Chicago White Sox: Jake Peavy

White Sox taking trade deadline in stride

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
10:14
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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DETROIT -- On the one-year anniversary of Jake Peavy’s trade to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, all was quiet with the Chicago White Sox.

That 2013 trade, which is now fondly known as the deal that brought Avisail Garcia to the South Side, signaled the start of the White Sox’s current roster rebuild, which is in full swing with Jose Abreu at first base and Adam Eaton in center and at the leadoff spot.

It also was announced Wednesday that Garcia is headed out on a minor league rehab assignment, with a return later this season still possible.

With this year’s non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday, the White Sox don’t look to be in position to make much of a splash.

Gordon Beckham’s struggles, which have lasted well more than a month now, have crashed his market.

Dayan Viciedo had off-and-on interest, John Danks won’t yield both the salary relief combined with the prospect the White Sox are looking for, and nobody is willing to meet a steep price on Alexei Ramirez.

Adam Dunn is more likely to be moved in August through trade waivers, if at all, than in July.

If teams want to buy what the White Sox are selling, perhaps a final-day agreement can be brokered. Nothing pushes a deal to fruition like a set deadline.

After Wednesday’s 7-2 defeat to the Detroit Tigers, Beckham said the passing of the trade deadline will take a weight off his shoulder. But he added that he still has plenty more to deal with if he wants to start being productive again.

“I’m definitely not going to blame my struggles on the trade deadline; it is what it is,” Beckham said. “It’s been a little different, but you know what, I mean, honestly, I played so bad, unfortunately, I don’t know how much of a chance the White Sox have to trade me. So, that’s the unfortunate thing for them."

Teams interested in second basemen, such as the San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays, did have scouts in Detroit this week. But Beckham wasn't feeling like a wanted man.

“Obviously, I hold myself to a high standard and really haven’t achieved that this month," he said. "It’s just been frustrating. We’ll see what happens and go on to August.”

In regard to the deadline, White Sox manager Robin Ventura was asked which would be better: To know who he has on the roster moving to August? Or to not have to be asked trade questions any longer?

“Probably being asked about it,” Ventura said. “At this point, I expect the faces we have in there I will see the next few days. So just keep playing.”

The White Sox were handcuffed by Tigers starter Max Scherzer on Wednesday, but the day before their bats delivered a double-digit run total in an easy victory. That kind of game on Tuesday would not have been possible for the White Sox around last year’s deadline, as stress and uncertainty seemed to rule each day.

“Last year was different,” Ventura said. “This year, guys aren’t really concerned about it. I think they were a few weeks ago. Right now, it seems like a little bit lighter mood than it was when there was a lot of talk two weeks ago. It’s a little quieter right now. And I think guys are pretty loose for it being the trade deadline.”

Extra Bases: Deadline offers less trepidation

July, 3, 2014
Jul 3
9:00
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The non-waiver trade deadline is exactly four weeks away and the Chicago White Sox figure to be busy, even though this year's team is much improved from last year's squad.

It isn't as if the White Sox will be open to moving as many players as they were willing to give up in 2013.

While everybody seemed to be on pins and needles last July, the team now has an established young core that will remain intact once the calendar flips to August.

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Adam Eaton, Jose Abreu, Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Avisail Garcia aren't going anywhere. And unlike a year ago when the White Sox might have been willing to deal Alexei Ramirez, the shortstop's rebound this season figures to keep him out of any trade talk -- unless a return package is significant.

Trade candidates include Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo. Matt Lindstrom might have been in that group had he not needed surgery to heal an ankle injury.

“Yeah, I think with everybody, that [trade] stuff comes up,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It's natural for every team to have those kind of things. For us, it's just taking care of playing the game. You're looking at spurts of us where we'll play well, and then there will be a spurt where you don't do things well and you get beat.

“It has to be more consistent to be able to make an extended run at that.”

It still doesn't feel as though there is as much tension in the White Sox clubhouse this July as there was exactly a year ago, before Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain were moved.

“It was bad last year,” Ventura said. “I think that was a little more in your face. Here, you see, it's just better, as far as being able to compete with certain teams and playing better. It's been pretty inconsistent, but last year was just bad.”

Read all about it: Here is the Rapid Reaction from Wednesday’s 3-2 walk-off victory over the Angels. … Abreu won the American League rookie of the month award for the second time. … Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels is impressed with Abreu.

Keep an eye on this: With an infield single in the fourth inning Wednesday, Eaton has reached base in 25 of his past 26 games.

Question of the day: If the White Sox make moves before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, will they aim to bring aboard major league-ready players or prospects for the farm system?

Keppinger cut shows Sox mean business

May, 14, 2014
May 14
4:06
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Jeff KeppingerKelvin Kuo/USA TODAY SportsJeff Keppinger didn't live up to the expections the Sox had when they signed him before the 2012 season.
Hungry to continue their roster rebuild, the Chicago White Sox elected to eat some salary with Wednesday’s decision to designate Jeff Keppinger for assignment.

Talk about your changes in company policy.

When the White Sox were in sell-off mode last season, a big priority in making deals was finding trade partners who were willing to take most, if not all, of a player’s entire salary in a deal. With the Jake Peavy and Alex Rios deals, not to mention the Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton trades, the White Sox shed some $37 million-plus in future earnings, making that savings as attractive as the players who were being acquired.

What Wednesday’s move seems to signify is that guaranteed at-bats for infielders like Conor Gillaspie, Marcus Semien, and even Gordon Beckham, are worth the estimated $7.5 million the White Sox are set to pay Keppinger through the 2015 season.

(Read full post)

Reed didn't take trade personally

May, 9, 2014
May 9
8:16
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- As a closer, Addison Reed's job is to roll with the punches, so he met the winter trade that sent him from the Chicago White Sox to the Arizona Diamondbacks with his own brand of resiliency.

He does not, however, feel that he was being made a scapegoat for some of the White Sox troubles last season in being shipped off in exchange for infielder Matt Davidson.

“I didn’t take it personal, didn’t think that it was my fault,” Reed said Friday during his first trip to U.S. Cellular Field as a visiting player. “They needed a guy who could play third base and Davidson, he’s a heck of a player. He’s really good. I didn’t take it personal. I didn’t think it was my fault. It was just a trade and I’m glad to be here now.”

Reed was prepared for the possibility of being traded even before last season ended. Roster changes already were underway, with players including Jake Peavy and Alex Rios being moved to new teams.

[+] EnlargeAddison Reed
Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY SportsAddison Reed has 10 saves in 11 chances for Arizona, though he entered Friday with a 4.08 ERA.
“It seems like everybody that started the year with that team wasn’t on it at the end of the year,” Reed said. “It was a whole new clubhouse but that’s what happens when things go bad. You’ve got to make some changes and I don’t remember how many people were traded, but I remember at the trade deadline coming into the clubhouse and every day it seemed like there was somebody new in the clubhouse.”

Typically a traded player can return to his old ballpark the next season and catch up with friends, but the White Sox offseason bullpen overhaul didn’t really allow for that. Because Nate Jones is out with an injury, Matt Lindstrom is the only White Sox reliever with whom Reed spent significant time.

“I kind of wanted to brace myself for [a trade] because I was so close with everybody there,” Reed said. “I knew that there was a possibility I might be getting traded. I was trying to brace myself and look at all the positive ways I could. It’s part of the game, it’s part of the business.

“I don’t like to say this, because hopefully that’s the only time you’re going to get traded, but the way baseball goes, guys are traded three or four times in their career. So after the first one I don’t think it will be as difficult if it happens again.”

Reed continues to save games in his own tightrope fashion. He has 10 saves in 11 chances, but he also has a 4.08 ERA and two losses in 18 appearances. Opponents have hit four home runs off him this season, and the right-hander even seems to have abandoned his slider in stretches.

If there was one thing Reed was always good at, it was forgetting about yesterday’s outing, good or bad, and moving on to today. He seems to have used the same mindset after the trade.

“Guys in this clubhouse are awesome, coaches are unbelievable,” Reed said. “It’s the same as [with the White Sox]. There’s not one guy that I don’t like. It’s kind of a like a family atmosphere kind of like it was over in the White Sox clubhouse. Everybody gets along with each other and you have open communication with the coaches.

“The biggest thing is you get to live in Arizona year-round now. It’s a plus. That was the weirdest thing, after spring training ended, everybody’s getting on planes to go to their city, and I drove home just like any other day. That was really nice, but it’s gone well. It has been a smooth transition.”

Dunn hits HR; Peavy says bat broke

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
10:00
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Perhaps over postgame refreshments late Tuesday night, Adam Dunn told his buddy Jake Peavy exactly how he was able to take him deep for a home run Tuesday.

Peavy, who was starting for the Boston Red Sox, probably didn’t want to hear anything about it, especially since he thought he actually had his former Chicago White Sox teammate beat.

“I mean his bat broke; we broke his bat,” Peavy said after his first start at U.S. Cellular Field since the White Sox traded him to the Red Sox in a three-team trade July 30. “You normally will take your chances when that happens. Most people aren't as strong as he is. He always said this ballpark played big to fair, and I'm going to go ahead and go on the record and have fun with him tonight, tell him that in big to fair ballparks, broken-bat homers don't get out.”

It didn’t get any better for Peavy and his Red Sox teammates. The White Sox scored a run on an error in the ninth inning to walk off with a 2-1 victory.

Peas in a pod when they were with the White Sox, Dunn admitted that the matchup against Peavy was a bit awkward. But it didn’t take much for the meeting to turn businesslike.

By the end of the first at-bat, Dunn had taken Peavy into the seats in right field.

“It’s weird, but it’s only weird early,” Dunn admitted. “Then after one pitch it’s kind of, ‘All right, you really are trying to get me out’ kind of deal. I think the competiveness takes over.”

The career numbers reveal Dunn has had a tough time against Peavy. He entered 5-for-31 with 11 strikeouts. But in the previous three games he had been 5-for-11 with two doubles. Even with the recent success, Dunn was not going to claim bragging rights.

“Yeah, first of all, you haven’t checked the numbers because I have no bragging right against him,” Dunn said. “But, yeah, that was a good win and seemed like we kind of let him off the hook in the second and third inning. And whenever you let a guy like that who’s got stuff like he’s got off the hook, it can be a long night ... and it was for the most part.”

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 2, Red Sox 1

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
11:02
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox pulled off their second consecutive walk-off victory, beating the Boston Red Sox 2-1 on Tuesday.

How it happened: Alexei Ramirez scored the winning run on a throwing error by Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts that first baseman Mike Carp was unable to dig out of the dirt. Rookie starter Erik Johnson gave up only one run on a home run by Daniel Nava in the fourth inning. Former White Sox starter Jake Peavy went six innings, giving up a run and three hits. That run came on Adam Dunn's third home run of the season, a blast into the right-field seats in the second inning. Peavy was over the 50-pitch mark after two innings but settled down to throw 113 in his six innings.

What it means: The rotation's next generation met the former generation and Johnson was able to deliver the best outing of his young career. The right-hander went toe-to-toe with Peavy by setting a career high with nine strikeouts and matching a career best with 6 2/3 innings. In two starts against the White Sox since joining the Red Sox, Peavy has given up a combined three runs over 13 innings.

Outside the box: White Sox manager Robin Ventura issued an unsuccessful replay challenge in the second inning. Jose Abreu appeared safe at first base when the Red Sox's Mike Napoli seemed to pull his foot off the bag, but replays were inconclusive and Abreu remained out. The play was even more costly for the White Sox when Dunn followed with his solo home run -- which would have produced two scores had the call been overturned.

Offbeat: Peavy and Dunn were very close when they played together for the White Sox. So Dunn's home run will give him bragging rights when they hang out again. The next time up, Peavy walked his buddy. And to let him know he was keeping an eye on him, Peavy threw over to first base, twice, even though Dunn was essentially standing on the bag the whole time.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander John Danks (1-0, 4.15 ERA) to the mound Wednesday against the Red Sox in the middle game of the series. Boston will counter with left-hander Clay Buchholz (0-1, 6.97) in the 7:10 p.m. CT start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Series preview: Red Sox at White Sox

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
1:31
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Jake PeavyAP Photo/Elise AmendolaJake Peavy has a 2.13 ERA in two starts this season with the Red Sox.
CHICAGO -- The early-season tests only get harder for the Chicago White Sox as the World Series champion Boston Red Sox roll into U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday for a three-game series.

Along with the opportunity to measure themselves against last year's best, this series also represents the return of Jake Peavy and A.J. Pierzynski.

The sometimes contentious battery mates on the South Side came to Boston from different routes. Peavy was traded to Boston on July 30 of last year as the White Sox roster reshaping began in earnest. A three-team deal, that also included the Detroit Tigers, had Peavy going to Boston, Avisail Garcia going to the White Sox and infielder Jose Iglesias going to Detroit.

In an odd twist, it is the youngsters Garcia and Iglesias who are out with injuries, while the often-injured Peavy is going strong with a 2.13 ERA in the early part of the season.

Pierzynski signed a one-year deal with the Red Sox this offseason after finishing up a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers last season. The durable catcher played in another 134 games last season, while collecting 529 at-bats. He batted a solid .272 with 17 home runs and 70 RBIs. In 11 games this year, he is batting .314 with one home run and four RBIs.

While the setting might look the same to both former White Sox players, the product on the field will certainly require a double-take. Aside from stretches in 2012, the White Sox have struggled to put runners on base and to deliver the clutch hit. The 2014 White Sox have been the antithesis of that.

Heading into Tuesday night's series opener, the White Sox lead all of baseball in runs scored with 80, on-base percentage at .356 and are second in OPS at .816. Alexei Ramirez leads the AL in hitting with a .420 batting average, a whopping 35 points higher than the next closest player, the Minnesota Tiwns' Jason Kubel. Ramirez also leads in hits (21) and OPS (1.143).

Peavy will pitch in the series opener Tuesday and after his outing is finished he can resume his friendship with a number of players on the White Sox. Starting Wednesday he will get a chance to watch his old buddies from his former rotation take the mound.

"I told Chris Sale, 'I know you wanted Old Man Peavy but you're going to get our left-hander [Jon Lester] Thursday night," Sale told ESPNBoston.com. "If you want to be the best left-hander in the league, you got to surpass this guy that we're throwing at you.

"Chris Sale is such a good kid, one of my dear, dear buddies. I pull for him, keep in contact with him on a weekly basis. I tried to be the best role model I could be, the best friend I could be period. He's young, kind of in the same place I was. He had a son at a very young age, we kind of walked through the same path of life. Both from the South, him Florida, me Alabama, we hit it off.

"Johnny Danks, the same way. The three of us are really close."

Pierzynski remains a fan favorite on the South Side, and his bond to Chicago, which started in 2005, remains strong.

"I don't think you can beat Chicago in a lot of things," Pierzynski said. "Lake Shore Drive is about as good as it gets. The city's clean. Nice people, they look out for you and take care of you."

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Paul Konerko could start in Wednesday's game, especially since Clay Buchholz will be on the mound for the Red Sox. Konerko is 7-for-15 (.467) lifetime against the left-hander with a home run, three RBIs and two walks. ... The Red Sox's Mike Napoli has 27 career at-bats against Danks, who is scheduled to start Wednesday, and has 13 strikeouts with a .222 batting average. ... Peavy and Adam Dunn are good friends. So how have they fared against each other? Dunn is 5-for-11 with two doubles in his last three games against Peavy, but just 5-for-31 with 11 strikeouts lifetime.

NOTES



Alexei Ramirez has a hit in all 13 White Sox games this season and needs a hit in two more games to tie Frank Thomas' club record for longest hit streak to open a season. ... White Sox leadoff man Adam Eaton has multiple hits in five consecutive games, the longest such streak for the team since Alex Rios did the same in 2012. ... Conor Gillaspie is on an 11-game hitting streak. ... Jose Abreu has four home runs and 14 RBIs for the White Sox, but is just 1-for-11 over his past three games. ... Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedrioa (wrist) and closer Koji Uehara (shoulder) are day to day. ... The Red Sox won last year's series 4-2 and have won 12 of the past 16 games played between the teams going back to 2011.


PITCHING MATCHUPS



Tuesday: Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy (0-0, 2.13 ERA) will face White Sox right-hander Erik Johnson (0-1, 9.58).
Wednesday: Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz (0-1, 6.97) will face White Sox left-hander John Danks (1-0, 4.15).
Thursday: Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester (1-2, 2.57) will face White Sox left-hander Chris Sale (3-0, 2.66).

Year in review: Best and worst of 2013

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
11:47
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Avisail GarciaDavid Banks/Getty ImagesThe arrival of Avisail Garcia this summer was the start, in earnest, of the White Sox's rebuilding plan.
CHICAGO -- It stands to reason that a 99-loss season would carry more disappointment than joy, as the Chicago White Sox came nowhere near expectations in 2013.

The Detroit Tigers were expected to be the class of the American League Central, but the White Sox figured to at least put up more of a fight than they did. And when it came to the White Sox's fight, the Cleveland Indians saw none of it while dominating the season series in historic proportions.

The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline presented mental challenges as the White Sox plummeted toward rock bottom in a miserable season, but reason for hope arrived in the first of multiple player acquisitions over the next six months that were designed to reshape an aging and flawed roster.

BEST MOMENTS

5. Dressed to impress: You know it's a bad year when the alternate uniforms are a highlight. The White Sox used home Sunday games to sport their "Winning Ugly" duds from the 1983 season, creating a new adage that if you can't play well, you might as well look good. The uniforms were a hit with the players as well, with Jake Peavy electing to wear them for what he expected to be his last outing with the White Sox. The White Sox actually earned a 7-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers in that July 25 game. Peavy was traded five days later.

4. Pick six: Alex Rios went on a hit parade on July 9 at Detroit, collecting six hits in a nine-inning game to tie an American League and a White Sox record. The season was long lost at that point, but the offensive uprising provided at least a little bit of convincing for trade suitors that Rios could help their cause. On Aug. 9, the White Sox moved Rios to the Texas Rangers in a deal that brought them speedy infielder Leury Garcia, while also providing $16 million in current and future salary relief.

[+] EnlargeJose Abreu
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastThe White Sox signed Jose Abreu this offseason and hope he can add some power to the lineup.
3. Spending plan: Shedding salary was key in opening the checkbook again to sign Cuban slugger Jose Abreu. Sure, the jury is still out on the power hitter, but many reports say he grades out as a better overall hitter than both Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig. His signing would not have come without unloading massive amounts of cash from the Rios and Jake Peavy trades, not to mention the expiring contracts of guys such as Gavin Floyd and Jesse Crain, and the pay reduction that came from Paul Konerko's new one-year deal. Not only were the White Sox able to take a chance on Abreu at $68 million, they are also poised to spend far less than they did in 2014, leaving them more room to rebuild the roster in the near future.

2. Setting sale: So much for that bounce year in 2013 that some predicted after Chris Sale dramatically increased his innings total the previous season. The staff ace went from 192 innings in 2012 to 214 1/3 this past season while turning in a nearly identical 3.07 ERA as he did the year before (3.05). He finished fifth in the Cy Young Award voting despite his 11-14 record that was mostly run-support influenced, and his four complete games were tied for the AL lead. Add to all that Sale’s two scoreless innings in the All-Star Game as he became the first White Sox pitcher to post a victory in the contest since Mark Buehrle in 2005.

1. Let the rebuild begin: Sifting through the rubble of their lost season, the White Sox's front office was able to cobble together some remaining valuable pieces and use them to start over. Although other deals already had been made, the rebuild really started to take shape July 30 when Avisail Garcia arrived, from the division rival Detroit Tigers no less, with the White Sox sending Peavy to the Boston Red Sox in a three-team deal. Garcia settled in quickly, delivering a .304 batting average in 42 games with a .447 slugging percentage. His 21 RBIs over the final two months projected out to 81 over a full season, not bad on a team that struggled to put together scoring threats.

WORST MOMENTS

5. Cleveland rocked: In winning only twice against the Indians in 19 chances, the White Sox posted their worst record and most loses against Cleveland in a season-series. Thanks to the White Sox, the Indians were actually in playoff contention late in the season. The low point during a 14-game losing streak to the Indians: Dropping a doubleheader by scores of 19-10 and 9-8 with the agony lasting 7 hours, 53 minutes to set a major league record for time in an 18-inning twinbill.

4. Empty-handed Quintana: Pitcher Jose Quintana is a prime example of why it's dangerous to judge a pitcher by his win-loss record. The left-hander was 9-7 over 33 starts, leaving him with an American League record 17 no-decisions, despite posting an impressive 3.51 ERA. Blame a lack of run support for his issues. How bad was it? Three separate times in 2013 he delivered seven scoreless innings only to be left with a no-decision each time. In June, he became the first pitcher in American League history to start six games in a month and not get a decision in any of the outings.

3. Leaky defense: The best defense in the major leagues in 2012 was nearly the worst in 2013 as the White Sox finished with a .980 fielding percentage (121 errors), a year after posting a .9883 mark (70 errors). The White Sox's 2013 fielding percentage left them 29th in baseball with only the Houston Astros (.979) worse. The White Sox were nearly the first team since the 1915 Philadelphia A's to go from the best fielding percentage one year to the worst in the next season.

2. Aches and pains: Before the season started, the White Sox used the disabled list less than anybody in baseball over the previous 12 seasons, and the next best team in the category wasn't even close. Apparently the law of averages caught up with them in 2013. Injuries to Floyd and Crain provided challenges for the pitching staff, while position players Gordon Beckham, Dayan Viciedo and Konerko all lost time. The White Sox used the disabled list 13 times during the season. Konerko mainly dealt with a lower back problem but actually had multiple issues that led to 14 fewer home runs and 21 fewer RBIs than in 2012, and a whopping 19 home runs and 51 RBIs fewer than he had in 2011.

1. Broken bats: The firing of hitting coach Jeff Manto hardly came as a surprise after the White Sox coughed and sputtered their way to the 11th worst batting average (.249) in the AL, the 14th worst on-base percentage (.302) and the 13th worst slugging percentage (.378). They were also last in walks with 411. Always a team that could knock the ball out of the park when it had to, the White Sox finished with 148 home runs, with only the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals posting a lower total. It's no surprise that the White Sox's rebuild has included power guys such as Garcia, Abreu and Matt Davidson.

Sox starting the slow rise from the ashes

August, 14, 2013
8/14/13
5:39
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Finally elevated enough to be able to look down at rock bottom, the Chicago White Sox were able lament Wednesday's missed opportunities against the Detroit Tigers while still knowing that a better brand of baseball has arrived.

The White Sox just completed their first winning homestand in three months, and while it might not prove that things are permanently on the rise, it is finally a sign that the club wasn't as bad as their recent 10-game losing streak, and 13 defeats in 14 games suggested.

Bottoming out never is a graceful thing to do, and the healing process can have its issues as well, but in going 6-4 in the last 10 home games, the White Sox look to be in a better place, even though they lost four veterans in trades and, more recently, just left 15 runners on base in a 6-4 defeat to the Tigers on Wednesday.

"It's kind of a different team right now," manager Robin Ventura said. "We have some new players and it becomes a different mix of who you're playing. It's good. It's good they're starting out this way."

(Read full post)

Rienzo accepts torch from Peavy

August, 1, 2013
8/01/13
11:16
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Andre Reinzo AP Photo/Tony DejakAndre Rienzo, who takes over Jake Peavy's spot in the rotation, is scheduled to start Sunday in Detroit.
CLEVELAND -- Before Jake Peavy departed for Boston, he bestowed one last gift on the Chicago White Sox and Andre Rienzo will be forever grateful.

The former White Sox veteran pitcher pulled aside the young kid who now owns his spot in the White Sox's rotation and became a calming influence.

Rienzo admitted that his mind was spinning and with his energetic nature, the Brazil native was simply too hyped up to relax. Peavy helped ease the process for Rienzo.

"Man, Jake what I can say about Jake?" Rienzo said Thursday. "Jake is an unbelievable pitcher and an unbelievable person. Before the game he calmed me and said what [hitters] like, what kind of balls and how to pitch them. He's an unbelievable guy and the little time I have with Jake, I learned a lot. He helped me a lot."

(Read full post)

White Sox need more than a tuneup

July, 31, 2013
7/31/13
10:22
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CLEVELAND -- Like that old clunker in the driveway, the Chicago White Sox are dusty, with chipped paint and four flat tires.

If Tuesday night's Jake Peavy trade started the process of finding new parts to make "Old Reliable" purr again, Wednesday was the night to realize just how trying it will be to complete the rebuild.

The White Sox probably are not as bad as their current run of six consecutive defeats and losses in nine of their past 10 games, but they also aren’t ready to dominate any time soon.

Addison Reed, who has proved to be vulnerable of late, coughed up two ninth-inning runs after the White Sox had scored two of their own in the top of the inning, and Dylan Axelrod gave up the game-winning home run to the Indians' Carlos Santana, the first batter he had faced in eight days.

The concept was that once the non-waiver trade deadline passed, the White Sox might be a relaxed team again with no more uncertainty. The reality is they are all over the place, with an inconsistent offense and a bullpen that is showing the kind of cracks it did when it got off to a slow start to the season.

After trading pitchers Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Peavy, the White Sox need to work their way into a flow again, so at the very least the front office can get a better assessment of what kind of players it has heading toward the offseason, when more rebuilding will occur.

The bullpen was supposed to be the strength of the club, with Reed locking down the ninth inning after Nate Jones had cleaned up the eighth. In the end, it was a tall order for a pair of young pitchers who are still expected to anchor the relief corps moving forward.

Wednesday was Reed’s fifth blown save in 31 tries, with the Indians proving to be a particularly difficult endeavor. He not only gave up the tying runs in the ninth on Wednesday, but also gave up four runs to Cleveland on June 28 in a defeat during the second game of a doubleheader.

Reed has looked out of sync of late while not getting regular chances to close games during the White Sox’s struggles. But on Wednesday he made no excuses.

“I feel great,” Reed said. “Things aren’t working out the way I want them to.”

Things aren’t working out how anybody with the White Sox wants them to, and now the Sox will move forward with a roster that is missing three veteran pitchers.

“There’s no answer,” Reed said. “When things are going bad, they’re going bad. It’s something new every night. Tonight, it was 100 percent my fault. Just got to hang with them and get after them tomorrow.”

For the White Sox, it’s all about tomorrow and getting that former prized possession back on the road again.

“I don’t think any of us have an answer for it or else we would have changed and figured it out,” Reed said. “It’s part of the game. I wish I knew how to fix it or what to do about it.”

White Sox not finished paying Peavy

July, 31, 2013
7/31/13
5:52
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CLEVELAND -- The Chicago White Sox aren't exactly free and clear when it comes to paying Jake Peavy for services rendered.

The White Sox traded Peavy to the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night in a three-team that also included the Detroit Tigers. Part of the deal stipulated that the Red Sox pick up all of the remaining money owed to Peavy, who is still must be paid a third of the $14.5 million he is making this year and all of the $14.5 million he is owed next year.

There remains another $4 million, though, that the White Sox will still be paying to their former pitcher. When Peavy's contract was renegotiated by the White Sox shortly after the 2012 season, the White Sox bought out the $4 million option from his old contract.

They then agreed to defer it in four $1 million installments that run from 2016 to 2019. The Red Sox are not picking up that money.

"That was earned at the time of the contract and that's the obligation of the Chicago White Sox," Hahn said. "That's like a signing bonus. He's already earned that money, but in terms of his annual salaries, no cash went with that to Boston."

Hahn maneuvers past first deadline

July, 31, 2013
7/31/13
5:30
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CLEVELAND -- At no point during his first cruise through the choppy waters of the non-waiver trade deadline did the new Chicago White Sox general manager pause to take note of the moment.

There was no time to relax, of course, with the clock ticking louder with each passing moment and with trade options in need of analysis, but even if there had been, Rick Hahn never had the sense that he was venturing anywhere new although his job description has changed.

There were reports that general managers were watching how Hahn would react to his first trade deadline and whether he would try to put his own signature on things.

“I can’t say it crossed my mind that this was my first deal or first deadline deal so we had to do something on a grander scale,” Hahn said. “It was always about doing what was the best overall deal to reinforce the strength of the franchise and get us on the right direction.

“There was nothing unique about it from me siting in a different chair or having more extensive conversations than in years past. I don’t know if that was surprising to people because this was the first time some of these guys were talking to me in this context, but it certainly wasn’t anything new in terms of how we approached other trade conversations over the last several years.”

[+] EnlargeHahn
David Banks/Getty ImagesGM Rick Hahn said his only disappointment at the trade deadline was that the Sox were sellers instead of buyers.
With the White Sox looking to add prospects and possibly clear out some payroll, the three-team Jake Peavy deal late Tuesday night with the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers did most of that in one transaction. Not only was the approximately $19 million owed Peavy wiped off the books, but the White Sox were able to land a young impact outfielder in 22-year-old Avisail Garcia.

A trade involving Alex Rios, which could have unloaded another $18 million or so, was never completed, although Hahn didn’t characterize that as a missed opportunity.

“I don’t think I’ve expressed disappointment [over not doing more at the deadline],” Hahn said. “The only disappointment I feel right now is with the fact that it may take a step back from these conversations, obviously all of which are in sell mode, and the disappointment I feel in that we aren’t trying to add guys as we are more accustomed to doing. We hope to get back to doing that in the not-so-distant future.”

Hahn said his intentions were only to move Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain, both of whom were not expected back after this season, and in that sense, it was mission accomplished.

“Once we were able to get those deals done, we turned the page toward doing deals that were baseball deals,” Hahn said. “We felt we got a very good return in exchange for Jake and we also created a little bit of economic flexibility for ourselves moving forward. If there were other deals to do along those lines of players who were under control for 2014, we would have gotten them done. But certainly there was no pressure to do it, there was no economic element to it.”

On the field, there was a sense of relief that the deadline is now gone.

“You get past this point, and now the guys can just play,” manager Robin Ventura said. “I don’t think there’s any sitting around all day thinking about who’s going where or anything like that, or somebody is getting tapped on the shoulder. You just play. It’s one of those that I think with Jake, you just appreciate everything he’s done. You know he’s a good pitcher. You know he’ll do well.”

Rios certainly seemed relieved that trade conversations were coming to a halt for now. He saw the pluses and minuses of going to a contender but ultimately seemed satisfied that he is staying.

“If something had happened and I went to a winning team and a team that was going to be able to contend, it would be nice,” Rios said. “That’s our goal [as players] to go out there and win games, and that’s what every ballplayer wants to do. I think it would have been refreshing, too. But I’m cool staying here. I like this place, and everything about it I like.”

Perhaps, in the end, Rios will end up with a contender. Now that the non-waiver deadline is complete, teams can still use waivers to make a deal, although the option to work out deals with every single team isn’t always present.

Hahn is ready to move toward that portion of the job knowing he can make the deals that perhaps slipped away in July. He admitted he was working on a deal over the last 45 minutes before the deadline that was significant enough to inform chairman Jerry Reinsdorf about, but things fell apart shortly before the clock struck zero.

“Whether you’re buying or selling, you always want to do more,” Hahn said. “You’re never satisfied you’ve done everything, and we certainly don’t feel that way now. We have more work ahead of us moving into August and on into the offseason, but right now we accomplished what we set to accomplish initially with the Crain and Thornton deals, and were able to do a deal with Jake that we felt worked out for everybody.”

Andre Rienzo impresses in MLB debut

July, 30, 2013
7/30/13
11:29
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CLEVELAND -- Andre Rienzo made his major league debut one to remember for the Chicago White Sox with a solid seven innings against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

In a game being televised live back in his home country of Brazil, Rienzo gave up three runs over seven innings in a 7-4 loss, but none of the runs were earned. It was the first time a White Sox pitcher went at least seven innings without giving up an earned run in his debut since Jack McDowell also went seven scoreless innings in 1989.

[+] EnlargeAndre Reinzo
AP Photo/Tony DejakBrazilian pitcher Andre Rienzo says he hopes his country is proud of him after he made his major league debut for the White Sox.
Rienzo admitted to a bout of nerves, but seemed to be in control of his emotions on the mound.

"It was great to be here and a great experience," Rienzo said. "It was awesome."

With Jake Peavy traded to the Boston Red Sox after the completion of Tuesday's game, the right-handed Rienzo is expected to have a set spot in the White Sox's rotation moving forward. He figures to pitch again Sunday at Detroit.

As if nerves weren't enough, Rienzo was also facing the Cleveland Indians, who have another Brazil native in Yan Gomes. When Gomes and Rienzo faced each other in the third inning, it was the first time a pitcher from Brazil and a hitter from Brazil squared off in a major league game.

Gomes not only singled off Rienzo in the third inning, he walked off of him in the fifth inning with the bases loaded. It goes down as the first run Rienzo gave up in his major league career.

"I hope the Brazil is proud of me. I'm proud of Gomes," Rienzo said. "I hope if I have a chance next time to do better and help the team. I just want to open doors for guys coming. The talent is there, but I try to open doors. It's good."

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Peavy stuck in deadline limbo

July, 30, 2013
7/30/13
5:14
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CLEVELAND -- With less than 24 hours to go before the non-waiver trade deadline, Jake Peavy was still a member of the Chicago White Sox and holding court once again about the situation.

“Just waiting it out,” Peavy said from inside the White Sox’s clubhouse at Progressive Field.

Peavy was scratched from his start Tuesday in order to buy the White Sox more time to work out a deal with prospective trade suitors. While teams like the Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to Peavy trade talks, the Arizona Diamondbacks emerged as a possibility Tuesday.

(Read full post)

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