Word on the Street: Four-man rotation for White Sox?

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Word on the Street: Four-man rotation for White Sox?

Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Early Four-man rotation for Sox?
With Jake Peavy's status still uncertain for the start of the season, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't want Chris Sale's role to be undefined. Therefore, the skipper told WSCR-670's Chris Rongey that the Sox might go with a four-man rotation early in 2011, only using the fifth starter on occasion and leaving Sale in the bullpen.

"I look at the roster and the games earlier in the season and how we're going to play it, I look at the fifth starter," Guillen said. "We're going to use the fifth starter maybe one or two outings because of the day off and we can bump people, move people in the rotation." (kffl.com)

Bears losing Mike Tice?

The Tennessee Titans have reportedly expressed interest in hiring Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice to be their offensive coordinator. It's currently unclear how serious their interest is, or whether the Bears would even allow Tice to interview for the job. (profootballtalk.com)

Blackhawks assign Leddy, Taffe to Rockford

With their next game not until Wednesday night vs. Minnesota, the Blackhawks have assigned defenseman Nick Leddy and forward Jeff Taffe back to AHL's Rockford IceHogs.

Leddy will most likely be back with the team for Wednesday's game, as his demotion is more than likely simply a salary cap decision. It is unclear whether Taffe will return, as his status highly depends on the health of Fernando Pisani and Jake Dowell. (chicagoblackhawks.com)

Pujols rejects latest offer from Cardinals

Sources have told USA Today's Bob Nightengale that Albert Pujols has turned down the most recent contract proposal from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Therefore, if Pujols stands by his comments about being unwilling to discuss a contract after reporting to spring training on Wednesday, Feb. 16, he will enter 2011 in the final year of his current deal and will likely become a free agent.

Of course, there are still a couple of days to reach agreement on an extension, but something major would have to change. (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)

Cubs fans already complaining about Quade

There were plenty of debates over whether or not Mike Quade should have received the Cubs managerial job, now one Cubs fan has compiled a list of 10 people he'd rather have managing on the north side.

While some names are legitimate (Joe Girardi, Bob Brenly), others are purely comical and satirical (Little Big League's Billy Haywood, A League of Their Own's Jimmy Dugan) and makes for an entertaining read. (chicagonow.com)

Omar Narvaez helps father celebrate his birthday in style with first home run

Omar Narvaez helps father celebrate his birthday in style with first home run

Omar Narvaez’s teammates gave him a beer shower after he blasted the first home run of his career on Friday night.

But the rookie catcher said it wasn’t the best gift he gave or received in a 7-3 White Sox victory over the Minnesota Twins. Narvaez’s father, Omar, was in attendance at U.S. Cellular Field and celebrating his birthday when he son blasted a 377-foot drive to right field.

“It was great, especially because it was my dad’s birthday today,” Narvaez said. “It’s a very special gift for my dad. That’s what I was thinking as I was running the bases. It’s the best thing I could do this day.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Narvaez, who hails from Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela, said his family has been in town all week to see him play. His fourth-inning homer off Twins pitcher Pat Dean put the White Sox ahead 6-0. Narvaez -- who has seven minor-league homers, including two at Triple-A Charlotte this season -- homered in his 111th plate appearance in the big leagues.

“That was awesome,” pitcher Carlos Rodon said. “I’ve been waiting a while because I know he’s got that pop. Took him a little bit, but I was happy for him.”

Young White Sox players star in win over Twins

Young White Sox players star in win over Twins

The word electric was used multiple times to describe several young White Sox players on Friday night and it wasn’t hyperbole.

Carlos Rodon tied an American League record with seven consecutive strikeouts to start a 7-3 White Sox victory over the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field and Tim Anderson was an all-around force. Anderson turned several double plays and finished a double shy of the cycle and Rodon, who was coming off the best start of his career, struck out 10 to close out a stellar second half. Rookie catcher Omar Narvaez also blasted the first home run of his big league career in the victory.

“This was some electric stuff coming out,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I would say the first seven hitters were better than (Sunday’s start). He just, it looked like his confidence and end of the year, letting it out. It was definitely the best stuff-wise of having it all -- fastball, slider, mix in a change. I think that’s just a big confidence boost for him of getting to that point where he can do that.”

Where Rodon is now compared with 2 1/ 2 months ago is vastly different. Frustrated by a 2-7 start and a sprained wrist sustained when he fell in the dugout, Rodon was about as low as he’s been in his two seasons in the majors. But the North Carolina State-product vowed to treat the second half like an entirely different season when he returned from his injury and he has done just that.

Featuring a fastball that topped 99-mph, according to brooksbaseball.net, and with his wipeout slider in tow, Rodon quickly looked in control against the Twins. He struck out the side in each of the first two innings. Only two of his first seven strikeouts came via called third strikes.

Rodon’s third-inning whiff of John Ryan Murphy moved him into a tie for the team and AL record with ex-White Sox hurler Joe Cowley, who struck out the first seven he faced in a May 28, 1986 loss at the Texas Rangers. Coupled with the three strikeouts to end Sunday’s start in Cleveland (part of 11 overall), Rodon’s 10 straight strikeouts between the two games matched the most by a major league pitcher since Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Eric Gagne did it in 2003.

“He was throwing a lot of strikes,” Narvaez said. “The slider was perfect today. He was at his best today.”

Rodon was only slowed down by a 31-pitch sixth inning as he allowed three runs (two earned). He yielded three hits, walked three and struck out 10 to improve to 7-3 with a 3.45 ERA since the All-Star break. The left-hander struck out 77 batters in 73 innings from July 31st through the end of the season.

“It’s easy to play behind him because it makes my job a lot easier when he’s striking out people,” Anderson said.

Rodon feels the same about the way Anderson has played since he arrived in the majors in June. The rookie shortstop continues to excel even though he has never played more in a season than he in 2016.  

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Anderson headed into the eighth inning with a chance to complete the cycle. Needing only a double after he tripled and homered in his first two at-bats, Anderson grounded out and finished 3-for-5.

He turned on his speed when he tripled off the glove of Byron Buxton in the first inning and scored on Melky Cabrera’s RBI double. Anderson flashed his power when he blasted his ninth home run in the third, a two-run shot that traveled 410 feet. And used his glove and arm to turn several nice plays in the field.

“He’s electric,” Rodon said. “Just watching him develop over this few months here, it’s been incredible. Making those plays in the hole and just swinging the bat great. That’s a guy our team can feed off of when he’s in the lineup.”