Callis: Sox did a good job on lower-level prospects

Callis: Sox did a good job on lower-level prospects

July 31, 2013, 8:00 pm
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CLEVELAND -- A toolsy middle infielder, a guy who throws 100 mph and a sinkerballer “who gets outs wherever he has gone” comprise the rest of the return for Jake Peavy.

While none of the three low-level prospects the White Sox acquired from the Boston Red Sox is even close to a sure thing, one expert believes the club did a good job with its selections.

On Wednesday, assistant general manager Buddy Bell said the trio -- infielder Cleuluis Rondon and pitchers Frank Montas and Jeffrey Wendelken -- would begin their White Sox careers at Single-A Kannapolis.

Jim Callis, the executive editor of Baseball America, thinks at least one of the three, Montas, has a chance to make the majors.

“These guys are essentially lottery tickets but are worth taking a shot on,” Callis said. “They’re all prospects. The White Sox did a good job. Looking for lower-level guys to pick, these guys did a pretty good job choosing.”

[MORE: Hahn believes White Sox did enough at deadline]

Montas has been a starting pitcher and Bell said he would likely continue in that role for the time being. But Callis believes Montas, who Baseball America rated the No. 22 prospect in Boston’s farm system, has a future in the bullpen.

“He’s a max effort guy who can throw the crap out of the ball,” Callis said.

ESPN’s Keith Law said Montas has a future as a late innings reliever, possibly as a closer.

Rondon is a “poor man’s (Jose) Iglesias,” Callis said. A strong defender at short, Rondon’s biggest question is whether or not he can hit, Callis said.

With that in mind, the White Sox will shift Rondon from shortstop to second base at Kannapolis, Bell said, to focus on his offensive development.

Wendelken is a fringe middle reliever, Law said.

The addition of those three along with outfielders Avisail Garcia and Brandon Jacobs, who came over in the trade for Matt Thornton, has Bell happier about the condition of the team’s farm system.

“We’re much better off,” Bell said. “If you just add one prospect it looks a lot better. Only time will tell if they’re big leaguers. We have a bigger pool to pick from and that’s all you can ask for.”

Callis agrees on Bell’s last point.

[MORE: Deadline passes for Sox without Rios deal]

He likes the front office’s effort to infuse as much talent as possible into a system Baseball America ranked 29th out of 30 teams before the season.

“They’re all worthwhile guys,” Callis said. “They have to go out and amass as much talent as possible and see how it shakes out.”

Dunn happy for Peavy

Adam Dunn lost his “wingman” when the White Sox traded Peavy to the Red Sox on Tuesday night. The White Sox first baseman reflected on the trade of his close friend before Wednesday’s game.

[MORE: White Sox lose in walk-off fashion again]

“His time here wasn’t what he wanted, wasn’t what any of us wanted,” Dunn said. “You got to be happy for him. He’s going to a place has a chance to do some pretty cool things this year.”

As for what the White Sox lost, Dunn said: “You lose a good teammate. You lose the guy that’s going to keep you in every game pretty much every fifth day and he’s just a solid dude that teams need. Teams need guys like that.”

Rienzo to stay

White Sox rookie Andre Rienzo will stay in the rotation for the time being, manager Robin Ventura said. Rienzo allowed three unearned runs over seven innings in his major league debut on Tuesday night. He was in line for a victory but received a no-decision after the bullpen blew the lead.

“As of right now,” Ventura said. “He did well enough last night just to be able to stay with it and see what happens with that.”

Et cetera

-- Jordan Danks was promoted to take Peavy’s spot on the roster, one day after outfielder Blake Tekotte was sent back to Triple-A Charlotte to make space for Rienzo. Danks, who has a .279 average with six homers and 28 RBIs at Charlotte, said he still has to learn how to play once in a while compared with every day in the minors. “It’s definitely a challenge,” Phegley said. “It’s something I haven’t been used to until I made it to this level. Everyone has to make adjustments so that’s going to be another thing.”

-- While the Boston Red Sox ate the $5.28 million left on Peavy’s contract this season and all $14.5 million for 2014, the White Sox are still on the hook for $4 million. When he resigned with the White Sox in October, the team elected to pay him the $4 million buyout from his last deal in $1 million installments between 2016 and 2019. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said the money wasn’t included in the trade because it was a separate deal from his last contract.