The first cuts from Spring Training were largely insignificant; a varying combination of guys the organization never had any interest in or youngsters mercifully pulled out the fray.
And yeah, there was plenty of that here as the White Sox cut pitchers Nathan Jones, Miguel Socolovich, Kyle Cofield, Freddy Dolsi, and Brandon Hynick.
Hynick and Socolovich were both shelled, and Miguel wasn't even getting tossed into any A-game action for the past week or so. Dolsi can't strike out major league batters, which is a problem for most, but not all. Kyle Cofield 2.25 ERA looks mighty fine, but the 6 unearned runs in 4 innings kinda jump out at you on second glance. Nathan Jones is a high-strikeout guy who hasn't demonstrated consistent control yet, so 1 K in 4 innings probably didn't please anyone, but really he just wasn't in the discussion for this season at any point.
With that out of the way, I can focus on the real cuts of note, Stefan Gartrell, Anthony Carter, and Eduardo Escobar.
I admit myself intrigued by Stefan Gartrell. Sure, he's 27 years old, strikes out a ton on a team that hates strikeouts more than it should, and is a bit of a slow-plodding masher for a team that needs competent defense from its backup outfield slot as much as anything. But man, all that power.
Gartrell slugged .750 for Spring Training, and that's not even including the 2 HRs he hit in a B game on Sunday. With the DH slot jam-packed for a while, no room in the outfield, and Dayan Viciedo with first-stake on any injury-created promotions, there's no immediate spot for Gartrell's spot and he's got no time to wait. His past two seasons in Triple-A are too underwhelming for the Sox to think of him as trade bait, so it appears that they don't think of him at all.
Anthony Carter drew interest on the strength of a dominant showing in the Arizona Fall League cast a previously absent shine on his conversion to relief work. His 98 mph fastball and the interview he gave with the Sox bloggers probably generated more focus on him then there really was with the organization. With the glut of contenders for the last bullpen spot, Anthony was going to have to thoroughly blow away the competition to make up for not having any Triple-A experience. He did not.
He's been just fine, but Shane Lindsay has caught the eye of the coaches and Jeff Marquez has struck out 10 batters in 7.1 innings. No messing with that.
On the one hand, IF Eduardo Escobar would have to push Omar Vizquel down the stairs (and possibly Brent Lillibridge too) to have a prayer at a roster spot, and he's hitting for a .455 OPS, so perhaps his getting cut so he can get more regular work is the most intuitive move to take place in the history of mankind. But with all the enthusiasm generated for his fielding, and the buzz around him after his Arizona Fall League stint, you could see the Sox riding the wave for a while longer.
Maybe they're trying to save his revered prospect status before the horror of his offense really sets in for other scouts.
The departure of Escobar and the rest of these cuts just mark the crawl away from the period of 'giving the youngsters a look' to actually prepping the roster for the season.
Yup, we can almost start to take Spring Training seriously.
J.J. Stankevitz's distaste for needlessly large aggregate blog sites that don't discriminate on the basis on content quality has climaxed, and he's leaving Examiner.
Jim Margalus covers some peculiar managerial behavior toward some of the prospects.
Future Sox covers the team's minor league infield crop. Get informed.
Confused? Annoyed? Read my stat primer. It's a fun read...at least as far as stat primers go.