Results tagged ‘ Ramon Castro ’

Just One of Those Days: A’s 10, White Sox 2

guillen-ozzie080505.jpgIt’s something White Sox fans certainly didn’t want to happen, but the truth is that the South Siders were due to be on the losing side of a blowout as they were this afternoon in 
Oakland. You never like a loss, but this one is a whole lot easier to take than the recent walk-off defeats. I bet even Ozzie would agree with me.
For the record, the last time the Sox lost by as many as five runs was on June 8 in a 7-2 loss at the hands of the Tigers at the Cell. The last time they lost this badly was four days earlier in a 10-1 drubbing by the Indians, also in Chicago.
Since then, there have been the 11 and nine game winning streaks and the Sox have consistently battled and played close games in the losses. So today’s 10-2 result was rare indeed.
Freddy Garcia, the ace of the staff most of this season, was dreadful for a change as he got yanked in the second inning after giving up five runs, six hits and three walks. The only offensive highlight in our four-hit attack was a two-run homer by Ramon Castro which tied the game at 2-2 in the second inning. It was all downhill from there.
The Sox, with Daniel Hudson on the mound, will attempt to win the series against the A’s tomorrow and finish the 10-game Minnesota, Seattle and Oakland road trip at .500.
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Nice Comeback Guys, Now Can We Win the Series?

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I have to admit that my blood pressure reached scary levels after the first inning last night as Jake Peavy was the victim of a three-run Royal splurge that included a walk and a hit batsman. All I could think about was losing back-to-back games to the Royals and losing the opportunity to gain on the Twins, who lost earlier in the day to the Yanks.
But the South Siders showed some grit and overcame a 4-1 with a four-run seventh to win 5-4. Aside from the rare comeback itself, there were some positive signs. Among them:
–The way that Peavy rebounded after the shaky start. After giving up four runs through three innings, he pitched scoreless ball into the ninth for this third victory of the season.
Juan Pierre collected a pair of hits and raised his average to .254. Not exactly on par with Rod Carew, but we’ll take it after Juan’s subpar start.
Alexei Ramirez (above) was 3 for 4 with an RBI, upping his average to .231. Puny, but improving.
Ramon Castro got his first hit of the season and drove in a pair of runs in the pivotal seventh inning.
Matt Thornton got the save after relieving Peavy with one out in the ninth. 
Now the hard part–winning today to capture the series.
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10 Reasons Why I’m Not a Happy Camper

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It’s days like these that make me cranky. A 12-3 drubbing by the Yankees will do that to a guy. To make matters worse, after the gritty comeback yesterday the Sox looked like they were more interested in heading back to Chicago than winning the series in New York.
I’ve been hearing from Sox friends and others today with various comments. Since I’m on board with many of their thoughts, I’ve incorporated them with mine in the following opinions and observations.
* I’m not happy that the Sox have won only one series so far this year as part of their miserable 10-15 start.
* I’m not happy that today’s lackluster performance has given holier-than-thou Yankee fans and others the fodder to rip us. By the way, how does Kenny Williams feel about his goal of a championship after the first 25 games?
* I’m not happy that Alexei Ramirez hasn’t taken a step forward. He’s always a slow starter at the plate, but how about his brain cramps at short? Wasn’t Omar Vizquel supposed to help?
* I’m not happy about Gordon Beckham‘s start, but I have confidence he’ll be fine before too long.
* I’m not happy with our farm system. So, where’s the help we need?
* I’m not happy about Mark Teahen. He doesn’t look like the answer. Granted, he’s not Robin Ventura or Joe Crede, but I thought he was better than this.
* I’m not happy that Juan Pierre has been demoted to the ninth spot in the order and Scott Podsednik is on fire for the Royals.
* I’m not happy that Clayton Richard is outpitching Jake Peavy.
* I’m not happy with our bullpen. Maybe it’s time for a couple of changes. No, Ramon Castro being reinstated from the DL and Donny Lucy being sent down doesn’t count
* I’m not happy that the Twins look unbeatable in the AL Central.
Yes, I’m really unhappy. 
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This team definitely needs a kick-start
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“The Lucy Show” and Bullpen Made the Sox Worth Watching

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I guess we should be happy to leave Toronto with a split, but I was hoping for more. Freddy wasn’t ready, the offense reverted to its “first week” form and the Sox lost the chance to win the series and leave Canada with a .500 record. On to Cleveland for, hopefully, better results.
I have to say that the 7-3 defeat Thursday night had a very special moment. Backup catcher Donny Lucy, the Sox player who was forced to endure scooping up my spring training ceremonial first pitch out of the dirt, hit his first career home run (pictured above). The 27-year-old, who has bounced around the minors for six seasons with only a cup of coffee in the bigs (2007), had no chance to make the team this spring until Ramon Castro was put on the DL. All he’s done in his brief action is hit .500–and now a homer. Great story.
The Sox were “get away day” flat, but Lucy’s homer lifted my spirits.
More good news: In addition to Lucy’s solo blast, there was another big positive in the Sox defeat. Four relievers–Randy Williams, Sergio Santos, J.J. Putz and Scott Linebrink–combined for five scoreless innings and 12 strikeouts after Garcia faltered.
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I Love Lucy

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News Item: White Sox backup catcher Ramon Castro is placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a bruised right heel and replaced on the Opening Day roster with catcher Donny Lucy.


I wouldn’t exactly say it’s love–frankly it’s just that I couldn’t resist the headline. It is true, though, that Lucy will forever hold a special place in my memory bank. He was the player designated by the Sox to have the chore of running out to home plate to catch my ceremonial first pitch at Camelback Ranch on March 15. To his credit, he was great, acting like it was something he really wanted to do.
So it was on that night that I became a fan of the 27-year-old Stanford product, who was a second round pick by the South Siders in the 2004 draft and has hit .251 in 402 minor league games in the Sox system. He also appeared in eight games with the major league club in 2007, collecting three base hits.
The truth is that Lucy’s major league stay will last as long as it takes Castro to get healthy, but in the meantime I’m hoping he makes the most of his opportunity. No less authority than Ozzie has said Lucy is both a good handler of pitchers and is loved by all in the organization for the person he is. And how about this? His teammates gave him a standing ovation in the clubhouse when it was announced he made the team. 
When the Sox are introduced before tomorrow’s opener at The Cell, I’ll give an extra fist pump for Donny Lucy and I hope you do too. He’s paid his dues and now he’s able to say he was on a major league Opening Day roster.
Good for him.

                                                        
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Sergio Santos is Living the Dream, Reaches the Majors as Sox Announce 25-Man Roster

After failing to get a sniff of the major leagues as an infielder with five organizations, Sergio Santos is finally a big-leaguer–as a relief pitcher. He earned that distinction with a fine spring and today the 2002 No. 1 draft pick of the Diamondbacks was named to the White Sox 25-man roster heading into Opening Day. And he’s only been pitching since last year.

The other roster question was also answered as Jayson Nix made the team as a utility infielder/outfielder.

The final cuts were infielder/outfielder Brent Lillibridge, outfielder Alejandro De Aza, pitcher Dan Hudson (Charlotte) and hurlers Greg Aquino, Erick Threets and Charlie Leesman plus catcher Donny Lucy (assigned to minor league camp).

The Sox will go into battle beginning next Monday with the following roster:

Pitchers (12): Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Freddy Garcia, Bobby Jenks, Matt Thornton, J.J. Putz, Scott Linebrink, Tony Pena, Randy Williams, Sergio Santos

Catchers (2):  A.J. Pierzynski, Ramon Castro

Infielders (7):  Paul Konerko, Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez, Mark Teahen, Mark Kotsay, Omar Vizquel, Jayson Nix

Outfielders (4): Juan Pierre, Alex Rios, Carlos Quentin, Andruw Jones

85521035.jpg                                    The dream comes true for Sergio Santos

The White Sox From A to Z: Notes From Spring Training

After a week at Camelback Ranch, it’s back to reality. Here are my spring training thoughts from A to Z:

* A — A big plus for me was to see both Andruw Jones and Alex Rios off to great starts. Jones has hit two home runs, eight RBI and is hitting .385 with a .467 on base percentage. Rios has been nursing an injury, but is hitting .304 with a pair of homers, six RBI and a .346 OBP.

* B — The Natural, Gordon Beckham (pictured below), doesn’t look like he’s going to suffer from the sophomore jinx. So far in the spring, he’s hitting .333 with five doubles and a homer and is getting on base 43 percent of the time. He’s also been making every play at second base.

* C — is for the catching situation. A.J. Pierzynski is hitting at a .345 clip and shows no signs of slowing down. Ramon Castro is a capable backup. There was never any question that Tyler Flowers would begin the season at Charlotte, but it is a bit troubling he’s off to such a slow start.

* D — One of the highlights of Sox spring training has been the play of former Florida Marlin, outfielder Alejandro De Aza. Despite being destined to begin the year with Charlotte, he is hitting .333 with seven RBI. He’s an exciting player who very well might be up in Chicago at some time during the season.

* E is for errors, which I’m happy to say will hopefully occur much less in 2010. The Sox will be a more versatile and fundamentally sound team so there will likely be fewer miscues and brain cramps.

41231.jpg* F — is for the Twittergate “flap,” which looked for a while like it would be a major
distraction. Luckily Ozzie stopped it before it really impacted the team.

* G — Our old friend Freddy Garcia (pictured below) takes the hill this season as the fifth starter. He seems a lot older because he’s been around so long, but Freddy is just shy of 34 and should give us the necessary push at the No. 5 spot in an outstanding rotation.

* H — If Freddy doesn’t come through the Sox are well-protected with Dan Hudson, who pitched at every level of baseball last season and did a creditable job with the Sox in September. He looks like the real deal.

* I — I predict that the Sox will win the AL Central with the Twins, Tigers, Royals and Indians finishing in that order.

* JBobby Jenks has been struggling with his calf, but he says he’ll be ready to go Opening Day. The Sox have some depth in the bullpen, but losing Jenks would definitely be a big blow.

t1_1206_garcia_getty.jpg* K — We need Paul Konerko to have a big year, especially with the departure of Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye. It could be Paulie’s last season in Chicago, but let’s hope it’s one of his best.

* LScott Linebrink has proven himself to be a capable reliever, but you wouldn’t know it from his performance a year ago. He’s been up and down this spring, but he needs to rebound to max out our pen.

* M — As THE lefty in the bullpen, Matt Thornton (pictured below) is indispensible. While I was in Arizona he was perfect. The other half of the main DH platoon with Jones, Mark Kotsay, is on fire this spring, hitting .433 with a .514 on base percentage and a .500 slugging mark.

* N — Will Jayson Nix, Brent Lillibridge or a perhaps a late spring pickup win the last remaining spot among position players?  Since it’s listed under “N,” my choice is naturally Nix.

* O — Brought to the Sox to back up and mentor Alexei Ramirez and Beckham, Omar Vizquel, who will be 43 in April, still looks perfectly capable of contributing.

43105659.jpg* P — Jake Peavy, entering his first Sox season, J.J. Putz and Juan Pierre (pictured below) all have key roles. From what I witnessed in Glendale, Peavy’s in mid-season form, Putz was up and down and it’s obvious what positives Pierre is going to give us from the leadoff spot. Another “P” is Tony Pena, a member of the relief corps who has compiled a 1.59 ERA in five appearances in Arizona.

* QCarlos Quentin looks ready to go, even though his spring stats aren’t gaudy. Health is the key here and CQ looks like he’s ready for the long haul.

* R — With the help of Vizquel, Ramirez will be better defensively and that may make him more relaxed at the plate.

* S — A converted infielder and former No. 1 draft choice of the Diamondbacks, Sergio Santos has been a revelation and a real candidate for the final spot in the bullpen. He’s been very impressive and brings a lot of heat. The fact he’s out of options may force the Sox to bring him North.

* T — If I have one major concern, it’s Mark Teahen. He’s been awful so far in spring training, presumably putting a lot pressure on himself. I don’t even want to think about what happens if he flops.

52656898.jpg* U — U stands for the Sox being underrated. Haven’t seen any of the so-called experts throwing compliments our way, let alone picking the Sox to win the AL Central. Hopefully I’m right and they’re wrong.

* V — I’ve thrown around the word versatile when writing and talking about the Sox. It was certainly apparent to me that they’ll be more running and bunting on this team–with players that can actually execute.

* WRandy Williams, the journeyman reliever who has pretty much locked up the role as the second lefty in the pen, has pitched eight scoreless innings this spring.

* X — Saw a few ex-Sox in Florida, including Orlando Cabrera, Nick Masset (Reds), Josh Fields, Chris Getz and Scott Podsednik (Royals) plus former farmhand Aaron Cunningham (Padres). I saw that Brian Anderson hit for the cyle for KC and went 5 for 5 in a game during that time, but I wasn’t there to witness it.

* Y — Why is Jordan Danks listed here? Because I had to find some place to give him his due, that’s Y. He’s big, strong, fast and will be a major element to the Sox fortunes for many years to come. We’ll likely see him in Chicago with his big bro some time this season.

* Z — Z stands for the many zeroes our starting staff will throw this season. The strength of the club is definitely our rotation with Peavy (pictured below, top), Garcia, John Danks, Gavin Floyd and last but not least Mr. Perfect, Mark Buehrle (pictured below, bottom).

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