White Sox

White Sox bring back Kip Wells on a minor-league deal

725198.png

White Sox bring back Kip Wells on a minor-league deal

The White Sox, seeking minor-league pitching depth, have signed Kip Wells to a minor-league deal according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Per Hardball Talk, Wells was last seen pitching for the independent-level Long Island Ducks in 2010, but Heyman says Wells' fastball hasn't suffered:

embedly_twitter_39956694background:url(http:a0.twimg.comprofile_background_images383227695twitter_Heyman.jpg) 131516; padding:20px; embedly_twitter_39956694 pbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 0px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_39956694 .embedly_tweet_contentbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_39956694 p span.metadatadisplay:block;width:100;clear:both;margin-top:0px;height:40px; padding-bottom: 12px; embedly_twitter_39956694 p span.metadata span.authorline-height:15px;color:999;font-size:14px embedly_twitter_39956694 p span.metadata span.author aline-height:15px;font-size:20px;vertical-align:middle embedly_twitter_39956694 p span.metadata span.author imgfloat:left;margin:0 10px 0 0px;width:48px;height:48px embedly_twitter_39956694 p a color: 009999; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_39956694 p a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_39956694 .embedly_timestampfont-size:13px;display:inline-block;margin-top: 5px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .components-above span.embedly_timestampfont-size:10px;margin-top: 1px;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_39956694 a color: 009999; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_39956694 a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-screen-name font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-full-name padding-left: 4px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actionsmargin-left: 10px;font-size:13px;display:inline-block;width:250px embedly_twitter_39956694 .components-above span.tweet-actionsfont-size:10px embedly_twitter_39956694 .controlsline-height:12px!important embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actions a margin-left:5px embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actions a bfont-weight:normal embedly_twitter_39956694 .components-above span.tweet-actions a bvertical-align:baseline;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_39956694 .components-above .tweet-textfont-size:13px;vertical-align:baseline embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-image float: left; width: 40px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-user-block-image float: left; width: 48px; height: 48px embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-row margin-left: 40px; margin-top: 3px;line-height: 17px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-user-block margin-left: -40px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .stream-item padding-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 12px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .simple-tweet-image img margin-top: 4px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .simple-tweet-content margin: 0 0 13px 0px; font-size: 14px; min-height:48px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .in-reply-to-border border-color: EBEBEB; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px 0 0; embedly_twitter_39956694 .in-reply-to-text margin-left: 4px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 10px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actions i background: transparent url(http:a2.twimg.coma1306889658phoeniximgsprite-icons.png) no-repeat;width:15px;height:15px;margin:0 4px -3px 3px;outline: none; text-indent:-99999px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline-block;position:relative; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actions a.retweet-action i background-position:-192px 0; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actions a.reply-action i background-position:0 0; embedly_twitter_39956694 .tweet-actions a.favorite-action i background-position:-32px 0; @JonHeymanCBS
Jon HeymanKip wells hasn't pitched in bigs since 2009 (reds, nats) but was hitting 93-94 in tryouts. Still only 34. chisox
Apr 06 via Mobile Web Favorite Retweet Reply
Wells pitched for the White Sox from 1999-2001, compiling a 5.15 ERA in 267 23 innings. His worst year of that stretch was the best year for the Sox, as Wells posted a 6.02 ERA in 20 starts for the AL Central champions in 2000.

He was dealt along with Josh Fogg and Sean Lowe to Pittsburgh in the infamous Todd Ritchie trade on Dec. 13, 2001 and had decent results in his first three years with the Pirates (3.72 ERA, 534 IP). But with a high home run rate, average walk rate and below-average strikeout rate, things were bound to come crashing down for Wells, and they did in 2005.

Wells spent 2005-2009 bouncing between Pittsburgh, Texas, St. Louis, Colorado, Kansas City, Washington and Cincinnati, never finding the results he saw with Pittsburgh. Walks were a big issue (nearly five per nine innings) and as a result, his ERA during that stretch was 5.53.

This move doesn't change Dylan Axelrod's status as the most likely Charlotte Knight to be called up if the big-league club needs a starter. Wells may not even be in line for a call-up if Axelrod is passed over, although newfound success for the 34-year-old Baylor alum could lead to a return to the majors two years after he was last spotted at that level.

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

0219_alec_hansen.jpg
AP

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

GLENDALE, Ariz. — On a day when Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada took live batting practice for the first time this spring, off in the distance was a lanky White Sox prospect standing in the outfield grass.

But Alec Hansen was doing more than shagging flies. He was watching both hitters very closely.

“I was looking to see how much pop they had,” Hansen said of Abreu and Moncada. “I kind of look at that to see the difference in power between minor league ball and the major leagues. It’s nice to see it’s not a huge difference. That makes me feel a bit more comfortable.”

At 6-foot-8 — actually 6-foot-8-and-a-half, according to his spring training physical — Hansen is a big man with big plans for his baseball career. He might be quiet on the outside, but he has booming expectations for himself on the inside.

“I want to be the best,” Hansen said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

The best? The very best?

That’s what Hansen aspires to become, though later in our conversation, he did dial back a notch, settling for becoming “one of the best.”

Either is fine with manager Ricky Renteria, who is overseeing these uber-confident White Sox prospects and accepts their lofty expectations.

“I think their mindset is where it’s supposed to be,” Renteria said. “None of these kids are concerned or consumed with the possibility of failure. Much more they’re consuming themselves with the understanding that they might hit some stumbling blocks, but they’re going to have a way to avoid overcoming them and push forward and be the best that they can be.”

In his first full season in the White Sox organization, Hansen led the minor leagues with 191 strikeouts. He’s proud of that accomplishment but admitted something: He’s not that impressed because he didn’t do it where it really matters — in the major leagues.

When you watch Hansen pitch, it’s easy to see that the talent is there. His coaches and teammates rave about his ability. With his enormous size and power arm, he is loaded with strengths.  

Though there is one weakness that Hansen acknowledges he needs to work on.

“Sometimes I have a tendency to think too much and worry. I think worrying is the worst thing that I do just because I want to be perfect,” Hansen said. “I think everyone wants to be perfect, some more than others, and I worry about things getting in the way of achieving perfection.”

To Hansen, that doesn’t mean throwing a perfect game. He actually takes it one step further.

He wants to strikeout every single hitter he faces.

“I love striking people out,” Hansen said. “Not having to rely on anyone else and just getting the job done myself and knowing that the hitter can’t get a hit off me. That’s a great feeling. That they can’t put it in play. Like a line drive out. That’s terrible.”

At some point, Hansen will have to lower these impossible expectations for himself. This is an imperfect game. There’s no place for nine-inning, 27-strikeout performances. Players end up in the Hall of Fame because they learn how to succeed with failure.

In the meantime, Hansen is here in big league camp watching and learning anything and everything.

“I’m a good observer. I listen. I don’t really talk too much. I’m a pretty quiet guy. I like to sit back and observe and see how these guys go about their business. Just trying to be at their level, hopefully one day surpass them.”

Surpass?

“It’s kind of hard to surpass some of these guys. I mean, they’re at the tip-top, like the pinnacle of the sport,” Hansen said. “I guess you could say, to get on that level and then be one of the best in the league.”

He might be on his way.

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

0218-dylan-covey.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

The White Sox freed up a spot on their 40-man roster Sunday, outrighting pitcher Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte.

Covey pitched in 18 games last season, making 12 starts for the South Siders. Things did not go well, with Covey turning in an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings.

While there was an outside chance that Covey could have provided at least some starting-pitching depth heading into the 2018 season, the team's recent additions of Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago — not to mention Covey's results from last season — wiped out that idea.

At the moment, the White Sox starting rotation figures to look like this by Opening Day: James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, with Santiago seeming like a good option to provide depth as the long man in the bullpen.