White Sox

Where do Peavy, Sale stack up in Cy Young race?

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Where do Peavy, Sale stack up in Cy Young race?

It's been nine years since the White Sox last had a legitimate contender for the AL Cy Young. Sure, Mark Buehrle probably deserved more than five votes in 2005. But not since Esteban Loaiza in 2003 has there been Cy Young chatter on the South Side.

At the halfway point of 2012, the Sox have two starters who have garnered attention for the award given out to the AL's best pitcher.

Chris Sale's 2.19 ERA is second-best in the league, only topped by the Angels' Jered Weaver. And Jake Peavy, who won the award in the National League five years ago, merits consideration with a 2.85 ERA through his first 17 starts.

Along with Weaver, Justin Verlander, David Price, C.J. Wilson, Matt Harrison and Felix Hernandez all deserve recognition.

While it'd be awfully nice if pitcher win-loss records weren't looked at by voters, unfortunately, they are taken into consideration. So that hurts the case of Peavy, who enters the break with a 7-5 record that he doesn't really deserve. Then again, voting is starting to move away from such a generally meaningless statistic, as evidenced by Felix Hernandez and Zack Greinke winning the award.

We'll look at Sale and Peavy's case up against Weaver, Verlander and Price, although WilsonHarrisonHernandez could very well pull into the top five at some point this year. Here's the side-by-side breakdown:

SPW-LIPERAKBBHRCGOPSFIPWARSale10-2102.22.19982551.5462.583.5Peavy7-51202.8510826124.6103.342.9Verlander9-5132.22.5812830115.5662.943.8Weaver10-196.21.96732252.5072.942.6Price11-4111.22.8210537101.6473.422.2
Right now, Verlander's probably the favorite to win the award for the second straight year. He's thrown the most innings and complete games and has the most strikeouts -- essentially, he hasn't done anything to lose his grip.

But Weaver looks like a pretty good bet to win the Cy Young, too -- had he not been victimized by a lower back injury that landed him on the DL for a few weeks, he'd likely be ahead of Verlander at the break.

Sale and Peavy certainly have legitimate cases, although Sale probably would be the one to make the top three cut over Peavy. But assuming everyone stays healthy, Sale may not get enough innings to beat out the uber-durable Verlander.

The White Sox are going to do everything in their power to protect the arms of Sale and Peavy, especially if they're going to need them for a few extra weeks in October. That cautious approach may jeopardize both pitcher's chances at winning the Cy Young, although that's hardly a bad thing if it means both are healthy for September and, yes, October.

Right now, a fair ballot would be Verlander-Weaver-Sale, with Peavy at No. 4 and Price at No. 5. At the end of the year, both Sale and Peavy may still be in the discussion, but beating out midseason favorites Verlander and Weaver will be tough.

If it helps, Peavy already has a Cy Young to his name, and this likely won't be the last time Sale inserts himself into the discussion. And that's not to count them out -- it's only mid-July, and there are plenty of things that can happen between now and the end of the season that can affect the race.

Take a step back to early April, before the season started. Few would've expected that Sale's transition to the rotation would go this well and Peavy would stay healthy enough to be effective -- maybe one comes true, but both?

The White Sox are in first place at the All-Star break, and the success of Sale and Peavy has been a main reason why.

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: