White Sox

White Sox could deal pitching this winter to solve other issues


White Sox could deal pitching this winter to solve other issues

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The White Sox may have to tap into their young pitching cache this offseason to answer other questions.

There’s little debate the White Sox farm system has improved the past three years, going from the bottom of the barrel in 2012 to the middle of the pack earlier this season. But even though they’ve made strides, general manager Rick Hahn knows the organization’s pitching prospects are on a different level than most of its position players. With several potential needs to fill this winter, Hahn said Thursday he would consider trading young arms to help fortify the White Sox roster. That may mean anyone not named Chris Sale could be dangled on the trade market in the upcoming hot stove season.

“Being as objective as we can, the strength of the system is obviously pitching and at the big league level,” Hahn said. “Knock on wood, over the course of the first five months of the season, most of our issues have been on the offensive side of things. Come the offseason it may be something we have to look at as sort of reallocating some of those assets to address player position needs.”

The only positions at which the White Sox seem to be set for 2016 are first base, center field, left field and designated hitter, as Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche are all signed through at least next season.

[MORE: Ventura calls overturned play 'a tough one']

Beyond that, the White Sox have to figure out how to remedy an offense that has consistently disappointed this season. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez has a $10 million club option with a $1 million buyout that Hahn must decide upon. Tyler Saladino could be an option at short until Tim Anderson is ready if the White Sox move on from Ramirez. The White Sox are likely to continue searching for a long-term answer at catcher and they have to determine whether or not Avisail Garcia is the hitter he’s been in April, May and August or the one who went two months without a homer.  They also love Saladino’s glove at third, but unless LaRoche rebounds -- and even if he did -- the White Sox would seem to need a big bat if they field a lineup featuringboth he and Carlos Sanchez. With so much uncertainty only one thing is sure -- the White Sox need to improve offensively.

Despite a recent hot streak, the White Sox have averaged 3.70 runs per game this season and entered Thursday on pace to score 600 runs. Even with the additions of Cabrera and LaRoche, the White Sox have scored three or fewer runs in 64 of 118 contests (54 percent) and are 17-47 in those games.

“I wouldn’t say it’s one particular pitcher,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It kind of runs the gamut -- left, right, hard, soft.

“We’ve got to find some kind of rhythm to score some guys from third and keep the line moving, and it’s been tough at times. When we went on our run, it just seemed like you just kept seeing balls find a hole. Balls hit hard. This one has just been inconsistent.”

Which brings it back to the one area that is tried and true with the White Sox -- pitching. Back in 2013, the White Sox felt good enough about their stock of arms to trade Hector Santiago in a deal that netted Eaton and Addison Reed for minor leaguer Matt Davidson.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Over the past three seasons they’ve drafted or traded for a number of talented pitchers, many of who are the top prospects in the system. Currently, Carson Fulmer is the No. 2 prospect, Frankie Montas is No. 3 and Spencer Adams is ranked fourth with Tyler Danish coming in at seven, according to MLB.com. And that’s a system that has already graduated Carlos Rodon and has seen a rebound at Triple-A Charlotte from former No. 2 Erik Johnson and feels good about other potential pitchers who don’t have the same notoriety as their top arms.

With so many pitchers close to making an impact in the majors, the White Sox might consider dealing Jose Quintana or Rodon, though that price would likely be extreme as the rookie has six more seasons under team control.

Not that Quintana would come cheap.

Two offseasons ago, Quintana was considered one of four players the White Sox wanted to build around and therefore would have been nearly impossible to acquire. Since then, Quintana -- whose 3.20 Fielding Independent Pitching ranks 23rd among starters this season -- has posted a 3.32 ERA in 200 1/3 innings and also signed a five-year, $26.5-million contract potentially worth $47.5 million -- a deal rated as the 41st best in baseball by fangraphs.com.

Though the prospect of trading any pitching can’t be easy for Hahn to stomach, its likely his only solution to address some of the team’s bigger needs.

Tim Anderson's eventful day at the yard ends with shot at Joe West: 'Everybody knows he's terrible'

Tim Anderson's eventful day at the yard ends with shot at Joe West: 'Everybody knows he's terrible'

Talk about an eventful night at the ol' ballpark for Tim Anderson.

It looked like it was going to be a day worth celebrating for Anderson, whose developmental progress reached a milestone during the third inning of Saturday's Crosstown matchup with the Cubs. He hit his 20th home run of the season, becoming the first White Sox shortstop ever to have a season with at least 20 homers and at least 20 stolen bases.

A heck of a feat, one that should stand out when White Sox fans and observers spend the offseason discussing whether or not Anderson truly is this franchise's shortstop of the future.

But the ump show came and overshadowed all that.

The Cubs were in the process of extending their lead in the ninth inning, putting things out of reach, when the White Sox attempted a double play on an Anthony Rizzo groundball. Anderson got the force out at second base and attempted the turn in the presence of a sliding Javy Baez. His throw went nowhere near first base, going down as an error that allowed another run to score.

After the play was over, Rick Renteria challenged, spurring a review to see if Baez violated the rules by reaching his arm out in an attempt to impede Anderson from making the play. The review determined Baez did not do that. Anderson disagreed, and a conversation with famed umpire Joe West followed.

"I asked him a question, and he kind of got pissed at me," Anderson said of his interaction with West. "I asked him if he saw him reach for my leg in the replay. He asked me if I was going to argue that, and I said, ‘No, I was just asking a question.’ And after that I didn’t say anything else. He started barking at me. Kept staring me down. I gave him, 'Why you keep looking at me?' Did that twice and threw me out."

Anderson was ejected, and he was visibly livid on the field, screaming at West in the immediate aftermath of the ejection. Renteria came out after Anderson started making his way toward the dugout, still yelling, and was ejected, as well.

Now, White Sox fans are no stranger to West, who famously — or infamously, if you're a White Sox supporter — called a couple of balks on Mark Buehrle and ejected both Buehrle and Ozzie Guillen in a 2010 game against the Cleveland Indians, sending announcer Hawk Harrelson into an on-air rant against West: "He's becoming a joke to the umpiring profession."

But the White Sox are far from the only team to have their run-ins with West. Anderson was obviously familiar with West's reputation, taking a shot after the game.

"I don’t have much to say about him. Everybody knows he’s terrible," Anderson said. "But I didn’t say much and he threw me out. It’s OK."

Additionally, Anderson was adamant that Baez did indeed move his hand in violation of the sliding rules at second base — and added the review officials in New York to his criticism list.

"Yeah, definitely. You could see it in the replay," Anderson said. "That’s just one of the many that they missed in New York, I guess."

And so an eventful night for Anderson.

His criticisms of the officials will undoubtedly overshadow his joining the 20-homer club and standing alone in the White Sox 20-20 club. But those are just further examples on Anderson's growth as a player this season.

Yes, the error he made on that play was his 19th of the season, putting him among the league leaders in that category after he led baseball with 28 fielding errors last season. But he now has career highs in home runs, RBIs, stolen bases, doubles and walks. And his fielding has been noticeably improved over the last month or so, a result of the work he's put in with Joe McEwing.

This weekend, Anderson generated headlines with an argument with an umpire. This winter, he'll be generating discussion by what he's done on the field. And the latter has been impressive.

"I’ve been able to take my game to another level," he said. "I just have to continue to grow and just keep learning and keep working hard."

White Sox Talk Podcast: Hawk Harrelson interview before his final White Sox broadcast


White Sox Talk Podcast: Hawk Harrelson interview before his final White Sox broadcast

Hawk Harrelson sat down with Chuck Garfien to talk about his emotions prior to calling his final White Sox game.

Why has he been such an unspoken announcer in his career?  Does he have anything prepared for his final inning?

How does he want to be remembered?  That and more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: