White Sox bring back Kip Wells on a minor-league deal

725198.png

White Sox bring back Kip Wells on a minor-league deal

The White Sox, seeking minor-league pitching depth, have signed Kip Wells to a minor-league deal according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Per Hardball Talk, Wells was last seen pitching for the independent-level Long Island Ducks in 2010, but Heyman says Wells' fastball hasn't suffered:

embedly_twitter_39956694background:url(http:a0.twimg.comprofile_background_images383227695twitter_Heyman.jpg) 131516; padding:20px; embedly_twitter_39956694 pbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 0px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_39956694 .embedly_tweet_contentbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_39956694 p span.metadatadisplay:block;width:100;clear:both;margin-top:0px;height:40px; padding-bottom: 12px; embedly_twitter_39956694 p span.metadata span.authorline-height:15px;color:999;font-size:14px embedly_twitter_39956694 p span.metadata span.author aline-height:15px;font-size:20px;vertical-align:middle embedly_twitter_39956694 p span.metadata span.author imgfloat:left;margin:0 10px 0 0px;width:48px;height:48px embedly_twitter_39956694 p a color: 009999; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_39956694 p a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_39956694 .embedly_timestampfont-size:13px;display:inline-block;margin-top: 5px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .components-above span.embedly_timestampfont-size:10px;margin-top: 1px;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_39956694 a color: 009999; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_39956694 a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-screen-name font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-full-name padding-left: 4px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actionsmargin-left: 10px;font-size:13px;display:inline-block;width:250px embedly_twitter_39956694 .components-above span.tweet-actionsfont-size:10px embedly_twitter_39956694 .controlsline-height:12px!important embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actions a margin-left:5px embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actions a bfont-weight:normal embedly_twitter_39956694 .components-above span.tweet-actions a bvertical-align:baseline;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_39956694 .components-above .tweet-textfont-size:13px;vertical-align:baseline embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-image float: left; width: 40px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-user-block-image float: left; width: 48px; height: 48px embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-row margin-left: 40px; margin-top: 3px;line-height: 17px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-user-block margin-left: -40px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .stream-item padding-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 12px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .simple-tweet-image img margin-top: 4px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .simple-tweet-content margin: 0 0 13px 0px; font-size: 14px; min-height:48px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .in-reply-to-border border-color: EBEBEB; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px 0 0; embedly_twitter_39956694 .in-reply-to-text margin-left: 4px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 10px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actions i background: transparent url(http:a2.twimg.coma1306889658phoeniximgsprite-icons.png) no-repeat;width:15px;height:15px;margin:0 4px -3px 3px;outline: none; text-indent:-99999px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline-block;position:relative; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actions a.retweet-action i background-position:-192px 0; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actions a.reply-action i background-position:0 0; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actions a.favorite-action i background-position:-32px 0; @JonHeymanCBS
Jon HeymanKip wells hasn't pitched in bigs since 2009 (reds, nats) but was hitting 93-94 in tryouts. Still only 34. chisox
Apr 06 via Mobile Web Favorite Retweet Reply
Wells pitched for the White Sox from 1999-2001, compiling a 5.15 ERA in 267 23 innings. His worst year of that stretch was the best year for the Sox, as Wells posted a 6.02 ERA in 20 starts for the AL Central champions in 2000.

He was dealt along with Josh Fogg and Sean Lowe to Pittsburgh in the infamous Todd Ritchie trade on Dec. 13, 2001 and had decent results in his first three years with the Pirates (3.72 ERA, 534 IP). But with a high home run rate, average walk rate and below-average strikeout rate, things were bound to come crashing down for Wells, and they did in 2005.

Wells spent 2005-2009 bouncing between Pittsburgh, Texas, St. Louis, Colorado, Kansas City, Washington and Cincinnati, never finding the results he saw with Pittsburgh. Walks were a big issue (nearly five per nine innings) and as a result, his ERA during that stretch was 5.53.

This move doesn't change Dylan Axelrod's status as the most likely Charlotte Knight to be called up if the big-league club needs a starter. Wells may not even be in line for a call-up if Axelrod is passed over, although newfound success for the 34-year-old Baylor alum could lead to a return to the majors two years after he was last spotted at that level.

David Robertson, Nate Jones return to White Sox after WBC victory

David Robertson, Nate Jones return to White Sox after WBC victory

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Having experienced a playoff-like atmosphere at the World Baseball Classic, David Robertson and Nate Jones already feel prepared for the regular season. 

The two relievers returned to White Sox camp on Friday morning bearing gold medals from a Team USA WBC title run that concluded on Wednesday night with an 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Robertson, who recorded the final three outs of the clinching victory, said he's glad to be back and won't need much of a tune-up to be ready for the April 3 season opener.

"Back up to speed?" Robertson said. "More like slow down and get ready for the season. I'll probably play catch (Friday). I didn't throw (Thursday), I spent the day traveling. Probably play catch today, and be ready to throw (Saturday). If I needed to throw today, I could. I feel like I'm season ready right now."

"It feels good to be back. It's been a long trip doing this WBC, so it's good to be back and relax a little bit. Have a couple days before we start the season."

Both Jones and Robertson appeared four times each for Team USA with similar results. Each allowed a solo home run but nothing else. Jones said he brought his gold medal back to camp because he isn't yet ready to put it in his safety deposit box. His favorite moments of the tournament were brought on by raucous crowds.

"Once you get a crowd chanting USA that was a pretty cool moment," Jones said. "You're proud of representing your country, and once they did that, it all kind of set in, like, ‘Wow, this is happening.'

"It's just pure excitement, everybody going crazy."

Jones and Robertson said they're pleased to have returned to the relative tranquility of White Sox camp after they lived out of a suitcase for the previous 18 days. Both were set to meet with pitching coach Don Cooper and manager Rick Renteria to discuss their upcoming schedule. Jones said he expected to throw a side session on Friday in front of Cooper to have his mechanics reviewed. Robertson last pitched on Wednesday and didn't know when he'd throw again.

"They've been busy, obviously, with Robbie finishing up the last game," Renteria said. "We'll see how the schedule lines up in terms of their usage for the remaining 9-10 days."

[Buy White Sox tickets right here]

Robertson is pretty sure he won't need much work. Whereas the team's closer normally waits until the first week of March to appear in a game, Robertson has pitched in plenty this spring. Each of the last four has had a ton more intensity than any normal Cactus League work.

"It felt like playoff baseball really early in the year," Robertson said. "Just coming from Miami, trying to win a couple days in there was really hard. Fans were really loud. That place was a very intense environment, and it didn't feel like you were the home team at all.

"It felt like (a home game) when we were in San Diego We were the home team there, and when we got to L.A., same thing. Although, I will say that when we were playing the Japanese, it erupted a couple times when they had some big moments in their game. It was just a lot of fun to play in this whole event. It was definitely more than I expected."

Jose Quintana gets the Opening Day start for White Sox

Jose Quintana gets the Opening Day start for White Sox

 

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana has been named the Opening Day starter — for the White Sox.

While many are surprised he still hasn't been traded, few should be shocked by the news manager Rick Renteria delivered on Friday, when he announced Quintana would pitch the April 3 opener.

With Chris Sale gone to Boston, Quintana, a first-time All-Star in 2016, has been the odds-on favorite to take over as the team's ace. The only question seemed to be whether or not he'd still be in a White Sox uniform when the season began. But the club made it clear Friday that Quintana is their guy and he'll face the Detroit Tigers in the first game of 2017. The only one who seemed a little taken aback about the news is Quintana.

"I was surprised," Quintana said. "I knew I may get the ball for that day, but they didn't say nothing, so you didn't know. I just kept going and doing my workouts and all my stuff. I'm really, really happy with this opportunity. It's huge for me. I can't wait for that day to come.

"I'm excited to have this opportunity. It's a huge honor for me to have the ball for Opening Day the first time in my life. And I think it's a once-in-a-life opportunity."

Asked about the announcement earlier in the week, Renteria said he needed more time. Many speculated that it meant the White Sox were continuing to listen to offers for Quintana, who has drawn constant interest since the team began its rebuild in December.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Quintana, who went 13-12 with a 3.20 ERA and 181 strikeouts in 208 innings last season, has looked fantastic all spring. Pitching in front of more than a dozen scouts on Thursday, Quintana made his first Cactus League appearance in a month and allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings. The left-hander also put on a brilliant performance for Colombia in the World Baseball Classic on March 10 as he retired the first 17 Team USA hitters he faced before allowing a hit.

"He's very happy about it," Renteria said. "He has obviously earned it.

"I don't know if he was surprised as much as he was elated and proud to be given the opportunity to be the Opening Day starter. It's a privilege."

Quintana's resume of consistency made him a clear-cut choice for the nod. He heads into 2017 having pitched at least 200 innings in each of the past four seasons. In that span, he's produced a 3.32 ERA and 18.1 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com. That figure represents the seventh-highest WAR total among all big league pitchers in that span.

Even though he's viewed as the staff ace, Quintana — who potentially has four years and $36.85 million left on his current contract — said he was surprised by the news because the club hadn't yet informed him of the honor.

"It means a lot for me, especially after last year when you make the All-Star team and this year the opportunity to play in the WBC and now you have the opportunity to pitch on Opening Day," Quintana said. "That's a lot of things happening for me now and I'm happy. And really blessed. You just try to do all my things every time.

"Maybe they don't know what it means for me, but it's a big thing."