Jake Peavy vs. Justin Verlander: Tale of the tape

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Jake Peavy vs. Justin Verlander: Tale of the tape

Justin Verlander and Jake Peavy will each take the mound for their respective teams when the Chicago White Sox open a three-game weekend series against the Detroit Tigers tonight. Here's a tale of the tape on what could be quite the pitchers duel in Comerica Park this evening.
-- Each pitcher has a Cy Young Award to his name: Peavy won the award in 2007 after going 19-6 with a 2.54 ERA in 2007 with the Padres; Verlander won the award last year, going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA
-- Peavy has pitched in three All-Star Games (2005, 2007, 2012), while Verlander has appeared in five (2007, 2009-2012)
-- Both pitchers have led their respective leagues in strikeouts twice, Verlander in 2009 and 2011; Peavy in 2005 and 2007
-- Twice Peavy has led his league in ERA (2004, 2007), while Verlander has done so once (2011).
-- Verlander was named the American League MVP in 2011, the first pitcher to do so since 1992
2012 splits
Verlander and Peavy are both having impressive regular seasons in 2012. Verlander sits at 10-5 with a 2.43 ERA, while Peavy has bounced back nicely from last season with a 7-6 record and a 3.12 ERA.
Peavy is 1-0 with a 5.15 ERA in three starts against the Tigers this year. Verlander is yet to face the White Sox.
Both pitchers were selected to the American League roster for the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City. Verlander, the team's starter, allowed five earned runs in 1.0 inning, while Peavy did not pitch.
Both pitchers have made one start since the All-Star break. Verlander threw eight shutout innings against the Baltimore Orioles to pick up the win, while Peavy allowed six earned runs in a 6-3 loss to the Royals.
Career splits
Peavy made one start against the Tigers with the Padres, but became well-acquainted with Detroit shortly after his trade to the White Sox. Two of his first three starts for the White Sox came against Detroit, where Peavy threw for a combined 15 innings of shutout ball, striking out 13 while picking up wins in both starts.
For his career, Peavy holds a 3-2 record and a 4.26 ERA in eight career starts against the Tigers. He took the loss in his one start with the Padres, surrendering 5 runs (3 earned) through six innings in an 8-4 loss.
It has been a tale of two careers for Verlander, and his statistics against the White Sox are no exception. In 25 career starts, he is 12-10 with a 4.13 ERA against Chicago.
But in the past three seasons, Verlander holds a 10-1 record with a a 2.32 ERA in 11 starts against the South Siders. That stretch of play includes three All-Star games (including one start), a Cy Young Award and an American League MVP for Verlander.
The two have faced each other one time in their careers, on July 26 of last season in Chicago. Verlander picked up the win, going eight innings and allowing four runs (both two-run homers from Dunn and Konerko).
Peavy took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs in six innings before being pulled after 111 pitches. The Tigers would plate a run in the top of the 8th inning, a Wilson Betemit RBI single, off Jesse Crain to take a 5-4 lead they would not surrender. Verlander, of course, would go on to win the American League MVP that year.

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with executive vice president Ken Williams

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with executive vice president Ken Williams

GLENDALE, ARIZ -- Ken Williams acknowledges that this is the first time as an executive that he's ever been a part of a rebuild.  After realizing their go-for-it attitude for more than a decade had run out of steam, the White Sox front office decided it needed to look in the mirror, take a step back, and start anew. It began this offseason with the trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, and will continue into this season and likely next season.

No longer involved in the day-to-day running of the White Sox, Williams believes he has found the right balance as the team's executive and vice president, utilizing his strengths in scouting and player development while overseeing things as Hahn reshapes the organization from top to bottom.

How does this dynamic work between Williams and Hahn? Williams goes in-depth on this subject and many others in our White Sox Talk Podcast conversation.

Among the highlights:

Working relationship with Rick Hahn: "The relationship has been the same and consistent since the very beginning.  We're constantly talking.  I'm not going to BS you and say that we don't have these conversations. I just think that a certain point in time, you just have to say here is your responsibility and mine is over here. I have to respect the fact that this is what you want to do. I'm only going to express my interest to a point so that you can come to your own decision without my influence and then we're getting to brass tax.  Most times than not, he'll express, 'Hey, I need to know what you think. But until that time you've got to give people the space to do a job as they see fit, and to plot a course as they see fit."

Trading Chris Sale: "Contrary to popular belief, we have enjoyed a great relationship over the years. There was obviously a little blip in that part of it and I've always understood him because I was a little bit like that when I was younger too.  It was very often a couple days later we'd visit and laugh about a couple things but also in a serious manner.  he's one of the best in the game.  How do you trade one of the best pitchers in the game and not feel some remorse about it?  On the other end of the spectrum we got what we think are special pieces that will be with us for quite a while assuming good health. And you can envision them being part of a championship team.  We got to the point where we couldn't envision that particular group that we had be a part of a championship team and that's what it's about."

Possibly trading Jose Quintana: "I have not been presented with anything that has been recommended by Rick that he wants to do. So in terms of closeness, we've bantered some things around, but Jose Quintana is a very, very special pitcher. I'm sure if something comes up where it's consistent with what we've done thus far then I'm sure Rick will put it in front of both Jerry and I.  But until that time, I can't say that anything has been close or relatively close."

His hopes for the White Sox: "My only goal at this point in my career is to help bring another championship to Chicago and to Chicago fans, watch Rick Hahn walk across the stage to receive an Executive of the Year award and watch Rick Renteria accept the Manager of the Year Award.  Then I will consider this a job well done. If any of those things don't happen, then it won't be.  I sincerely feel that in my heart."

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As he surveyed the landscape this offseason, Peter Bourjos thought he and the White Sox would make for a good fit.

Adam Eaton had been traded and Austin Jackson departed via free agency, leaving the White Sox with Melky Cabrera and several young players to man a thin outfield. Bourjos, who lived in Chicago until second grade, pursued the White Sox and last month agreed to terms on a minor-league deal in hopes of earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Last season, Bourjos, who was born in Chicago, hit .251/.292/.389 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 383 plate appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I always liked playing in Chicago,” Bourjos said. “It was a good fit and then spring training is here. I have two young kids. So packing them up and going to Florida wasn’t something I wanted to do either.

“We definitely look at all those options on paper. Evaluate what might be the best chance of making a team and this is definitely one of them. It seems like a good fit on paper.”

If he’s healthy enough, Charlie Tilson will get the first crack at the everyday job in center field. Tilson, who missed the final two months of last season with a torn hamstring, is currently sidelined for 10 days with foot problems. Beyond Tilson, the White Sox have prospects Adam Engel and Jacob May with Cabrera slated to start in left field and Avisail Garcia pegged for right. Leury Garcia is also in the mix.

But there still appears to be a good shot for Bourjos to make the club and manager Rick Renteria likes his veteran presence for the young group. Bourjos has accrued six seasons of service time between the Phillies, Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals.

“Bourjy has been around,” Renteria said. “He knows what it takes. He understands the little nuances of major-league camp and how we have so many players and we want to give them all a look. We want to see Bourjos, we want to see him out there.”

Bourjos, who turns 30 in March, has an idea what he wants to do with his chance. A slick defensive outfielder, Bourjos wants to prove he’s a better hitter than his .243/.300/.382 slash line would suggest. He said it’s all about being relaxed.

“Offensively just slow everything down and not try to do too much,” Bourjos said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and it hasn’t translated. I think last year I got in a spot where I just tried to relax in the batter’s box and let everything go and what happened happened. I had success with that.

“I now realize what that feels like and it doesn’t work. Just take a deep breath and be relaxed in the box and good things are going to happen.”