White Sox

White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

So Prince Fielder is a Tiger. It's still stunning to type that. We put together a list of the best tweets in the aftermath of the bomb being dropped, with my favorite being: "PRINCE IS GONNA PLAY SECOND - IT WILL BE NO WORSE THAN RABURN REALLY"

I looked at a few areas in which Fielder's signing will impact the White Sox, leading off with a hope the team hits a bunch of ground balls to Miguel Cabrera at third base for the next three seasons (until the contract of Victor Martinez runs out). But Ryan McGuffey isn't sold on Detroit's rotation behind Justin Verlander, or Jose Valverde, who won't be perfect again in 2012.

Fornelli looked at the big picture, saying by the time the White Sox are ready to compete again, Detroit will be on the decline. James is similarly patient, although not as enthusiastic about it. And MarkU-God examined what the Fielder deal means for the AL Central, White Sox included.

Agreeing to that nine-year, 214 million contract with Fielder means Detroit is probably out on Yoenis Cespedes, who established residency in the Dominican Republic and was declared a free agent in the span of a few hours Tuesday. On Monday, it was reported the Cubs, Marlins and Tigers were showing the most interest in Cespedes, so in theory, it's down to the Cubs and Marlins for him -- but the Sox may still be lurking.

Joe Girardi jumped on Chicago Baseball Hot Stove to discuss Prince Fielder and a few Yankee-related topics. Strictly speaking as a baseball fan, 2012 is going to be an incredibly fun year to watch Texas, Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, Boston and Tampa Bay jockeying for playoff spots. With those six teams looking strong, I'm actually pretty glad that second wild card was added.

Over at Cubs Talk, Tony Andracki has a nice writeup of how the Fielder signing affects the Cubs' chances of dealing Matt Garza to Detroit. If Jacob Turner is off the table, I have to image a deal for Garza is, too. Nick Castellanos and Drew Smyly are both good, but not the return Theo Epstein is likely looking for.

Enough about Fielder. Robin Ventura showed up at the United Center for the "Shoot the Puck" contest. If you missed how he did, here's the video. I was at the game, and was glad to see a warm reception from fans. For the record, I bet Ventura could play a better third base today than Cabrera.

Kyle Williams told the Dan Patrick Show: "When it comes to social media, theres a line and some people crossed it. That's, unfortunately, a nice way of putting it. Reading some of the tweets at him after Sunday's NFC Championship made me want to throw up.

And finally, what's your favorite baseball movie?

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

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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

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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.