From the weekend:
White Sox spring training is off and running, and the White Sox have gone from "All In" to "Don't Care," reports Chuck Garfien from Glendale.
Garfien sat down for a one-on-one with Jake Peavy in which the White Sox starter discussed the state of his health and the rocky nature of his relationship with Ozzie Guillen last September. Peavy also backed John Danks to get the start on opening day April 5 in Texas.
Addison Reed has always wanted to be a closer, drawing inspiration from watching Troy Percival finish off games for the Angels. Reed was named the No. 44 prospect in baseball on John Sickels' top 120 list, with Nestor Molina cracking the list as well. Meanwhile, Chris Sale wants to throw 200 innings in his first year as a starter with the White Sox.
Jeff Manto has a plan for both Alex Rios and Adam Dunn, both of whom showed up to spring training in Arizona early. Robin Ventura also mentioned he's "patient" regarding Dunn and is hopeful the slugger can turn things around. And Rios, under the watch of Greg Walker, did turn things around last September after making a tweak to his stance.
Tyler Flowers and A.J. Pierzynski didn't always get along, but the Sox catching tandem now appear to have at least a working relationship. But Pierzynski has never been pushed by a young catcher with the White Sox -- could that mean an end to his 1,000-plus inning streak?
Ozzie Guillen didn't directly admit he screwed up in his final season(s) with the White Sox, but it certainly looked that way in this tweet.
AL Central infirmary: Joel Zumaya will have to undergo Tommy John surgery and may retire, Justin Morneau may take the same path if his concussion issues return, Grady Sizemore is once again hurt and Chris Perez is out 4-6 weeks.
Potpourri: MLB may adopt an international draft, Pete Fitzgerald addresses some early questions, Jim looks at emerging spring themes and James examines spring training optimism.
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