Results tagged ‘ Andruw Jones ’

Sometimes in Baseball, Down is Up and Up is Down

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GLENDALE, AZ–Former major league catcher and broadcaster Joe Garagiola once wrote a book called Baseball is a Funny Game. Indeed. Very often what you expect to be your strength is your weakness and vice versa.
This notion can certainly be applied to the White Sox DH situation. Many have been skeptical about the current rotation of Andruw Jones (pictured above), Mark Kotsay and Omar Vizquel with others like Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko getting some playing time there to get a breather during the course of the long season. Many thought the Sox should have signed Jim Thome or made a bigger push for Johnny Damon before he signed with the Tigers.
Granted, we’re still in the middle of spring training, but the Sox DH scenario is looking awfully good. Following Jones’s 2 for 3 day yesterday where he doubled, stole a base and smacked a three-run homer in the 5-1 win over the Dodgers, the former Braves All-Star is now hitting .400 with seven RBI, three stolen bases, a .500 on base mark and .750 slugging percentage. Equally as significant, he’s in great physical shape. Kotsay, an Ozzie favorite, is batting .391 with a .500 on base percentage, five RBI and a trio of thefts.
Sox notes of note: While the DH situation may be a pleasant surprise, if yesterday is any indication, the Sox strength–pitching–will certainly continue to be so. Jake Peavy led the staff, giving up one run and one hit with six strikeouts in five innings to get the victory. Matt Thornton, Tony Pena, Scott Linebrink and Carlos Torres each pitched one scoreless inning…The South Siders have made more roster moves. First baseman Dayan Viciedo, outfielder Stefan Gartrell and pitcher Jeff Marquez were optioned to Charlotte while pitcher Daniel Cabrera and outfielder Jason Botts were released…There was a lot of White Sox talk at my dinner last night with former Sox and Arizona Cardinals PR guru Paul Jensen, who now promotes Camelback Ranch, and longtime Sox and Bulls TV producer Jim Angio…Sox enjoy their only off-day of the spring today with the Cubs looming at Camelback on Friday. The game is a sellout.

The Interesting Case of Alejandro De Aza

When the White Sox picked up outfielder Alejandro De Aza off of waivers from the Florida Marlins last October, it was pretty much greeted with a ho hum attitude. I had heard of De Aza, but knew very little and wondered how he would fit in with the 2010 Sox.

So who is Alejandro De Aza?

A native of the Dominican Republic, he will be 26 in April. He bats and throws lefthanded, is six feet tall, 175 pounds with great speed and the ability to play outstanding defense. He was originally signed by the Dodgers, but picked up by the Marlins in the 2004 Rule 5 draft. He actually earned the starting centerfield job for Florida in 2007 and started the season on fire. In nine games he went 20-33 (.606), but went on the disabled list with a hairline fracture of an ankle. He didn’t appear in the big leagues in 2008 and in ’09 he batted .250 with a .385 on base percentage for the Marlins in 22 games.

So far this spring De Aza has made the Sox brass look good. He’s played in six games, going 5 for 11 (.455) with two RBI and a .538 on base mark. Yesterday, in the South Siders’ 9-5 win over the A’s, De Aza went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored while playing both left and center.

The Sox outfield picture is a crowded one with Juan Pierre, Alex Rios, Carlos Quentin, Andruw Jones, Mark Kotsay plus Jordan Danks and even Jared Mitchell (who was just sent to the minor league camp) in the wings. As a result, it is very unlikely De Aza will make the major league club out of spring training. But if he continues doing what he’s doing,  I can certainly see him fitting in nicely with Ozzie‘s “new look” White Sox some time this season. 

Bing, Bang, Boom–23 Runs, 32 Hits, 0 Errors and the First Two Sox Victories of the Spring

It was a Saturday of epic proportion. Well, maybe not epic, but boy it was fun.

The beautiful Spring-like day in the New York area, didn’t prevent me from spending the day in front of the tube. It all started out with my alma mater, Indiana, halting an 11-game losing streak by upending Northwestern. 
That was followed by Sox vs. Cubs in Mesa and Sox vs. Dodgers at Camelback Ranch in a split-squad doubleheader. Thanks to the Big Ten Network, WGN and the MLB Network, I was able to watch all of the action–albeit the nightcap was on tape delay and I knew the score going in. Gone are the days of having to go to spring training to find out what’s going on.
Sox 15, Cubs 3

The Sox got off to a 6-0 start in the first two innings on the strength of two Carlos Quentin blasts (a two-run homer and a three-run four-bagger) and it just got better and better. The Pale Hose pounded out three more homers (Brandon Short, Cole Armstrong and Jayson Nix) and pounded out a total of 18 hits (Nix had three and Quentin, Andruw Jones, Mark Kotsay, Christian Marrero, Cole Armstrong and Brett Lillibridge collected two apiece).
On the pitching side, Dan Hudson gave up the Dodgers’ only tallies in three innings of work while Carlos Torres, Greg Aquino and Charlie Leesman each hurled two innings of shutout ball. I was impressed with Aquino, who struck out three. He’s had major league experience with four other clubs.
And the Sox committed NO errors and stole four more bases–Jones (2), Tyler Flowers and Jordan Danks.
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                        Quentin led off the hit parade yesterday against the Cubs



Sox 8, Dodgers 4

The Sox were homerless against LA, but full of punch, connecting for 14 hits. The standouts were “can’t miss” Jared Mitchell, who had a pair of RBI doubles, and former Marlin Alejandro De Aza, who added two infield singles and scored a run. Former Dodger Juan Pierre beat out an infield grounder for a single that drove in a run and stole a base. 
Eight Sox pitchers took the mound, including Freddy Garcia and Bobby Jenks, but I was most impressed with Tony Pena, who was on again, off again for us in 2009.
And NO Sox errors and a pair of stolen bases–Pierre and Alexei Ramirez.
If the rain holds off in Glendale today I’ll be in the same place as yesterday, watching Jake Peavy make his spring debut for the 2-1-1 South Siders.
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                                              Peavy hopes to stifle Cubs


Kissing Your Sister

You know the old adage, playing to a tie is like kissing your sister. That’s exactly what happened yesterday in Tempe as the Sox kicked off their spring training schedule with a 4-4 tie with the Angels.

The Sox had a 4-2 lead heading into the eighth, but prospect Brian Omogrosso couldn’t find the plate and the tying runs scored. The South Siders had a chance in the top of the ninth with Alejandro De Aza on third and two outs, but C.J. Retherford struck out.

While it certainly wasn’t as satisfying as getting the win, we’ll take the tie on the road. And here are a few positives to ponder.

* A.J. Pierzynski‘s two-run homer in the fifth to give the Sox a 4-2 lead.
* Starter John Danks‘ two shutouts innings.
* If yesterday was any indication, the Sox will indeed run in 2010. They stole four
   bases in the opener–Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, Mark Kotsay, De Aza.
* Converted infielder Sergio Santos was very impressive, striking out the side in
   the sixth.
* Dayan Viciedo, trying to make the switch to first, played well in the field and singled
   in a run.
* Newcomers Pierre and Mark Teahen each reached base on a hit and scored a run.
* Lefties Randy Williams and Erick Threets and righty Clevelan Santeliz each pitched
  a scoreless inning. Santeliz shut the door in the ninth to preserve the tie.

  Mark Buehrle makes his first spring start today against the Dodgers at Camelback
  Ranch. J.J. Putz and Scott Linebrink are also scheduled to see action.

mark1.png                       Mr. Perfect takes the hill today vs. the Dodgers in Glendale

 

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