White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

The Sergio Santos trade was surprising. But, while it's hardly as consequential as dealing for Nestor Molina, the biggest shocker of the offseason came yesterday when the White Sox signed former Arkansas and USC quarterback Mitch Mustain to a minor-league contract. The former five-star recruit will try his hand at pitching for the first time since his high school career ended in 2006. But as a college football fan...wow, Mitch Mustain.

MLB.com posted their top 20 White Sox prospects list, with Jared Mitchell failing to make the list. There were a few other interesting rankings and non-rankings in addition to Mitchell on there, too.

But even though the rankings from MLB.com and Keith Law cement the White Sox as having the worst farm system in baseball, there are some signs of improvement. And with the new CBA bringing other clubs to the White Sox level of spending on amateur talent, the Sox won't have an extended stay in the cellar of farm system rankings.

John Danks' poor start to the 2011 season was the product of him throwing fewer cutters and a slightly faster changeup, among other factors. But the good news is that his final 16 starts went quite well, and even with those 11 poor outings, he was still worth about 15 million in value last year per Fangraphs.

Ever wonder how a baseball is made? Check this video to see for your self.

Jim sifted through the often-hilarious PECOTA comps (Trayce Thompson to Willie Mays!) and found a few things of note -- mainly with regard to Dayan Viciedo. And James uses PECOTA as a jumping-off point to discuss some changes Jesse Crain has made that have projection systems finally warming up to him.

Alex Gordon and the Royals agreed to a one-year, 4.775 million contract to avoid arbitration, meaning he'll be a tremendous value to Kansas City this season. Another year of what Gordon did last year and he'll not only be deserving of more MVP votes, but he should get one hell of a contract.

On Indians fan sees Casey Kotchman's glove as being his greatest asset, but the guy also had a .378 OBP last year. That's probably his greatest asset because, you know, getting on base is the most important thing a position player can do.

Preview: White Sox host Rays in series opener tonight on CSN+

Preview: White Sox host Rays in series opener tonight on CSN+

 

The White Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, and you can catch all the action on CSN+. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: James Shields (3-11, 7.11 ERA) vs. Drew Smyly (7-11, 4.86 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

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White Sox grieve Jose Fernandez's death along with rest of MLB

White Sox grieve Jose Fernandez's death along with rest of MLB

CLEVELAND -- Whether they knew him or not, the overwhelming sentiment throughout the White Sox clubhouse on Sunday is that baseball was robbed of one of its most likeable players when Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was tragically killed in a boating accident.

Known for his vivid celebrations on the field and his wide, endless smile, Fernandez made a strong impression, whether with his skillset or infinite love of the game. White Sox players had their eyes fixed on several televisions littered throughout the visiting clubhouse at Progressive Field on Sunday during a morning press conference confirming the death of Fernandez, 24, and two others.

White Sox reliever Dan Jennings played with Fernandez for two seasons. Though he enjoyed a 3-0 White Sox win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, Jennings said his happiness was muted as he mulled the death of Fernandez, who was killed when the boat he was on slammed into a jetty in Miami Beach, Fla.

“He seemed invincible is what it was,” Jennings said. “A lot of guys know what I mean when I say he was invincible on the mound. There were days he was unstoppable, and that’s how you viewed him is invincible. It’s too hard to really put into words what he meant to the game and what he meant to Miami.”

“I just hope to love the game as much as he does some day. It’s tough to do, but he did. He had fun, and he loved the game more than anything.”

Todd Frazier remembers how approachable he found Fernandez in their limited interactions. The two met in the outfield one day after they faced each other for the first time and joked around.

“I was like, ‘Dog, you don’t throw me any fastballs,’ ” Frazier said. “He was like, “Why would I throw you fastballs?’ And we just started laughing.

“That’s the kind of guy he was. You could come up and talk to him. He had an infectious smile and just had a love for the game that I hope every ballplayer could have. It’s a terrible, terrible day.”

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Fernandez’s death reminded him of the March 22, 1993 accident that took the lives of Indians pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews. Only pitcher Bob Ojeda survived that crash and Ventura remembers the shockwaves it sent through clubhouses throughout baseball.

“I can still remember … just how sad that was,” Ventura said. “You don’t have to know them personally. But they’re within their group, and it breaks everybody up. It really does.”

White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon didn’t have a chance to meet Fernandez, a pitcher he admired for his competitive style and bulldog mentality. But another reason Rodon looked up to Fernandez is for the way he seemed to play the game with such joy. Marlins manager Don Mattingly said during a press conference Sunday that Fernandez enjoyed the game like a Little Leaguer does.

Rodon recently spoke about rediscovering his own joy of baseball. Naturally, Rodon’s thoughts drifted toward Fernandez when he took the mound on Sunday.

“You could tell,” Rodon said. “We had a beautiful day to come out and play and sad to say that one person is never going to get to play again. He’ll be very missed. You can’t take these days for granted. Just hope you guys go home today and tell the people you love, you love them. Losing a person like that is hard.”