Behind A.J. Pierzynski's All-Star snub

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Behind A.J. Pierzynski's All-Star snub

Ron Washington sounded apologetic when speaking to reporters about not selecting A.J. Pierzynski to the American League roster for this month's All-Star Game. But Pierzynski wasn't buying what Washington was selling.

If (Washington) felt that bad he would have put me on the team, Pierzynski said Sunday. He had an opportunity to do it and he didnt do it. Obviously he can feel as bad as he wants, but he didnt feel that bad.

Rangers catcher Mike Napoli won the fan vote and will start, while Wieters was voted in by fellow players and Mauer was selected by Washington.

Washington needed to select someone from Minnesota, with Mauer and Josh Willingham being prime candidates. But all of the AL outfield reserves -- Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout -- deserved their spot on the team. Willingham could've DH'd, but Kansas City needed a representative, and that went to Billy Butler. Adam Dunn earned the other DH spot.

What it came down to was that someone from the White Sox was going to be snubbed. Had Willingham made the roster, it would've been Dunn. But with Mauer making it, it was Pierzynski.

Pierzynski's best shot was to beat out Wieters for the player vote. No doubt Wieters' hot start to the season -- when plenty of perceptions are formed -- played a part in him winning it, as well as Pierzynski's reputation around the league. In a survey of MLB players published by Men's Journal last month, Pierzynski was voted as the most hated player in the league.

Statistically, though, he stacks up very well against his fellow junior circuit catchers (asterisks denote highestbest stat among these four players, and all stats are of Sunday):

StatPierzynskiNapoliWietersMauerG68697170BA.285.235.249.324OBP.331.335.331.414SLG.512.438.440.445OPS122101109140HR1412114RBI45303836CS30193613WAR2.20.92.02.5
Mauer absolutely deserves to be an All-Star, as he leads the AL in OBP. But Pierzynski leads in all the power categories, which certainly could merit a trip to Kansas City. A half-win difference between Pierzynski, Mauer and Wieters is negligible; there's a legitimate case to be made for all that they're the best catcher in the AL -- especially Pierzynski and Mauer.

So what really messed things up for Pierzynski was Napoli beating out Mauer for the starting spot. Had Mauer won that, chances are Washington would've gone with Pierzynski as his third catcher, even though Napoli's his guy.

Unfortunately for Pierzynski, what may wind up being his best season in a White Sox uniform won't be recognized with an All-Star bid -- at least, for now, since an injury to Mauer, Napoli or Wieters almost certainly would get Pierzynski to Kauffman Stadium.

Discomfort sidelines White Sox infielder Brett Lawrie

Discomfort sidelines White Sox infielder Brett Lawrie

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox held Brett Lawrie out Saturday after he reported discomfort in the same left leg that sidelined him for the final 2 1/2 months of 2016.

The second baseman has been a full participant the entire spring until he informed manager Rick Renteria what he was experiencing Saturday. 

"We're going to reevaluate him tomorrow and see where he's at," Renteria said. "He didn't feel quite right, and so he was in there earlier today getting treatment. We'll reevaluate tomorrow and make a determination where we're at in terms of trying to set some parameters for how we move forward."

A confusing, tricky series of injuries that Lawrie blamed on wearing orthotics limited him to 94 games last season. He hit the disabled list on July 22 and didn't discover the cause until after the season ended. But Lawrie reported to camp feeling healthy once again and has participated at 100 percent until this point, Renteria said.

"It's been good," Renteria said. "Everything has been clean. There have been no notifications anything had been amiss. He just woke up this morning and felt it. So we're going to be very cautious, take it a day at a time, reevaluate it and see where we're at."

Zack Collins, Yoan Moncada play as White Sox fall to Dodgers

Zack Collins, Yoan Moncada play as White Sox fall to Dodgers

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Manager Rick Renteria promised before Saturday's game the prospects would play and they certainly did.

White Sox prospects Zack Collins and Yoan Moncada both entered in the fifth inning of Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Collins singled in two at-bats while Moncada, the centerpiece in the Chris Sale trade, went 0-for-2.

"It was fun," Collins said. "To be able to go out there on the first day was an honor to me. A little jittery, but very excited to play.

"I'm the new guy, it's my first year and the first game played and I get to play. It's definitely an honor."

It's a distinction that will be shared by many, Renteria said. With the White Sox focused on player development and a longer spring schedule, the prospects should get a long look. Given the club's top eight prospects — according to MLB.com — are in big league camp, many will see significant playing time early in camp.

"We've got a long spring and a lot of opportunities," Renteria said. "You're going to see a lot of our kids."

Reliever Zack Burdi, the 26th overall pick of last June's draft, is scheduled to appear in Sunday's game when the White Sox host the Rockies. The White Sox also tentatively have listed Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez as the starting pitchers for their split-squad doubleheader on Tuesday. 

Collins took advantage of his first chance with a ninth-inning single off Dodgers pitcher Edward Paredes. Next up for the 2016 first-rounder is a report Monday for his teammates as part of Renteria's morning meetings.

"I have my little presentation going," Collins said. "I'll probably be more nervous than I will playing."