Bad inning could cost Kinney bullpen job

Bad inning could cost Kinney bullpen job

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Posted 5:55 p.m. Updated 7:23 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. On a day when the news on the starting rotation wasnt so good, Gavin Floyd and Josh Kinney turned in pitching efforts that werent too heartening for Chicago White Sox fans.

A comeback staged against former Minnesota Twins reliever Matt Guerrier teased the White Sox with thoughts of leaving Camelback Ranch in brighter spirits, pushing ahead in the seventh against the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-4, keyed by Gordon Beckhams 3-2, two-out, three-run blast and a deep solo home run by Carlos Quentin to lead off the inning.

But Josh Kinney, one of a few arms left on the White Sox with a legitimate shot at the 12th arm role breaking camp, suffered a full-on meltdown in the eighth, allowing two home runs and five earned runs to shoot his spring ERA from 1.29 to 6.75 and sending L.A. home 9-7 winners.

Floyd had a decent outing in his six innings on Sunday, giving up eight hits and four earned runs.

When you go six, obviously thats the minimum you want to go as a pitcher, Floyd said. You want to go as late as you can. After my next start, it will really feel like youre ready to start the regular season.

Promisingly, he recorded four Ks despite punching out just one batter in his first three spring starts.

If I can get them out, thats all that mattersone way or another, strikeouts will happen, Floyd said. I dont really go for them, but occasionally I do, Im not going to lie. Theyre not a big partthey just happen.

But Matt Kemp provided a big blow against Floyd, clocking a two-run blast deep to left in the sixth. Take spring ERAs for what theyre worth, but Chicago is showing signs of getting out of the gate slowly with their startersthe very problem that dug such a deep hole for the team in 2010once more.

Floyds spring ERA is now 4.91, while Mark Buerhle stands at 5.54, Edwin Jackson at 5.65. Jake Peavy, whose rotator cuff tendinitis could push the start of his season back a turn or two, stands at 4.11. The only starter so far worthy of any leagues best rotation laurels has been the spot-on John Danks, at 1.65.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

Last-place White Sox ready to trade, but only if the right offer arises

Last-place White Sox ready to trade, but only if the right offer arises

That the White Sox lost their fourth consecutive game doesn’t change the big picture plans of the franchise, which probably — but not definitely — will involve making at least one trade before the end of July.

Before the White Sox lost, 6-5, to the New York Yankees Monday at Guaranteed Rate Field, general manager Rick Hahn met with the media and delivered the same message he’s had since trading away Chris Sale and Adam Eaton in December. The White Sox are open for business, and would like to make a number of moves to further bolster their farm system, but won’t make a trade if they don’t receive what they view to be a fair return.

“Would I be surprised (if we didn’t make a trade)? No, because I try not to be surprised by the dynamics of this market,” Hahn said. “Would I be mildly disappointed? Sure. We are here to try to improve this club.

“We feel we have certain first and desirable players that would help other clubs and may fit better on their competitive windows then they do on ours right now. And we intend to be active each day in trying to further accomplish what we set out to do a year ago at this time.

“But do we have to do it? No. That would be using an artificial spot on the calendar to force decision-making. That would be the last thing we need to do. We need to take a long term view of what we are trying to accomplish.”

Hahn didn’t name names, but Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, David Robertson could be short-term fixes for contending clubs. Jose Quintana, who will start Tuesday against the Yankees, remains the team’s most valuable trade chip despite a 4.69 ERA that sits over run higher than his career average.

Frazier homered Monday and entered the game hitting .262/.351/.524 since Memorial Day. Cabrera similarly has found success after a slow start, slashing a healthy .324/.375/.482 in his previous 34 games before picking up two hits in four at-bats Monday. And Robertson, who’s been linked to the relief-starved Washington Nationals for months, has 41 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings with 11 saves.

“We want to be able to do as much as we can in our power to get this team to where it needs to be,” Hahn said. “Yes, there’s an element of competitiveness involved in that. There’s an element of patience involved in that. But at the end of the day, we have to — we get paid to be prudent in our decision making. We have to make the right decision.”

In the meantime, the White Sox looked the part of a rebuilding team with the worst record in the American League on Monday. Starter David Holmberg struggled, allowing six runs on five hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings — but only two of those runs were earned thanks to errors by Holmberg, Frazier and Matt Davidson.

As the Yankees took advantage of those miscues with three runs in both the fourth and sixth innings, Jordan Montgomery retired nine consecutive White Sox batters and went on to cruise with eight strikeouts over seven innings. The White Sox – as they’ve done quite a bit this year – still showed fight late, battling back in the ninth inning.

Tim Anderson ripped a three-run home run in the ninth inning off Yankees left-hander Chasen Shreve to bring the White Sox within two. Joe Girardi quickly turned to Aroldis Chapman, who allowed a run when Jose Abreu doubled home Melky Cabrera. But the tying run was stranded on second when Avisail Garcia grounded out and Frazier flew out to end the game.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Top pick Jake Burger can't wait to someday take a bite out of Chicago; When will Sox trades begin?

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Top pick Jake Burger can't wait to someday take a bite out of Chicago; When will Sox trades begin?

After taking batting practice for the first time with the White Sox, number-one pick Jake Burger sat down with Chuck Garfien to talk about getting drafted by his favorite team, what it was like getting a phone call from Paul Konerko, why he wants to be a leader like Jonathan Toews, playing on Team USA with Seth Beer and more.  

Then CSN's Dan Hayes joins Garfien to discuss the return of Carlos Rodon, when the White Sox might start making trades, and Rick Renteria's short temper with umpires.   

Listen here to ketchup with top prospect Jake Burger: