OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Chicago White Sox have been getting some stellar pitching on their West Coast road trip.Two days after White Sox teammate Phil Humber pitched the 21st perfect game in major league history, Jake Peavy followed with his own gem.Peavy pitched a three-hitter, Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko hit back-to-back homers and Chicago beat the Oakland Athletics 4-0 on Monday night for its fourth straight victory.Peavy allowed only a leadoff single to Jemile Weeks in the fourth inning, a double to Yoenis Cespedes in the seventh and a single to Coco Crisp in the ninth. The 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner walked two and faced only four batters more than the minimum."I kind of expect it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It might be unfair to say stuff like that but he's that good."Peavy (3-0) needed 107 pitches to handcuff the A's, the lowest-scoring team in the American League. Since drawing a no-decision against Texas in his first start this season, Peavy has a 1.19 ERA over his last 22 2-3 innings."You always want to finish what you start," said Peavy of his sixth career shutout. "I felt good tonight. Other than the fourth I didn't have any crazy, stressful innings."The only time Peavy ran into trouble came after Weeks' single in the fourth. He walked the next batter, Crisp, but got Josh Reddick to hit into a double play and then retired Cespedes on a foul pop to the catcher.The shutout extended Peavy's scoreless streak to 14 innings and helped the White Sox move into a first-place tie with idle Detroit in the AL Central."(Peavy) was establishing the zone away," Weeks said. "Once you do that it's hard to take care of the whole plate."Alex Rios added three hits for Chicago, while Brent Morel had two hits and scored a run.Oakland starter Bartolo Colon (3-2) scattered seven hits over seven innings and fell short in his bid to become the first four-game winner in the majors.Dunn homered on the first pitch from Colon leading off the fourth, a towering shot to left. Konerko followed with a drive to center, the 399th home run of his career.That ended Colon's shutout streak of 18 1-3 innings and gave Peavy more than enough room to work with.Colon, who threw 38 consecutive strikes in his previous start against the Angels, put together another streak of 20 straight during one stretch and got the White Sox to ground into three double plays.With no run support, though, it didn't matter."It was similar to what we've seen, a lot of strikes," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "To give up just two to that team, you're giving your team a chance to win."Oakland has been shut out a league-leading four times already this season and has scored just 52 runs through 18 games. That's the second-fewest in the majors behind Pittsburgh, which has 30 runs in 15 games.Chicago added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth on RBI singles by Gordon Beckham and A.J. Pierzynski.The loss spoiled the A's debut of third baseman Luke Hughes.Hughes, claimed off waivers from Minnesota a day earlier, arrived in Oakland about two hours before the first pitch and was immediately put into the starting lineup. He got off to a shaky start with his new team, committing a pair of throwing errors.NOTES: Konerko started at DH rather than first base because of the expansive foul ground in Oakland. He's also still nursing a sore right foot after taking a foul ball off it during the Seattle series. ... Oakland manager Bob Melvin said the A's plan to call up Jarrod Parker from the minors to start Wednesday's series finale. ... To make room for Hughes, the A's optioned INF Josh Donaldson to Triple-A Sacramento. Donaldson entered spring training as a backup catcher but was moved to third base after Scott Sizemore's season-ending knee injury during the team's first full-squad workout. ... RHP Gavin Floyd (1-2), who has won three of his four starts against Oakland, pitches for Chicago on Tuesday. Tommy Milone (2-1) goes for the A's.
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 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:
Thyago Vieira throwing heat with "The Stroke" playing in the background pic.twitter.com/cIW7DGSDRU— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) February 17, 2017
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:
The #WhiteSox just acquired one of the Mariners top 10 prospects and a potential end-of-game reliever. Only context this make sense for #Mariners is if they’re trying to rack up $$ for a run at Otani https://t.co/i9IElFeoTr— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) November 16, 2017
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."