Chicago White Sox

Stone's mailbag: Trade rumors and Crosstown Cup

Stone's mailbag: Trade rumors and Crosstown Cup

Monday, June 14, 2010
5:14 PM
Steve Stone dives into his mailbag to answer some of your questions about the crosstown cup, possible deadline moves, and more!
Question from Matt M.- Chicago, IL: Steve, with Mark Teahen on the DL, I wouldn't mind seeing Ozzie move Beckham over to 3rd with VizquelNix platooning at 2nd. What are your thoughts?

Steve Stone: I think they are not in the business of moving Gordon Beckham wherever they have a perceived weakness. He has to learn 2nd, which he is doing and I think the best thing is doing that. Third will be fine until Teahen gets back. You can't move Beckham back and forth, so I think leaving him in one spot is the best solution.

Question from Zach T- Dubuque, IA: Steve, the White Sox right now are not out of it all and are starting to hit. Do you think they could trade for a guy like Mike Lowell or another bat that is available in June or July?

Stone: I think certainly they would probably have some interest. Kenny is always looking at some players to make the team better. That being said, Lowell is hitting .215, pretty good defender, but lost lots of speed and power. I don't know if he is the answer but you have to wait until the end of the month to figure out exactly where they will be before Kenny pulls off any trade of substance. He has no idea if they will get back to a three game deficit of Minnesota or if they will fall to a 10 game deficit. Now they have 100 games left, waiting a couple weeks wont hurt anything and maybe the picture clears up by then and Kenny has then an idea about where he wants to go as far as being a buyer or a seller.

Question from Will G-Glenview, IL: Steve, Do you think the Cubs could trade a guy like Derrek Lee or Ted Lilly before the deadline? If so, what kind of player could the Cubs get in return?

Stone: Well, the White Sox and Cubs are 7.5 games back right now. Cubs behind St. Louis and Cincinnati, Sox behind Minnesota and Detroit. Neither believes their team is out of it despite that the Cubs are seven under .500. The same will hold true as to whether Jim Hendry will be a buyer or seller. GM's will have a clearer picture on the trade. Lee has a no-trade clause so you have to satisfy his demands and Lilly is very valuable and if you intend to get back in it, you want to keep him. With the contacts ending with both players, they would be guys you would seek to move.

Question from Joe T-Hanover, NH: Hey Steve! Big Cubs fan from New Hampshire here, and I was just wondering if you think the upcoming CubsSox "Cross-town Classic" will be one of the more dull six game sets these two teams have played? Both under .500, both struggling to score runs, what if anything do I, as a Cubs fan, have to look forward to in this series?

Stone: Because this is written after the first three game series, the Cubs have to look forward to a losing series against the White Sox. That being said, when the Cubs come to U.S. Cellular, it will be exciting for both teams. Most players, most fans like it, some don't. I'm a big fan of the six games they play against one another and there were very dramatic games at Wrigley. I'm expecting nothing less when the teams shift from Wrigley to U.S. Cellular in a couple weeks.

Question from Robbie L-Evanston, IL: Steve, if you were Bud Selig, how would you decide the outcome of the Armando Galarraga "perfect" game? Do you think that whatever Selig's decision is that baseball needs to broaden the use of instant replay in games?

Stone: I think if baseball is unhappy with replay then it's up to them. You have one rule as it pertains to replays, the only thing that you use it for is home runs. Bud could not change that call because it went against the rules of baseball. If you don't like them, winter can change it to expand it. What was said out of the first round of using, baseball likes the human element in the game if you keep appealing each game. Most umps got the call correct, thats the human element. Bud handled it right and with 30 teams that meet in the winter, they will make a decision if they want to change instant replay but you dont change a rule after the fact.

Reynaldo Lopez leaves White Sox game with injury

Reynaldo Lopez leaves White Sox game with injury

Reynaldo Lopez's arrival to the South Side has created a spark of excitement in the latter part of the 2017 season, but that excitement may have turned into minor panic from White Sox fans after he was taken out of Thursday's start in Texas with an injury.

The whole scene was a bit odd with manager Rick Renteria and head athletic trainer Herm Schneider going out to the mound to check out Lopez in the fifth inning. Initially Renteria left after a somewhat short conversation with Lopez, but then Jose Abreu signaled for them to come back.

At that point, Lopez was removed from the game. Watch the video above to see the whole sequence.

The White Sox updated Lopez's status shortly after he was pulled from the game.

Lopez finished with 4 1/3 innings pitched and allowed six runs, five earned with six strikeouts, four walks and five hits allowed. Two of the runs were inherited runners that scored when Chris Beck relieved Lopez. Oddly enough, Beck was soon pulled with an injury as well.

Lopez had struck out three in a row after recording the first out of the fifth, but then allowed a walk and a single before being taken out.

Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton talk about Lopez and his injury in the video below:

How Alec Hansen's methodical path through minors has turned him into a top prospect

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Winston-Salem Dash

How Alec Hansen's methodical path through minors has turned him into a top prospect

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — He didn’t totally lose it, but the White Sox intended to restore Alec Hansen’s confidence with a methodical minor league program after drafting the right-hander.

Hansen, 22, admits that a junior season at the University of Oklahoma in which his stock fell sharply when he was moved in and out of the team’s starting rotation was difficult.

Still, the 6-foot-7-inch pitcher never gave in and found a team that believed in him enough to take him in the second round. Fourteen months later, the Single-A Winston-Salem starter feels good enough about his prospects to have recently suggested he thinks he can be a No. 1 or 2 in the majors.

“It’s tough, especially when you work so hard basically your whole life to achieve your goal of being a first-round pick or a top-10 pick and it kind of wastes away throughout the season,” Hansen said. “I think the White Sox had faith in me. They saw what I can do and understood my situation there at OU and took a chance on me and I’m just trying to make sure they get their money’s worth.”

Hansen has been everything the White Sox hoped and more since they selected him with the 49th pick in the 2016 draft. Once viewed as a potential first overall pick, Hansen was viewed as a project by the end of a rough 2016 season. Though he could hit 99 mph on the gun, Hansen’s mechanics were off and he was deemed inconsistent throughout a season in which he posted a 5.40 ERA and walked 39 hitters in 51 2/3 innings for the Sooners.

But the White Sox liked what they saw. Hansen struck out 185 batters in 145 innings at Oklahoma. Their plan for the right-hander included a quick trip to Arizona to work with now-bullpen coach Curt Hasler on mechanics before he’d spend the bulk of the season at Rookie League Great Falls.

“He was a little bit out of whack,” said third-base coach and ex-farm director Nick Capra. “I think confidence played a big part in what he was doing early and to what he’s doing now. He didn’t have the confidence in what he was doing. Once he got into sync with what he was doing with his mechanics it took off on him.”

Hansen said the mechanical adjustments were related to better posture — sometimes he leaned back toward first base in his delivery — and keeping his head still. While he deems the changes as minor, the impact they’ve had on him has been great. After seven innings pitched in Arizona, Hansen moved to Great Falls and struck out 59 batters with only 12 walks in 36 2/3 innings and a 1.23 ERA. That performance earned him a late-season promotion to Kannapolis.

“The difference outing to outing is just mentally,” Hansen said. “It’s just mental and having the confidence and the poise and being relaxed and the right attitude to go out and be successful.”

[RELATED: White Sox Talk Podcast: Alec Hansen wants to be a future ace and don't piss off Dane Dunning]

The White Sox started Hansen at Kannapolis this season and he was dominant again. He produced a 2.48 ERA with 92 strikeouts and only 23 walks in 72 2/3 innings. Hansen — who’s rated the No. 9 prospect in the organization by MLB Pipeline and 10th by Baseball America — has continued to excel since a promotion to Winston-Salem 10 starts ago. He struck out 11 in seven innings on Wednesday night and allowed only a run in seven innings. Hansen is second in the minors this season with 166 strikeouts (he’s walked 43 in 126 innings).

Player development director Chris Getz said Hansen has the stuff to throw his fastball up in the zone and get swings and misses and combines it with good offspeed pitches. Throw in the confidence and Hansen has strong potential.

“Even though he’s a large guy he’s fairly athletic, he can repeat his delivery,” Getz said. “It’s really, with him, it’s staying over the rubber and not rushing out there so his arm can go out on time and on top of the ball. Those are the keys and he’s been able to take to that.”

“Since he’s really gotten into professional baseball and more comfortable with who he is as a pitcher he’s been consistent. We look forward to what else he can bring to the table.”

Hansen does, too.

He insists this belief in himself was never lost because Hansen suspected the consequences of doubt would ruin him. But Hansen didn’t downplay how the uncertainty of his junior season affected his mindset.

Hansen said he’s glad at how he handled the experience and has moved on from the disappointment of dropping 48 places. He's also more than pleased to have found an organization that has the same belief in him that he does.

“It was kind of hard to go through that but it’s over now,” Hansen said. “I believe in myself more than anyone. I think you need to as a professional athlete. If you don’t have confidence then you’re done as an athlete no matter who you are at what level.

“It’s just being more relaxed and comfortable and confidence because the people I’m around have confidence in me.”