December 2011

Ken Williams at the Winter Meetings

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

In an effort to bring the winter meeting to our fans, we have transcribed Ken Williams media session from today. Find out what he said on various hot topics below:

On Nestor Molina and trading Sergio Santos: “Nestor Molina is a guy that has a 90-96 mph fastball that bores in on right-hand hitters, that keeps the ball down in the strikezone, can hit outside corner, inside corner, take it upstairs if he needs to.  His secondary stuff…he has a swing-and-miss type split that drops off the table, his slider is a plus slider, and his changeup is equally as effective.  He obviously has a four-pitch mix.  He walked (16) guys in a 130-some odd innings and is in winter league right now and pitching with the same success.”

“We are very happy that we were able to acquire him.  He was on a short-target list to get some way, some-shape-or-form.  I did not anticipate it would take Sergio (Santos) to do it.  I was thinking more along the lines of starting pitching, but the opportunity presented itself and fortunately for us it is an area where we have a lot of depth, whether it be Matt Thornton or (Jesse) Crain or (Addison) Reed, (Jhan) Marinez, the guy we got from the Marlins, Josh Stewart – added stuff, added velocity from when you move him to the pen, (Brian) Omogrosso, (Gregory) Infante.  We have a lot of depth at that position so we felt we could afford to do this and take care of our future a little bit without sacrificing our present.”

On talking to Sergio Santos: “Sergio was caught off guard.  It is always a difficult conversation because he gained his success with us – in life and in baseball.  Both he and his wife are very good people, and I got to know them very well.  He took it very professionally and is looking forward to continuing to pitch in the major leagues.  The team wanted him so badly to give up such a prospect.”

On signing Sergio at the start of the offseason and what has changed: “We had no intention on trading him, but we have always said we are open to conversations on any ideas other clubs would like to present to us, and this was one that was presented to us.”

On the possibility of Molina in the starting rotation in 2012: “I would hope we give him a little more seasoning, but he has the kind of ability, that there are certain guys with ability that will force their way on to major-league rosters.  When you look at a young pitcher, you look at what kind of stuff he has, what kind of composure he has, and his ability to command the strikezone in a way that very few can do.  I am not going to say he can’t, he won’t.”

On who the closer will be in 2012 and who will decide:  “Robin (Ventura) was in the meeting and the Blue Jays guys asked who was going to close for you and I started rattling off some names and I looked over at Robin and he had a quizzical look on his face and he said ‘I will decide that.”

On start of a rebuilding: “It is a start of a rebuilding, and you guys know I have not used that word in 12 years.  It is a start of a rebuilding now, but is it a start of a falling domino-type rebuilding?  No.  Absolutely not because as we currently sit, I do not like what is currently offered for any of our valuable, veteran pieces.  I am of the mindset that while we may do a couple of more things, as we sit right now, we will probably keep the rest of the pitching intact, and we will focus on some peripheral things to continue to get a piece here and there that will help us in 2013 and 2014.  I don’t see it, as I sit here right now, deals for any of the other pitchers.”

On Jake Peavy as a closer: “You have about 1,400 IP to take care of as a pitching staff. He is now expressing he is as healthy as he has been with us.”

On status of position players: “I want to be very clear. As of today, this is where we sit. A lot of things can changes, as evidenced by this move. I don’t want to mislead you guys. There is still some interest in our positions players and we are going to listen but unless we get back what we need to continue the rebuilding process, we’ll just go into this season looking to compete at the same time as rebuilding.”

On starting outfield having Viciedo and Quentin: “It could. We have to have conversations and see what the overall interest is.”

On Mark Buehrle: “I hear he is a very popular man and he is going to be richer than he is.”

On whether Buehrle’s agent will come to him with a final offer: “It’s possible. Mark and I had a good conversation last week. I expressed to him how much he is valued in Chicago. At this point, it’s strictly finances over a desire not to have him and who wouldn’t want this guy. 200 good innings and so many peripheral things. On the bus, off the bus, on the plane, on the field; we don’t know who is going to catch the first pitch anymore. He will be missed unless something unforeseen happens.

Minoso Hall of Fame Bid Book

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Although we are all disappointed by Minnie Minoso coming up just a few votes short on the Golden Era ballot, we still celebrate his monumental career. As Jerry Reinsdorf told Minnie, “You are in our Hall of Fame. We love you,” and that goes for all of us here at the White Sox. I urge you to take some time to flip through the PDF of the book that we created for his bid to see for yourself what Minnie means to the game of baseball.

You can view it, here.