White Sox

Ozzie unloads on Ohman; Quentin keeps it cool

Ozzie unloads on Ohman; Quentin keeps it cool

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Posted 8:07 p.m. Updated 8:42 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen remained supportive of beleaguered reliever Will Ohman, who packed a 27.00 ERA with him from Cleveland to Kansas City. But that doesnt mean he was unwilling to give the crafty lefty a kick in the hiney.

Hes hereI have to use him. Weve got only 11 pitchers, Guillen said before the White Sox faced the Royals on Tuesday. I dont have the luxury to matchup Ohman to lefties. Maybe later on I will. But hes got to get his head out of his a.

Guillen was speaking soberly, but with a smile, knowing full well that the White Soxs 2-1 start has been somewhat shadowed by the troubles his bullpen has encountered. The poster boy for those troubles so far has been Ohman, a nine-year veteran signed this offseason to a two-year, 4 million deal.

I dont want to punish the kid, Guillen continued. He had what, two bad games? He knows that, we all know that. Im not going to change anything. I dont care what the fans think or what the media says. Its my problem He needs to pitch.

Ohman, while clearly scuffling in Cleveland, pronounced himself fully healthy and ready for more relief work, ASAP. His usual wry manner accompanied his diagnosis of the Wahoos series: When you throw the ball over the middle of the plate, guys hit it, and thats what it was. When I left the ball up, they hit it, and when I left the ball over the middle, they hit it.

Especially considering his team broke camp with just 11 pitchers, Guillen knows how important a productive Ohman is.

We need him pitching, he said. If hes not going to help us, well put people in his place that will I want to show this kid I still have confidence in him and that he can get people out. I still believe he can help us.

To that end, Guillen ran Ohman right back out on Sunday after a poor season debut on Opening Day.

The reason I put him back in on Sunday was to let him regroup, Guillen said. We were already losing; giving him another inning gives us a chance to rest the other relievers, but he couldnt do it.

Guillen was aware that he was catching criticism for his use of Ohman in the opening series, and predictably, the confident manager could care less.

I will take the blame every time the kids on the mound, Guillen said. I will take all the heat. Its my problem, however good or bad hes going to pitch.

Carlos Quentin, one day after being named the first AL Player of the Week for his offensive outburst vs. the Cleveland Indians during opening weekend, called the award a nice surprise but couched it in the context of how nice it was, with two wins in Cleveland.

Quentin went 6-for-11 in three starts over the weekend, getting on base at a .583 clip and slugging 1.091 for an outrageous 1.674 OPS. While the White Sox mostly pummeled Wahoos pitching, slugging at a .459 clip, only Adam Dunns eight total bases approached Quentins tidy dozen in Cleveland.

Through three games, Quentin led the AL in batting average (.545) and is tied for the lead in doubles (three) and RBI (seven).

The occasionally-manic right fielder credited an improved mental and emotional approach to the game for his early success.

What I was looking for was a chance to build on things, develop good habits on and off the field, and set a routine I feel comfortable with, day-in and day-out, Quentin said. Thats what I'm going to do, come in here and, for lack of better way to say it, do my work, play the game. Either way it turns out Ill hope for the victory, go home at night and know everything I did was said and done, turn in my card, punch it and come back the next day.

Quentin also credited his veteran teammates for contributing to a more mature and mentally strong approach so far this season. His willingness to learn from them could contribute to more than one Player of the Week honor this season, as Quentin is the consummate strap-Sox-on-his-back slugger.

There are great mentors on this team, professionals playing longer than I have, Quentin said. Im always watching and always want to treat every day the same, whether it be good or bad. I want to learn and pay attention to people who are successfultry to pay attention to and copy them.

Quentin's new approach

Carlos Quentin, one day after being named the first AL Player of the Week for his offensive outburst vs. the Cleveland Indians during opening weekend, called the award a nice surprise but couched it in the context of how nice it was, with two wins in Cleveland.

Quentin went 6-for-11 in three starts over the weekend, getting on base at a .583 clip and slugging 1.091 for an outrageous 1.674 OPS. While the White Sox mostly pummeled Wahoos pitching, slugging at a .459 clip, only Adam Dunns eight total bases approached Quentins tidy dozen in Cleveland.

Through three games, Quentin led the AL in batting average (.545) and is tied for the lead in doubles (three) and RBI (seven).

The occasionally-manic right fielder credited an improved mental and emotional approach to the game for his early success.

What I was looking for was a chance to build on things, develop good habits on and off the field, and set a routine I feel comfortable with, day-in and day-out, Quentin said. Thats what I'm going to do, come in here and, for lack of better way to say it, do my work, play the game. Either way it turns out Ill hope for the victory, go home at night and know everything I did was said and done, turn in my card, punch it and come back the next day.

Quentin also credited his veteran teammates for contributing to a more mature and mentally strong approach so far this season. His willingness to learn from them could contribute to more than one Player of the Week honor this season, as Quentin is the consummate strap-Sox-on-his-back slugger.

There are great mentors on this team, professionals playing longer than I have, Quentin said. Im always watching and always want to treat every day the same, whether it be good or bad. I want to learn and pay attention to people who are successfultry to pay attention to and copy them.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Bob Nightengale shares his thoughts on what starting pitcher is right fit for White Sox

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Bob Nightengale shares his thoughts on what starting pitcher is right fit for White Sox

It's Day 2 of the Winter Meetings. USA Today's Bob Nightengale joins Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber.

Nightengale shares his thoughts on what starting pitcher is the right fit (2:00), the message the Grandal signing sends to the rest of the league (6:00), predictions for who the White Sox will sign this week (12:00) and when the Sox window is open (13:30).

Plus, he shares some memories of past Winter Meetings including his favorite cocktail napkin trade and the best late-night stories from past years (16:00).

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast

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If the White Sox are looking for a trade, how about Starling Marte?

If the White Sox are looking for a trade, how about Starling Marte?

SAN DIEGO — Rick Hahn said Monday night that his front office spent more time talking trades than it did free-agent signings during the first day of the Winter Meetings.

That doesn't mean anything is imminent — with Hahn adding that the White Sox felt "no urgency" to get any specific moves done during this four-day excursion to Southern California — but it means the South Siders are exploring the trade market with some level of gusto.

Well, given the White Sox need in the outfield, how about this trade candidate: Starling Marte. Who knows if the White Sox have any interest, but they seem to line up as potential fit for his services.

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Pittsburgh Pirates are looking for a "young, controllable catcher" in exchange for the 31-year-old outfielder. The White Sox just happen to have one of those in Zack Collins, who currently sits third on the catching depth chart behind the recently signed Yasmani Grandal and James McCann, both of whom were All Stars in 2019.

Now, the White Sox have been strong in their belief that Collins can help the team into the far future. They spent a top-10 draft pick on him back in 2016, and he's put up some promising numbers in the minor leagues. He got his first taste of big league action in 2019, slashing .186/.307/.349 in 102 at-bats, a pretty small sample size. The numbers that still provide the most hope came after he was sent back to Triple-A in July, when he hit .323/.441/.631 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs in 38 games.

The White Sox want to get his bat in the lineup more often. Problem is, they just went out and gave the bulk of the catching duties to Grandal, with another All Star ready to soak up the majority of the backup opportunities behind him. Major league rosters will expand to 26 players in 2019, and there's a good deal of belief that many clubs will use that extra spot to carry a third catcher. Collins has also been mentioned as part of a potential rotation at DH, and he's been working defensively at first base, as well.

Of course, there are also the defensive questions that have hounded Collins since he was drafted. Talk of DH and first base didn't just pop up once the White Sox got Grandal. They were viewed as a potential necessity in case Collins struggled defensively as a big league catcher. Certainly the sample size to this point is nowhere near big enough to determine how he'll fare behind the plate in the long term. But it's a mystery, nonetheless, and something other teams probably know about, too.

As for what kind of fit Marte would be, he posted a career-high .845 OPS in 2019 to go along with a career-high 23 home runs and a career-high 82 RBIs. He was a Gold Glove left fielder when Andrew McCutchen still roamed center field for the Pirates but played center field exclusively the last two seasons, with less-than-ideal production: He had minus-nine Defensive Runs Saved in center in 2019. Of course, the White Sox don't really need a center fielder, with Luis Robert figures to man that position for the bulk of 2020 and beyond, and maybe Marte could be a solution in right field, where they have a pressing need. Marte, though, has never played right field in the major leagues.

The White Sox could use some hitters with better on-base skills, and Marte does not walk, doing so just 25 times in 2019. But he did reach base at a .342 clip, his highest mark since his All-Star season in 2016.

Marte would be an obvious upgrade, but he doesn't have a ton of team control left, which could make the White Sox hesitant to move a top-ranked prospect like Collins in such a deal. Marte is under club control for 2020 and has a team option for 2021. Hahn talked about the front office's lack of desire to move the prospects they've accumulated Monday night.

“There’s been, obviously, the pains and suffering that comes along with the early stages of a rebuild. We endured all that so we would be able to be in a position of building something that was going to be able to win on an annual basis, that was going to have some success for an extended period of time,” Hahn said. “Right now, we are in a bit of an interesting spot.

“Fundamentally, as a fan that has dealt with the hardships over the last three years, you want that benefit, that promised-land side of things to come more quickly. At the same time, we have to keep in mind why we started this and that was to build something sustainable. You don’t want to do anything short-sighted that’s just going to, trade wise, give us a quick bump next year but compromise the extended window we foresee coming when this all comes together.

“You need to be cognizant of that temptation to try to accelerate things. We want to get this to where it needs to be as quickly as possible. We don’t want to do that at the expense of shortening the window or making the window more difficult when it does open, whether that’s in the next few months or it takes a little longer.

“If we are trading a premium type prospect, it’s going to be for someone who will be here for a while.“

So it depends on how "premium" the White Sox believe Collins to be. What's true is that he plays a position that the White Sox now have in surplus, and that's the kind of thing that was supposed to create trade possibilities for this rebuilding organization. That hasn't materialized in many spots, thanks to injuries and under-performance throughout the minor leagues in 2019. But it has materialized at catcher, creating the conditions for a potential deal.

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