out so much and restore
some faith in his career. Infante failed because he got knocked
around, and didn't post the eye-popping K-numbers that made his wild
ways seems palatable. Tyler Flowers failed in the sense that he hit
amazingly well, looked like the best-hitting catcher in the
organization, and made the front office look like a sack of asshats. If
Stacy King were here, he'd ask you how you could do 'em like that,
Tyler? How could you? Perhaps a memo that was sent to your attention
was not received.
There was an actually interesting cut too,
Alejandro De Aza got axed out of the fourth (or is it fifth? Just how
insignificant is this?) outfielder race, killing the hopes of myself, Mike DePilla,
and everyone else who valued underwhelming but reliable defensive
versatility without a shred of excitement. De Aza will use his last
option in going down to Triple-A, and puts the final position battles
into greater relief.
There are three spots remaining on the White
Sox roster, and the options are Philip Humber, Jeff Marquez, Brent
Lillibridge, Lastings Milledge, and Jake Peavy. One of these fellas has
gotta be the fifth starter, and another has to play outfield...so if
you guessed "all the pitchers", you're amusing, and I love your whimsy,
but you're probably wrong.
Jake Peavy seems like the least likely
candidate, as he appears headed to the DL for a healthy stretch, and
not for the injury he just suffered, more for the one that happened last
July. His doctor explains:
"If they're expecting him .... to be 100% like he was before mid-July
last year, I think that'll be very challenging for him. If they're
expecting him to be able to give possibly 60 pitches, maybe a little bit
more, then I think that would be a reasonable estimate," Romeo said.
"It remains to be seen whether he's going to be able to get his pitch
count up into the 80s and be able to tolerate that and stay in his
normal rotation. ... When he went up to 80 pitches, his shoulder said, 'We
need to go a little bit slower to get up to this level.' " Peavy
threw 67 pitches in his third start, March 14. "He seemed to pass that
test," Romeo said, adding he was not surprised by the setback given that
Peavy didn't throw for about four months before starting his throwing
program in November.
While Jake is spending time
regaining strength, Humber vs. Marquez becomes a question of who will be
a better spot starter. While Marquez might be a more fun last bullpen
guy with the potential to strikeout the side or hit someone in the face
during garbage innings, Humber's been being groomed to start all
Spring. Coop even taught him a cutter, and you know what that means, you know what that means.
Actually, that's not what that means...Loiaza didn't start throwing the
cutter until 2004 according to Fangraphs, and it was pretty much downhill after that.
sensible but unsexy Alejandro De Aza jettisoned, the White Sox have to
choose between optionless Brent Lillibridge (of comparable
sexiness-to-sensible ratios) and their #1 crush, Lastings Milledge.
Because I was in favor of the no-fun pick of De Aza, I almost have to
shift over to Lillibridge. He has to range to play center--which is
really kinda the whole point!--and is extra infield depth.
is a quibble of a quibble of a quibble, but say if Omar Vizquel bends
over for a low grounder, feels a twinge in his back and thinks "Well, I
can't do this anymore", the Sox next option to serve as the
backup middle infielder is the ultra-raw Eduardo Escobar. Retaining
Lillibridge prevents that scenario. He might not be any better than
Escobar, but no one's development gets interrupted.
very possibly headed to the DL, it's most likely that the Sox can keep
three of these guys. Because I'm incurably allergic to fun, I would
side with extra arms for the bullpen to counteract the possibility that
Humber is a disaster who can't go three innings without allowing a grand
slam. However, the Sox are incurably, hopelessly in love with Lastings
Milledge, who clearly wins the "Which one of these guys has any chance
at all to be awesome?" test.
If there are really three spots, Milledge is bound to take one of them.
was planning on detailing how Philip Humber has a fair shot at avoiding
being terrible, but we're already way too close to 1,000 words.
Colin seeks to find out how the hell Tony Pena racked up a 5.10 ERA last season.
Melissa expresses her fatigue with the constant updates on irrelevant stories that is Spring.
OH MY GOD DID YOU KNOW THIS EXISTED????!?! I almost don't hate Comcast...no...no, it's not even close. I take it back.