White Sox

Fantasy Baseball Pitchers Stock Watch

Fantasy Baseball Pitchers Stock Watch

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com Contributor

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Francisco Liriano, SP, Twins: While a lucky hit rate (.221) is fueling a lot of his success since returning to the rotation, he also has 40 strikeouts over 37.1 innings and he's cut the walks down to an acceptable level. Working at Target Field half of the time is also a plus, not to mention the schedule you get in the AL Central, where no opponent (not even Chicago and Detroit) is all that daunting. It's time to trust again.

Jarrod Parker, SP, Athletics: Only two of his 11 starts have been messy ones for fantasy purposes, and we can excuse Parker for losing his way in Arizona (a tricky spot for any pitcher). Parker's HRFB clip is still on the lucky side - he's only allowed two long balls all season - but working in Oakland explains some of that away. The Athletics did very well in the Trevor Cahill deal, landing two cornerstones in Parker (a potential ace) and closer Ryan Cook.

Ryan Vogelsong, SP, Giants: The regression calls have been steady since Vogelsong reemerged with the Giants last year, but now that we're 42 starts into the game, don't we have to accept Vogelsong's surface ERA to some extent? Vogelsong is never going to be a strikeout ace but he does get more than two for every walk (that's a key benchmark), and he's just about untouchable in his home park (1.29 ERA this year, 2.15 ERA last year). Ask the Dodgers what they think of Vogelsong - he's beaten them four times since the beginning of 2011, including Clayton Kershaw twice this year.

Hold

Tom Wilhelmsen, RP, Mariners: He's yet to allow a run since taking over the closing baton in Seattle, covering 14.2 terrific innings (two walks, 18 strikeouts). While the M's would like to get Brandon League back into the ninth in a showcase role (hoping for a later trade), manager Eric Wedge also has to be accountable to his own clubhouse. Look for Wilhelmsen to likely keep the ninth inning in Seattle, and don't be afraid to grab running mate Charlie Furbush (two runs allowed over his last 26.1 innings, with 34 strikeouts), who works as the primary set-up man.

Tyler Clippard, SP, Nationals: He's allowed just one hit (and zero runs) since Davey Johnson finally called his name for the ninth inning, and Johnson is not going to automatically go back to Drew Storen when the former closer returns from his elbow surgery. If Clippard is going to be this dominant at the end of games, the Nationals might not have any reason to remove him from the job. And it's not like Storen has an extensive resume of success; this isn't like a proven veteran coming back and reclaiming his post.

Sell

Trevor Bauer, SP, Diamondbacks: The best time to trade many top pitching prospects is the pocket right before they debut. No one doubts Bauer's strikeout potential, but note that he had a messy walk problem in the minors (4.69 this year) and he could have difficulty lasting more than 5-6 innings in most of his turns. And the Snakes might not want to tax Bauer for a full three months in the majors, given that he's already worked 93 innings in pro ball this year. See if you can find a prospect-happy trading partner in your league, before Bauer makes his Thursday start. Cash in on the buzz right now.

Jair Jurrjens, SP, Braves: He returned to the majors and had one magical start at Fenway Park, but don't lose sight of the big picture here: Jurrjens couldn't get out of his own way in Triple-A (5.18 ERA, 1.43 WHIP over 10 starts). Look for the Diamondbacks to dig in and get plenty of production against Jurrjens on Thursday. Even in NL-only pools, we're not interested.

Daniel Hudson, SP, Diamondbacks: While he's in the "sell" portion of the program, "drop" is the better word for Hudson. His 7.35 ERA and 1.63 WHIP speak for themselves, and he finally admitted this week that his elbow has been bothering him for a few weeks now. A DL stint looks unavoidable, and it wouldn't be a surprise if surgery were needed.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

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

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

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USA TODAY

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

One thing you better do if you play for Rick Renteria is run to first base.

Yet again, Renteria benched one of his players Monday for the sin of not hustling down the line.

Welington Castillo, a veteran, not a developing player in need of ample “learning experiences,” popped up to first base with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth inning of Monday’s eventual 3-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles. He did not run down to first, instead staying at home plate.

So when the inning ended and the White Sox took the field, Castillo stayed in the dugout.

Ricky’s boys don’t quit, or so the slogan goes. But what happens when a player doesn’t live up to that mantra? What happens when they don’t play their absolute hardest for all 27 outs, as the T-shirts preach? This is what happens. A benching.

“It was towering fly ball in the infield at first, probably had 15, 20 seconds of hangtime,” Renteria explained after the game. “I assumed the dropped ball. It has occurred. He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way.

“That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest, it truly is. Maybe he was just frustrated in that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all. And you guys have heard me talk to all the guys about at least giving an opportunity to move in that particular direction.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, 99 out of (100) times he’s going to catch that ball.’ And then that one time that he doesn’t, what would I do if the ball had been dropped? Would it have made it easier to pull him? Well, it was just as easy because you expect not the best, but the worst.

“That is uncharacteristic of that young man. I had a quick conversation with him on the bench, and he knew and that was it.”

It might seem a little overdramatic, a little nutty, even, to sit down a veteran catcher brought in this offseason to provide some offense and to do it in a one-run game. But this rebuild is about more than just waiting around for the minor league talent to make its way to the South Side. It’s about developing an organizational culture, too. And Renteria feels that if he lets this kind of thing slide at the big league level, that won’t send the right message to those precious prospects who will one day fill out this lineup.

“There’s one way to do it, you get your action, you start moving toward that direction in which you’ve got to go,” Renteria said. “What would’ve happened if everybody’s watching it — and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, (but also for) everybody in the minor leagues — and they’re saying, ‘Well, at the top, they said they’re going to do this and then they don’t do it.’

“It’s really simple. And people might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this, do that so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened in 2018. Avisail Garcia was taken out of a game during spring training for not giving maximum effort. Leury Garcia was removed from a game earlier this month for not busting it down the first-base line on a weak grounder that went right to the first baseman.

It’s become a somewhat common tactic for Renteria, and while it might strike some as taking things a little too seriously, what good is this developmental season if a culture goes undeveloped? The White Sox have placed their bright future, in part, in Renteria’s hands, and they’ve talked glowingly about how the players have bought into his style and how the team played last season under his leadership.

If Renteria truly is the right man for the rebuild, things like this are how he’s going to establish his culture. And it will, he hopes, impact how all those prospects play when they’re no longer prospects and the White Sox are contending for championships.