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Showing posts from July, 2016

What You Need To Know About The Charlie Tilson Trade

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The White Sox have made their first selling move of the 2016 MLB trade deadline.

Zach Duke, whom the Sox signed to a three-year, $15 million dollar deal before the 2015 season, and was supposed to be a part of a playoff team -- Melky Cabrera, Jeff Samardzija and David Robertson headlined the 2015 winter, but Duke was considered a key part by the Sox -- has been shipped to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Charlie Tilson.

Who the hell is Charlie Tilson?

We'll get to that soon enough, but here's what Rick Hahn had to say about him in the release.

"Charlie is a left-handed hitting outfielder whose speed and defensive ability enable him to do a number of things well to help his team win ball games," said Hahn. "We have liked him as a player since the Cardinals selected him out of New Trier in the second round in 2011."

Okay, there's that. Now let's get to what you really need to know about this deal.

Mailbag: Where Do The White Sox Stand Heading Into The Deadline?

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Back in March I asked followers on Twitter if they'd be interested in a semi-regular mailbag feature here. The results at the time were overwhelmingly "yes we would," so I did a mailbag.

That was in March.

Now, at the end of July, I've decided to do another one. So I guess that when I called it a "semi-regular" feature I meant every four months.

Anyway, with the trade deadline coming up, as well as all the Chris Sale insanity, I just thought now would be a good time to do it again, and considering how many questions were submitted in like 15 minutes, I wasn't wrong.

Chris Sale Drives Another Nail Into Robin Ventura's Coffin

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Chris Sale has been a busy man lately.

In the last week he's taken a stand against the clubhouse policies of the Seattle Mariners, and he's taken a knife to White Sox uniforms.

Now, as part of the fallout of the uniform situation, Sale is taking a shiv to his manager.

Chris Sale Needs To Grow Up

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On Saturday afternoon I was at my sister's house for my nephew's birthday party. We were celebrating his third birthday, and along with friends and family, there were a lot of children. The oldest was around eight or nine.

Throughout the afternoon, the kids ran around the backyard, splashing in the pool, leaping through the sprinkler, and flopping around in the bounce house. They played with toys, and occasionally, one of the kids would want the toy that another one of the kids had.

The kids then shared the toy.

As the afternoon wore on, eventually people began to leave the party. If you were outside yesterday, you know how hot and muggy it was, and there was occasional rain to boot. So some folks were cutting out early.

At one point, a friend of my sister's tried to collect her son to go home. He did not like this one bit. He wanted to stay and keep playing with all the other kids. He threw a tantrum, letting out a piercing scream/cry that actually caused me to shudder.

Thoughts On The Possibility Of A White Sox Rebuild

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On Thursday afternoon, a few hours before the White Sox took on the Tigers at US Cellular Field, Rick Hahn sat in the White Sox dugout surrounded by media. Hahn talked about the future of the White Sox organization, and said they were "mired in mediocrity," which is a refreshingly honest thing to hear from somebody holding a major position in the front office.

Still, while Hahn talked about how the Sox have to be open to ideas, the biggest surprise of the session came when he talked about a possible rebuild.

Jose Quintana Trade Partner Power Rankings

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Having lost five of six to start the second half, falling to 46-48 in the process, 10 games behind Cleveland in the division, and seven games out of the wild card, it would seem the prudent approach for the White Sox this summer is to become sellers at the deadline.

On Wednesday, as the White Sox were playing a Seattle team ahead of them in the standings, the Mariners traded a key piece of their bullpen to the Cubs for a prospect I've long felt would be the prototypical White Sox designated hitter in Dan Vogelbach. While that dream seems dead, the point here is that Seattle is closer to a playoff spot than the White Sox, yet they can read the tea leaves.

I think the White Sox can as well. I don't believe the front office is harboring any delusions about this team's ability to compete for a playoff spot this season, and the excitement of a 23-10 start to the season has long been forgotten.

If the Sox make any moves at the deadline, they will be moves made for 2017 and bey…

The Case For Trading Jose Quintana

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I don't believe the White Sox are going to trade Jose Quintana. Nor do I believe that the White Sox will trade any of their "core" pieces, because the White Sox aren't going to rebuild. They're going to continue doing what they always do.

The White Sox are a ship that's constantly taking on water, and the organization's approach to this perilous situation is to just keep putting more duct tape on the leaks, and then hoping like hell that she can make it to shore.

But what if there were a trade they could make that wouldn't truly signal a rebuild, and at the same time, could also set the team up to not only improve in 2017, but possibly in the long term as well?

The White Sox Should Consider Trading James Shields

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The beginning of James Shields' White Sox career was horrific. Through his first four starts in a White Sox uniform, Shields lasted only 13.2 innings, posting an ERA of 15.80 while walking 13 hitters, striking out only eight, and giving up five home runs.

Shields has followed up those disasters with a rather impressive four starts since. He's lasted 28.1 innings with a 1.91 ERA. The strikeout situation hasn't really improved (12), but he's cut down on the walks (7) and homers (4).

All of which makes me wonder if James Shields turning around his White Sox career shouldn't be the impetus for ending it.

Possible Relievers For The Sox To Target In A Trade

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It's strange to write posts about players the White Sox could target in trades these days because, for all we know, the Sox could be sellers at the deadline. That's just the kind of perilous position they find themselves in at the moment.

Sure, they're above .500, and they're within striking distance of a wild card spot, but they're also a bad weekend away from being an afterthought.

What You Need To Know About Carson Fulmer's Promotion

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You aren't going to believe this, but the White Sox are bringing up a pitcher from the minors before they were expected to.

There have been plenty of smoke signals about Carson Fulmer coming from the White Sox in recent weeks, and during the All Star break there were whispers that he could possibly be coming to Chicago sooner rather than later. Well, it's sooner.

The White Sox made it official on Friday, calling Fulmer up from Birmingham (as well as adding Justin Mourneau to the roster).

Fulmer was the team's first-round draft pick last summer, taken with the eighth overall pick. It was only 13 months ago that Fulmer was still pitching in a Vanderbilt uniform.

I'm sure you have questions about Fulmer, and what this all means, so I'm going to do my best to answer all of them.

Seven Things To Watch For In The Second Half

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The official second half of the season will begin on Friday night, and as White Sox fans, we're in a bit of an odd position this year. Or, at the very least, a position we aren't used to being in.

The White Sox may be in a tie for third place at the break, but they're 45-43, and only 4.5 games out of a Wild Card spot (though there are three teams between them and that spot). This is unusual because it's only the second time during Robin Ventura's tenure as White Sox manager that we've had a winning record at the break.

The last time it happened was in 2012, when the Sox were 47-38 and in first place in the division. The Sox would then play well over the rest of July and August before cratering in September and blowing the division lead, finishing 85-77, and missing the playoffs.

So what should we expect this year? I don't know.