Chicago White Sox

Word on the Street: Peavy won't be ready by April

Word on the Street: Peavy won't be ready by April

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010
CSNChicago.com

April return not expected for Peavy

Chicago general manager Ken Williams says pitcher Jake Peavy is ahead of schedule in his rehab, but the White Sox are not counting on the right-hander to be ready by Opening Day or even the first month.

Peavy suffered a detached latissimus dorsi muscle near his right shoulder in early July.

"He's well ahead of schedule," Williams said Tuesday, "but I don't want to count eggs before they're hatched," (MLB.com).
Sandberg disappointed with Cubs

Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg questioned Tuesday whether the Cubs did their due diligence before rejecting him for their managerial opening.

"Well, you know what, obviously there was disappointment at the end," Sandberg told "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on WMVP-AM 1000, when asked about losing out to Mike Quade. "As I look back and see everybody involved in the interview process, I think the most games that anybody saw me manage was 4-5 games, by everybody that I talked to.

"Based on that, I don't know how I would get hired for a job if nobody saw me doing my job elsewhere. That was kind of a disappointing part of the whole thing. But now that I see it, it's very obvious with the process and the final choice."y can do that, they'll shed 10 million from the payroll, (ChicagoBreakingSports).
Northwestern's 'L' ride to Wrigley scrapped
One of the things that was to be most charming about the Wrigleyville Classic between Northwestern and Illinois on Saturday was the Wildcats' ride to Wrigley Field on the CTA. They were supposed to dress in Evanston and then ride a special L train, getting off at the Addison stop and then coming into the ballpark through the "Wildcat Way" that's going to be set up on Sheffield Avenue, entering through the right-field "knothole" directly onto the field through the east end zone.

Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, it's not going to happen. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald was quoted as saying:" "Some logistics did not get ironed out in time. We're going to take the bus. We'll stick with our normal routine," (The Deep Dish).

Marlins interested in A.J. Pierzynski

According to a report out of south Florida, it seems A.J. Pierzynski may be thinking of following in LeBron James' footsteps.

There is mutual interest between the Marlins and free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, 33, but he might be too expensive for Florida. He made 6.75 million in 2010 with the Chicago White Sox.

Now, what is keeping this deal from being possible at the moment is that, as it said above, the Marlins can't really afford Pierzynski right now. That being said, the team is supposedly looking to trade Dan Uggla this winter, and if they can do that, they'll shed 10 million from the payroll, (Foul Balls).
Hester named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week

Devin Hesters 100 yards on two kickoff returns and 47 yards on two punt returns gave the Bears a decisive edge in field position during the win over Minnesota and also earned Hester the honor of NFC special teams player of the week for the eighth time in his already storied career as a kick returner, (CSNChicago.com's John Mullin).

How Alec Hansen's methodical path through minors has turned him into a top prospect

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Winston-Salem Dash

How Alec Hansen's methodical path through minors has turned him into a top prospect

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — He didn’t totally lose it, but the White Sox intended to restore Alec Hansen’s confidence with a methodical minor league program after drafting the right-hander.

Hansen, 22, admits that a junior season at the University of Oklahoma in which his stock fell sharply when he was moved in and out of the team’s starting rotation was difficult.

Still, the 6-foot-7-inch pitcher never gave in and found a team that believed in him enough to take him in the second round. Fourteen months later, the Single-A Winston-Salem starter feels good enough about his prospects to have recently suggested he thinks he can be a No. 1 or 2 in the majors.

“It’s tough, especially when you work so hard basically your whole life to achieve your goal of being a first-round pick or a top-10 pick and it kind of wastes away throughout the season,” Hansen said. “I think the White Sox had faith in me. They saw what I can do and understood my situation there at OU and took a chance on me and I’m just trying to make sure they get their money’s worth.”

Hansen has been everything the White Sox hoped and more since they selected him with the 49th pick in the 2016 draft. Once viewed as a potential first overall pick, Hansen was viewed as a project by the end of a rough 2016 season. Though he could hit 99 mph on the gun, Hansen’s mechanics were off and he was deemed inconsistent throughout a season in which he posted a 5.40 ERA and walked 39 hitters in 51 2/3 innings for the Sooners.

But the White Sox liked what they saw. Hansen struck out 185 batters in 145 innings at Oklahoma. Their plan for the right-hander included a quick trip to Arizona to work with now-bullpen coach Curt Hasler on mechanics before he’d spend the bulk of the season at Rookie League Great Falls.

“He was a little bit out of whack,” said third-base coach and ex-farm director Nick Capra. “I think confidence played a big part in what he was doing early and to what he’s doing now. He didn’t have the confidence in what he was doing. Once he got into sync with what he was doing with his mechanics it took off on him.”

Hansen said the mechanical adjustments were related to better posture — sometimes he leaned back toward first base in his delivery — and keeping his head still. While he deems the changes as minor, the impact they’ve had on him has been great. After seven innings pitched in Arizona, Hansen moved to Great Falls and struck out 59 batters with only 12 walks in 36 2/3 innings and a 1.23 ERA. That performance earned him a late-season promotion to Kannapolis.

“The difference outing to outing is just mentally,” Hansen said. “It’s just mental and having the confidence and the poise and being relaxed and the right attitude to go out and be successful.”

[RELATED: White Sox Talk Podcast: Alec Hansen wants to be a future ace and don't piss off Dane Dunning]

The White Sox started Hansen at Kannapolis this season and he was dominant again. He produced a 2.48 ERA with 92 strikeouts and only 23 walks in 72 2/3 innings. Hansen — who’s rated the No. 9 prospect in the organization by MLB Pipeline and 10th by Baseball America — has continued to excel since a promotion to Winston-Salem 10 starts ago. He struck out 11 in seven innings on Wednesday night and allowed only a run in seven innings. Hansen is second in the minors this season with 166 strikeouts (he’s walked 43 in 126 innings).

Player development director Chris Getz said Hansen has the stuff to throw his fastball up in the zone and get swings and misses and combines it with good offspeed pitches. Throw in the confidence and Hansen has strong potential.

“Even though he’s a large guy he’s fairly athletic, he can repeat his delivery,” Getz said. “It’s really, with him, it’s staying over the rubber and not rushing out there so his arm can go out on time and on top of the ball. Those are the keys and he’s been able to take to that.”

“Since he’s really gotten into professional baseball and more comfortable with who he is as a pitcher he’s been consistent. We look forward to what else he can bring to the table.”

Hansen does, too.

He insists this belief in himself was never lost because Hansen suspected the consequences of doubt would ruin him. But Hansen didn’t downplay how the uncertainty of his junior season affected his mindset.

Hansen said he’s glad at how he handled the experience and has moved on from the disappointment of dropping 48 places. He's also more than pleased to have found an organization that has the same belief in him that he does.

“It was kind of hard to go through that but it’s over now,” Hansen said. “I believe in myself more than anyone. I think you need to as a professional athlete. If you don’t have confidence then you’re done as an athlete no matter who you are at what level.

“It’s just being more relaxed and comfortable and confidence because the people I’m around have confidence in me.”

How Michael Kopech reminds the Birmingham Barons of Michael Jordan

How Michael Kopech reminds the Birmingham Barons of Michael Jordan

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — No player has impacted the Double-A Birmingham Barons the way Michael Kopech has since … Michael Jordan?

That’s the belief of long-time Barons play-by-play man Curt Bloom, who said Kopech has garnered more attention than almost every player he’s covered during 26 seasons in the booth.

Bloom acknowledges that nobody will ever surpass Air Jordan’s 127 games with the Barons in 1994. But the advent of social media has made Kopech an extremely popular attraction this season. Whenever he takes the mound, the team’s social media accounts see a significant increase in page views, engagement and impressions.

“Jordan-esque,” Bloom said. “Nothing will beat Jordan. LeBron could come down. But this reminds me of it. It triggers it. A jolt.

“Nothing stirred like this guy has and I do say, and I think Kopech will tell you the same thing, a big chunk of the reason is we have social media. We didn’t have that for Jordan. We did not have that for Aaron Rowand. There’s always a ying for a yang.

“That being said, it’s still gone beyond anything I’ve ever seen.”

It’s unavoidable to miss the Barons’ remembrance of Jordan’s season when he reportedly paid $350,000 to buy the club a luxury bus “The Jordan Cruiser and the Barons set records for attendance. The team drew 467,867 at their old stadium, Hoover Met, and Southern League attendance was more than 2.5 million.

Jordan’s image wearing a Barons No. 45 jersey can be found throughout Regions Field, including a massive banner near the home-plate entrance.

Kopech has been a focal point for White Sox fans since he was acquired in December.

Whether it’s his 100-mph fastball, his lofty prospect status or simply the fact he came over in the Chris Sale deal, eye balls have been drawn to Kopech all season. The right-hander has only increased the awareness with his steady presence on social media, including giving away game-used items to fans.

Throw in his recent dominance on the mound — Kopech has a 0.66 ERA and 54 strikeouts with only seven walks in his last 41 innings — and the hysteria is real.

The Barons determined early on this season that they would follow in the steps of several major league clubs and anoint the day he pitched at home Kopech Day. The White Sox, Seattle Mariners and Miami Marlins have all recently done the same for Sale, Felix Hernandez and Jose Fernandez.

Kopech has only lived up to the hype.

“He’s answering the bell,” Bloom said. “There’s definitely awareness in the city, in our followers, the Twitter universe.

“My daughter Chloe who has no idea about baseball, she asks me, ‘Is Kopech pitching?’

"That’s what has been created.”