Who are the Sox getting from San Diego?

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Who are the Sox getting from San Diego?

Coming into the offseason, the White Sox farm system was incredibly thin in the starting pitching department. First, the Sox added Nestor Molina and now, they've added Simon Castro and Pedro Fernandez.

Castro comes to the White Sox as the more highly-regarded pitcher -- or, at least, he was nine months ago. In 25 23 innings at Triple-A in 2011, Castro walked 18 with 21 strikeouts while allowing five home runs. He also made two starts in Triple-A in 2010, so his overall totals at the highest level of the minors: 24 walks, 27 strikeouts and six home runs allowed in 37 innings.

That's not a good enough amount of innings to make any definitive conclusions, but those numbers would indicate Castro hit a wall against Triple-A competition.

He was good with Double-A San Antonio in 2011, posting a 1673 walk-to-strikeout ratio while allowing nine home runs in 89 13 innings. Castro has talent, though, and the White Sox organization has an excellent track record of developing starting pitching talent (unfortunately, most of that talent is pitching elsewhere now).

Castro will be 24 three days after opening day 2012, which means another season of struggles in Triple-A will probably annihilate any sort top prospect status.

Hernandez, like Castro, succeeded below Triple-A last season but was torched when he got to Tucson. Between high-A and Double-A, Hernandez walked 16 with 87 strikeouts and seven home runs allowed in 98 innings.

The 22-year-old lefty doesn't have a prototypical frame, standing at 5-foot-10.

Both Castro and Hernandez should join Molina in Triple-A Charlotte's starting rotation. Hernandez would be the most likely to begin the year at Double-A, but neither pitcher has a lot left to prove at that level. Triple-A is where they need to prove something.

While neither have much momentum coming into 2012, both have had previous success keyed by low walk rates. And it bears repeating: the Sox have a good track record when it comes to developing pitching talent, specifically, pitching talent that has had success at Double-A or higher.

The system finally has starting pitching talent that's graduated from Single-A. How Molina, Castro and Hernandez develop will determine if that aforementioned reputation holds up.

Today on CSN: White Sox face Athletics in spring training game

Today on CSN: White Sox face Athletics in spring training game

The White Sox will battle the Oakland Athletics today, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 3:05 p.m.

Today's starting pitching matchup: Carlos Rodon vs. Kendall Graveman

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White Sox ace Jose Quintana puts on a show in victory over Reds

White Sox ace Jose Quintana puts on a show in victory over Reds

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Those pesky, persistent trade rumors continue to be no match for White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana. 

The 2016 All-Star was outstanding on Thursday afternoon as he made his first Cactus League appearance in nearly a month. Still waiting on word if he'll be the team's Opening Day starter, Quintana pitched seven scoreless innings against a thin Cincinnati Reds lineup in a 4-2 White Sox victory at Camelback Ranch. 

Pitching in front of more than a dozen scouts, Quintana limited Cincinnati to two hits in a 79-pitch outing and struck out three.

"I just try to turn the page quick and keep going," Quintana said. "Never watch behind me and try to go ahead every time I can. I want to put my team in a good position to win games. It's good when you win games in spring training. It brings good energy for the season."

Quintana on Thursday followed the same format he did for Colombia against Team USA in the World Baseball Classic on March 10 as he retired the first 17 Reds hitters he faced. Even after he surrendered a hit, Quintana got back to work. Featuring a fastball that sat between 91-93 mph early, Quintana had Cincinnati hitters off-balance all day. After he exited the game, Quintana sprinted to the right-field bullpen to throw 15 more pitches as he continues to build arm strength.

The outing is more of the same consistency the White Sox have come to expect from their trusted lefty. It's also why they refuse to remove the high sticker price attached to Quintana, who has competed at least 200 innings the past four seasons with a 3.32 overall ERA in that span.

As Opening Day approaches, the White Sox continue to listen to offers for Quintana but have refused to budge on their price. Manager Rick Renteria said on Wednesday he needed a few more days before naming his starter for the April 3 opener, which suggests the team would still trade Quintana at this late date. But unless one of the team's suitors finally antes up, it's hard to believe that anyone other than Quintana would take the mound against the Detroit Tigers when the 2017 season kicks off at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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Quintana is on target to pitch again Tuesday, though perhaps in a minor league game as the White Sox face Kansas City that day. His next turn would come on April 2, which would easily afford the team the chance to push him back one day. 

Giving Quintana the nod in the opener would be the latest honor bestowed upon him. Earlier this month, Quintana dominated the eventual WBC champion as he didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning. That performance came after an outstanding campaign in which Quintana finally appeared in an All-Star Game.

All of the above has Quintana feeling pretty good about his abilities. 

"I have confidence in me, and every time I go out there I just try to have fun and enjoy that time," Quintana said. "I spend good time with my teammates. Every time I go to the mound, I feel pretty good."

Nicky Delmonico homered and singled in a run in the victory for the White Sox. He drove in three runs and hit his third homer of the spring. Leury Garcia also had two hits and made a pair of nice defensive plays at second base.