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.

White Sox Talk Podcast: How Sox fans are dealing with Cubs success


White Sox Talk Podcast: How Sox fans are dealing with Cubs success

In our next installment of the White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien is joined by Chris Kamka and Slavko Bekovic to discuss how White Sox fans are dealing with success on the North Side.

Later, White Sox fan and CSN producer Ryan McGuffey talks about his experience producing Cubs content. Finally, Cubs fan Nate Poppen shares his thoughts on Frank Kaminsky wearing a Steve Bartman jersey to the United Center before a Bulls-Hornets preseason game.

Check out the latest edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast here:

White Sox coaching staff will rely more heavily on statistics

White Sox coaching staff will rely more heavily on statistics

Statistical analysis will weigh more heavily on the White Sox coaching staff’s daily decisions after Joe McEwing was elevated to Rick Renteria’s bench coach on Friday.

McEwing -- whose influence led to a 957 percent increase in defensive shifts utilized from 2013-16 -- replaces Renteria, who was named the team’s new manager on Oct. 3 after Robin Ventura announced he wouldn’t return.

Former player development director Nick Capra replaces McEwing as third-base coach while Curt Hasler was promoted from minor-league pitching coordinator to replace bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen.

McEwing’s promotion is another sign the franchise will stress the use of statistical analysis when constructing its lineup, etc., a move Ventura suggested was in progress when he said the White Sox needed a new voice. Renteria likes how he worked with McEwing last season and suggested analysis would have a big impact on their day-to-day operations.

“All the information that is provided to us plays an important part in how we move forward,” Renteria said. “We look at outcomes, which are the statistical analysis aspects. But then we are also trying to stay ahead of the curve. We do a lot of video work, trying to see if guys are changing their approaches. In terms of the shifts, we did incorporate shifts, but we also did some modifications as was to be expected when you see guys changing approaches with two strikes and things of that nature or runners in scoring position -- all those different aspects that come into play.”

Similar to many organizations, the White Sox have drastically modified how they align themselves defensively over the past four seasons under McEwing and general manager Rick Hahn. According to FanGraphs, the White Sox went from being ranked 27th in shifts implemented in 2013 to ninth by 2014 with an increase from 102 to 588. The White Sox shifted 1,079 times last season and McEwing has been instrumental in that transformation, several team sources said. It’s reasonable to expect analysis will be used more often in lineup construction and game strategy under Renteria, too. He didn’t shy away from the use of statistical analysis when he managed on the other side of town in 2014, Cubs third-base coach Gary Jones said last week.

“It’s part of our daily preparation,” Jones said. “Rick is good with it as we are right now. It was definitely a part of the equation, no doubt.”

[RELATED: White Sox announce coaching staff changes] 

Renteria cited familiarity when asked why he didn’t go outside of the organization for coaching staff hires. McEwing has long been held in high regard within the franchise and interviewed for managerial openings in Houston and Texas in 2014. Renteria suggested McEwing’s work ethic -- and how he works -- had a big impact on his promotion.

“Having sat side by side (with McEwing) going over a lot of game reviews and studying the opposition and setting up defense, I got to know him quite well,” Renteria said. “He’s a hard worker. He’s in there early looking for anything that will give us an edge. His managing experience and coaching experience also allows him an opportunity to be able to serve me well.

“It’s a good fit. We both are kind of high energy. Joey might be a little higher energy than me and I didn’t think that was possible. He brings a lot to the table.”

The White Sox announced the rest of its staff -- first-base coach Daryl Boston, pitching coach Don Cooper, hitting coach Todd Steverson, assistant hitting coach Greg Sparks and bullpen catcher Mark Salas -- would return in 2017.