White Sox

Ballantini: 'Peavywatch' kicks up a notch

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Ballantini: 'Peavywatch' kicks up a notch

Friday, March 4, 2011
11:00 a.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com
TEMPE Peavywatch has taken to the streets here on Friday, as rehabilitating Chicago White Sox fireballer Jake Peavy makes his first start of the season on the road vs. the Los Angeles Angels.

On Thursday, manager Ozzie Guillen kept the pressure low on his potential ace, while still tabbing Peavys outing as an important a moment as youll find in spring training.

Im not going to say tomorrow can be the biggest day of camp for us, because the only thing I expect is Peavy comes out of the game healthy, Guillen said. I dont care how he throws. Gauging his health gives us the opportunity to see what we can do, gives us the idea of how healthy he is. Right now, his health report is great. I dont want to put a lot of heat on Peavy but hopefully well see and itll be a good game for us.

Peavy insisted after his last heavy bullpen session on Tuesday that he didnt just feel strong for someone rehabbing from a unique, detached latissimus dorsi muscle injury, but that he doesnt feel like hes coming off of major shoulder surgery at all.

If we didnt talk about it all the time, I wouldnt feel like Im coming off of an injury, he said. I feel normal, just like I would any other spring training The injury monitoring is the biggest thing we are doing different than I ever have before.

Thursdays starter, John Danks, is just one of four rotation members who are eager to see Peavy back and healthywhether or not he surrenders the first hit by a White Sox starter this spring.

The no-hits thing is for fun, were all having a good time with it, but the most important thing is a healthy Jake, Danks said. For him to go out there and feel good, the results dont even have to be there. We just need him to feel good and healthy and come back as soon as possible, for sure. A healthy Jake, that makes a huge difference in our rotation.

Guillen echoed his laid-back leftys sentiments, but stopped short of calling his rotation the one to beat in the American League.

We have a great rotationon paper, Guillen said. Thats a plus, but its what you do between the lines, not on paper Today all I want is to see Jake Peavy walk off the field healthy. Results? The results will be better later, I guarantee you that.

Laid-Back Lefty, Redeux

Danks is as popular a figure as youll find in the clubhouse, part of the so-called Redneck Row that made a huge offseason addition in picking up the unique stylings of slugger Adam Dunn. But among the pitchers, Danks is the perfect foil.

Take yesterdays startduring his in-game interview in the clubhouse after he left the game, Danks was chided by a friendly expletive from Edwin Jackson after Danks joked that he was disappointed in his start because Im tied for the team lead in walks with Edwin Jackson. Just a few minutes later, Mark Buehrle gave Danks noise for his wild effort, pointing out that his own offseason pitching regimen has kept him sharp: Thats something you oughta be doing, Danks.

Even his own, younger brother in White Sox camp Jordan purportedly doesnt return his phone calls. Yet through it all, Danks is the happiest-go-lucky hurler in a pretty congenial rotation.
Overheard

Hitting coach Greg Walker, feeling the heat after a couple of subpar offensive efforts early, after Thursdays win: Hey, we won one!

Guillen, when asked if he was feeling itchy being the last team of spring training to get a win: I dont worry about that stuff. Ive earned my Masters in managing by now. Ive got a doctorateI dont worry about that stuff.

Outfielder Stefan Gartrell, having a friendly debate over fielding form with animated outfield instructor Daryl Boston in the dugout during Thursdays B-Game: You guys think whatever you wantI catch the ball! Have I ever dropped one?
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

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USA TODAY

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.

In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.

Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.

Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.

But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.

While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:

4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen