Stone's Mailbag: Does Peavy Have What it Takes?

Stone's Mailbag: Does Peavy Have What it Takes?

Thursday, Apr. 15, 2010
10:05 A.M.

Steve Stone dives into his mailbag to answer some of your questions about Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin, and Jake Peavy.

Question from Jake, Arlington Heights, Ill. Is Starlin Castro the next Hanley Ramirez, and where do you see him in the future a leadoff hitter or more a mid of the order hitter?

Steve Stone: Starlin is going to be a very good player but will not have the power. Hanley is one of these devastating players who came out of the Boston organization as a young man with a tremendous amount of promise. Castro needs some more minor league at bats, he has pretty good plate coverage, still swings at pitches he shouldnt but thats a product of youth and lack of experience as opposed to anything else. He will be a very good major leaguer. When you are talking about Hanley Ramirez, who is 63, 225, that is going to be bigger than Starlin Castrol. Ramirez hit .342 last year, drove in 106 runs and stole 27 bases. When you look at those numbers, adding 24 home runs into it, I think that you realize that a few of those numbers will be out of reach for Starlin. That being said, I think the Cubs are happy to have developed someone from their system who looks like he will be a big leaguer for a long time, especially a shortstop.

Question from Cole, Cedar Falls, Iowa How do you see the right field situation playing out for the Cubs? With Nady and Colvin on board are Fukudome's days numbered?
Steve Stone: When you are paying Fukudome 14 million and he has this year and next on his contract, as far as his days being numbered, it depends on which number mister Ricketts is going to allow Jim Hendry to eat if he indeed does want to trade. He had two somewhat disappointing seasons but when you sign back loaded contacts, the highest salaries in the last year make it more difficult to trade. I think it will be awfully hard for Lou to get the amount of bats that he is going to have to get a young player to enable to keep them sharp. Especially Tyler Colvin who has played just about every day wherever he has been, and now youre asking him to take a seat on a major league bench and we will try to fit you in when we can. I dont believe thats in the best interest of Colvin and in fact if they view him, and I believe they do, as their starting right fielder of the future, sitting on the bench watching, they will limit his bats. I think thats a big mistake the Cubs have made and Colvin has one at bat in two games. We know he will get more, this is a young man who probably needs 30-35 at bats a week and I dont think he will get anywhere close to that with a major league team.
Question from Alex, Oak Forest, Ill Does Jake Peavy have what it takes to win 20 games this season?

Steve Stone: I think Jake always has what it takes. We saw briefly last year in three games where he was 3-0 and dominating everyone. At his best he is good. One thing to bear in mind is and has been that the AL is just a tougher league than the NL. You dont have to look at All-Star games, which the AL has dominated for some time, but look at the results year after year after year of inner-league play and you will see the AL is a tougher league. Factor in that he wont be facing the pitcher but yet another hitter in what already is a very strong lineup, it makes it a lot more difficult for pitchers to throw in the American League than it does in the national. If the White Sox could be assured Jake would be healthy all year they would take that and allow his stuff, best in the game, to determine the outcome. Whether he will or wont be healthy remains to be seen.

Question from Josh, Morton, Ill. What do you think the chances are of Sergio Santos making an immediate impact with the Sox this season?

Steve Stone: First thing, he has to get into a game. Its hard to look good if you are warming up or on the bullpen bench. He is in a catch 22 in that in order to get Ozzies confidence, he has to get people out but in order to get people out, he needs Ozzie's confidence. I think Ozzie will put him in, in hand-picked sit in the 6th inning. If guys struggle, if Sergio is throwing well, he will move to the 7th. But lets see him get to the major league mound and then we can further evaluate how he will adapt. Everything you need, big strong, throws awfully hard, good change up and very good slider. Still asking a guy who played major league infield and was a number one pick in the draft by the Diamondbacks as a short stop to become a quality major league pitcher.

Question from Katie, Chicago, Ill. How will the Twins adjust to playing outdoors in their new stadium?
Steve Stone: I dont know how because they havent played outside in April in Minnesota in the lifetime of any roster players. They started their season in California playing the Los Angeles Angels, a tough team taking the first two of three which is of this writing, all theyve played. Look down that lineup, they are very impressive. One thing to worry about is replacing Joe Nathan but Jon Rauch is now 2-2 in saves though he did give up a run in two hits last night with the twins, beating the Angels 3-2. I look at the lineup that added Orlando Hudson this year and features Bernard Span at the top and three fairly devastating hitters in a row. You have to figure offensively in for another big year. The question for them is the starting rotation and the tail end of the bullpen.

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White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.

The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.

The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.

Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.

Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.

He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.

Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.

The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.

The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

Crain's Chicago Business released its latest 40 under 40 project and White Sox announcer Jason Benetti made this year's list.

The 33-year-old just finished his first season with the White Sox as play-by-play announcer, working the home games at U.S. Cellular Field (before it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field last month) alongside Steve Stone as longtime broadcaster Hawk Harrelson saw his workload reduced to mostly road games.

Benetti quickly became a fan favorite among Chicagoans on CSN and other networks in 2016 and his cerebral palsy became more of a backstory, with his work alongside Stone and his affable sense of humor taking center stage instead.

Among other topics, Benetti discussed how he approaches his job of broadcasting for the team he grew up rooting for:

Law school taught me that there are always two sides of the argument. I see it from the Sox prism, but I can’t believe in my heart of hearts that, if the Sox lose, the world’s over anymore. That first game, I was like, “All right, it’s just a game.” And then Avi Garcia hits a homer late in the game against the Indians and I call it like I would call it with a little more. And as the ball cleared the fence, when it was rolling around, I got a slight tear in my eye. And I was like, “What’s that?”

Check out the entire interview with Benetti and the full list at ChicagoBusiness.com.