Moves give White Sox prospect chance to mature

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Moves give White Sox prospect chance to mature

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The White Sox made a pair of moves this week that keeps them from making another they feel might be premature at this juncture.

With the addition of infielder Angel Sanchez at Thursdays Rule 5 draft and Wednesdays signing of free agent Jeff Keppinger, the White Sox hope they have fulfilled two big needs without having to rush minor-leaguer Carlos Sanchez to the majors.

Carlos Sanchez, 20, advanced from Single-A to Triple-A in the span of last season and heads into 2013 as the organizations No. 3 prospect, according to Baseball America. He posted a .323.378.403 slash line with a homer and 56 RBIs at three stops and followed it up with a strong performance at the Arizona Fall League.

A combination second basemanshortstop, Carlos Sanchez was one of the most talked about players at the teams organizational meetings last month, enough that the White Sox considered him as a possibility at third base even with limited experience.

But the club will officially announce it filled its hole at third base with Keppinger next week and has covered its utility job with the drafting of Angel Sanchez.

I know we are really hesitant about starting Carlos in the major leagues in April, assistant general manager Buddy Bell said. I think thats a good thing. He hasnt had many at-bats above A-Ball. We sent him to Birmingham and the end of the year in Charlotte because of the playoffs. Theres still some at-bats he needs to get. I think hes proven to all of us that I dont think its out of the question he could be in the big leagues next year at some point.

General manager Rick Hahn noted in November the White Sox have a history of taking the best players with them to Chicago when the team breaks camp. Though Carlos Sanchez hasnt officially received an invite to big league camp in February, the writing is on the wall and he could at least have a shot at the backup infielder job along with Steve Tolleson and Angel Sanchez.

But the team also wants to exercise caution.

Carlos Sanchez has 172 plate appearances above Single-A, including only 39 at Triple-A Charlotte. While his glove has always been a selling point, Carlos Sanchez made significant strides at the plate last season as his OPS jumped up 95 points from the season before. His track has similarities to those of Gordon Beckham and Daniel Hudson -- who breezed through the minors -- but the White Sox ideally would love to give Carlos Sanchez more time to mature. And then theres the fact that a delayed arrival, perhaps in the middle of the summer, also limits the chance of Carlos Sanchez reaching early arbitration.

Wed have to talk about that come Glendale, and were way ahead of ourselves with that one, Hahn said of the potential for a backup infielder job out of camp. Probably the best thing for this kids development is to get more ABs at Triple-A.

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana was pleased with his final warmup before Opening Day.

The White Sox Opening Day starter threw 48 pitches (30 strikes) against a Milwaukee Brewers minor league team at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. Quintana allowed two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out three in three-plus innings. He next pitches at home on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

"I finished my preparation on a high note," Quintana said. "I'm heading to the season with good energy and satisfied with all the worked and effort that I put in my preparation.

"I'm absolutely ready for the season to start."

A tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday suggested Quintana will start the season as a member of the White Sox despite myriad rumors. Nightengale noted that the Houston Astros refuse budge on what they're willing to pay for the 2016 All-Star. The White Sox have also held firm on their asking price and haven't been motivated by any of the offers they've received to move Quintana.

The team reduced the number of players still in camp to 34 on Tuesday with the trade of Peter Bourjos and by cutting nonroster invitees Cory Luebke and Matt Purke. Luebke, who has been sidelined for six days after he tweaked his hamstring, finished the spring with a 0.96 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. He can opt out of his minor-league deal in May. Purke struck out eight in eight innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA. 

Both had been in the mix for one of two open bullpen spots.

Fellow reliever Jake Petricka looked much calmer on Tuesday than he did after taking a comebacker off his hand Monday. X-rays were negative and Petricka played catch. He hopes to pitch as scheduled this weekend in Milwaukee. 

"This is just one of those you do everything you can do to stay healthy, and its part of the game you can't control," Petricka said. "You never want that to happen, especially this late in camp. "But we dodged a bullet and we're good to go."

The White Sox also had a close call with second baseman Tyler Saladino, who was hit by a pitch in the left wrist in minor league action on Monday. Saladino received treatment and could return to action on Wednesday.

"He's doing good, we're just holding him back today for my well being," Renteria said.

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Renteria said reliever Juan Minaya is improving but still likely to start the season on the DL. Minaya suffered an abdominal tear in mid-March. 

"He has been improving solidly and responding to the treatments," Renteria said.

Yolmer Sanchez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz. 

Michael Ynoa allowed an unearned run and a hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. 

Zack Burdi struck out three in a scoreless inning.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Nate Jones reflects on winning gold at the World Baseball Classic

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Nate Jones reflects on winning gold at the World Baseball Classic

Nate Jones was looking for something to do today (we kid), so he came on the White Sox Talk Podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien and gave what he said is the longest interview of his career (not kidding). 

Fresh off winning a gold medal at the World Baseball Classic, Jones spoke about the experience, what he did with his gold medal and why he chose to play in the tournament while other top Americans like Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw decided to skip it. Jones also gave a scouting report on some of the White Sox young pitchers and explains how Jose Quintana stays focused despite all the trade rumors.

Later, Chuck is joined by White Sox CSN producers Rob Wiatrowski and Slavko Bekovic to talk about the Peter Bourjos trade that opens the door for Jacob May to win the starting job in centerfield.

Plus, is Deadspin trolling the White Sox? AJ Pierzynski joins Fox Sports and CSNChicago.com Insider Dan Hayes calls in from Arizona to give his predictions for the White Sox Opening Day roster.

Check out the latest White Sox Talk Podcast right here: