From the weekend:
The White Sox wound up dropping Saturday and Sunday's games to the Yankees, leading to a series split in New York and a 4-3 road trip. After clobbering Yankees pitching on Friday -- things got so out of hand for New York that Dewayne Wise pitched -- the Sox offense mustered two runs in 18 innings over the final two games of the series.
As of right now, three players will head to Kansas City to represent the White Sox in the All-Star Game later this month: Chris Sale, Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn. Jake Peavy is up for the final vote, but A.J. Pierzynski was pretty well snubbed. And AL manager Ron Washington pretty much knows that:
Although Pierzynski isn't buying it:
Jesse Crain threw on Sunday and felt better as he deals with a sore shoulder, although a trip to the disabled list hasn't been ruled out. And while John Danks left New York to undergo further testing on his left shoulder, he's expected to continue his rehabtraining program Tuesday in Chicago.
Here's something great: Peavy raised 24,100 for pancreatic cancer research on Saturday. CSN White Sox Insider Dan Hayes explains.
Chuck Garfien penned an outstanding, poignant piece on Pierzynski's relationship with the late Kevin Hickey that's definitely worth a read -- and be sure to keep an eye out for Inside Look: A.J. Pierzynski on Comcast SportsNet this month.
In his first season in the majors, Nate Jones has a 2.95 ERA while averaging just over a strikeout per inning. The rookie says he "never could've imagined" the role and level of success he's had so far in 2012.
Around the division: Both Cleveland and Detroit took two of three from AL East squads, as the Indians won their series in Baltimore and the Tigers took out the reeling Rays at Tropicana Field. As things stand, the Sox are 1 12 games ahead of Cleveland and 3 ahead of Detroit. Kansas City dropped three of four against the Twins, missing a chance to hold their ground in the division. They're now six games back.
27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.
The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.
In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.
Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.
Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.
But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.
While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:
4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen