White Sox

Pabst: Ozzie's hall pass is all but expired

508714.jpg

Pabst: Ozzie's hall pass is all but expired

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011
Posted: 1:56 p.m.

By Paul Pabst
CSNChicago.com Contributor

READ: The 13 highlights of 2011 White Sox seasonREAD: Reinsdorf interested in buying Coyotes?FOLLOW: Paul Pabst on Twitter
Going into the White Sox meaningless weekend set against the Royals, the annual Ozzie Guillen managerial status headlines are out in full force. Among the best are: Ozzies Last HomestandNo Reason to Meet Ozzies DemandsGuillen Awaits Fate.

White Sox fans have been here before, but with a team that is below .500 and limping to the finish, will this be the year that the Sox brass make a move? This team is not good, but not awful. This team is neither a doormat, nor enough of an embarrassment where the decision on Guillen would be an easy one.

Since the World Series win in 2005, the White Sox have finished third, fourth, first, third, second and a likely third-place result this season. Since 2005 there has been just one brief postseason appearance.

In sport, like school, we have hall passes. For MLB managers, winning a World Series is obviously the ultimate hall pass. In most cases, winning a title will allow you a few years of mediocrity at least. Well, the Sox have been mediocre and Guillens hall pass is all but expired. In Guillens favor is that in the past century, only two managers have taken the Sox to a title and he is one of them. The other, Clarence Pants Rowland, passed away more than 30 years ago.

Rowland managed the White Sox to a World Series win in 1917. He was fired the following season reportedly because of disagreements he has with Sox owner Charles Comiskey. The year after Rowland left the team...the 1919 Black Sox.

This was written of Rowland in his New York Times obit:

He (Rowland) never permitted himself to go beyond the bounds of decency and he restrained his players in the same mannerRowland was a true leader. He never bawled a player out for a mistake or tried to rile his players hoping for a better result.

You couldnt script this. The obit description of Rowland is the polar opposite of Ozzie Guillens reputation. Guillen steps outside the bounds of decency on a weekly basis with his language and temper. You must give credit to Guillen for being passionate and never appearing to mail it in. He has no filter on or off the field. He never worries about being PC or how his comments will play in this 24-hour sports media that Pants never had to deal with.

Guillen is the Howard Stern of baseball. Hes off color so often that you become almost numb to it and cant really put your finger on one offensive line that bothered you. From a national standpoint, he is overwhelmingly the face of the organization. Other teams are known for star players. The White Sox, nationally, are known for Guillen and each time he spouts venom an editor quickly puts together a top ten list of Ozzie bleep-worthy moments.

Its probably a coin flip as to whether Guillen is back for the 2012 season. This is for sure; Chicago sports fans will miss him terribly if he goes. During a long baseball season, when you cant count on great play on the field, fans can count on the daily soap opera that is Ozzie Guillen. He actually might be more captivating when the Sox are losing. And if the White Sox decide to bring Guillen back for 2012, we can do this all again next September.

Paul Pabst is the Executive Producer of "The Dan Patrick Show", which airs Monday-Friday from 8:00-11:00 a.m. on Comcast SportsNet. Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulPabst.

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

mickeradolfo.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

PHOENIX, Ariz. — One of the White Sox prized prospects will be on the shelf for a little while.

Outfielder Micker Adolfo has a sprained UCL in his right elbow and a strained flexor tendon that could require surgery. He could avoid surgery, though he could be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Though he hasn’t received the same high rankings and media attention as fellow outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, Adolfo is considered a part of the White Sox promising future. He’s said to have the best outfield arm in the White Sox system.

Adolfo had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .264/.331/.453 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 112 games with Class A Kannapolis.

Adolfo, along with Jimenez and Robert, has been generating buzz at White Sox camp in Glendale, with a crowd forming whenever the trio takes batting practice. Earlier this week, the three described their conversation dreaming about playing together in the same outfield for a contending White Sox team in the future.

As Cactus League play begins, how many spots are actually up for grabs on the White Sox roster?

0223-rick-renteria-rick-hahn.jpg
AP

As Cactus League play begins, how many spots are actually up for grabs on the White Sox roster?

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Some teams have it easy, with their 25-man rosters seemingly locked into place before spring training games even start.

The White Sox actually have a lot more locked-down spots than you might think for a rebuilding team, but this spring remains pretty important for a few guys.

The starting rotation figures to be set, with James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Miguel Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer the starting five. Carlos Rodon, of course, owns one of those spots once he returns from injury. But the date of that return remains a mystery.

From this observer’s viewpoint, eight of the everyday nine position players seem to be figured out, too: Welington Castillo behind the plate, Jose Abreu at first base, Yoan Moncada at second base, Tim Anderson at shortstop, Yolmer Sanchez at third base, Nicky Delmonico in left field, Avisail Garcia in right field and Matt Davidson as the designated hitter. More on the omission of a starting center fielder in a bit.

Omar Narvaez would be a logical pick to back up Castillo at catcher, and Tyler Saladino is really the lone reserve infielder with big league experience, not to mention he’s a versatile player that can play anywhere on the infield.

Leury Garcia also figures to be a lock for this 25-man roster. But will he be the everyday center fielder, as he was for a spell last season? He played 51 games in center in 2017 but battled injuries throughout the year. I think Leury Garcia will end up the starting center fielder when the season begins because of his bat. His .270/.316/.423 slash line isn’t going to make anyone do cartwheels, but it’s better than the offensive struggles of Adam Engel, who started 91 games in center in 2017 and slashed .166/.235/.282. Engel would still be a solid inclusion on the bench because of his superb defense, but to create that big a hole in the everyday lineup is tough.

How could that position-player group change? Keep your eyes in center field, where there are a couple other guys who could force their way into a roster spot this spring: Charlie Tilson and Ryan Cordell. Tilson has had a tremendous amount of trouble staying on the field since coming over to the White Sox in a 2016 deadline deal, but that hasn’t dampened the White Sox hopes for him. And Cordell got name-dropped by general manager Rick Hahn during SoxFest, when the GM said he’s received multiple calls about Cordell since acquiring him last summer. Cordell put up good numbers at the Triple-A level prior to a significant injury last year.

But the main battles figure to be in the bullpen. At times this winter, as the White Sox kept adding players to that relief corps mix, that the whole thing seemed wide open. But when you think about it, maybe there are only one or two open spots.

You’d have to think these guys are pretty safe bets to make the team: Juan Minaya, Gregory Infante, Nate Jones, Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan. Though Hector Santiago was just recently acquired on a minor league deal, he’s really the only long man of the group, and he could sub in if there’s an injury to a starting pitcher. That leaves two spots between the group of Aaron Bummer, Danny Farquhar, Jace Fry, Jose Ruiz and Thyago Vieira — not to mention guys signed to minor league deals like Xavier Cedeno, Jeanmar Gomez and Bruce Rondon.

Bummer had a 4.50 ERA in 30 big league games last year. Farquhar had a 4.40 ERA in 15 games. Vieira has gotten attention as a flame-thrower, but he’s got just one big league game under his belt, something that might or might not matter to the rebuilding White Sox. Guys like Gomez, who has 40 career saves including 37 just two years ago, and Rondon, who had multiple shots at the Detroit Tigers’ closing job in the past, could vault themselves into the mix as potential midseason trade candidates.

Then there's the question of which of those guys will be Rick Renteria's closer. Minaya had closing duties after most of the bullpen was traded away last summer. He picked up nine saves and posted a 4.11 ERA in his final 17 appearances of the campaign. Look to Soria, though, a veteran with plenty of closing experience from his days with the Kansas City Royals. If he's given the opportunity to close and succeeds, he could fetch an intriguing return package in a potential deadline deal.

But now it's game time in Arizona.

“The fun part of playing the game of baseball is playing the game of baseball," Renteria said earlier this week. "We prepare. I think they all enjoy what they’re doing in terms of their preparation. They take it seriously, they focus. But ultimately like everything that we do in life, I guess it’s a test. And the games are a test for us on a daily basis. And how we are able to evaluate them and take advantage of the opportunities that we have to see them in a real game situation is certainly helpful for us.”