Doug Seyller, better known as @k0na on twitter, broke the John Danks contract extension hours before any media outlet was able to confirm it. It's not the first time Seyller has been the first to report a White Sox transaction, either. The following is an e-mail exchange White Sox Talk conducted with Seyller:
White Sox Talk: First up, tell us a little bit about who Doug Seyller is. Are you just "some fan"?
Doug Seyller: Honestly, I am just some fan. I'm an art director who's been working in the creative industry for 15 years. I have no ties to the Sox and I have not tapped Kenny's phone. LOL. I played a little ball in and after college but never professionally.WST: What was the first scoop you ever got, and how did you go about publicizing it?
Seyller: I believe I scooped the Garland trade. At the time I posted it to the Sox message board and got blasted for it. People said I was just posting to try and troll the board. A day later the story broke and I didn't even get a nod from the media for it.
WST: Have your sources ever been wrong about something?
Seyller: Never. They are good sources.
WST: Why do you use twitter, and only twitter, to put your stuff out there?
Seyller: It has a lot to do with the industry I'm in. I've been so close to social media for so long that it all in a way annoys me. I didn't have a Facebook account until this time last year when I was forced into designing a Facebook app. Twitter to me is what it is. 80 percent one way posting from people on their soapboxes, maybe 10 percent corporate tweets. The last 10 percent are the real movers (celebrities) that have the large following. For me its the easiest and quickest way to post news and let other people spread it for me. Maybe two years ago I posted a story about a guy who redesigned the United Airlines homepage and sent it to them. It was retweeted 110x in one day.
WST: Do you consider yourself a journalist? Whywhy not?
Seyller: No not really. I'm just a guy who likes to inform others of cool things, interesting stories, trade rumors and design, without turning myself into a blogger.WST: What's your motivation for doing this? Do you take any pride in beating major media outlets to news?
Seyller: I do. Like I said above, I think I broke two big stories on the Sox site and neither time did any news source give credit. One even used my exact wording. Now I take great pride posting before they do, I think it's fantastic that a "graphic designer" as I'm called who makes elbow macaroni art (that's a joke by the way) can beat them to the punch.
WST: Why "k0na"?
Seyller: I used to ride a Kona mountain bike. When we'd ride in groups they'd call me "Kona." It stuck.
White Sox prospect Luis Robert headed to the Arizona Fall League to get more playing time after injuries limited to 50 games in 2018.
He just got hurt in the Arizona Fall League.
Robert is playing with the Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL and left Friday's game with an injury.
It's not clear what the injury was, but Robert walked off on his own power. He also has pulled out of the Bowman Hitting Challenge (a modified home run derby) that will take place Saturday.
Robert, the No. 4 White Sox prospect and No. 44 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was 1-for-3 in Friday's game before exiting. He has hit safely in all four games in the AFL, going 5-for-17 (.294) with a walk and three strikeouts, but no extra base hits.
The 21-year-old is the third youngest player on the team and the AFL is a respected offseason league for prospects. A good showing from Robert would be a sign that he is beginning to develop his talent into playable tools.
The injury could be minor so no need to ring the alarm bells yet, but the AFL season is barely more than a month long. Even a short-term injury could prevent him from making up for some of the lost playing time from the 2018 minor league season.
The White Sox have a hole or two to plug in their starting rotation. Could Sonny Gray be an answer?
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that he's looking to trade Gray away from the Bronx this winter.
Gray isn't as attractive an add as he was a few years back, when he was coming off a sensational 2015 campaign that saw him post a 2.73 ERA and log 208 innings. He went to the All-Star Game and finished third in the AL Cy Young vote that year.
Since, he's been less successful. He made just 22 starts with the Oakland Athletics in 2016 and had a 5.69 ERA. The following season, he started with a strong 3.43 ERA in 16 starts for the A's before the midseason trade that sent him to the Yankees, where he made 11 starts with a 3.72 ERA. This season didn't go too well, earning Gray a move to the bullpen. He finished with a 4.90 ERA in 30 games, only 23 of those being starts. He threw just 29.1 innings over his final 10 appearances of the season, three of which were starts. He had a 5.26 ERA with 50 walks in 113 innings as a starter in 2018.
Those numbers won't leap off the page (in a positive way) for anyone, but there's no doubt that a potential deal for Gray would be a low-risk move for the White Sox. For a team looking to add 40 percent of a starting rotation, being able to do so cheaply — be it from a dollar or prospect standpoint — would be a good thing, especially if the strategy ends up being to simply add one-year fill-ins while Michael Kopech recovers from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease makes his way to the major leagues.
However, Gray's 57-walk total from the 2018 season could be something the White Sox would want to stay away from. After all, White Sox pitchers led the AL with 653 walks this season. They also had five of the top 21 walk-issuing pitchers in the Junior Circuit: Lucas Giolito led the league with 90, James Shields was third with 78, Reynaldo Lopez was fifth with 75, Hector Santiago was 15th with 60, and Carlos Rodon was 21st with 55. Gray slotted in right ahead of Rodon.
But Gray has obviously produced results in the past, and whether the White Sox are looking to simply plug the holes in the 2019 staff or potentially find a sign-and-flip candidate for the 2019 trade deadline — he's slated to hit free agency after the 2019 season — Gray could fit that bill. One thing's for sure: He's available.