White Sox

Reinsdorf to Sox fans: 'Dont write us off'

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Reinsdorf to Sox fans: 'Dont write us off'

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- While the sun might be shining at the White Sox spring training facility, the forecast for what lies ahead in 2012 has been quite different.

Ask most fans or media about this White Sox team and they see storm clouds pushing in, with a third or fourth place finish in the division.

But on the day that Paul Konerko made news by saying 2012 could be a very successful year without making the playoffs, leave it to the Chairman to send a message to White Sox fans to not count them out.

Dont write us off, Jerry Reinsdorf said in an interview Tuesday with Comcast SportsNet. Nobody thought wed win the World Series in 2005, but we did. There are years when we think were great and were bad. I mean the funny thing about this game is that you cant figure it out.

How else do you explain Adam Dunn, for instance, seeing his home run total drop in one season from 38 to 11? His RBIs go from 103 to 42? Or his batting average drop more than 100 points from .260 to .159?

All you have is the games history, in which Reinsdorf is an expert.

If you take a look at what used to be the Baseball Encyclopedia, and you look at the stats of the players who have played eight, 10, 12 years, if they have a really great year they almost always come back to what they were. If they have a bad year, they almost always come back to what they were. Aberrational years are just that. Babe Ruth had a year here or there where he had just awful years, and then he would bounce back and be Babe Ruth the next year.

I checked it out. Reinsdorf is right.

In 1922 and 1925, Ruth had two of the worst seasons of his career, mainly due to injuries. But even while healthy, he wasnt the same player in those bad seasons. Take 1925. In 98 games, Ruth had 25 homers, 66 RBIs, and batted .290. Not exactly Ruthian numbers. The next season, however, Ruth played in 152 games, finished with 47 homers, 146 RBIs and raised his batting average 87 points to .372.

If Dunn can get close to his lifetime average of 3895.243, through simple inertia, a lot more runs will cross the plate.

Tuesday, Reinsdorf was in the clubhouse as new manager Robin Ventura addressed the entire team for the very first time. When I asked the Chairman about Venturas speech, he joked, it wasnt anything terribly inspiring, then added, Im convinced that Robin is just going to be a wonderful manager, and just a leader of men.

Did Reinsdorf have any words for the team?

All the staff people introduced themselves and said what they did, so I introduced myself, and just said, I sign the checks.

So does the man who signs the checks think the White Sox will surprise people this season?

Yes, he said. We would have won the division in my opinion last year if everybody just had normal average year. That goes the same this year. If people have their normal average year, we should be able to contend.

White Sox adjust 40-man roster — including adding Eloy Jimenez — ahead of Rule 5 Draft deadline

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USA TODAY

White Sox adjust 40-man roster — including adding Eloy Jimenez — ahead of Rule 5 Draft deadline

The White Sox made some adjustments to their 40-man roster ahead of Monday's deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft.

Rules stipulate that a player who signed when he was 18 or younger and has played five seasons of professional baseball is eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft if he is not on his team's 40-man roster. Because of that, the White Sox — like the rest of the teams in the league — made some moves Monday to protect certain players.

The White Sox announced Monday afternoon that they purchased the contracts of infielder Casey Gillaspie from Triple-A Charlotte, outfielder Eloy Jimenez from Double-A Birmingham, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and pitcher Ian Clarkin from Class-A Winston-Salem and outfielder Micker Adolfo from Class-A Kannapolis.

Simultaneously, pitchers Chris Beck and Tyler Danish were outrighted to Charlotte.

The most notable name on the list is of course Jimenez, the highly ranked outfielder acquired from the Cubs in July's trade that sent Jose Quintana to the North Side. Jimenez was a no-brainer to be protected after he slugged 19 homers and hit 22 doubles with 65 RBIs in his 89 games in the minors last season, splitting time between Birmingham and Winston-Salem in the White Sox system and Class-A Myrtle Beach in the Cubs' system. Jimenez is ranked as the White Sox No. 1 prospect by MLB.com.

Gillaspie was acquired in the trade that sent Dan Jennings to the Tampa Bay Rays. The brother of former White Sox infielder Conor Gillaspie, he hit 15 homers and 20 doubles in 125 games all at the Triple-A level. Gillaspie is ranked as the White Sox No. 11 prospect by MLB.com.

Basabe, the White Sox No. 17 prospect, was in last offseason's Chris Sale trade and hit .221 with five homers and 12 doubles at Winston-Salem. Adolfo, the White Sox No. 14 prospect, was signed as a free agent in 2013 and hit .264 with 16 homers and 28 doubles at Kannapolis. Clarkin, the White Sox No. 22 prospect, was acquired in the seven-player trade with the Yankees in July and posted a 2.60 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 86.2 innings of work at the Class-A level.

The 27-year-old Beck posted a very high 6.40 ERA in 64.2 innings out of the White Sox bullpen last season. Danish made just one appearance with the big league club last season, getting his first major league win in the second game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers.

Three months till baseball's back as White Sox announce spring training schedule

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USA TODAY

Three months till baseball's back as White Sox announce spring training schedule

Only three more months till the White Sox are back in action.

The South Siders announced their spring training schedule Monday, with Cactus League play commencing Feb. 23 out in Arizona.

The White Sox have the unenviable task of opening the exhibition schedule against the defending National League champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers playing hosts to the Pale Hose in Glendale. The White Sox will be the visitors, though they share the Camelback Ranch facility with the Dodgers, so they'll still be in their home ballpark. Their first official home game comes two days later, in a Feb. 25 matchup against the Cincinnati Reds.

The White Sox will face off against the Cubs in three "Cactus Crosstown" games on Feb. 27 and March 10 in Mesa and on March 16 in Glendale.

And in a cool wrap to the preseason, the White Sox will square off against their own Triple-A affiliate March 26 in Charlotte. The game against the Knights should be a fun watch considering all the future White Sox expected to make their way to the big leagues over the next couple seasons. The Knights' roster could be loaded with highly ranked prospects depending on how things shake out.

Here's the full schedule: