Results tagged ‘ Corky Miller ’

Little move, big impact

Does anyone remember Geoff Blum?

Well, anyone and everyone who follows the White Sox will never forget his game-winning home run in the 14th inning of Game 3 of the 2005 World Series?

Or how about Bobby Jenks? Well, of course, White Sox supporters know all about one of the game’s best closers. But what these two players have in common is that they were both considered minor moves at the time Ken Williams and his staff brought them into the organization, and they eventually paid huge dividends.

So, when talk of Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt and any other frontline player comes up in association with the White Sox, remember some times it’s the lesser-known moves that have the greatest impact in pushing the South Siders to the postseason.

Take a gander at Williams’ thought process behind the Ramon Castro weekend deal to further illustrate this point.

“Let’s take the catching situation. The thought behind that was here’s an upgrade across the board. Corky was doing a nice job catching the pitchers and fit in well,” Williams said. “However, if that offensive difference became such that we got into antoher situation where we weren’t swinging the bats well, is Ozzie then hesitant to give AJ those days games after night games or certain lefties where he can get his legs back underneath him?

“You have an offensive catching hole from the backup and then AJ might decline because of fatigue. When you decline because of fatigue, it’s not just offensively but it’s sharpness defensively and taking care of the pitching staff.”

Castro not only becomes an upgrade over Miller with the bat, but also gives Ozzie Guillen greater flexibility with A.J. Pierzynski. So, little moves could mean a lot.

“Sometimes, it’s about the marginal deal, where you get five percent better,” Williams said.

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Trade particulars

Despite posting a 2.81 ERA over 10 starts for Triple-A Charlotte, Wes Whisler wasn’t exactly sitting around and waiting for his contract to be purchased prior to Saturday’s game against the Royals.

“I wasn’t expecting it, but you never know,” said Whisler, after arriving at Kauffman Stadium to begin the first Major League stint of his career. “I’m just going to go out there and control what I can control. I’m happy to be here and help out anyway possible.”
 
Whisler’s promotion was one of the offshoots from Friday night’s trade, with backup catcher Ramon Castro being sent from the Mets, with cash considerations, to the White Sox in exchange for right-handed reliever Lance Broadway. Castro, who was scheduled to arrive at game time, will wear No. 44, while Whisler will wear No. 46 on Saturday and No. 47 from that point moving forward.

Castro’s arrival could cut into playing time for starter A.J. Pierzynski, but White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said the team’s improvement in reserve they believe to have found in Castro certainly will not force a platoon situation.

“It’s not going to be my platoon catcher, but obviously it seems like this summer will be hot and humid, and we got to keep A.J. in the best shape we can get,” Guillen said. “We’re going to upgrade there. Nothing against Corky. Corky was great for us. No doubt he catches a good game, and he did his job on the field and off the field. We improved ourselves a little bit with Castro.”

This move once again shows how general manager Ken Williams is putting his team in the best possible position to compete in an overall American League race without a clear frontrunner. Whether Whisler remains with the White Sox past June 8, when Jose Contreras figures to be called up from Charlotte to start in one of the split doubleheader games against Detroit, remains to be seen.

Broadway actually heard the news first on Friday from Whisler, his roommate in Charlotte, when the lefty told Broadway he had been called up for the first time in his career. Broadway found out about the trade shortly thereafter, leaving their Charlotte apartment vacant.

“It’s sitting there, but that’s a good thing,” said Whisler of the Charlotte apartment. “I just never knew. I’m ecstatic about things, but shocked too at the same time.”

Castro to the White Sox; Broadway gone

The White Sox acquired catcher Ramon Castro and cash from the New York Mets for right-handed reliever Lance Broadway in a trade announced after Friday’s victory. Castro is hitting .252 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 26 games, but more importantly, Castro has thrown out 27.7 percent of attempted basestealers in his career.

Prior to Saturday’s game, Corky Miller will be designated for assignment by the White Sox and left-handed reliever Wes Whisler will be called up from Triple-A Charlotte.

Final Roster moves

The White Sox offcially got their roster down to 27 by making six cuts on Monday morning. The team optioned pitchers Lance Broadway, Jack Egbert and Jeff Marquez to Triple-A Charlotte, reassigned INF/OF Josh Kroeger and left-handed reliever Randy Williams to Minor League camp and placed infielder Jayson Nix on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quadriceps.

Although the move was not announced, Jerry Owens told a pair of reporters on Monday that he was placed on waivers. The move means that Dewayne Wise and Brian Anderson will be patroling center field for the White Sox. Corky Miller also is expected to be named the White Sox backup catcher, with Donny Lucy returning to Charlotte.

More to come soon.

Roster Moves

The tandem of Gordon Beckham and Aaron Poreda figure to be frontline players on a White Sox division winner in the near future.

 

For that matter, Beckham, the team’s top pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, and Poreda, the White Sox No. 1 selection in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, could contribute to the 2009 cause before all is said and done. But they both will start the season in the Minor Leagues.

 

Beckham and Poreda were two of four players reassigned to Minor League camp on Wednesday morning, joining veteran first baseman Ben Broussard and infielder Eider Torres. Right-handed relievers Adam Russell and Ehren Wassermann were optioned to Triple-A Charlotte, bringing the total to 33 players still in camp for the White Sox.

 

That total breaks down to 16 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders and six outfielders. Catchers Corky Miller and Donny Lucy, left-handed reliever Randy Williams, right-handed reliever Mike MacDougal and outfielder Josh Kroeger remain in contention for a roster spot as non-roster invitees to Spring Training.

 

Stewart to the Yankees

Chris Stewart was sent to the New York Yankees on Sunday for future considerations. Stewart hit .200 for the White Sox over eight games this spring.

The trade leaves Corky Miller and Donny Lucy as the only remaining candidates in camp for the backup catcher’s job. Miller appears to have the present edge.

 

Tucson Tales, Day 1

I actually arrived in Tucson on Wednesday night and had a great dinner at McMahon’s with my friend Sarah, probably the most upbeat person I know. I had the salmon, she had the swordfish–both outstanding meals. Actually, I’ve never had a bad meal in all my year’s of going to McMahon’s, so if you are in Tucson, stop by and tell them Scott Merkin sent you. It probably won’t do you any good, but I always wanted to have that kind of pull.

On Thursday night, I dinned at Risky Business, one of my favorite sports bars in Tucson. I was the rebel at the restaurant on this night, as every one of the 25 or so televisions was on the Arizona game. The hostess was nice enough to put one of the TVs on Michigan-Purdue.

Great win for the Wolverines! They should be in the NCAA Tournament, but if they end the season with a win at Minnesota, assuming a loss at Wisconsin, they have to qualify.

During my 6 1/2 years in Tucson (split one Spring Training between covering the Cubs and White Sox while working for another organization), I always enjoyed the city. Still do, but I have to admit I’ve grown accustomed to the Glendale area.

But that’s not why you called. Here are a few brief observations from the victory over Colorado, which probably got overlooked in the bulk of the coverage:

–Gordon Beckham walked in his first at-bat in the 7th and showed a little attitude with a bat flip after the walk. Attitude, as in confidence, not in a bad way. He then proceeded to swipe second base, one of three White Sox stolen bases on the day. I know it’s one game, but this kid has the feel of a ballplayer.

–Speaking of ballplayers, keep an eye on Brandon Allen. The 23-year-old had 29 home runs and 17 stolen bases combined last year and had one hit, one run scored and a stolen base on Thursday. He moves very well for his 6-foot-2, 235-pound size. Ozzie Guillen also has taken notice of Allen.

“I love the way he swings the bat,” sad Guillen of Allen. “He’s a name I’ve talked about with (general manager) Kenny (Williams).”

–Jack Egbert, D.J. Carrasco and Lance Broadway all hurled two scoreless innings apiece, while Jhonny Nunez closed out the victory with the look of a closer.

–Corky Miller had three hits and also had the longest distance for a 2009 Spring Traning bat toss, with it landing in the stands behind the White Sox dugout. Nobody was hurt, thankfully, and Miller traded another bat for the one the fan caught.

More updates to come later, after the game against Arizona is complete. Hope I remember how to get Tucson Electrc Park.

By the way, I just noticed the time of this blog entry as 11:11:11. Weird, right? Maybe I should view 11 as my lucky number for the rest of Spring Training.

 

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