Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been around for a few days. So let's get right to the main issues that have cropped up in my absence.
I haven't really written anything about Garland's poor start mainly because I had all the confidence in the world that he would snap out of it. However, at this point, I'm not so sure that's going to happen.
After he got rocked in his first few starts, Garland said that he was trying to use his 4-seamer more. I don't know who told him that was a good idea, it's not. The 4-seamer will get a lot more balls hit in the air, and that's what's happened to Garland thus far. He currently holds .94 GB/FB ratio compared to a 1.31 mark for his career.
One of the main reasons why I wasn't worried about Garland initially was that he had an abnormally high BABIP. Which is especially important to note because, on his career, Garland appears to have the ability to have some control on balls in play with a .275 BABIP coming into this season. Until Garland goes back to what got him the career .275 BABIP, using 2-seamer & changeup for about 80% of his pitches, he's going to continue allowing more balls to be hit in the air, leading to the one thing that has really hurt him in his last few starts; the home run.
He continues to be amazing. In fact, if Juan Uribe would have turned a couple of double plays behind him Contreras would have only allowed 2 runs in about 15 innings since returning from the DL. And those two (home)runs were both on low-inside pitches that wouldn't be called strikes.
I don't understand the talk about demotion at all. The only reason that I would understand it is if they feel he's overmatched, and that he needs more seasoning at AAA; a demotion with his own future in mind. That isn't the way I read the quotes, however. To me, it seems like they are saying that they can't play him until his average reaches some magical unspecified number.
I actually found it comical that Ozzie was saying that Anderson wasn't having good at-bats. Ozzie had a career OBP of .287. The bad-at-bat-having Anderson has a .276 OBP this season.
The Sox have put themselves in a position where they have to play Anderson and live with the results. There are no CFers waiting in the wings on the farm. Heck, there is hardly a CFer on the major league roster.
The worst thing about those quotes was Ozzie talking about bringing in a 12th reliever. Who the heck is this magical 12th reliever, and if there wasn't room on a roster that has only one or two reliable bullpen arms before, why should we lose our best defensive CFer to have more options in mop-up time? Not to mention it would mean a whole lot more of Ozuna and Gload in the OF.
On Ozzie's Saturday tirade
Good for him. He said exactly what we were all feeling. It might not have had any effect, but it could have made all the difference in the world. Either way, it's effect is immeasurable.
Every once in a while he needs to pop off, just to keep the guys on their toes. There was a stark contrast between his comments following the Sox 2-game losing streak and Dusty Baker's this weekend as the Northsiders continued through a week long stretch of sucking. I don't think you can completely discount the effect a manager has on a team during stretches like that.
On the upcoming draft
The draft is just over a week away, which means that the deadline for signing Draft & Follow candidates from last season is fast approaching. Brandon McCarthy and Mark Buehrle were both White Sox Draft & Follows, so these pick have actually been more productive in terms of major league pitching talent for the White Sox than their first rounders over the last 10 years. It's pretty tough to find information on JuCo players on the internet, but I was able to find a little bit about two of our D&F candidates.
17th rounder Enrique Garcia pitched yesterday against local South Suburban College in the JuCo World Series. He had a rough first inning, but settled down to pitch a 9 inning complete game, with his fastball reportedly sitting at 93MPH in the 9th. He has signed a letter of intent with the Miami Hurricanes. I figure it's going to take top few rounds money to get him to sign.
23rd rounder Bobby La Fromboise was named co-Southern California JuCo pitcher of the year. He was 11-0 with a 91/24 K/BB ratio and a 2.06 ERA in 81 innings pitched.
The Sox drafted two position players out of Broward Community College in Florida, but I couldn't find anything on them.