A watched pot never boils!
That's the paradox we're negotiating after the first day of the Winter Meetings yielded no new developments. I updated the storystreams for ...
... only to say that nothing has changed. In the case of Pierzynski, Rick Hahn is almost repeating himself. This winter is basically the Headline News version of an offseason -- follow it for 30 minutes, and you've seen all the programming (with Hahn saying he's in touch with their agents on the 8's!).
The most interesting story came from Chuck Garfien, and even that's not new -- Tyler Flowers wants a first opportunity to start while he's still in his prime. At least the quotes are candid, and on top of that, Flowers expresses faux-disgust with MLB Network for not calling his Rogers Centre moonshot one of the year's top 50 home runs. I got his back on that one.
In White Sox news...
*Speaking of reruns, Susan Slusser reiterates the White Sox's interest in Brandon McCarthy, and DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT
"Hermie said that John is progressing well and on target with his throwing program and everything remains cautiously optimistic as we head into Spring Training," said Hahn. "He's playing catch. But Herm and [White Sox pitching coach] Don Cooper have mapped out every day of his offseason leading up to Spring Training."
According to comments Danks made back in early November, that path ideally will have him throwing off the mound at the start of 2013.
*The World Baseball Classic field is taking shape, and so are the rosters. Right now, Andre Rienzo has plans to pitch for Brazil, and Hector Santiago aims to pitch for Puerto Rico. Jose Quintana is a possibility for Colombia, but he might have Chris Sale's "I just pitched a crap-ton of innings and I need to be careful building on that" excuse. Paul Konerko is on the provisional list for Team USA, but Jake Peavy is not, which seems un-American, even if it's for the better.
Also, I've heard that the Orioles have renewed interest in White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd. This is coming from an executive with another team. Then again, I've written it every winter and I'm still waiting for a deal to get done.
Floyd, 29, grew up in Severna Park and pitched at Mount St. Joseph. He's intrigued the Orioles for years. Duquette wants to bring more local talent to the Orioles. It's a logical connection that, so far, has led to nowhere.
He added a postscript since I first saw it:
I'm told that the White Sox are mainly focused on acquiring a third baseman. The Orioles can't be much help in that department.
Don't suggest Wilson Betemit.
It's fascinating following the Royals (and the blogger reaction) this winter, because everybody knows this is a big offseason with plenty of possibilities ... and nobody has any faith in Dayton Moore and Ned Yost to see it through.
Stories like these don't help:
In five season with the Royals, Luke Hochevar is 38-59 with a 5.39 ERA. Any signs of modest progress were erased lst year, as he finished 2012 with an 8-16 record and a 5.73 ERA. The Royals had a chance for a clean break at the non-tender deadline, but they offered Hochevar a contract that could be worth $4.4 million next year.
In contrast, the White Sox non-tendered Philip Humber, who went 14-14 with a
4.87 4.79 ERA, and figured to cost the Sox $1.1 million in 2013, and we didn't really blink. So you can imagine how exhausted Royals fans must be with Hochevar, and the bizarre lengths the organization goes to justify his continued employment.
On Monday, it was Ned Yost:
Ask Yost to explain his conviction, and he rapidly ticks off a series of points.
"One, he’s got great stuff," Yost said. "Two, he’s a great competitor. Three, he’s not afraid …"
Rany Jazayerli's response, over a few tweets: "The most telling part of Ned Yost's comments about Luke Hochevar is what he didn't say. Once again, the Royals discussed Hochevar without acknowledging the essence of his flaw: that he pitches fine with the bases empty, and like crap with men on base. Until they do, nothing they say about him has a shred of credibility."
Last season, Ned Yost's Kansas City Royals hit 131 home runs and ranked 13th in the American League in that category. Next year, Yost wants "a change of philosophy" that will result in more power. Principally, that means no more hitting to the opposite field, but pulling the ball and going for broke more often. "I would rather strike out than hit a ball to the right-center field wall and have it caught -- unless there's a runner on third," Yost said. "I want to open up our offense."
I would welcome this change, because watching (and re-watching) the Royals win 12 of 18 from the White Sox, they used bad-ball hitting -- often the opposite way -- to post crooked numbers. Back before the Sox intentionally walked Jeff Francoeur at every available opportunity, he hurt the Sox by looking away and going away. If the Royals are going to try to retrain hitters to pull the ball when it's not their strength, this could be a benefit.