White Sox

Steve Stone's mailbag: Manny with Sox next season?

251097.jpg

Steve Stone's mailbag: Manny with Sox next season?

Monday, Sept. 20, 2010
11:38 AM
Steve Stone dives into his mailbag toanswer your questions about Manny Ramirez, Paul Konerko's AL MVP chances, Tyler Colvin's possible move to first base and more!

Scott - Chicago, IL: Do you think Manny Ramirez will be with the White Sox next season?

Steve Stone: As of this writing, Manny Ramirez has 1 RBI and 1 home run. I appreciate the fact that he needs to go through a bit of a spring training. That being said, its a shame he had to go through spring training when we were fighting for our lives in a division race. Now, I personally would not have him on the team, if nothing else, to get rid of his hair.

Robert - Lake Zurich, Illinois: Would Paul Konerko get your vote for AL MVP?

Stone: No. The White Sox are going to finish multiple games back of Minnesota and they will finish multiple back of the Wild Card. Normally when a team that doesn't win it produces an MVP, it means there was a number of other people who didn't have a great year. My MVP vote in the AL would go to Josh Hamilton even though Texas stayed afloat, he has been hitting in the .360 range, and in the top of almost every category. Texas is a somewhat surprise winner in the west and Hamilton would get my vote.

Rene - Chicago, IL: Do you think the Cubs shouldwill move Tyler Colvin to first base next season?

Stone: I think it all depends on the type of power they think he can produce and what happens to Fukudome. I think it is time for Fukudome to move elsewhere and they have to make a decision on what they want to do with their baseball team, which direction they are going in and essentially, how much will they spend to get then. Then and only then I'd consider him playing first base. I'm not sure if he can play it and that becomes problematic. You want to do things to help your defense and not hurt it. There is a long way to go to make him an asset defensively. Too many questions to be answered to be definite.
Kevin - Los Angeles, CA: What is the future of Jeff Samardzija? Do you think he will end up in the Cubs starting rotation soon? Or is he best suited to be in the bullpen?

Stone: I think Jeff will most likely end up in the Cubs bullpen. I think he needs help on his secondary pitches. The CUbs spent a ridiculous amount of money on him but that being said, it's already spent and he could help. Bear in mind, look what happened last year with four youngsters in the bullpen which was disastrous - I don't think they can afford the same thing this year.

Richard - Wheaton, IL: Who wins the AL East? Will the Yankees be able to hold on or will the Rays take it this year?

Stone: If the Wild Card comes out of the East, they can't run into each other as they head into post season play which means that the division winner is going to get Texas, most likely. The Wild Card team is going to get Minnesota most likely. From the Twins standpoint, I don't think they want to play the Yankees. They are hoping for the Yankees to win it - then having the best record between themselves and Texas, they would get Tampa Bay int he first round. All four teams that are going to get in are fully capable of winning a series if they don't have home field advantage.

Daniel Palka finally has a good game in the middle of his nightmare season

palka-920.jpg
USA TODAY

Daniel Palka finally has a good game in the middle of his nightmare season

In the second inning Daniel Palka solidly lined a ball up the middle that looked like a sure hit off the bat. The problem? The Tigers defense was shifted perfectly to that spot for a lineout.

MLB Statcast gave Palka’s lineout an expected batting average of .650. It seemed like just another night like the rest of them have gone for Palka in the majors in 2019.

He entered Friday with a .034 batting average (2-for-59). After hitting 27 home runs with 45 extra base hits and a .778 OPS as a rookie in 2018, Palka hasn’t been able to do much of anything in a White Sox uniform.

That lineout appeared to be another “nothing can go right” moment. However, Palka’s Friday turned around.

His next time up, he pounded a ground ball that found a hole. Statcast gave that one a 31 percent chance of getting a hit, so he broke even after getting robbed earlier. The amusing thing is that Palka’s groundball single had an exit velocity of 108.9 mph, which was the second hardest hit ball of the game.

Palka later added a bloop single in the seventh and a line drive hit in the ninth to finish with a three hit day. Palka entered the day with two hits in 23 games and got three hits in Friday alone.

Even with the 3-for-5 night, Palka’s batting average is still only .072, but he more than doubled it in one game.

Is this relevant to the future of the White Sox? Almost certainly not, but Palka showed some promise in his rookie season and has been through an absolute nightmare this season. The mental side of going through his 0-for-32 start to the season and the continued struggles since could not have been easy. For at least one night in 2019 Palka had a good game at the plate.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

Dylan Cease has one of his best White Sox starts as part of a very good rebuild day

cease-920.jpg
USA TODAY

Dylan Cease has one of his best White Sox starts as part of a very good rebuild day

Dylan Cease’s rookie season has had plenty of growing pains, but Friday’s start against the Tigers may have been his best in the majors.

Yes, the Tigers have the worst record in baseball, but Cease will take them however he gets them at this point. The 23-year-old struck out eight while giving up one run in six innings in a 10-1 White Sox win.

Cease has now given up one run in each of his last three starts. That stat is a bit misleading, though, because he only lasted 3 1/3 innings on Sept. 8 against the Angels. In that game, Cease walked five and gave up four hits, but was able to limit the damage.

On Friday, Cease had a 1-2-3 first inning and pitched around a leadoff double in the second inning. A leadoff walk and two singles in the third inning led to the only run Cease allowed on the night.

In the final three innings Cease struck out five, didn’t allow any walks and gave up two hits. He threw first-pitch strikes to 16 of the 24 batters he faced, which is important for a pitcher who has struggled with his command this year both in Triple-A and the majors.


In four starts in September, Cease has a 3.00 ERA with 28 strikeouts, 12 walks and 16 hits allowed in 21 innings. He’s not consistently going deep into games yet and his command remains something to improve on, but that stretch is definitely something to build on for Cease.

His overall numbers (5.79 ERA, 81 strikeouts, 35 walks, 78 hits, 15 home runs in 73 innings) leave a lot to be desired, but the White Sox didn’t need (and probably didn’t expect) Cease to dominate as a rookie. This isn’t a contending White Sox team. However, the hope for next year is that the team will start to approach that status. Having Cease show signs of growth and progress late in 2019 so he can be closer to the standout pitcher they believe he can be in 2020 is important.

As 2019 winds down and thoughts of 2020 become more prominent for the White Sox front office and fan base, games like Friday are what everyone will be expecting to see on a regular basis. Cease racking up strikeouts with a quality start and the offense being led by Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson. Jimenez had a grand slam and finished a double shy of a cycle, Moncada reached base three times and homered and Anderson had two more hits to take another step toward the AL batting title.


Sure, it's just the Tigers, but this game was a blueprint for what White Sox wins in the future are expected to be built around.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.