Showing posts with label Josh Phegley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Josh Phegley. Show all posts

Friday, March 27, 2015

An inconvenient truth for Tyler Flowers critics

I am not a fan of Tyler Flowers. I wish the White Sox had a better catcher.

The slider-speed bat, the inability to lay off the high fastball, the strikeouts, the passed balls, the mediocre throwing arm, the lifetime .218 batting average, these are all things I dislike about Flowers.

Moreover, his .152 batting average this spring (through Thursday) doesn't give me hope that he can duplicate his modest (and career-best) .241/.297/.396 slash line from a year ago.

I'm not excited about having him as the Sox's No. 1 catcher for another year, especially since I saw him as being one of the culprits as the team struggled to a 73-89 record in 2014.

However, I read something today that gave me pause about Flowers. I don't know how much to read into it, but I think it's worth a mention.

Flowers started 120 games behind the plate for the Sox in 2014. Would you believe the Sox had a winning record in those 120 games? That's right, a team that finished 16 games below .500 overall won more than it lost with Flowers in the starting lineup.

Here's the breakdown:
2014 Sox with Flowers behind the plate: 61-59 (.508)
2014 Sox with Adrian Nieto behind the plate: 6-26 (.188)
2014 Sox with Josh Phegley behind the plate: 6-4 (.600)
Total: 73-89 (.451)

The main takeaway from this is the Sox really stunk when they played their backup catcher last year. In fairness to Nieto, he wasn't ready for the big leagues and was only kept on the 25-man roster because of Rule 5 Draft requirements. He'll be back in the minors this year to work on his skills, as he should be.

We can dismiss Phegley's 10 starts as a small sample size.

But isn't it interesting that for all the holes in Flowers' game, he didn't seem to be the guy who was holding the Sox back. Not that 61-59 is a great record; it is not. It's a mediocre record, and it certainly didn't hurt Flowers that he caught all of Chris Sale's starts last year. But in the context of what the Sox did as a team overall, 61-59 as a starting catcher is not bad.

I'm not going to draw any grand conclusions from any of this, but it's food for thought for the weekend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Carlos Rodon not among White Sox's September roster additions

The White Sox added seven players to their roster before Tuesday night's 6-3 win over the Minnesota Twins as part of the annual Sept. 1 roster expansion. However, the players who were not included on that list are more notable than the players who were.

The team's No. 1 draft pick in June, left-hander Carlos Rodon, was conspicuous by his absence. Rodon made a quick rise through the Sox's minor-league system and finished the year at Triple-A Charlotte, where he had 18 strikeouts and a 3.00 ERA in 12 innings pitched. Rodon struck 38 hitters in 24.2 innings over three minor-league stops this season.

But, he also walked 13 batters over those innings, and all reports indicate his fastball command could use some improvement. Perhaps that's the reason the Sox have decided not to bring him up for the last month.

“We are absolutely thrilled with where he is and how quickly he has progressed through the system,” Sox GM Rick Hahn told CSN Chicago. “Fundamentally the decision came down to it just wasn’t the right time in his development to bring him to the big leagues to continue his development here and ask him to get big league hitters out. He has responded to all the challenges we’ve put in front of him. We’re very pleased with how he’s finished up his first several weeks as a pro and we fully expect him to come to big league camp next year and compete for a spot on the 2015 White Sox, that’s how far along he is in his development.”

Matt Davidson is another notable player who did not get a September call-up. The would-be third baseman of the future had a miserable year in Charlotte. He hit 20 home runs, but his .199/.283/.362 slash line is downright ugly, especially considering his 164 strikeouts in 539 plate appearances.

Davidson's poor performance ranks as one of the biggest disappointments for the Sox organization in 2014, and it's for the best that he was sent home to clear his head. There would be little or no benefit in bringing him to the majors for the final month. The Sox will go into the offseason with some decisions to make at third base. Conor Gillaspie hits right-handed pitching exceptionally well, but he struggles against lefties and is a question mark defensively. But at this point, Davidson is not a candidate to take Gillaspie's job.

Here are the seven guys who joined the Sox on Tuesday. Most are familiar names. Six have been in Chicago before:

Chris Bassitt, RHP: Bassitt made his big-league debut in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday against Detroit. He allowed five runs and took the loss in that game, but he pitched better than his line indicated. He had good life on his fastball and at one point struck out Detroit superstar Miguel Cabrera with a knee-buckling curveball. Some bad luck with BABIP doomed Bassitt in his first outing, as the Tigers blooped him to death with well-placed, softly hit singles. After being returned to Charlotte for a couple days, he's back with the Sox and will probably get a couple more starts before the year is over.

Scott Carroll, RHP: The less-than-mediocre right-hander has been in the Sox rotation for much of the year, compiling a 5-9 record with a 5.07 ERA in 22 games. He started a game for Chicago as recently as Friday, but he was sent to the minors briefly in a procedural move that ensured the Sox had enough available arms for the Saturday doubleheader. He has been brought right back with the roster expansion, but may be relegated to long-relief duty for the rest of the year.

Jordan Danks, OF: The 28-year-old veteran remains on the shuttle between Chicago and Charlotte. He played well in his last stint with the Sox while Adam Eaton was on the disabled list. His ceiling is that of a fourth outfielder, but it will be interesting to see if he gets more ABs in September now that Alejandro De Aza is off the roster. Will Danks' strong defense be enough to get him playing time ahead of Dayan Viciedo? We'll see.

Josh Phegley, C: The 38th overall pick in the 2009 draft is being rewarded for a strong season in Charlotte that saw him hit .274/.331/.530 with 23 home runs and 75 RBIs. Questions remain about Phegley's defense. Coaches and pitchers alike were not fond of his work as a receiver during his 2013 stint with the Sox. Phegley's pitch-calling received pointed criticism from Sox bench coach Mark Parent, a former catcher, and you wonder if Phegley's defense will ever progress enough to satisfy the Sox.

Marcus Semien, INF: The versatile, athletic Semien came on strong in August, hitting .345 over that span at Charlotte. In 83 games with the Knights, he posted a .267/.380/.502 slash line with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs. You can't help but wonder if Semien would be more useful than Leury Garcia as an all-purpose player, but the University of California product needs to cut down his strikeouts. He's fanned 58 times in the 170 plate appearances he's had with the Sox this season.

Eric Surkamp, LHP: The relief pitcher has joined Danks on the shuttle between Chicago and Charlotte over the past few months. He has a 6.46 ERA in 24 appearances with the Sox this year and will likely continue to receive situational work against left-handed batters late in games.

Michael Taylor, OF: The 28-year-old was once a top-100 prospect in the Oakland organization, but has failed to distinguish himself in the previous limited big-league opportunities he's received. The Sox acquired him from Oakland in June for some guy named Jake Sanchez, and Taylor hit .306 with six home runs and 38 RBIs in 64 games at Charlotte. Like Danks and Moises Sierra, he's likely competing for a spot as the Sox's fourth outfielder in 2015.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Adrian Nieto not much of a risk for White Sox

Catcher Adrian Nieto's agent broke the news on Twitter the other day that his client would leave spring training as the backup catcher for the White Sox to start the season.

Nieto's victory in the backup catcher derby might not be so surprising considering the other options the Sox had behind anointed starter Tyler Flowers. It's also not surprising considering the roster constraints on each option, namely that as a Rule V pick, Nieto would have to be offered back to the team he was drafted from last winter, while Josh Phegley has options and Hector Gimenez is terrible.

Now all that remains to be seen is if the 24-year-old who has never played above Class A can make the leap to the big leagues.

Nieto's hit .254/.346/.385 in the minors over just more than 1,400 plate appearances, including his .282/.371/.446 line last year that tantalized the Sox enough to grab him from the Nationals' system.

If Nieto just started to put things together as a hitter last year, the Sox are risking his progress by giving him a job where he won't get many reps, and will be getting tossed in the deep end of the talent pool and asked to swim when he does.

You could say that's not the Sox's problem. They only need a capable backstop for the days Flowers isn't in the lineup. And Nieto doesn't seemed all that concerned about this roadblocking his career, either.

Can he handle the job? Maybe we'd have to ask how bad he'd really have to be to not be able to handle it.

Here's a look at what the White Sox have gotten out of their backup catchers over the last two decades, at least the guys who have gotten at least 50 plate appearances:

Phegley: .206/.223/.299
Gimenez: .191/.275/.338

Flowers: .213/.296/.412

Flowers: .209/.310/.409
Ramon Castro: .235/.307/.456

Castro: .278/.328/.506

Castro: .184/.262/.382

Toby Hall: .260/.304/.333

Hall: .207/.225/.241

Sandy Alomar: .217/.255/.348
Chris Widger: .181/.265/.263

Widger: .241/.296/.383

Alomar: .240/.298/.305
Jamie Burke: .333/.386/.402

Alomar: .268/.281/.407

Alomar: .287/.309/.485*
Josh Paul: .240/.302/.279

Mark Johnson: .249/.338/.382
Paul: .266/.327/.410

Brook Fordyce: .272/.313/.464
Paul: .282/.338/.423

Johnson: .227/.344/.338

Charlie O'Brien: .262/.303/.390
Robert Machado: .207/.254/.342

Ron Karkovice: 181/.248/.333*
Tony Pena: .164/.250/.179

Chad Kreuter: .219/.308/.368
Pat Borders: .277/313/.383

Mike LaValliere: .245/.303/.337

LaValliere: .281/.368/.331

* -- Alomar started more games than Johnson through mid-May, but was slowly phased to the bench before being traded to Colorado. Johnson had a solid April, but hit .204/.284/.280 the rest of the year.
** -- Karkovice started 1997 as the starter but was benched after the Sox traded for Jorge Fabregas
who hit .280/.302/.382 in the finest season of his career.

If you think that's a generally depressing list, I'd implore you to get over the idea that your life is miserable if every second isn't packed with happiness. COME ON! THESE ARE BACKUP CATCHERS!

There doesn't even seem to be much correlation between having a good backup catcher and competitive seasons.

Castro is the gold standard for backup catchers of the post-strike Sox, and his talents were wasted on teams from 2009-11 that had stabbed themselves in the heart with daggers like "Josh Fields and Chris Getz, Starting Infielders," not to mention unpredictable events like "Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, Historically Bad Seasons."

Alomar kept turning up, probably because of familiarity with the front office. The Sox tried to work in some prospects, like Flowers, Machado, Paul and Johnson, with none of them panning out unless Flowers gets it together. Then it's whatever journeyman or veteran they could dig up.

The Sox won a World Series with Widger as their backup catcher. They won divisions or were at least competitive competitive with guys on their last legs like Alomar, LaValliere and Hall back there. Not a single season was tanked because a youngster couldn't get his big league legs beneath him.

Of a more pressing concern is what the Sox get from the starting catcher this year. If Flowers falters again, we'll likely see Phegley again before Nieto is pressed into expanded duty. Or if someone like Kevan Smith tears up the minors for a few months, maybe he'll get a turn to be cannon fodder. The pipeline of catching talent is pretty dry, though, thus necessitating the drafting of Nieto and hoping he could stick.

If everyone fails, the future of the position doesn't look all that different than it did before last offseason began. That would be a bummer because that's another year of flailing at catcher, presumably while the Sox are another year closer to (hopefully) being a contender again. Though to be fair to Sox GM Rick Hahn, if there were a better option out there, I don't know what it is, so I can't really fault him for not finding it. They'll just have to try again next offseason.

In the meantime, there's not really much harm in the Sox seeing what they have now in Nieto, even if the only way to do it is to give him a job he might not be ready for.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

White Sox option Josh Phegley, Andre Rienzo to Triple-A

Up until now, all the roster moves the White Sox had made this spring were obvious ones. Every few days, you'd see news of guys you knew weren't going to make the club being reassigned to minor league camp.

But with just 12 days remaining until the home opener, the first significant decisions of the spring were made on Wednesday as catcher Josh Phegley and pitcher Andre Rienzo were optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.

For better or for worse, the Sox have decided to give it another go with Tyler Flowers as their starting catcher. Manager Robin Ventura named Flowers the starter on Sunday, and that gave Phegley a pretty good idea his season would be starting in Charlotte. He seems to be taking it pretty well, though.

“I believe I'm a starter and I can be a front-line starter in the big leagues, but there just needs to be some improvement,” Phegley told the Chicago Tribune's Colleen Kane. “And I think sitting, catching every four, five days, I don't think that’s going to do me any justice. I want to play every day, and I'd like to help this club. It's everyone's goal to be a big leaguer. I want to be a starter, and going to Charlotte and playing every day is going to help my game out, so I'm all for it.”

That's the approach Phegley needs. This is a big year for him. Unlike Flowers -- who is who he is at this point -- I think Phegley still has some upside in his game both offensively and defensively. But at age 26, he's moving into an area where he's not going to be considered a prospect anymore. He needs to make that step forward and prove he can be a starting catcher in the big leagues, and he needs to do it soon.

With Phegley headed to the minors, that leaves Rule 5 draft pick Adrian Nieto and Hector Gimenez in camp competing for the backup catching role. I'll bet Nieto sticks, because the Sox would have to offer him back to the Washington Nationals if he doesn't. At age 24, Nieto could develop into a useful player, whereas the 31-year-old Gimenez is nothing more than a career minor leaguer.

Rienzo made 10 starts for the Sox at the end of 2013, but as expected, top prospect Erik Johnson and free-agent acquisition Felipe Paulino have pushed Rienzo out of the starting rotation. I thought Rienzo had a shot at sticking in the big leagues as a long reliever, but perhaps Sox brass sees him as a pitcher who needs to stay stretched out as a starter, so that he can be called up and step into the rotation in the event the team has an injury to one of its starting pitchers.

In other moves, pitcher Eric Surkamp was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. Pitchers Chris Beck and Cody Winiarski and infielder Andy Wilkins were reassigned to minor league camp. All of those moves were expected.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sox Take, Cubs Give In Rule 5 Draft

Thursday's Rule 5 Draft had a little bit for fans of both Chicago teams with the White Sox selecting catcher Adrian Nieto from the Nationals, while the Cubs lost Marcos Mateo to the Diamondbacks.

Nieto is a switch-hitting 24-year-old who in six seasons hasn't yet played above A ball. A 50-game suspension for a positive PED test no doubt hindered some of his development. In the minors he's batted .254/.346/.386, including .285/.375/.449 last year in the Class A Carolina League.

Like most Rule 5 picks, Nieto is maybe a longshot to hang around. He must stay with the White Sox on the 25-man roster all year or be offered back to the Nationals. Factors working in his favor are that he's coming off his strongest season, one in which Sox scouts think him improved throughout. And besides relievers, catchers have perhaps the best chance of sticking in a backup role. So long as Nieto is solid enough defensively, the offensive bar for a backup catcher is easily cleared.

It might work against Nieto that the Sox haven't settled on a starting catcher. With the uncertainty that Tyler Flowers' struggles last year were really injury-related, or that Josh Phegley can make adjustments to bring his offense up to snuff, the Sox might have to play a mix-and-match game behind the plate that would make it hard to carry a backup who can only be counted on to have a solid glove. They certainly don't have room on the roster to carry three catchers.

The Cubs, meanwhile, said goodbye to Mateo, who threw just over 44 innings as a reliever for the team from 2010-2011, but was eligible for the draft since being left off the team's 40-man roster. Since then the now 29-year-old suffered an elbow injury, surgery, and spent last year working his way back.

Mateo turned in a fine 1.74 ERA across three levels of the team's minor league system, but in only 31 innings and with diminished strikeout numbers, the Cubs felt comfortable letting another team try to work out his walk and home run problems from the back end of their bullpen.

My bet would be that even if the Cubs don't see Mateo offered back to them this season, they won't terribly miss the right-hander.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Curses! Tyler Flowers signs one-year deal with White Sox

Make no mistake about it, the 2013 White Sox roster had holes in it like Swiss cheese. The catching situation was perhaps the biggest hole of them all.

Both Tyler Flowers and Josh Phegley received an extended look behind the plate. Neither man showed much, and I'm not sold that either can be a long-term answer for the White Sox at that position.

As Monday's 11 p.m. deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players approached, I found myself wishing the Sox would non-tender Flowers and his .195 batting average and send him on his way.

Instead, the Sox signed Flowers to a one-year deal worth $950,000.


Sox GM Rick Hahn sounds inclined to give the Flowers-Phegley catching combo another chance in 2014.

"In Tyler's defense, there was a bit of an injury issue that may well have factored in to his performance," Hahn told reporters on Monday. "And in Josh's defense, it was his first exposure to the big leagues, and obviously the league adjusted to him fairly quickly and he was unable to adjust.

"So you're hesitant to write either guy off, given the upside that we have seen in the past. That said, this is the big leagues and eventually you run out of opportunities. I know we believe they're both capable of reaching their upside. As to precisely what role and how many at-bats they're going to get in 2014 to prove us right about that upside, that's still to be determined."

Double ugh.

I don't know that I've seen that much upside from either of these two guys. I can live with Flowers defensively, but shoulder injury or not, he's never shown me much with the bat. Yes, he hits some home runs, but he doesn't hit near enough of them to make up for his low-contact, low-average approach. Ask yourself, with men on second and third and one out, do you want Flowers at the plate? I sure don't. I feel like he's has no chance; a strikeout is inevitable. He's just too poor a hitter to play every day in the big leagues.

Last year was Phegley's first taste of the major leagues. He struggled both with the bat and with the glove, but he did hit in the minors. He's young enough that there is still some hope, but honestly, I think he would benefit from another season in Triple-A.

I was really hoping the Sox would add a veteran catcher to the mix this offseason, even if it was just a replacement-level player who could provide some experience and stability. The idea that the Sox are thinking of going with Flowers and Phegley again next year makes me shake my head in despair. I guess now is the time I need to remind myself the offseason isn't over yet. Opening Day isn't until March 31, and there is still plenty of time for Hahn to change his mind and bring another catcher in here.

But right now, I'm beating my head against the wall, especially after the news Tuesday that former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski has signed with Boston.

Triple ugh.

Now, I'm not necessarily saying the Sox should have brought back Pierzynski, who will be 37 years old by Opening Day. At that age, who knows how much he has left in the tank? But what I am saying is that the Sox have failed to acquire or develop a suitable replacement for Pierzynski, and that's the part that stinks.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mental mistakes compound misery for White Sox

There's an easy explanation for the White Sox' 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday afternoon: Starting pitcher John Danks gave up hits to seven of the first 11 batters he faced and put the team in a 4-0 hole after two innings. Not a good start at all.

Danks settled down and retired 16 in a row after that, but the damage had been done. But, if you look a little deeper, you can't help but feel like the Sox would have come back and won that game against the woeful Twins if they had just done the little things right.

For example, take a look at what happened in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Sox were trailing 4-1 at that point when catcher Josh Phegley led off the inning with a double. Here was a golden chance to get at least one run closer. No. 9 hitter Leury Garcia stepped to the plate. Not being a power hitter, Garcia needed to be thinking about hitting a ball to the right side to get Phegley over to third base with less than two out.

Apparently, Garcia was thinking nothing of the sort. He rolled over on a pitch from Minnesota lefty Scott Diamond and hit a chopper to shortstop. Compounding Garcia's poor approach at the plate, Phegley foolishly thought he could make third base on a ground ball that was hit in front of him. The Twins threw him out by half a baseline, and there went an opportunity to cut into the Minnesota lead.

Later in the inning, Alejandro De Aza reached on an error, and Alexei Ramirez hit a deep fly ball to center field. If Phegley had been standing on third base with less than two out, he would have scored on either of those two plays. But, a rotten swing by Garcia and idiotic baserunning by Phegley prevented that from happening. The Sox failed to score in the inning, and they went on to lose by one run.

We've seen the White Sox make dozens of mistakes like this throughout the season. Is it any wonder the team has a 22-33 record in one-run games this year? Some people put the blame on the manager and the coaches for this kind of repetitive buffoonery. But I'll be honest, Robin Ventura and his staff shouldn't have to tell Phegley to stay at second base when a ground ball is hit in front of him to the left side of the infield. That's Baserunning 101, something my coaches taught me in Little League. That's a lesson that should be learned long before a player reaches pro ball.

In my world, mistakes like this are the fault of the player, not the manager or a coach. You're in the major leagues; play the game right.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tyler Flowers' disastrous 2013 is thankfully over

It's no secret I was never on board with the White Sox decision to make Tyler Flowers their starting catcher.

Yes, I wanted to keep A.J. Pierzynski for another year or two, and it wasn't because of 2005 nostalgia. It was because Pierzynski is still a far superior player to Flowers, even at his advancing age, and I didn't think it took a brain surgeon to figure that out.

I understood the reasons the Sox cut the cord with Pierzynski. He's a 36-year-old catcher. He wasn't going to duplicate the 27-homer season he had in 2012, and there was talk that he wasn't on the same page with manager Robin Ventura and the coaching staff last season.

That said, if you are going to jettison a productive player, you better have a replacement lined up. And that somebody needs to be better than Tyler Flowers. I knew going into the season Flowers was incapable of being anything more than a backup at the big-league level. He has tantalizing power, but that's his only real plus. He has holes in his swing like Swiss cheese, strikes out way too much and isn't as good defensively as Sox brass claims he is. I figured given a whole season, Flowers might bat .220. Actually, he batted .195 in 84 games this year before going on the disabled list this week to undergo right shoulder surgery.

Reports indicate Flowers first tweaked the shoulder about a year ago. The pain intensified before spring training, and he found out a couple months ago he would need the surgery.

So, the Sox knew before spring training Flowers wasn't healthy, yet they were willing to start the season with him and career minor-leaguer Hector Gimenez as their two big-league catchers. Given what we know now, it's even less of a surprise that the catching position has been a complete disaster for the 2013 White Sox. An injured Tyler Flowers was considered the best option in the organization. That's brutal.

Meanwhile, Pierzynski (.280 avg., 16 HR, 58 RBIs) continues to display competence as the starting catcher on a Texas Rangers ballclub that is tied for first place in the AL West entering Tuesday's action. Thud.

The Sox are left to hope and pray rookie Josh Phegley shows them something the last month of the season. Since an electric first week that included three home runs, Phegley has slumped to a .214 average. His defense has been poor. He dropped a routine pop up Monday against the Yankees, and I've been unimpressed with his receiving ability. Too many wild pitches and not enough pitches being blocked. Phegley will need to hit a lot to overcome his defensive shortcomings. While I'm more optimistic about his offensive abilities than I was about Flowers, the Sox need to see more before they can comfortably go into 2014 thinking Phegley is their catcher.

No matter what, the Sox would be smart to cut their losses with Flowers. He's damaged goods now, and I wouldn't want him in even a backup role. If they want to give Phegley a full-time shot, fine, but sign a serviceable veteran this offseason just in case Phegley fails as well.

I know the list of potential free agent catchers isn't exciting (except for Brian McCann, who is likely out of the Sox price range), but think about it: Anybody who can hit .230 and catch the ball is an upgrade behind the plate over what the Sox have right now. The standard for improvement at that position is not high.

Friday, July 5, 2013

White Sox call up Josh Phegley; Jordan Danks optioned

The White Sox made two roster moves before embarking on a brief three-game weekend road trip to Tampa Bay.

Catcher Josh Phegley, 25, has been called up from Triple-A Charlotte, while backup catcher Hector Gimenez was designated for assignment.

Phegley, the 38th overall pick in the 2009 draft, was hitting .316 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs for the Knights. He was chosen to play in the July 14 Futures Game in New York and the July 17 Triple-A All-Star Game. Instead, he'll be the new starting catcher for the White Sox.

This move relegates Tyler Flowers (pictured) to the bench. The Sox had hoped Flowers would fill the shoes of veteran A.J. Pierzynski, who signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers last offseason. Instead, Flowers has struggled both offensively and defensively. He is batting a measly .208 with eight home runs and 22 RBIs in 65 games. He also has seven passed balls and has thrown out just 25 percent of baserunners who have attempted to steal against him.

Flowers will probably play a little more frequently than Gimenez as a backup, but it's unlikely he'll be in the lineup anymore than twice a week moving forward. It is possible Phegley will see time at DH on days he's not catching, at least until veteran 1B/DH Paul Konerko comes off the disabled list after the All-Star break.

In a second move, outfielder Jordan Danks was optioned to Charlotte and outfielder Blake Tekotte was recalled. Tekotte, 26, was hitting .249 at Charlotte and is not considered a prospect anymore. Danks was 5-for-37 at the plate in limited playing time with the Sox. What would be the point of this move? The Chicago media asked manager Robin Ventura that question:

“We’re just making a different move,” Ventura said. “It’s nothing he’s done. We’ve got to go give him at-bats. It’s not easy sitting around and expecting to do well with one hit every two weeks. That’s the tough part of the game.”

In other words, the team is getting ready to trade right fielder Alex Rios. Somebody will have to play right field once that happens, and that somebody is Danks. So, he needs to go to Charlotte and chip the rust off his bat in preparation for the opportunity that awaits.

Is Danks part of the Sox future plans? I doubt it. He's a backup outfielder in my estimation. But sometimes you need placeholders while you're looking to acquire or develop somebody better.

Welcome to rebuilding, Sox fans. Ain't it fun?