Thursday, March 31, 2011

Indians Send Jayson Nix to Blue Jays

With an abundance of infielders, the release or trade of Jayson Nix, who had fallen on the 2nd and 3rd base depth charts, seemed a mere eventuality. On Tuesday it finally happened as he was traded to the Blue Jays for cash considerations. The move primarily served to free up a valuable 40-man spot and ensures the Indians get at least a minimal return instead of potentially seeing him swooped up on a waiver claim.

During his time with the Indians Nix hit just .234 with a .705 OPS - which actually represented one of his better offensive performances. A historically strong defensive second baseman with a career +11.4 UZR/150 who could get away with subpar offense there, Nix was shifted to third due to the abundance of second basemen in the Indians system and struggled with the spot defensively, essentially eliminating any value he had to the organization.

When it was announced that Jack Hannahan would be the clubs opening day third baseman, his chances, already slim, took another hit. The it was announced that Adam Everett had won the job as the teams backup infielder and it was all over.

Twins Opening Day Roster

C) Joe Mauer
1B) Justin Morneau
2B) Tsuyoshi Nishioka
3B) Danny Valencia
SS) Alexi Casilla
LF) Delmon Young
CF) Denard Span
RF) Michael Cuddyer
DH) Jason Kubel

BN) Drew Butera
BN) Jim Thome
BN) Matt Tolbert
BN) Jason Repko

SP) Carl Pavano
SP) Francisco Liriano
SP) Brian Duensing
SP) Nick Blackburn
SP) Scott Baker

RP) Jeff Manship
RP) Glen Perkins
RP) Dusty Hughes
RP) Kevin Slowey
RP) Jose Mijares
RP) Matt Capps
RP) Joe Nathan

Morning In The Central

Indians Links:

- The Cleveland Fan: Baseball on Ice Planet Hoth; A Very Thin Herd

- Cleveland Indians Chatter: Manny Acta and Manager Metrics

- Indians Prospect Insider: Indians Preparing For Another (Successful) Draft

- Let's Go Tribe: Manny Acta Loves Music

Royals Links:

- 14 For 77: Putting the Finishing Touches on the Royals Winter

- Royals Review: Five Royals Predictions For 2011

- Royals Authority: Royals 2011 Preview

Tigers Links:

- Tiger Tales: Forecasting the Division Winners

- DesigNate Robertson: Over/Under on the Tigers 2011 Season

- Bless You Boys: Leyland Does Not Want To Discuss Contracts

- Detroit Tigers Scorecard: Previewing and Predicting the AL Central

Twins Links:

- Off The Mark: Putting Sabermetrics to the Test: Introduction - The Rotation

- Nick's Twins Blog: Nick's 2011 Picks

White Sox Links:

- Beer Leaguer: Out Pitches: Jake Peavy's Slider

- Future Sox: System Breakdown: Starting Pitchers

- Sox Observer: Season Preview: The Defense

Kevin Slowey, Awkward Murderer

The Nightly Note

It's an exciting time of year. "Real" baseball starts tomorrow, the weather is warming up, and the site is coming along nicely. Personally I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of all this. Yeah, my writing still sucks and it will continue to do so for some time to come. But I can sense progress. Whereas just a few months I was still struggling with the concept of writing a post a day, I'm now able to write four or five pretty comfortably and still be done in time to put my kid down for her afternoon nap.

Some of that is because I've simply gotten more comfortable with the teams. It really is amazing how much you don't know when you start blogging/writing about any given subject. You might think you know more than anyone else about something - and heck, maybe you really do - but the more you invest yourself into any given subject, you always find you know a lot less than you might've thought. In two days I'll celebrate my one year anniversary here at Central in Focus and I can honestly say that back then, I had no freakin' clue what I was talking about. Truth is, I probably still don't, but let's bypass that part of this one-sided conversation.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hello AL Central in Focus

My name is Colin McLaughlin, I am 26 years old, a resident of New York City, and an avid baseball fan. In addition to the basics, I am now a contributor on AL Central in Focus. I am very excited to contribute to what I believe is an excellent forum for AL Central discussion.

I like to think of myself as someone who thinks and writes about baseball in a very logical and practical manner. However, when it comes to baseball, everyone is just guessing. Everyone is guessing about player performances, team developmental strategies, and various other topics for discussion. What I hope to do is at least make educated guesses about these various topics using original empirical perspective and good observation. At the very least I hope to offer up original topics and some interesting discussion about baseball in the AL Central.

Since the topics on this site will be all about the AL Central, I must disclose that I am a Tigers fan. I will try to be as impartial as possible, but if you are a fan of the White Sox, Indians, Twins or Royals, feel free to let me know if you feel I am not focusing enough of my energy on your team. Also be aware I might occasionally say something illogical and impractical just to get your blood flowing.

I am really excited to contribute to the site in the very near future. Please feel free to post any ideas you might have for my first topic of discussion in the comments section below.

Happy Opening Day!! Good luck to all the AL Central teams this season, may they all beat up on the AL East, AL West, and last but not (entirely) least the NL.

Play Ball.

White Sox Part With John Shelby - A Lesson In Tools v Skills and Upside v Projectability

Yesterday a minor trade was made that most folks won't care about in which a 26 year old who'd struggled in back-to-back seasons at AA was dealt off to the Rays for cash consideration. Happens all the time. But in this case it was a toolsy 5th round pick named John Shelby. Shelby put himself onto the prospect map with a phenomenal 2007 season, posting a .868 OPS in A ball and prompting Baseball America to add him to their 2008 White Sox Top-10 Prospects list. In their description of him they said;

"Shelby has the best combination of power and speed in the system. Though he's only 5-foot-10, he's strong for his size. He adds to his plus speed with good baserunning instincts and could develop into an even bigger stolen-base threat. He's improving in center field and has an average arm."

Afternoon In The Central

Indians Links:

- Indians Prospect Insider: Minor League Notebooks 3/29

- Let's Go Tribe: Cleveland's Digital Village;

- The Daily Tribe: I'm A Rock-et-Choooo; Marson, Everett Make Roster

- The Cleveland Fan: Final Rosters and the Social Buzz

Royals Links:

- Royals Prospects: Video of Jeremy Jeffress

- 14 For 77: Royal's Nation Unhappy With Final Roster Moves

- Royals Authority: Final Moves and Time to Call Your Shot

Tigers Links:

- Bless You Boys: Someone Else Must Step Up In Tigers Rotation; Tigers Must Play Capable Defense

- Old English D: Every Sports Plot in New York (ESPN)

- DesigNate Robertson: Know Thy Enemy, New York Yankees

Twins Links:

- Nick's Twins Blog: Twins 2011 Season Preview

- Twinkie Town: Base Running, Was It Really A Problem Last Year?

- Off The Mark: The Overlooked Benefit of Losing Neshek and Bullock

- Twins Fan From Afar: Twins Picks

- North Dakota Twins Fan: 2011 NL Predictions; 2011 Twins Award Predictions

White Sox Links:

- Beer Leaguer: Out Pitches: Edwin Jackson's Slider

- White Sox Observer: Interview With Brooks Boyer

White Sox Sign Dexter Carter

When the White Sox made their move to acquire Padres ace Jake Peavy in 2009, one of the key players headed to the Padres was Sox prospect Dexter Carter. Despite being a 22 year old in Low A Carter was coming off 118 dazzling innings for the Sox, with impressive 10.91K and 2.44BB rates. Unfortunately for the Padres, whatever he had figured out with the Sox fell apart after the trade as he would never again display the same level of dominance, even though he never was pushed beyond A ball.

After a season and a half of disappointment, the Padres gave up on him.

The White Sox for their part seemed happy to welcome him back. The 6'6" righty has struggled throughout his career with his mechanics which has made him inconsistent. But he features a mow 90s fastball, changeup and curve and his tall frame gives him good plane on this pitches. At 24 and not yet having seen AA Carter's chances of reaching the Majors are slim, but if the Sox can help him rediscover his early 2009 form, they might have something.

The Nightly Note

This is probably a bad idea, one of my audiences is Cleveland after all. But you know what, I don't understand the LeBron James hate. I get where it stems from - the guy made one of the most bone headed attempts at self promotion in recent memory. Though it begs the question, does it really deserve the level of consternation it's received?

Our society has an incredibly forgiving nature toward celebrities in general. I mean, this might be the only place in the world where you can buy a briefcase of blow, drop a couple hundred thousand dollars on hookers, then talk about your desire to start a porn family - and actually become a bigger sensation than when you were just the worlds best compensation TV star. We do realize that behavior like that should be consternation worthy... right?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

AL Central's Top-50 Prospects

1) Eric Hosmer
2) Chris Sale
3) Mike Moustakas
4) Wil Myers
5) Kyle Gibson
6) Jacob Turner
7) Drew Pomeranz
8) Lonnie Chisenhall
9) Mike Montgomery
10) Aaron Hicks

Morning In The Central

Indians Links:

- The Cleveland Fan: The View From Goodyear, Day 3

- The Tribe Daily: Soon Becomes Sooner, and Sooner Becomes Closer

- Let's Go Tribe: A Good Spring

- Cleveland Indians Chatter: Are the 2011 Indians Improved Over the 2010 Indians?

- Indians Prospect Insider: Minor League Notebook

Royals Links:

- Royals Review: Finding Baseball Lore On The Back Roads of Arkansas

- Royals Authority: A Little Help On The Way To The Future; 2011 Royals X-Factor: The Prospects

- Royally Speaking: Freddie Patek Owned Opening Day

- RoyalsCentricity: Gregor Blanco Placed On Waivers

Tigers Links:

- Bless You Boys: Staying Healthy Key to 2011 Season; Max Scherzer Struggles in Final Spring Training Appearance; BYB Writers Project The Season

- The Detroit Tigers Weblog: Hip Hip Opening Day

- Tigers Amateur Analysis: 2011 Season Preview

- DesigNate Robertson: 2011 Tigers Preview: Good Things, Bad Things, and Random Things

Twins Links:

- Twinkie Town: A Brief One Act Play Featuring Carl Pavano and Drew Butera

- Nick's Twins Blog: Position Analysis: Relief Pitching

- North Dakota Twins Fan: One Highly Priced Diamond; 2011 American League Predictions

White Sox Links:

- South Side Sox: Can We Complain Yet?

Royals Opening Day Roster

C) Brayan Pena
1B) Kila Ka'aihue
2B) Chris Getz
3B) Mike Aviles
SS) Alcides Escobar
LF) Alex Gordon
CF) Melky Cabrera
RF) Jeff Francouer
DH) Billy Butler

BN) Matt Traenor
BN) Wilson Betemit
BN) Mitch Maier
BN) Jarrod Dyson

SP) Luke Hochevar
SP) Jeff Francis
SP) Bruce Chen
SP) Kyle Davies
SP) Vin Mazzaro

RP) Sean O'Sullivan
RP) Kanekoa Texiera*
RP) Aaron Crow
RP) Nathan Adcock
RP) Tim Collins
RP) Robinson Tejada
RP) Joakim Soria

Monday, March 28, 2011

White Sox Opening Day Roster

C)A.J. Pierzynski
1B) Paul Konerko
2B) Gordon Beckham
3B) Brent Morel
SS) Alexei Ramirez
LF) Juan Pierre
CF) Alex Rios
RF) Carlos Quentin
DH) Adam Dunn

BN) Ramon Castro
BN) Omar Vizquel
BN) Mark Teahan
BN) Lastings Milledge
BN) Brent Lillibridge

SP) Mark Buehrle
SP) John Danks
SP) Edwin Jackson
SP) Gavin Floyd
SP) Philip Humber

RP) Tony Pena
RP)Will Ohman
RP) Sergio Santos
RP) Jesse Crain
RP) Chris Sale
RP) Matt Thornton

Tigers Opening Day Roster

C) Alex Avila
1B) Miguel Cabrera
2B) Will Rhymes
3B) Brandon Inge
SS) Johnny Peralta
LF) Ryan Raburn
CF) Austin Jackson
RF) Magglio Ordonez
DH) Victor Martinez

BN) Brennan Boesch
BN) Casper Wells
BN) Don Kelly
BN) Ramon Santiago

SP) Justin Verlander
SP) Max Scherzer
SP) Rick Porcello
SP) Brad Penny
SP) Phil Coke

RP) Enrique Gonzalez
RP) Brayan Villareal
RP) Brad Thomas
RP) Ryan Perry
RP) Daniel Schlereth
RP) Joaqin Benoit
RP) Jose Valverde

Indians Opening Day Roster

C) Carlos Santana
1B) Matt LaPorta
2B) Orlando Cabrera
3B) Jack Hannahan
SS) Asdrubal Cabrera
LF) Austin Kearns
CF) Michael Brantley
RF) Shin-Soo Choo
DH) Travis Hafner

BN) Lou Marson
BN) Adam Everett
BN) Travis Buck
BN) Jason Donald

SP) Fausto Carmona
SP) Justin Masterson
SP) Carlos Carrasco
SP) Mitch Talbot
SP) Josh Tomlin

RP) Frank Herrmann
RP) Justin Germano
RP) Vinnie Pestano
RP) Tony Sipp
RP) Joe Smith
RP) Rafael Perez
RP) Chris Perez

Twins Trade Billy Bullock For Scott Diamond

In yet another baffling move, the Twins have yet again traded a quality player - this time a quality prospect - for a reliever not even capable of cracking the roster. This marks the third time in the past eight months the team has decided to trade a player with the ability to consistently add multiple wins for someone who is likely to have almost no effect what-so-ever.

Afternoon In The Central

Indians Links:

- Cleveland Indians Chatter: Who Is Jack Hannahan? (Interesting story about his issues with alcohol)

- The Cleveland Fan: Tomlin's Rotation Spot; The View From Goodyear; A Lazy Sunday

- Indians Prospect Insider: Tribe Makes Roster Decisions

-The Tribe Daily: Tomlin Wins Roster Spot

- Deep Left Field: Indians Rotation Announced, Huff To Columbus; Travis Buck and the Outfield Situation

Royals Trade For Matt Traenor

The Royals headed into the 2011 season knowing that starting catcher Jason Kendall wasn't going oto be ready for opening day. In the interim, there have been starts and stops along his recovery, with Kendall himself suggesting that he'd be ready for opening day. That was optimistic to say the least, and given his most recent setback, that's completely off the table.

Former #1 Prospects Getting A Shot At Redemption

In 2005, Lastings Milledge was rated as the New York Mets Top Prospect by Baseball America. In 2006, Travis Buck received the same honor for the Oakland Athletics.

In describing  Milledge, Baseball America said;

"It’s still unclear as to whether Milledge profiles better at the top or in the middle of the order. He has above-average speed that he uses to his advantage on the bases and in center field, and he also has a plus arm. With his package of five tools, Milledge has few peers in the minors, and he has produced throughout his minor league career."

In describing Buck, B.A. had this to say;

"Buck is a bigger version of [Andre] Ethier with similar tools but more projected power."

Brent Morel Wins Third Base Job For Sox

In 2010 the White Sox got disappointing production out of their starting third basemen. Having signed the veteran Mark Teahan away from the Royals during the past off season to fill that hole, the Sox were generally disappointed by his performance. Offensively Teahan's .709 OPS shouldn't have come as much of a surprise as his past two marks of .715 and .734 respectively weren't anything special either. Nor should his defense, which was customarily horrendous, have stood out as being anything other than par for the course. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

In His Own Words: Jason Adam

You may not have heard of him yet, but Jason Adam has been turning heads around the game since instructional leagues last fall. With a fastball working in the 92-94 range, a good curve, and a developing changeup the young hometown righty has people in Kansas City excited. He was kind enough to spend about two hours chatting with me (on a Saturday!) and I managed to stay on topic enough to actually ask some questions that you'll hopefully enjoy.

Beware, it's long. So grab your popcorn and read on dear friends, read on.

Indians Sign Jesse English

The Indians have brought on soft throwing lefty Jesse English. Initially a draft pick for the Giants, English spent the past two seasons pitching for the Nationals, breaking onto their Major League squad briefly last season, making seven relief appearances.

At one point in time English was thought to be a potential back-end starter, but with a fastball the works in 86-88 range, he's ended up to be better suited in the bullpen and looks like he could serve as a low-leverage lefty-specialist.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jack Hannahan, Indians Likely Opening Day Third Baseman

Heading into this off season, the question about who would man third base on a long-term basis for the Cleveland Indians wasn't much of a question - Lonnie Chisenhall is the future. But in the interim, the team was looking at a group of players that weren't ideally suited for the job. Mostly converted middle infielders who needed a place to play. Last years opening day second baseman Luis Valbuena wass in the mix, as was former second baseman Jayson Nix, who ended 2010 as the teams third baseman.

White Sox Trade Kyle McCulloch

On Wednesday in a move that garnered little national attention, the White Sox traded away former 2006 first round pick Kyle McCulloch to the Cincinnati Reds for cash considerations. A star shortstop in high school, McCulloch became a full time pitcher in college at Texas. But after five relatively obscure seasons in the White Sox, the Sox have finally given up on him.

Once a well regarded prospect. McCulloch works in the 88-92 range with his fastball and features a changeup that once held a lot of promise but never turned into the sort of swing and miss pitch that scouts had expected. He also throws a curve. The mix has produced decidedly uninspired results, as his career strikeout rate stands at just 5.1 and his command isn't anything special either, with career walk rate of 2.9.

While McCulloch has slowly advanced through the Sox system, reaching AAA last season, he'll be head to Cincinnati as more of an organizational bullpen arm.

What to Expect From Rick Porcello In 2011

It's not entirely uncommon for a very promising young arm to shoot through a teams farm system, reach the Majors Leagues, and impress fans with how easy they make it all seem. It happens to most teams every five to ten years or so. Someone gets drafted, shreds Minor League competition, and finds themselves thrust into the Major League spotlight.

Morning In The Central

Indians Links:

- The Cleveland Fan: Indians Interludes

- The Tribe Daily: Welcome To Our World

- Indians Prospect Insider: Lavisky Has Star Potential

Thursday, March 24, 2011

White Sox Tab Matt Thornton As Closer

One of the more pleasing things for me this spring has been the general lack of concern I've seen, both from the media and from the fans, about the closers situation in Chicago. Typically when a team expecting to contend has a uncertainty at the closers position, the media is up in arms. People debate whether or not someone has good enough stuff for it - whether a pitcher who's had success in a 8th inning role can really handle the pressure of having the game on the line. You know, because the inning guys never have the game on the line.

Morning In The Central

Ok, wow. It's been a WEEK since I did a link list, so this is going to be pretty damned extensive. Get your popcorn ready.

Indians Links:

- Deep Left Field: Less is (Size)More; Indians Without Two Starters On Opening Day

- Cleveland Indians Chatter: Chisenhall Decisions & Options; Rosterbating The Indians Opening Day Roster

- Let's Go Tribe: The Final Spots: Fourth Outfielder; The Final Spots: Rotation; The Final Spots: Infield

- The Cleveland Fan: What Will Mike Be Like?; The Starting Rotation: Sizemore Returns, Lewis in Limbo

- Indians Prospect Insider: Top 50 Prospects: Nick Weglarz (#5), Drew Pomeranz (#4), Alex White (#3), Jason Kipnis (#2), Lonnie Chisenhall (#1); With Donald Out, is Hannahan the Favorite?

- The Tribe Daily: Sizemore!; About That Whole Bullpen Thing

Royals Links:

- Kings Of Kauffman: Seven More Cuts; Better Than Expected; The Bullpen Gets... Less Fuzzy; Winning the Zack Greinke Trade; Pitching Staff Takes Shape

- RoyalsCentricity: Lynx All Around (with a special gift just for me!)

- Royally Speaking: Expected

- 14 For 77: Royals Under The Gun At All Levels; Spring Training Pics and Video; How The Omaha Roster Is Shaping Up; Reshuffling the Top-35

- Royals Authority: Three Catchers, No Waiting; Spring Hit Parade; Now It's Getting Serious; Lineup!

- Royals Review: Will Mike Aviles Ever Earn 1m in a Season?; Adjusting the Timetable for Mike Moustakas; Royals Name Luke Hochevar Opening Day Starter; Alex Gordon Hitting Profile; Royals Trade Brett Carroll to the Brewers; Worst Possible Decisions: 2011

Tigers Links:

- Bless You Boys:

- Motor City Bengals: Benoit Putting In Work; Tigers Announce Starting Rotation; Will Rhymes Named Starter; Sleepers To Keep An Eye On; Tigers Valued At 385m

- Old English D: Linkarama

- The Detroit Tigers Weblog: Quantifying Old Smokey

- No Run Support: Morning Cuts; Spring Training Photo Links; Stuff And Things (CiF Link!);

Twins Links:

- Over The Baggy: A Closer Look At Kevin Slowey

- Nick's Twins Blog: Position Analysis: Center Field, Left Field, Shortstop, Third Base, Second Base; Padres Claim Neshek

- K-Bro: So Long, Pat-Pat

- Off The Mark: So Long, Pat Neshek

- Puckett's Pond: Twins Pitchers By ERA+; Cuddyer and Clubhouse Chemistry

White Sox Links:

- Southside Showdown: Thornton Named White Sox Closer; Jake Peavy Shut Down; Sox Make More Cuts

- South Side Sox: Looking at the AL Central Shortstops; Who's Right in the Boras/Reinsdorf Flap?; White Sox To Start Managing Peavy; What Happened to Tony Pena?; De Aza Damaged Most By Latest Cuts

- My Sox Are White: AL Central Preview: Detroit Tigers

- Future Sox: System Breakdown: Relievers

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Will Rhymes Wins Tigers Second Base Job

Following the departure of Placido Polanco after the 2009 season, the Tigers were left with a fairly significant hole to fill at second base. While the decision to allow Polanco, the long-standing #2 hitter in the lineup and a well liked player all-around wasn't an easy one, his age, combined with a production falloff that left him with an OPS of just .727 in 2009 made it easier. Polanco would go on to sign a rather significant new contract with the Phillies who moved him to third base.

The initial plan had been to phase in Scott Sizemore who was coming off a strong Minor League campaign in 2009, having hammered both AA and AAA pitching in 2009, Sizemore displayed offense to spare at a position where offense is generally pretty hard to come by. It was widely known that he was a sub-par defender, but the prospect of a second baseman putting up a .270/.350/.440 line is hard to ignore. Second basemen with that kind of offensive production don't just grow on trees.

Brett Carroll Traded To Brewers

Looking to bolster their outfield depth this off season the Royals signed Marlins long-time farm hand, and part time Major Leaguer Brett Carroll this off season. Back in 2007, Carroll put up a pretty impressive Minor League season, crushing AA and AAA pitching to put himself on the prospect map and it even earned him a callup. Unfortunately that seasoned ended up being an aberration, as he'd never repeat that success with the bat again at any level.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thoughts on Bullpens: Relievers, and Why They Don't Matter

Over the course of the last decade it's been pretty common to hear stat-heads talk about how the closers role is overblown. It's not a difficult case to make. If I were to take a quick survey of 100 random baseball fans and ask them who was the best closer in baseball, they'd probably name Mariano Rivera. They'd be right. Even last year as his age finally began to show, and his strikeout rates dipped, Rivera remained fantastic at closing out games.

Yet even with a sparkling 1.80 ERA, Rivera was just the 6th most effective reliever in the AL last year. Over the past three seasons Rivera has led baseball in ERA with a 1.64 mark, but six others have also had ERAs under 2.00. So while Rivera may be the most dominant reliever in baseball, it's not by very much. In fact the difference between a 1.64 ERA and a 2.00 ERA over 180 innings is very small - 32.8 runs vs 40.0 runs. 7.2 runs in total. Or on average, 2.4 runs per year.

So yeah, Mariano Rivera is amazing. No doubt. But in terms of overall effect on a team? Not really any different that a handful of other guys.

AL Central Injury Updates


- Grady Sizemore (Knee): Finally some good news on the Sizemore front. After running the bases and practicing sliding with no major ill effects, Sizemore participated in his first game action yesterday, going 0-2. He's still not on track for opening day, and the team still has no real timetable for his return. It seems that he'll go to EST to open the year and then go on a rehab stint before returning. Mid-April? Early May?

We don't know yet.


- Jason Kendall (Shoulder): Sounds like he'll be ready to go by Mid-April.


- Carlos Guillen (Knee): Will open season in EST and on 15-day DL. Still making progress.

- Joel Zumaya (Elbow): Will open season in EST and on 15-day DL. Still making progress.

- Justin Morneau (Concussion): Has played in some games and looked good, but still isn't playing every day. Opening day status remains uncertain.

- Joe Nathan (Elbow): Nathan has shown encouraging velocity, but at times has struggled with his command and isn't missing bats the way he used to. He's definitely not his pre-surgery self. Which isn't a hug surprise.

- Michael Cuddyer (Foot): Should be back soon after having wart removed from the sole of his foot. Has already played on the MiLB side, with a homerun and double.

White Sox:

- Jake Peavy (Lat, Shoulder): There had almost been too much good news on the Jake Peavy front, and unfortunately things have slowed. After missing his last start with shoulder soreness, he's been diagnosed with tendinitis in that shoulder. Long term, it's of little concern, it's an issue of inflammation for which meds and rest will help, but it does mean any chance of opening the year in the rotation is off the table. Still looking at a mid-April, early-May start.

- Dayan Vidiedo (Hand): Expected to miss a few more weeks as he recovers from the broken hand he suffered after being hit with pitch.

Jensen Lewis Waived

The second rather eyebrow raising bullpen move made by an AL Central team in the past 48 hours. On Saturday Pat Neshek announced that he had been claimed by the Padres on his Twitter account. Today we learn that Indians reliever Jensen Lewis has been waived by the club.

The Twins dumping of Neshek, despite his ongoing struggles, was surprising given that he had options remaining and could've simply been stashed in AAA. That wasn't true of Lewis, who is out of options. Yet the teams decision to cut someone who posted a 2.97 ERA (3.41FIP) in a setup role last season is a bit baffling.

Padres Claim Pat Neshek Off Waivers

Last Tuesday I spent some time speculating on how I thought the Twins 2011 opening day bullpen would shape up. Having lost much of the 2010 relief corps to free agency, the state of that bullpen is certainly one of the biggest issues facing the 2011 Twins as they attempt to defend their AL Central title. In that post I speculated that former setup man Pat Neshek would once again be a part of the Twins plans, at least to open the season.

Turns out I'm going to have to rethink that.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Indians Top 15 Prospects: 2011

Cleveland Indians Top 15 Prospects: 2011

1) Drew Pomeranz, LHP
2) Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
3) Jason Kipnis, 2B
4) Chun-Hsiu Chen, C
5) Alex White, RHP
6) Nick Weglarz, OF
7) Jason Knapp, RHP
8) Joe Gardner, RHP
9) Bryce Stowell, RHP
10) Kyle Blair, RHP
11) Jared Goedert, 3B
12) Cord Phelps, 2B
13) Jordan Henry, OF
14) LeVon Washington, OF
15) Tony Wolters, SS
16) Matt Packer, LHP

Morning In The Central

Indians Links:

- Indians Prospect Insider: Top 50 Prospects: Nick Weglarz (#5)

Royals Links:

- Kings Of Kauffman: A Tale Of Two Hitters
- Royalacentricity: Equating Your Royals To Characters From The Wire: Dayton Moore Edition
- Royals Review: Some Spring Heros;
- Royals Authority: Positioning

Tigers Links:

- Bless You Boys: Checking In On The Tigers Outfield Battle
- Tiger Tales:
- Motor City Bengals:
- Old English D:
- DesigNate Robertson:

Twins Links:

- Nick's Twins Blog: Position Analysis: First Base
- Over The Baggy: Mijares Developing New Pitch
- North Dakota Twins Fan: Twins Injury Report: Almost Back To Normal
- Twinkie Town: Happy Mauer Day!
- Twins Fan From Afar: #34

White Sox Links:

- South Side Sox: The Sox Will Have a Closer, and That's Not Bad; Down The AB/HR/K Hole

- My Sox Are White: AL Central Preview: Minnesota Twins
- Future Sox: White Sox System Breakdown: Outfielders

Prospect Profile: Wade Gaynor

Profile: 3B - 6'3" - 225lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 23


• Hit: 35-45
• Power: 45-50
• Eye: 40-50
• Range:  45-45
• Hands: 45-50
• Arm: 50-50
• Run: 45-50

The Nightly Note

Along the great linear scale of catastrophe, a nuclear meltdown ranks pretty high on the list of terrible calamities. Of course, where one nuclear meltdown is bad, four is well, worse. By a lot. I'm not going to try and say exactly how much worse - four times perhaps. In truth it doesn't really matter much because trying to determine the scale of damage with nuclear meltdowns is a fools errand. There are only varying degrees of really, really bad.

For the people of Japan who've survived so much already, the prospect of adding yet another massive calamity to their already decimated lives must seem both cruel or passe all at once. "Four nuclear meltdowns? Sure why the heck not. I mean, we haven't had a life altering disaster in almost fifteen minutes."

I don't mean to make light of anything that's occurred over there of course. But at some point you simply run out of reasonable methods for expressing regret and sorrow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sorting Out The Twins Bullpen

Much like the Royals unsettled bullpen situation, the Twins too are looking at a lot of pitchers to try and fill out their bullpen. While the reasons for the two teams many bullpen holes are different, the predicaments is the same: how do you  construct an effective 'pen without many proven arms?

In the Royals case, the team has a lot of holes because there were so few capable arms last year, and they have a bevy of quality young options to chose from. In the Twins case however, they lost a bullpen's worth of quality arms this past off season with the departures of Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch, and Brian Fuentes. All the loses have left the franchise with a lot of holes to fill and few proven players to do so with.

Morning In The Central

Indians Links:

- Indians Prospect Insider: Top 50 Prospects: Jason Knapp (#6)

Royals Links:

- Kings Of Kauffman: The Sounds of Spring, Again
- Royals Authority: Royals To Showcase Local Bands

Tigers Links:

- Bless You Boys: Tigers Make First Cuts; Q&A With Dan Dickerson Pt2; Morning Prowl (CiF Link!)
- Tiger Tales: Tigers Make First Spring Training Cuts
- Motor City Bengals: Down on the Farm: Adam Wilk

Twins Links:

- Nick's Twins Blog: Position Analysis: Catcher
- Puckett's Pond: Twins Trim 14 From Camp

White Sox Links:

- South Side Sox: Peavy Gaining Strength After Third Start
- Southside Showdown: Jake Peavy's Third Spring Training Start: Encouraging; Chicago White Sox Projected Opening Day Roster

Prospect Profile: Cheslor Cuthbert

Profile: 3B - 6'1" - 190lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 18


• Hit: 30-55
• Power: 35-60
• Eye: 30-50
• Range:  40-50
• Hands: 35-50
• Arm: 45-60
• Run: 40-45

The Nightly Note

First of all, I'd like to begin by apologizing for the lack of a Nightly Note as of late. Try as I might, I've been quite unable to come up with topics I thought were worthy enough for what this little space of the internet has become. I know the original idea was simply to create somewhere that I could dump my thoughts - be it on writing, life... whatever. But somehow I feel as though it's transformed itself into a space for meaningful discussions of life's vagaries as seen through my eyes.

It was with that in mind that I've spent the better part of the last week staring blankly at my computer screen into the wee hours of the morning, hoping that inspiration would strike. Of course it did not. Instead I recently found inspiration where I so often do: in the front seat of my car with the hum of the road drowning out the noise of my day to day.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tyler Flowers Having a Strong Spring

Around this time last year I ran profiles on what was a promising group of young catchers throughout the Central, and one of those profiles was on the White Sox Tyler Flowers. While the group has experienced varied results, Flowers has just 35 plate appearances spread over the past two seasons to his credit.

He's also a player in dire need of a strong comeback season. While strikeout concerns have plagued Flowers throughout his career, something I mentioned while profiling him last season, he retains impressive power and posted a .214 ISO in AAA during the 2010 season. Regrettably, he also saw his already disturbingly high strikeout rate climb yet another 5 points to 35%.

The Battle For The Tigers Final Outfield Spot

Every team has it interesting spring training races to watch, and in the AL Central that's no different. In Minnesota, there are six starters fighting for five spots and bullpen full of holes after the team jettisoned essentially their entire bullpen this past off season. Kansas City has a youngster (or three) that should have every veteran on their toes. The Indians are trying to figure out how to fill third base and with all the outfield injuries, there is room for someone who wants to step up there.

What to Expect From Danny Valencia In 2011

Ever since the departure of Corey Koskie following the 2004 season, the Twins have been a team trying to find an answer at the hot corner. Over the past six seasons the team has run out a carousel of under talented Minor Leaguers or well-part-their-prime veterans. Then, over the past couple seasons Danny Valencia began to emerge. He made his way onto prospect lists following a strong 2008 season, and moved up again after another solid campaign in 2009.

Prospect Profile: Louis Coleman

Profile: RHP - 6'4" - 200lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 25


• FB 91-93: Plays up in bullpen after being 88-90 in rotation, lacks movement, very tough on righties. (45-60)
• SL 80-82: Good rotation and tilt, needs to be more consistent, very tough on righties. (60-60)
• CH 82-84: Improving. Could still use better arm-action and differential. (40-55)

Afternoon In The Central

Indians Links:

- Cleveland Indians Chatter: Improving the Indians Offense and Results

- The Cleveland Fan: Tapping the Brakes on a Lazy Sunday

- Indians Prospect Insider: Top 50 Prospects: Cord Phelps (#9), Tony Wolters (#8) LeVon Washington (#7)

- The Tribe Daily: Running Around and Throwing on Point

- Let's Go Tribe: First Cuts; The Cliff Lee Trade: Perception, Reality, Carrasco

Royals Links:

- Kings Of Kauffman: Spring Cleaning, Royals Cut Six Pitchers; Royals Make More Cuts; Fresh Fish: Royals Claim Lefty; Has Kyle Davies Turned a Corne... Nevermind

- Royally Speaking: Sunday Linkage (CiF Link!)

- Royals Review: Homer Gets Alex Gordon Off Slide He Wasn't Really On; Royals Last 10 Years, A Graphgasm; The Royals As NCAA Tournament Teams

- Royals Authority: Bullpen Revelations

Tigers Links:

- Bless You Boys: Morning Prowl; Q&A With Tigers Announcer Dan Dickerson (Pt1)

- Tiger Tales: Best Outfields Ever

- Motor City Bengals: Questioning The Elite-ness of Justin Verlander; The Importance Of The Sixth Starter; Q&A With Scot Drucker

- Old English D: Miscellany

- DesigNate Robertson: Patron Saint Update

Twins Links:

- Nick's Twins Blog: On Location In Ft. Myers

- Over The Baggy: Twins Notes

- North Dakota Twins Fan: Ultimate Twins Team Bracket

- K-Bro: Dad

- Off The Mark: Growing Up

- Twinkie Town: Twins Preparing to Make First Cuts; Minor League Report

White Sox Links:

- South Side Sox: Sunday Links; Dispatches From The Margins

- Southside Showdown: Don't Expect A Third Base Decision Any Time Son

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Royals Claim Robert Fish

The Royals made a move today to acquire left-hander Robert Fish off waivers from the Yankees. Fish, property of the Angels to begin the off-season, was selected by the Yankees in the Rule V draft this winter. To make room for Fish on the 40-man roster the Royals have opted to move 25 year old righty Henry Barrera to the 60-day disabled list.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Prospect Profile: Kyle Blair

Kyle Blair

Profile: RHP - 6'3" - 200lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 22


• FB2 91-93: Plus arm-side run but lacks command within zone. (50-60)
• SL 83-85: Gets solid depth and he can throw it under the bats of lefties. (60-60)
• CH 82-84: Shows some fade and sink, and he has a solid feel for the pitch. (45-55)

Prospect Profile: Addison Reed

Profile: RHP - 6'4" - 220lbs -BT:L - TH:R - 2011 Age: 22


• FB 91-93: Run is small but it breaks late, command within strikezone. (55-65)
• SL 80-82: Corner-to-corner break, misses low, good horizontal plane, plus tight rotation and late break. (60-70)
• CH 83-85: Kind of straight and the arm action is inconsistent. (35-40)

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Few Thoughts on Scouting Reports and Sabermetrics

If you've visited this site at all over the past month or so, odds are you've come here to view a scouting report. Of my ten most popular posts (by page hits) this year, seven have been a scouting report of one player or another. Clearly they're a big draw. Whether you're a regular reader of CiF (thank you) or have stumbled in here because you found your players scouting report via a Google search or followed a link from another site, you're still here because you hope to find information that can further your understanding of one player or another.

The ugly truth however is that no matter how good of a scout someone is, no matter how large the viewing sample size, projecting players using just your eyes is really, really tough. This is pretty obvious of course, and in all likelihood you've heard it before. Yet fans as well as teams place enormous amounts of responsibility - tens of millions of dollars worth on an annual basis - on the subjective observations of scouts. It's an incredible leap of faith when you think of it in that way.

Afternoon In The Central

Indians Links:

- Cleveland Indians Chatter: Who is Travis Buck

- The Cleveland Fan: A Pivotal Summer

- Indians Prospect Insider: Top 50, Joe Gardner (#10); The Release of a Dream

- The Tribe Daily: Indians All-Time 25-Man Roster

- Deep Left Field: The LaPorta Situation

Royals Links:

- Kings Of Kauffman: Another Catcher of the Future?; A Little Bird Told Me...

- Royally Speaking: Morning Tweets

- 14 For 77: More Heyman Greinke Rumors

- Kings of Kauffman: 

- Royals Review: Walk Rates and Aging Curves

- Royals Authority: Billy Butler, Base Stealer; Alex Gordon in Trade Rumors

Tigers Links:

- The Detroit Tigers Weblog: News and Notes

- DesigNate Robertson: Get Well, Luis Salazar

- Tiger Tales: What Will Brennan Boesch Do Next? (CiF Link!)

- Motor City Bengals: Ramon Santiago On The Trade Block?

Twins Links:

- North Dakota Twins Fan: Spring Training Week Two Update

White Sox Links:

- My Sox are White: Cleveland Indians Preview

- South Side Sox: Thumbs Down For Viciedo

- Southside Showdown: Sox Make First Cuts, Viciedo Hurt

Prospect Profile: Brayan Villareal

Profile: RHP - 6'0" - 170lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 24


• FB 92-94: Plus command but straight without great plane. (55-60)
• SL 83-84: Tight rotation with hard late break. Tough pitch for he hitter to pick up. (55-65)
• CH 83-85: Still working to improve arm action and consistency. (35-45)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dayan Viciedo Breaks Thumb

Dayan Viciedo, the White Sox slugging corner outfielder and third baseman was playing in a game against Texas today when he was hit in the hand with a pitch from Dave Bush in the 8th inning. Viciedo immediately dropped the bat and was assisted by trainers. He left the game immediately looking shaken up. A post-game X-ray has revealed a broken bone in his right thumb and he's expected to miss 3-4 weeks as the injury heals.

In the meantime, one would assume this helps make way for Lastings Milledge who the Sox signed to a Minor League deal this past off season. Viciedo has a .435 average this spring in 23 at-bats. Milledge is hitting .250 in 22 at-bats.

In His Own Words: Pat Dean

Pat Dean is a pitcher in the Twins system. After finishing an impressive career at Boston College he was drafted by the Twins in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft. He signed in enough time to get his feet wet and in 29 rookie ball innings managed to strike out 37 while walking just one. And you thought Cliff Lee had a good K/BB rate didn't you?

I imagine his answer to question #2 will prove particularly satisfying to those who frequent this site.

Prospect Profile: Johnny Giavotella

Profile: 2B - 5'8" - 185lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 23


• Hit: 50-55
• Power: 40-45
• Eye: 45-55
• Range:  40-45
• Hands: 45-50
• Arm: 40-40
• Run: 50-55

Morning In The Central

Indians Links:

- Indians Prospect Insider Top-50: T.J. House (#11)

- Our Little Baby is Growing Up Big and Strong

- A Pivotal Summer

Royals Links:

- The Career of Kila Ka'aihue at a Crossroads

- Is Mike Aviles On The Block?

Tigers Links:

- News Roundup: Kelly Makes The Team, Zumaya Behind Schedule, Santiago Up For Trade?

Twins Links:

- Storylines After 11 Spring Training Games

- Due Diligence: Joel Hanrahan

- 3 For 1 Special: Part 3 (Kyle Gibson)

White Sox Links:

- Looking at the AL central Second Basemen

The Nightly Note

I haven't done one of these in a few days. That's partly due to a lack of anything substantive to write about. Partly because I've just felt... off. You'll probably notice that beyond not having a Nightly Note these past few days, I just haven't written that much at all. In most jobs when you're not getting your work done, we call it laziness, or ineffectiveness. I think I feel that way. I want to label myself as being lazy, but I don't really think that's the case. I just, "haven't had it."

I know that right now I have a lot of balls in the air and like anyone trying to balance a multitude of work needs with a home life, it's not easy. Believe it or not, a simple little site like this one takes an incredible amount of work. For each of the Prospect Profiles I provide I'm studying tons of film, consulting with players and scout, and taking incessant notes. Sometimes I have more information at hand to work with, sometimes I have less and need to do more digging.

And some days I just don't have that "it." That desire to really dig hard, to really bust my hump and put out tons of high quality content. I always want to of course, I love it. But sometimes you just don't have your "A game."

Prospect Profile: Jake Odorizzi

Profile: RHP - 6'2" - 175lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 21


• FB4 92-94: Straight and hard, tends to leave it up. (50-55)
• FB2 90-92: Plus run, attacks with the pitch, and commands it well. (60-65)
• CV 79-81: Big 11/5 break. Breaks a bit early. (45-60)
• SL 81-82: Slurvy and not projectable right now. (30-35)
• CH 82-83: It has a little sink, needs to improve his feel. (40-45)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Afternoon In The Central

Indians Links:

- A Tangle In The Outfield; Chisenhall? Pomeranz? Why not?

- Continuing the Top-50 Countdown: Kyle Blair (#14), Nick Hagadone (#13), and Bryce Stowell (#12)

- PHENOMENAL new site to add to your Indians reading: Cleveland Indians Chatter.

Royals Links:

- Top Pitchers Show Off In Lincoln

- News and Notes from Kings Of Kauffman (including a CiF link!)

- The Missing Link: Substandard Mid-Week Filler (more CiF links!)

- Waiting for the Real Games

- Danny Duffy and the Tale of Two Fastballs

- 2002 Twins Should Be Model For Royals

Tigers Links:

- A link that I'll be adding to our Blogroll: Tigers Amateur Analysis

Twins Links:

- Fantastic breakdown of international spending by AL Central teams.

- Leaving Injury Island

- Pleasant Surprises

- 3 For 1 Special: Part One (Slowey); Part Two (Baker)

- Justin Morneau Return to the Field, Feels Good; Kevin Slowey, Trade Bait?; Counting On A Big Season From Denard Span

What to Expect From Brennan Boesch In 2011

The Tigers 3rd round pick in the 2007 draft, Brennan Boesch had a breakout season for the Tigers in 2010, posting a monster first half in which he slugged his way to a .345/.397/.593 triple slash with 12 home runs and a 17.6% K-rate in 267 pre-All-Star Game at-bats. The very first pitch he saw, a fastball from Rich Harden, he lashed for a double and he just kept right on hitting through the break. More impressive is that he didn't begin to compile those numbers until after a mid-season call up, necessitated when Carlos Guillen went down. Until the All-Star break Boesch looked as though he were trying tp put his stamp on the left field job and make himself a permanent fixture in the Tigers batting order.

Prospect Profile: Angel Morales

Profile: OF - 6'0" - 185lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 21


• Hit: 40-50
• Power: 45-60
• Eye: 40-50
• Range:  50-55
• Hands: 45-50
• Arm: 50-55
• Run: 50-55

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Prospect Profile: Jared Goedert

Profile: 3B - 6'2" - 200lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 26


• Hit: 45-50
• Power: 50-55
• Eye: 30-50
• Range:  40-40
• Hands: 45-45
• Arm: 50-50
• Run: 30-30

Afternoon In The Central

Indians Links:

- Alan Ciammiachella on the Indians early season action

- Indians Sign Nick Johnson

- Indians Starting Pitching Preview

- Traded: Aaron Laffey

Royals Links:

- Trade Bait: Clint Robinson

- More on the Royals baserunning aggressiveness.

- Jason Kendall Eyeing an Opening Day Return

- Could Eric Hosmer's bat force the Royals to speed up his time table?

- Royals make a couple minor moves

- How Many Plate Appearances For Lorenzo Cain in 2011?; Prospect rating hypocrisy

Tigers Links:

- Bad News For Joel Zumaya; The Curious Case Of Fu-Ti Ni; Brad Penny, So Far So Good

- Odd Men Out; Daniel Schlereth's Backup Plans

- Baseball Prospectus' Take On The 2011 Season

- Andy Dirks making his play to head north; Is Andy Dirks For Real?;

- A look at the patch the Tigers will wear to commemorate Sparky Anderson

- Will Rhymes Gets a Surprise Visitor

- Are The Tigers Making a Mistake By Not Having Added Rotation Depth?; Ryan Raburn Correct About His Defense;

Twins Links:

- Brian Duensing will open the year in the rotation

- Joe Bronk's Top 25 Twins Prospects

- Q&A With Tsuyoshi Nishioka

White Sox Links:

- The Dayan Viciedo Dilemma; Matt Thornton Signs Two Year Extension; The Return Of Jake Peavy; Muhammed Ali Visits White Sox Camp

- Previewing The Central: KC Royals

- Which Pen is Mightier?; Is 5.5m Closer Money?; Sox Hire Manager Of Cultural Development;

AL Central Injury Updates

It seems like yesterday, but I haven't done an Injury Update since the 27th. Apologies for that.


- Grady Sizemore (Knee): Still no closer to returning from off season microfracture surgery at this point. It seems highly unlikely he opens the season.

- Trevor Crowe (Shoulder): Has been taking cortisone shots, but also remains doubtful for the start of the season.

- Michael Brantley (legs): Has been experiencing fatigue and pain in legs. Will take a few games off.

- Shin-Soo Choo: (Elbow) He's been experiencing some discomfort but as of now isn't expected to miss time.

- Jared Goedert (Oblique): Is expected to miss at least two weeks. Was a long-shot candidate for a backup infield position. Will open the season in AAA.

- Jason Donald (Hand): He was hit in the hand by a pitch. X-Rays negative. Should be back playing within a week.

- Anthony Reyes (Elbow): Threw a 36-pitch bullpen without any reported issues.

Prospect Profile: Daniel Schlereth

Profile: LHP - 6'0" - 198lbs -BT:L - TH:L - 2011 Age: 25


• FB 91-93: Solid arm-side run, well commanded. (55-65)
• CV 79-81: Good vs lefties, but he knows how to backdoor righties too. (55-60)
• CH 82-84: Show me, almost completely abandoned at this point. (30-35)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Prospect Profile: Salvador Perez

Profile: C - 6'3" - 175lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 21


• Hit: 35-45
• Power: 30-40
• Eye: 30-40
• Range:  30-30
• Hands: 60-65
• Arm: 60-65
• Run: 30-30

Prospect Profile: Chun-Hsiu Chen

Profile: C - 6'1" - 200lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 22


• Hit: 45-55
• Power: 50-60
• Eye: 55-65
• Range:  40-50
• Hands: 40-50
• Arm: 40-55
• Run: 40-40

Prospect Profile: Eric Hosmer

Profile: 1B - 6'4" - 215lbs -BT:L - TH:L - 2011 Age: 21


• Hit: 60-70
• Power: 60-70
• Eye: 45-65
• Range:  50-60
• Hands: 50-60
• Arm: 55-65
• Run: 45-50

Prospect Profile: Wil Myers

Profile: OF - 6'3" - 190lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 20


• Hit: 50-70
• Power: 55-65
• Eye: 55-70
• Range:  50-60
• Hands: 50-60
• Arm: 55-65
• Run: 50-60

Prospect Profile: Kyle Gibson

Profile: RHP - 6'6" - 210lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 23


• FB2 91-93: Exceptional arm-side run, well commanded. (60-65)
• SNK 88-90: Very heavy sink, well commanded. (60-65)
• SL 83-84: Tight rotation, good tilt, mediocre break, gets ground balls. (55-65)
• CH 82-83: Good arm action, good depth, gets ground balls. (50-65)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

White Sox Extend Matt Thornton

Having lost former closer Bobby Jenks via free agency, and setup men J.J. Putz and Scott Linebrink via free agency and trade respectively, the Sox made a move to retain one of their own by resigning left handed Matt Thornton. The team announced today that they had an agreement in place that will keep Thornton in the White Sox black for two more seasons, and possibly a third if his 2014 option is picked up.

The Nightly Note

I'm getting pretty excited. The greatest undertaking of my young writing career has been to write Prospect Profiles on the Top-10 players from each AL Central team. Fifty profiles in total. Some of you who read this blog know precisely how difficult that can be. It's an incredibly heavy burden. If you assume that each is at least 500 words you're talking about 25,000 words in total. That's not an impossible amount, but it's a lot.