Showing posts with label Francellis Montas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Francellis Montas. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

White Sox trim roster by seven; at least two jobs in bullpen still open

The White Sox are down to 44 players in camp after trimming their roster by seven on Tuesday.

Infielder Leury Garcia, first baseman Andy Wilkins and pitcher Onelki Garcia were optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. Pitching prospect Francellis Montas was optioned to Double-A Birmingham. Pitchers Logan Kensing, Nolan Sanburn and Joe Savery were assigned to minor league camp.

The most prominent player on the list, of course, is Garcia, who was on the White Sox's 25-man roster for the entirety of the 2014 campaign. He posted a horrific slash line of .166/.192/.207, prompting the Sox to sign Emilio Bonifacio and bring back Gordon Beckham over the offseason to ensure Garcia's utility services would not be essential this year.

Of the players remaining in camp, 25 are pitchers. The Sox are still carrying four catchers, nine infielders and six outfielders, as well.

What part of the roster remains unsettled at this point? You'd have to say its the bullpen, where at least two and possibly three jobs are open.

We know closer David Robertson is on the team. Jake Petricka, Zach Duke and Dan Jennings also are assured of spots.

I'm pretty sure Zach Putnam is on the team. He was the Sox's best reliever last year, going 5-3 with a 1.98 ERA in 49 appearances. Based upon that performance, you assume he'll get the benefit of the doubt despite a poor spring. But, Putnam has a 15.43 ERA and has allowed four home runs in 4.2 IP this March. That's bad enough to give anybody pause.

For the sake of argument, let's assume Putnam is on the club, and five of the seven bullpen spots are filled.

That leaves Matt Albers, Maikel Cleto, Javy Guerra and Daniel Webb competing for two jobs.

Cleto strengthened his case Tuesday with two scoreless innings in a 7-6 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Albers took a step back, allowing three runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning. The runs were unearned, thanks to some sloppy defense from Melky Cabrera in left field, but Albers has now been scored upon in each of his last two outings after beginning the spring with four consecutive scoreless appearances.

It's worth noting Webb is the only one of these pitchers with an option remaining, so he and his 7.56 ERA remain squarely on the bubble. Guerra continues to lead this group of four with a 2.45 ERA to this point in the spring.

Here's a look at the numbers for each of these four relievers:

Guerra: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 Ks, 3 BBs, 2.45 ERA
Cleto: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 9 Ks, 4 BBs, 4.91 ERA
Albers: 6.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 8 Ks, 3 BBs, 2.84 ERA
Webb: 8.1 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, 7 ER, 5 Ks, 7 BBs, 7.56 ERA

I'm expecting the Sox to keep Guerra. It might go right down to the last day between Cleto and Albers.

Friday, August 29, 2014

White Sox will send seven prospects to Arizona Fall League

Some members of the Chicago media would have you believe the White Sox farm system is in a hopeless state of disrepair. Maybe they think that because for many years, it was.

But not anymore.

There is hope on the horizon, and the organization will be sending an interesting group of seven players to the Arizona Fall League this year. Let's take a look at them, in alphabetical order:

1. Tim Anderson, SS -- The former No. 1 draft pick missed some time with a broken wrist this season, but he recently came off the disabled list. His return coincided with a promotion to Double-A Birmingham, where he has gone 12 for 27 with a home run in his first six games. Unfortunately, he's also committed three errors in his first six games. This is the top position prospect in the Sox organization. He has hit everywhere he has been, but the glove remains a question mark. Is shortstop his long-term position? The Sox hope so, but they don't know so.

2. Chris Bassitt, RHP -- Bassitt was out with a broken hand until mid-July, but he's overmatched Double-A hitters since his return. He's 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA and 36 strikeouts over 34.2 IP in six starts at Birmingham. The 25-year-old is a former 16th-round draft pick, but he's on the verge of pitching himself into the organization's plans -- so much so that he'll be called up to start the second game of Saturday's doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers.

3. Francellis Montas, RHP -- Montas fanned 56 men in 62 IP at Class-A Winston-Salem and was chosen to participate in the MLB Futures Game before he was sidelined with a torn meniscus in his knee. Montas, who was acquired from Boston in the Jake Peavy deal in 2013, is currently rehabbing in the Arizona Rookie League. He's one of the better pitching prospects the Sox have.

4. Jefferson Olacio, LHP -- Olacio is interesting because he is a large man -- 6-foot-7, 270 pounds -- and he throws the ball with his left hand. His numbers aren't going to get your attention. He went 0-5 with a 4.69 ERA with 58 Ks in 55.2 IP at Winston-Salem. He has a 6.75 ERA in eight games since a promotion to Birmingham. However, he's only 20 years old. He's a project, for sure, but it's worth watching to see how he responds against the good hitting prospects in the AFL.

5. Rangel Ravelo, 1B -- Ravelo has had a breakout year at Double-A Birmingham. The 22-year-old has posted a .307/.386/.432 slash line with 37 doubles and 11 home runs. Of course, there is no opening at first base in Chicago, but good prospects also can be used as trade bait. It's not a bad thing if Ravelo continues to develop, even though he does not play a position of need for the White Sox.

6. Kevan Smith, C -- The good news about Smith: He gets better every year, and he plays a position of need: catcher. The bad news: He's already 26 years old, so maybe that lessens the excitement about a .292/.374/.432 slash line at Double-A. But, this is a player who has had a very nice season in Birmingham.

7. Scott Snodgress, LHP -- This is a pitcher who has moved down on a lot of the prospect lists after a disappointing season as a starter in Birmingham, where he went 6-7 with a 3.89 ERA in 21 games. The Sox have promoted him to Charlotte with the idea that he can be a relief pitcher. The major league team is looking for a left-hander in the bullpen, so the door is open if Snodgress can show well this fall.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Jake Peavy's struggles continue in Boston

The White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers made a major trade on July 30 of last year: Pitcher Jake Peavy went from Chicago to Boston; shortstop Jose Iglesias went from Boston to Detroit; and outfielder Avisail Garcia went from Detroit to Chicago.

It's been mentioned more than once that Peavy is the only one of the three major players in that deal to be healthy this season. Iglesias has missed the entire year with stress fractures in both of his legs, while Garcia suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder the second week of the season and is done for the year. Meanwhile, Peavy, who has spent time on the disabled list in five of the past six seasons, has made all 17 of his starts for Boston.

That said, it hasn't been a good year for the former NL Cy Young award winner. Peavy is just 1-7 with a 4.82 ERA in those 17 starts. He is winless in his last 12 starts after losing, 2-0, to the Cubs on Monday night. Peavy actually pitched well in his latest outing, allowing just a two-run homer to Chicago outfielder Nate Schierholtz over six innings. He was simply outpitched by Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta, who no-hit the Red Sox for the first 7.2 innings.

Respectable outing against the Cubs aside, the long-term trend for Peavy is not good. His 4.82 ERA would be the second-worst mark he has had in his career. His only worse year (4.92 in 2011) was his first year back from major surgery with the White Sox.

Peavy's WHIP (1.443), FIP (4.86) and strikeout rate (7.0 for 9 IP) all represent career worsts. He will be a free agent at the end of the season, and there are rumors he'll be on the move again at this year's trading deadline. The emergence of Rubby De La Rosa might put Peavy's rotation spot in Boston in jeopardy, if the Red Sox can manage to keep Clay Buchholz healthy.

There's no doubt White Sox fans are filled with despair when they see the likes of Hector Noesi and Scott Carroll making starts every fifth day, but know this: The Sox traded Peavy at the right time. If he were still in Chicago, he probably wouldn't be helping matters much.

It stinks that Garcia is down for the year, but he's only 23 and will likely bounce back from the injury. At this point in time, any team would rather have Garcia than Peavy. Even if the Red Sox are shopping Peavy this July, I'm not convinced any contending team will be eager to acquire him.

Even if Garcia struggles coming back from his injury, Chicago still might get something good from that trade. The South Siders got pitcher Francellis Montas from Boston in that three-team deal. Montas was recently selected to pitch in the MLB Futures Game, although he is now sidelined with a minor knee injury and will not be able to perform.

Peavy seems to be on the downside of his career. He may not be injured now, but he's pitching like a guy with a lot of wear and tear. He's not missed in Chicago. If you're a Sox fan, the players Chicago received in that deal are more likely to contribute to a contending team in the future than Peavy.