White Sox general manager Rick Hahn appeared on CSN Chicago's Chicago Baseball Hot Stove Tuesday afternoon, which you can watch here:
Both were asked about the look, feel and smell of the current roster, and ... both had the same answers. Boy, it sure would be funnier if they didn't!
On Tyler Flowers
Williams: "He actually was in a really good spot when he was in AA when we made the trade for him, then lost his way for about a year and a half trying some different things. When he is on you'll see a right-center approach where he drives the ball to right center field, and it took him a while to get back to that. He has power to all fields but he also has the ability to have a good solid at-bat."
(Williams also added that Flowers wins the batting practice distance derbies, even over Adam Dunn. That could be televised.)
Hahn: "When we acquired this player, he was considered one of the best offensive catchers in the game. That sort of drifted away from him a little bit in the minors. He refined his defensive skills, and now at this point he's become one of the better defensive catching prospects in the game."
On the starting pitching
Hahn: "Had we not brought back Jake Peavy, we felt that our pitching staff was not going to be able to line up one through five against the rest of the American League. That was extremely important to us."
Williams: "If you got pitching, you have a chance,'' he said. "That's still going to be the determining factor in baseball. What we need to do is expect some of the same performances from some of our guys last year and some growth in some other guys. And I think we'll be in the mix. Because you have pitching, it automatically puts you in the mix.''
On the speed of the offseason
Williams: "I've felt such a lull because it has been the offseason and I'm used to having conversations with all the other general managers and in some cases owners and all of the various people that make up or compose your organization,'' he said. "I'm there for [new GM] Rick [Hahn] and he reaches out often but that's just a small part of the day. So, I've got to fill some other time some kind of way.''
Hahn: "I feel like it's been a little bit of a slower pace. I don't know if it's because in my mind, I felt a little bit more responsibility for the checklist of items of what we wanted to accomplish, but it has felt like it's been a little bit slower in terms of coming together."
So, no surprises here. At least the panel provides a good primer of what we can expect from Hahn at SoxFest -- thorough, measured responses with the occasional zinger, and the 5,000th explanation of why the Sox didn't re-sign A.J. Pierzynski.
Hahn did talk about a "thing to be announced later in the week," a signing he described using such terms as "a complement to Jesse Crain from the right side of the bullpen," and "a power-arm type who can get ground balls and keep the ball in the park." He also suggested that the show was running relevant video highlights while he was speaking, but because CSNChicago.com cuts Major League Baseball footage from its web clips, the identity of this pitcher will remain but a mystery.