White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From the weekend:
The White Sox picked up minor league starters Simon Castro and Pedro Fernandez from San Diego for Carlos Quentin, officially freeing up -- in addition to some cash -- a starting spot in the outfield for Dayan ViciedoAlejandro De Aza. Tom Fornelli some great analysis of the increased roles both players will see in 2012. Castro and Fernandez both struggled in Triple-A in 2011, and while that's concerning, both are low-walk guys who the Sox could mold into quality major-league options.
The other trade news of the weekend involved Jason Frasor being sent back to Toronto in exchange for a pair of low-level minor league pitchers. Dealing Frasor was pretty clearly a salary dump, but in doing so, the Sox freed up over 10 million over the weekend.
That's not an insignificant development, as 10 million per season may be what it takes to sign Cuban free agent Yoenis Cespedes. The White Sox reportedly have serious interest in the outfielder, who is likely to become a free agent fairly soon.
Two more notes on Quentin and Frasor -- first, the trade of Quentin was the second time Kenny Williams and Josh Byrnes have made a swap involving Quentin; and second, the move of Frasor means the Sox, as of right now, will have two open spots in their bullpen going into next season.

The Wizard passed along a pair of notes on Sox prospects Jeff Soptic and Rangel Ravelo, both of whom are a long way off but are somewhat worthy of keeping an eye on in the coming seasons.
James recapped the trades of Quentin and Frasor at White Sox Observer, while Jim at South Side Sox did the same -- even finding video (one of which is awesome) of the two pitchers the Sox got from Toronto.
Around the division:
Royals Review looks at the "bonafide expectations" Kansas City has for 2012. That offense is looking downright scary, and if the Royals can get their starting pitching in order, they'll be right there competing for the AL Central this summer.
And speaking of getting starting pitching in order, Detroit may be interested in trading for the Cubs' Matt Garza. A rotation of Justin Verlander, Matt Garza, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello would be phenomenal, with only the Angels potentially topping it. As it stands, Detroit already has a great rotation, but adding Garza would make them an elite bunch.

Tyler Saladino, Jose Abreu homer as White Sox tie Padres in Arizona finale

Tyler Saladino, Jose Abreu homer as White Sox tie Padres in Arizona finale

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tyler Saladino hit leadoff on Wednesday, finishing with a home run and a single.

Saladino's first-inning drive was one of eight combined homers hit between the White Sox and San Diego Padres, who finished in a 9-all tie at Camelback Ranch. Before the game, White Sox manager Rick Renteria said that Saladino, who finished 2-for-2, would see most of his playing time at second base.

"He's been developing and continuing to grow every single season," Renteria said. "The flexibility that he brings allows him to be in the lineup over an extended period of time. But we want to make sure we take care of him as we want to do with everybody else, kind of keep them all fresh as much as we can.

"He's developed into a pretty good major league baseball player."

Jose Abreu, Nick Delmonico and Jake Peter all homered for the White Sox. Delmonico led the White Sox with five homers this spring. Abreu went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs.

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Rule 5 pitcher Dylan Covey, who appears primed to make the Opening Day roster, allowed two earned runs in his lone inning pitched. Covey then headed to the bullpen and threw additional pitches there as the White Sox continue to build up his arm strength.

Veteran Anthony Swarzak allowed a run and struck out two in two innings. Reliever Dan Jennings allowed five runs (four earned) and four hits in 1/3 innings.

First-rounder Zack Collins drew a pair of walks in his only plate appearances and scored a run.

The White Sox ended the spring with a 16-15-2 record.

White Sox pitching staff nearly complete with prospect Zack Burdi headed to Triple-A

White Sox pitching staff nearly complete with prospect Zack Burdi headed to Triple-A

GLENDALE, Ariz. — With Zack Burdi headed for the minors, the White Sox 12-man pitching staff is all but set.

The Opening Day roster won't be finalized until Sunday and the White Sox hypothetically could find an attractive candidate to claim off the waiver wire over the weekend. But barring that, it looks as if veteran Anthony Swarzak and second-year reliever Michael Ynoa have made the team after Burdi said Wednesday morning that he'd start the season at Triple-A Charlotte. 

The No. 7 prospect in the organization, according to MLBPipeline.com, Burdi finished the spring with a 6.75 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 12 innings. Burdi finished his Cactus League on a high note with three strikeouts over an inning on Tuesday, including one of Kansas City four-time All-Star catcher Salvador Perez. 

"Man, it's been crazy," Burdi said. "Coming in and being the young guy in the locker room and then just progressing and showing a little bit more (comfort) around the guys and the veterans and then just being able to pick their brains and go out every day and try to progress. You get to the innings and you are facing guys you've watched your last 10 years of your life. It has been crazy and definitely something I won't forget."

Burdi lasted the longest this spring out of the cache of highly-touted prospects the White Sox brought to big league camp. Prior to escaping a first-and-third, one-out jam Tuesday, Burdi looked like he would allow a run in a third straight game after a hot start to camp (he only allowed a run in one of his first 10 appearances). But Burdi battled back and struck out Perez on three pitches, one of two straight strikeouts to strand both runners.

Pitching coach Don Cooper has been impressed by Burdi throughout the spring. But he also wants to see the Louisville product continue to work on command in the minors.

"You can't not see his stuff," Cooper said. "Everybody gets excited when you see 99, 100, 101. But whether you throw it 101 or 83 like [Mark] Buehrle you have to throw it to the glove with command, change speeds and all that stuff. But he's a big part of our future going forward. He's one of the names."

Burdi said he plans to operate like he has already spring and not pay attention to any of the hype. Though he'd like to play in the majors, Burdi is excited to play alongside the likes of Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer in Charlotte.

"Once you get a feel for all this stuff and you feel how cool it is to be in the locker room with all these guys and play with them, of course you want to get back up here," Burdi said. "But at the same time, a lot of my really good friends are on Charlotte and I couldn't be more excited to go down there and play with them and make the most of the season down there."