Tag Archives: Brett Lawrie

Brett Lawrie Released

The White Sox have requested waivers on second baseman Brett Lawrie for the purposes of granting his unconditional release. Lawrie’s last game with the Sox, it seems, was July 21st of the 2016 season. Numerous leg injuries Lawrie attributed to wearing orthotics for the first time in his career sidelined him for the vast majority of the second half.

Releasing Lawrie, however, was a philosophical decision by the organization not cutting bait on an injured player.

“As we talked about throughout this offseason, part of this process of building something sustainable for the future involves making some difficult decisions and today was a difficult decision,” GM Rick Hahn said. “Brett is a talented player who, no doubt in any of our minds, will help a club this season. At the same time we are committed to giving an opportunity to several of our young players–players who are going to be here for an extended period of time and we want to find out about.”

Lawrie (who slashed .248/.310/.413 with 12 HRs and 36 RBI) started 2016 on a tear and was part of the reason the Sox were able to get off to such a hot start while Abreu and other struggled at the plate. He was acquired December 9th, 2015 when the Sox sent JB Wendleken and Zack Erwin to the A’s.

After resigning Lawrie for the 2017 season for $3.5 million dollars, it was widely thought that Lawrie, if he got off to a hot start like last year, could be trade bait as the White Sox continued their rebuild. Health would be a big factor, however, as up until his release, Lawrie had not been able to get into a game. He’d been recovering, still, from nagging injuries related to orthotics and told reporters late last week that he was “close” to being comfortable enough to get into games.

With Lawrie’s release, Tyler Saladino and Yolmer Sanchez figure to be the replacements at the keystone at least until top prospect Yoan Moncada is ready for the Big Leagues. The White Sox currently have 38 players on the 40-man roster with 59 players in camp. First baseman Jose Abreu returned from his testimony in a Miami court and is in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Padres. The White Sox will be on the hook for just under $600,000 of Lawrie’s $3.5 million dollar deal. The major league minimum salary is $535,000 for 2017.


Plenty of PT for White Sox Prospects

White Sox top prospect Yoan Moncada makes his second start of the spring today against the Mariners. From the start of camp Manager Ricky Renteria has put Moncada and the rest of the high-end prospects in the White Sox newly loaded farm system front and center.

Moncada has five plate appearances, despite just the one start, catcher Zach Collins has five as well–with no starts yet. Adam Engel (who won the Arizona Fall League MVP in 2015 and someone White Sox fans should keep an eye out for) has had five trips to the plate as well. Engel also made one of the better plays in the outfield for the Sox so far this spring. Michael Kopech will start today’s game against the Mariners. Reynaldo Lopez gets the start in the other game (the Sox are using split squads today). Lucas Giolito made his debut against the World Series Champion Cubs on Monday. Zach Burdi was called on in the 9th inning of Sunday’s game to nail down the Sox first win.

There’s a lot of young talent and they’re getting run early.

While the playing time is plentiful for the youngins early on, it may not portend breaking camp with the team–or even an early call-up. The World Baseball Classic is making spring extra-long this year. The Sox also have a few injuries to projected regulars (Todd Frazier, Brett Lawrie and Charlie Tilson) which gives more opportunities. Further, forty percent of the White Sox rotation will work in the WBC–Jose Quintana will pitch for Columbia, Miguel Gonzalez for Mexico–while Nate Jones and David Robertson will both pitch for Team USA. Those pitchers are on a different schedule, altogether. Finally, Carlos Rodon has been backed up in an effort to keep him strong through the season.

Still, “Get ‘Em In Early” works pretty well as a motto for a team hungry to see what all the new (and existing) young talent is able to do. Perhaps the toughest task facing the kids, however, could be keeping things in stride. Knowing that their time in Big League Camp could be limited, it’s got to be tough to no try and hit three home runs in one swing or throw a fastball through the catcher. So far, the kids have impressed and that’ perhaps the most important part of the White Sox spring.

Bangs, Bruises and the A-OK: All the Latest from the White Sox

After opening Cactus League play with a 5-3 loss to the Dodgers, the morning before Game Two of Spring was spent catching up with some of the White Sox walking wounded. Fortunately for the Sox, none of the injured are all that banged up, and Spring Training is longer than usual this year due to the World Baseball Classic.

Let’s start with the banged up:

Todd Frazier– A side/oblique injury (he’s termed it as both over the last few days) has pushed him out of action. He hopes to resume baseball activity on Monday and doesn’t think the injury is all that serious.

Charlie Tilson– A stress reaction continues to sideline the could-be Sox centerfielder. Tilson seems understandably bummed by the problem (it’s his first spring where there’s a job he could easily win) but was prepared for a “set-back” type injury stemming from his hamstring pull last season. It’s a long road back but Tilson has extended runway this spring.

Brett Lawrie– He’s spoken to reporters twice this spring and updated them on his battle back from orthotics. He wore them for the first time last season, came down with a host of nebulous and migrating leg injuries, and hasn’t been back to 100% yet. Lawrie stressed there’s no lingering “soreness” but that he’s rehabbing to get “everything aligned properly.” It’s his contention that once he’s able to move around confidently, he’ll be back on the field.

I’m just fine, thanks:

Carlos Rodon– Is just fine, thank you. He hasn’t thrown much at all this spring but the 24-year old lefty reassured reporters that it’s all part of a plan to last deep into the season this year. Rodon said he has a live BP session coming up later this week before he gets into game action. It’s odd to think that Rodon, who’s thrown 304.1 MLB innings could be the ace of the White Sox staff before too long. Jose Quintana is the biggest piece on the trade block and, should the White Sox move him, it leaves Rodon as perhaps the most talented starter on the roster.

White Sox at the Deadline

The trade deadline has come and gone and Chris Sale and Jose Quintana remain White Sox. As the Sox’ endured a 28-44 slide since May 9th, I heard from plenty of fans calling into the Post Game Show advocating moving one or both of those top-tier arms. It seems pretty clear, given the vast quantity of reports, that overtures were made for each. Any team seeking to add one of the White Sox’ gems would have to pay dearly. Sale and Quintana, had they been dealt, would have easily been the best pitcher to have moved at the deadline. It wouldn’t have been close.

Instead, they remain. White Sox GM Rick Hahn told reporters that nothing every came close enough to have to take to owner Jerry Reinsdorf for approval.

I have a guess as to what that means. I’d guess that Hahn would have only flipped Sale/Quintana in packages that included current major leaguers. The White Sox aren’t into the complete tear down. Not the way the Astros did it. Not the way the Cubs did it. Definitely not whatever the Braves are doing.

“Rebuild on the fly” is a slightly more apt description in that it covers the desire to compete at all times. If the Rangers wanted Sale, I’d be the White Sox needed Nomar Mazara to make that happen. If the Red Sox asked about either (or both) the White Sox likely were asking that Mookie Betts make his way to the Southside.

Hahn would have been right to want those players. The Rangers and Red Sox would have been right to pass—for now.

I see the situation as an “If, then” statement. If the White Sox are to deal one or both of Sale and or Quintana, then it will happen in the winter when Mazara’s and Betts’ are more likely to move.

That said, I’m curious as to why a few other players are still on the squad.

In his age 31 season, Melky Cabrera has been the White Sox most consistent and effective offensive threat. Hands down. He’s owed the remainder of his $14 million dollar salary this year and in 2017 he’s owed $15 million. Compare that to Carlos Beltran who, at have 39, is having a rebirth. Beltran was flipped from the Yankees to the Rangers for three prospects. One of whom, Dillon Tate, is a former fourth-overall pick. Tate has lost some considerable shine in the past season but at 22, has plenty of room to bounce back.

Beltran, owed the rest of his $15 million this season and $15 for 2017, compares favorable to Cabrera. They’re both switch hitters. They’ve both played on big stages. They’re both producing. Take a look:

Cabrera v LHP – .351/..377/.554

Cabrera v RHP – .302/.355/.454

Beltran v LHP – .351/.405/.640

Beltran v. RHP – .282/.314/.502

Beltran gets an edge in the power category—no doubt about it. Still, Cabrera’s consistent on-base skills are superior and, unlike Beltran, Cabrera can play a corner outfield spot which makes him trade-worthy in two leagues.

The Yankees are 5.5 games out of the Wild Card. The White Sox are 7.5 games behind.

Also, there’s the eight year age difference. Cabrera would have brought back a solid return.

Instead, the White Sox have kept together a group that could be highly mobile during this offseason or at next year’s trade deadline. Todd Frazier, Brett Lawrie and Melky Cabrera reach free agency after the 2017 season. Everyone else is under contract or team control. While the Sox showed they’re capable of playing great baseball through the first six weeks of the season, it’s yet to be seen wether they’ve got another six weeks like that in them. Even if they do, will it be enough to change minds?

Sox Top The American League

Chicago White Sox's Jose Abreu (79), celebrates his game winning single with Adam Eaton (1) and Brett Lawrie (15) against the Texas Rangers during the eleventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Chicago.The White Sox won 4-3 in eleven innings. (AP Photo/David Banks)
Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu (79), celebrates his game winning single with Adam Eaton (1) and Brett Lawrie (15) against the Texas Rangers during the eleventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Chicago.The White Sox won 4-3 in eleven innings. (AP Photo/David Banks)

By Connor McKnight

White Sox Pre and Post Game Host on WLS AM 890

The White Sox have the best record in the American League.

At 14-6 the Sox have tied their best 19-game start since 2006. They’ve gotten it done with spectacular pitching, highlight-reel defense and just enough hitting.

Just enough.

The offense, it would seem, is an easy enough fix. Really, it comes down to two guys doing exactly what everyone in the industry thought they’d do. In a way, the fact that Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier have struggled out of the gate is a best-case problem; those two will hit.

When that starts, and they’re coupled with Melky Cabrera’s .400 OBP and Adam Eaton’s constant table-setting (.309/.356/.397), the run-scoring issues should—in a rather profound way—resolve themselves.

Pitching and hitting often vacillate throughout a season. Defense, we’re told, is more stable. Granted, guys can have bad days or weeks but typically, the type of defense we see over the course of a season is a relative constant.

Defensively, the White Sox have been stellar. In most cases, it’s affecting their margin for error—for the better.

Look no further than the triple play Friday night against the Rangers—the very first 9-3-2-6-2-5 triple play in MLB history. Triple plays, as they go, are rare enough but when they do happen, they’re even rarer when they start in the outfield. (Around 10% of triple plays have been started by outfielders. Thanks to JJ Stankevitz of CSNChicago.com for that number.)

Adam Eaton’s break on the line drive from Mitch Moreland was just another example of his impressive work in the corner this year. Eaton has been able to read fly balls from the corner and it’s shown; FanGraphs has Eaton leading MLB in Defensive Runs Saved at seven. Abreu’s back-and-forth with Ian Desmond after the Rangers outfielder had overrun first base showed… well something, I’m not sure what exactly but let’s give Pito some props for the athleticism. Plus it was ridiculously fun to watch.

Brett Lawrie did a great job yelling for Abreu to throw home after he’d tagged out Desmond. Abreu couldn’t have assessed the situation himself after going three-rounds with Desmond (how could he?) and Lawrie was there to help out.

After Abreu had thrown home (from his knees, no less) Dioner Navarro and Tyler Saladino worked together to cut Prince Fielder from the herd and line him up for the third out of the inning. Saladino made, perhaps, the most heads-up play in the entire mess. His decision to run to third and freeze the runner there then cut the corner and force Fielder into a no-win decision.

There it is all in one play. Improvement from incumbent players, better communication on the field, smarter decision making.

When a team isn’t hitting it needs all of those gears to mesh to win ballgames. They’ve meshed, clearly, and now the White Sox have a cushion to get the offense sorted out. No doubt sooner would be better than later but with an unrelenting April schedule (27 games in 28 days including a stretch of 19 straight) and dates with homer-happy offenses in Toronto and Baltimore, the Sox have another test in front of them.

Remember though, the White Sox have the best record in the American League.