This Week In White Sox Minor League Baseball

Jose Martinez

This week, longer form:

  • The first notable promotion of the year is RHP Addison Reed to Winston-Salem.  He appears to be this year's fast-tracked reliever.  Hopefully it works out better for him than it did for last year's version, Kyle Bellamy.
  • Jake Peavy's rehab continues to be as circuitous as Lasting Milledge's routes in the outfield.  White Sox fans have long since grown frustrated with the apparent one step forward, one step back nature of his "progress."  The latest setback was Monday for Birmingham, a game in which he was supposed to step up to 90-100 pitches.  Instead, he left the game after just 15 pitches due to discomfort in his surgically-repaired lat.  The discomfort was the result of scar tissue at the repair site, simply some tissue irritated by the over-exertion inherently necessary in building back the strength necessary to be a starting pitcher.  While people certainly have the right to be frustrated by Peavy, I think a lot of it stems from the fact that White Sox fans just aren't used to pitchers rehabbing from significant arm injuries.  Circuitous is not unusual in pitcher, particularly starting pitcher, rehabs.  And, so far, his setbacks have been minor inflammation issues related to increasing repetitions.  His latest return to the minor league mound is scheduled for April 28.  
  • Interesting study about minor league strikeout rates. Pay attention Jared Mitchell and Trayce Thompson.
  • Remember when RHP Nevin Griffith was kind of a prospect? He was a second round pick out of Florida high school in 2007, the draft where the White Sox decided to stop picking the Lance Broadways and Kyle McCullochs of the collegiate baseball world and go with some higher upside arms.  That draft included Aaron Poreda, Nate Jones, Leroy Hunt and Phil Rogers' homie John Ely.  So, yeah, great idea, not so great execution.  As for Griffith, after pitching decently for Winston-Salem for the first couple months of the season, he continued the leitmotif of his pro career of just 162 innings by injuring his back and then didn't pitch for the rest of the year.  Baseball America mentioned "He has damaged his credibility with the White Sox, with some club officials questioning his toughness." Setting aside whether he's Birmingham tough, the organization pushed him to the Barons rotation to start this season. And the results have been bad: 3 GS, 12.1 IP, 11 H, 11 BB, 10 K, 5 WP, 3 HBP.  Wild pitches are another leitmotif of his career.  He's got stuff - a low to mid 90s fastball and a good curve - but lack of consistent control has stalled many careers.
  • Remember when OF Jose Martinez was a prospect?  A long time larry favorite, Martinez missed all but 39 games in 2008 and all of 2009 after destroying his right knee.  Back in 2008, the Venezuelan had all the tools and projected as a potential star center fielder.  He had a rocky return to live baseball last season for the Dash, putting up a pedestrian .242/.295/.347 in 61 games.  And the knee injury had sapped his speed, relegating him to right field.  But the other tools were still there and, unlike other prospect observers, I thought the potential was still realizable for a guy just 22 years old and I placed him just outside my top 11 prospects.  While it's early going, he's been impressive so far in a return engagement with the Dash.  He's always controlled the strike zone well enough and he may be showing development of his long-anticipated power (though he needs some homers), which will be necessary now that he's in a corner.  Birmingham later this season will be the true test but the possibility of his re-emergence is a welcome development to follow.
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