White Sox

Why Derek Holland's relief appearance isn't a sign of a rotation shakeup

Why Derek Holland's relief appearance isn't a sign of a rotation shakeup

BOSTON -- With Reynaldo Lopez’s arrival nearing, the conspiracy theories began to fly late in Saturday’s night game when Derek Holland pitched in relief.

But following a 4-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, the White Sox insisted there isn’t much to Holland’s one-out relief appearance. The White Sox merely took advantage of a throw day for Holland, who’s scheduled to start Tuesday against the Houston Astros, manager Rick Renteria said.

“We were only going to use him for a couple of hitters if we needed to and then get him out,” Renteria said. “Obviously, we got the out there and that was it.

“I don’t think that they feel as much for one inning, that leverage, that it impacts them that much. I think we’re cognizant that they’re going to get ready and go out and start in a few days and balance it out by knowing the pitcher and what they can and can’t do. But Holly seems to be a guy who can, him and Pelfrey both. I think both of them have come out of the ‘pen so for them it was an easy transition to do a little bit of work and try to bring it into the game.”

Prior to Saturday’s game, general manager Rick Hahn suggested that Reynaldo Lopez could join the White Sox rotation as soon as Friday even though there aren’t currently any openings. Lopez is set to pitch Sunday at Triple-A Charlotte and the team will evaluate what’s next for him on Tuesday, Hahn said. With Lopez coming, the White Sox would appear to be in need an opening in the rotation unless they went with a six-man crew.

So, it was only natural for speculation to run rampant when Holland began to throw in the seventh inning of a three-run game.

Holland took over with two outs and a man on and retired the only batter he faced, Brock Holt. The relief appearance is the 22nd of Holland’s career and first of the season. He made two relief appearances for Texas in 2016. The outing not only came on Holland’s throw day, it also comes on the heels of his best start since mid-June -- Holland allowed two earned runs in six innings on Wednesday.

“I’ve done it before so obviously getting the mindset is definitely easy to do,” Holland said. “Getting ready is also something I’ve done before. It just clicked. It takes a second, but for the most part, once it’s go time, it’s go time. You’ve got to get the body ready to go and I knew what I had to do to do that. I told them I would be available.

“Me speaking on my own, I beat the bullpen up a little bit so that was good for me to get out there and help them. But it’s true. Anything to help the team and help those guys that have been pitching all the time. I want to be able to do as much as I can and I felt I was able to do that tonight.”

As for Tuesday, Holland isn’t concerned. He needed only three pitches to record the out.

“I’ll be perfectly fine,” Holland said. “No panic or anything like that. We are good.”

The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm

thyago_vieira_white_sox_trade_slide.jpg
USA TODAY

The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm

The White Sox continued their rebuild Thursday by trading for an intriguing young right-handed pitcher.

The South Siders acquired Thyago Vieira from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for international signing bonus pool money.

The 24-year-old Vieira is a Brazilian native and has only made one appearance in the big leagues, striking out a batter in one perfect inning of work in 2017.

While his career minor-league numbers don't jump off the page — 14-19 with a 4.58 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 13 saves and 7.4 K/9 in 290.2 innings \— Vieira has been reportedly clocked at 104 mph with his fastball and was ranked as the Mariners' No. 8 prospect at the time of the deal. He also held righties to .194 batting average in 2017.

Here's video of Vieira throwing gas:

And this may explain why Vieira was even available:

Control has been an issue throughout his career, as he's walked 4.6 batters per nine innings in the minors. He has improved in that regard over the last few seasons, however, walking only 22 batters in 54 innings across three levels in 2017 and he doled out only one free pass in 5.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League in 2016.

What does this deal mean in the big picture for baseball? How did the Sox pull off a move like this while not having to give up a player in return? 

This may help shed light on the situation from Baseball America's Kyle Glaser:

Either way, the White Sox may have just acquired a guy who could potentially throw his name in the hat for "future closer." Or at the very least, throw his name in the hat for "best name."

Is Avi Time coming to an end on the South Side?

avigarcia.jpg
USA TODAY

Is Avi Time coming to an end on the South Side?

After posting career numbers in 2017, Avisail Garcia is already attracting trade suitors this offseason.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea, the Oakland A's have interest in acquiring the outfielder, who would fill the team's need for a right-handed bat. 

The buzz should come as no surprise given Garcia produced a slash line of .330/.380/.506 in his breakout campaign, where he was also named the lone representative for the rebuilding Sox at the All-Star Game. 

Now the question centers on whether GM Rick Hahn, whose phone constantly stays buzzing, sees the 26-year-old as a piece for the future or trade bait. Heading into winter meetings, Hahn reiterated that he would listen to deals involving Garcia and Jose Abreu, especially considering the South Siders are likely still a few years away from seriously competing in the American League. 

With Garcia under club control until 2019 and his value at its peak, now may be the ideal time for Hahn to sell high and stockpile even more prospects for the already talent-rich farm system. The A's currently have four players in MLB Pipeline's Top 100

It may be Avi Time in Oakland.