White Sox

LIVE: White Sox trailing Tigers, 8-0

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LIVE: White Sox trailing Tigers, 8-0

Saturday, April 23, 2011
Posted: 1:50 p.m.

Associated Press

The Detroit Tigers signed veteran Brad Penny in the offseason to help bolster a starting rotation led by three-time All-Star Justin Verlander.

While Verlander remains a worthy ace, Penny has yet to step up.

Seeking his first win of the season for the fifth time, Penny takes the mound opposite onetime Detroit starter Edwin Jackson as the Tigers and visiting Chicago White Sox continue their three-game set Saturday.

Verlander, whose 85 wins since 2006 rank third in the majors, gave up three runs and struck out eight over seven innings of Friday's 9-3 win over Chicago (8-12).

Detroit starters have posted a 3.09 ERA in the four games since Penny (0-2, 8.44 ERA) last toed the rubber.

The right-hander, now in his 12th season, will look to regroup Saturday after allowing five runs, four hits and four walks in five-plus innings of Sunday's 5-1 loss at Oakland.

The defeat dropped Penny, who has never faced the White Sox, to 0-6 with a 6.89 ERA over his last nine starts dating to last season, but manager Jim Leyland isn't concerned.

"Penny was OK," Leyland told the Tigers' official website. "He had control problems in the one inning, but I don't worry about him at all."

The Tigers (10-10), who have outscored the White Sox 53-20 during a seven-game winning streak in this series, had averaged just 3.2 runs at home prior to Friday's offensive outburst, which was the first time this season they'd scored more than five runs at Comerica Park. Detroit has won three straight at home, and seven of 10 overall after a 3-7 start.

Utilityman Ryan Raburn homered for the second time in as many games and drove in a season-best four runs.

Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is 6 for 13 over his last four games overall, and 6 for 21 (.286) lifetime against Jackson (2-1, 3.51), who surrendered season-worsts of 11 hits and four runs over seven innings in a 5-0 loss at Tampa Bay on Monday.

"Jackson threw the ball pretty good," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We just didn't score any runs."

Other than two solo home runs from outfielder Carlos Quentin and one from first baseman Paul Konerko, the While Sox couldn't get much going offensively again in the series opener. They've batted .199 while dropping eight of their last nine games.

"Twenty games is way too early to be worried about our team," said White Sox starter Mark Buehrle, who gave up six runs to take the loss Friday. "We aren't clicking right now, but we will be."

Slugging designated hitter Adam Dunn and second baseman Gordon Beckham, who was slotted eighth in the lineup after batting second in his first 17 games, both went 0 for 4. Dunn and Beckham have a combined three hits in their last 46 at-bats.

Dunn is 6 for 31 lifetime against Penny with 16 strikeouts, but Quentin and Alex Rios are a combined 14 for 22.

Jackson, who went 13-9 while with Detroit in 2009, is 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA in four career road starts at Comerica.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Up close, White Sox see same big potential Cubs forecasted for Dylan Cease

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Up close, White Sox see same big potential Cubs forecasted for Dylan Cease

The Cubs made the Jose Quintana deal knowing it would have been more difficult to give up Dylan Cease if he was already performing at the Double-A level, and that the White Sox organization would be a good place to continue his education as a young pitcher.

While Eloy Jimenez keeps drawing ridiculous comparisons – the running total now includes Kris Bryant, Miguel Cabrera, Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz – Cease is more than just the other name prospect from the deal that shocked the baseball world during the All-Star break.

“We still project him as a starter,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said during this week’s GM meetings in Florida. “He certainly has the stuff where it’s easy to envision him as a potential dominant reliever. But to this point – for the foreseeable future – we deal with the starting and continue to develop him as a potential front-end arm.”

The Theo Epstein regime still hasn’t developed an impact homegrown pitcher, but that hasn’t stopped the Cubs from winning 292 games, six playoff rounds and a World Series title across the last three seasons, while still being in a strong position to win the National League Central again in 2018.

Without Quintana and his affordable contract that can run through 2020, Epstein’s front office might have been looking at the daunting possibility of trying to acquire three starting pitchers this winter.

While surveying a farm system in the middle of a natural downturn, Baseball America ranked seven pitchers on its top-10 list of prospects from the Cubs organization: Adbert Alzolay, Jose Albertos, Alex Lange, Oscar De La Cruz, Brendon Little, Thomas Hatch and Jen-Ho Tseng.

So far, only Alzolay, an Arizona Fall League Fall Star with seven starts for Double-A Tennessee on his resume, and Tseng, who made his big-league debut in September, have pitched above the A-ball level.

Cease – who went 0-8 with a 3.89 ERA for Class-A Kannapolis in his first nine starts in the White Sox system – has a 100-mph fastball and a big curveball and won’t turn 22 until next month. That stuff allowed Cease to pile up 126 strikeouts against 44 walks in 93.1 innings this year, putting him in the wave that includes Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Michael Kopech and Alec Hansen.

“Ideally, we have a lot of guys we project to be part of the future, very good, championship-caliber rotation,” Hahn said. “In an ideal world, there’s not going to be room at the inn for all of them. You only have five in that rotation and some of these guys will wind up in the bullpen. In reality, as players develop, you’re going to see some attrition.”

One spot after the White Sox grabbed Carlos Rodon with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, the Cubs did Kyle Schwarber’s below-slot deal, using part of the savings to buy out Cease’s commitment to Vanderbilt University ($1.5 million bonus for a sixth-rounder) and supervise his recovery from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Cease was never going to be on the fast track to Wrigley Field, and now the White Sox hope he can be part of the foundation on the South Side, where it’s easier to sell a rebuild after watching the Cubs and Houston Astros become World Series champions.

“It doesn’t change really for us internally in terms of our commitment or focus or our plan or our timeline or anything along those lines,” Hahn said. “I do think, perhaps, it helps the fan base understand a little bit about what the process looks like, where other teams have been and how long the path they took to get to the ultimate goal of winning a World Series (was). In Chicago, many fans saw it firsthand with the Cubs.

“There are certainly more and more examples in the game over the last several years to help sort of show fans the path and justification for what we’re (doing).”

The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm

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USA TODAY

The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm

The White Sox continued their rebuild Thursday by trading for an intriguing young right-handed pitcher.

The South Siders acquired Thyago Vieira from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for international signing bonus pool money.

The 24-year-old Vieira is a Brazilian native and has only made one appearance in the big leagues, striking out a batter in one perfect inning of work in 2017.

While his career minor-league numbers don't jump off the page — 14-19 with a 4.58 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 13 saves and 7.4 K/9 in 290.2 innings \— Vieira has been reportedly clocked at 104 mph with his fastball and was ranked as the Mariners' No. 8 prospect at the time of the deal. He also held righties to .194 batting average in 2017.

Here's video of Vieira throwing gas:

And this may explain why Vieira was even available:

Control has been an issue throughout his career, as he's walked 4.6 batters per nine innings in the minors. He has improved in that regard over the last few seasons, however, walking only 22 batters in 54 innings across three levels in 2017 and he doled out only one free pass in 5.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League in 2016.

What does this deal mean in the big picture for baseball? How did the Sox pull off a move like this while not having to give up a player in return? 

This may help shed light on the situation from Baseball America's Kyle Glaser:

Either way, the White Sox may have just acquired a guy who could potentially throw his name in the hat for "future closer." Or at the very least, throw his name in the hat for "best name."