White Sox staff shake-up coming?


White Sox staff shake-up coming?

MILWAUKEE -- The White Sox starting rotation as you know it could be in line for a major overhaul in 2012.

That is if the Sox decide to go that route. If they do, those sharks Kenny Williams spoke about on Tuesday are ready and willing to take a large bite out of his staff.

Youd think that we had a team out there that actually got into the playoffs from the interest level that people are showing our players, particularly our pitchers, Williams said Wednesday. But you dont know what you ultimately will be able to get back until you really start drawing some lines in the sand, and theres no need for that right now.

Two of his most valuable pieces are starters John Danks and Gavin Floyd. Is it feasible that the White Sox would trade both of them?

That remains to be seen, Williams said. It depends on what you can ultimately get back if you do decide to move them. That hasnt been decided yet. Im not ruling anything out.

Meanwhile, free agent pitcher Mark Buehrle now reportedly has 13 teams interested in signing him. It sounds like it was a very busy and productive GM meetings for his agent Jeff Berry, who left Milwaukee on Wednesday morning. One team said to be in the hunt for Buehrle is the Arizona Diamondbacks, whose general manager Kevin Towers was quite coy when I asked him about his interest in Buehrle.

I dont want to really get into details, showing my hand on who we have interest in, but wed like to add another veteran starter, Towers said. Weve got a lot of depth with young pitchers, but another established starter would make our staff that much better.

He then added with a smile, There are some pitchers in Chicago that are pretty decent.

Whoever is starting for the White Sox next season will mainly be throwing to catcher AJ Pierzynski, whos under contract for one more year at 6 million. Back-up catcher Tyler Flowers showed promise at the end of the last season, but Williams would not concede how much playing time he might receive in 2012.

I think thats a question that leads me down a road I dont want to go down right now because thats disrespectful to Robin Ventura. Robin makes the lineup out and its too early because we dont know what the club is going to look like right now.

What Williams does know is that with some different GMs in place throughout the league, theres a different feel to the meetings this year.

I will say that the tone of these meetings is more serious and people are getting to the point a little sooner than usual, so I dont know if its a byproduct of this being a different group of guys because theres a lot of new guys around, or just the seriousness of the individual situations, that they want to get some things crossed off their list.

Apparently adding starting pitching is one of them.

Improved defense high on list of White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada this spring

Improved defense high on list of White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada this spring

MESA, Ariz. — Yoan Moncada applied some of his early work in camp to the field on Monday afternoon when he started a double play with a spectacular diving stop.

In his first start of the spring, the White Sox second baseman's dazzling play helped pitcher Lucas Giolito out of a first-inning jam. Moncada struck out in his only plate appearances as the White Sox and Cubs finished in a 4-4 tie in nine innings at Sloan Park.

"Definitely that play was unbelievable," Giolito said. "It really helped me get out of that inning. They had the momentum going, guys on base, nobody out. (Moncada) makes a play like that and they turn the double play, it's fantastic. It's really good defense to have behind you."

The top player acquired in the Chris Sale trade, Moncada has been described by some as not having a set position. There's a thought he might be better suited for third base or perhaps even center field. But Moncada prefers second base and that's where the White Sox intend to give him a chance.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said earlier this spring that Moncada has all the requisite tools needed to play second base, he just needs to fine tune. Renteria said the biggest area of refinement is footwork and getting Moncada to take less circular routes to the ball.

Moncada feels good about the work he's put in so far.

"It's nothing really hard, but you have to make adjustments," Moncada said through an interpreter. "I'm trying to have my legs a little more open. That's work we're doing right now on my defense.

"My focus is just to try to get better in every aspect of the game, my offense, my defense, my baserunning too. It's the mentality we have here right now, and I'm just trying to take advantage of it."

Moncada has appeared in all three White Sox games this spring. He's 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk. 

Prospect Lucas Giolito debuts for White Sox in tie against Cubs

Prospect Lucas Giolito debuts for White Sox in tie against Cubs

MESA, Ariz. — One of the main points of emphasis for Lucas Giolito this spring is to consistently throw his curveball for strikes so hitters respect it.

The White Sox prospect was partly pleased with how he commanded his offspeed pitch on Monday as he debuted in a 4-4 tie between the White Sox and Cubs at Sloan Park. Giolito allowed a run, three hits, walked one and struck out two in two innings pitched. He also surrendered a long home run to Addison Russell.

"I'd say in the first inning, I did an OK job of commanding a curveball for a strike," Giolito said. "I feel like when I throw it for a strike and can show I can throw it for a strike, that's when I can get more swings on it. The second inning, I kind of got away from it. I was kind of yanking them, throwing a lot in the dirt low and away, and a big-league hitter is just going to spit on that. I'm just going to continue to work on that, throwing a curveball for a strike, commanding a fastball especially down and away to righties."

The team's top pitching prospect was pleased with how he commanded his fastball in to righties and away to left-handed hitters. He also was happy with his changeup.

Beyond that, Giolito displayed some fight when he worked his way into trouble. Courtesy of a nice diving stop by Yoan Moncada, Giolito induced a double play off Anthony Rizzo's bat after Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant singled to start the bottom of the first inning. Following Russell's no-doubt homer in the second inning, Giolito struck out Miguel Montero and Willson Contreras and worked around a two-out walk.

"I didn't really translate the stuff I was doing in the 'pen, the stuff I've been working on very well in the game," Giolito said. "I got into the game, and it's a pretty packed stadium, adrenaline going, I got a little quick, got a little ahead of myself and missed, especially with the four-seam fastball. I missed quite a few. Obviously the homer, the line drive, you could see where the misses were."

"I did a better job today throwing fastballs away to lefties and inside to righties than the opposite. So we continue to work on that in the pen, but I'll have plenty more opportunities, a lot of stuff to work on in the spring."

[RELATED: Facing Cubs for first time, Rick Renteria happy with White Sox]

Jose Abreu homered and singled and drove in two runs in three at-bats and Tim Anderson doubled in a run and singled in three trips. Afterward, Abreu left the team for personal reasons to return to Miami. He's expected to be back in camp on Wednesday.

Juan Minaya struck out four batters in two scoreless innings in relief to keep the score tied.

Third baseman Todd Frazier took 35 swings and 35 ground balls prior to Monday's game. Frazier, who has a mild oblique strain, said he's made good progress since he hurt himself last Monday.

"Feeling good," Frazier said. "See how we feel tomorrow, you never know. Some people don't believe mild strain, but it really was. Work in slow, but when I get in game, get in game.

"Could be a couple of days, could be five or six or after off day. Don't need much time. At the back end of March we'll be getting after it."