White Sox promote top pick Sale to Triple-A
Southpaw completely passes over Double-A competition
MINNEAPOLIS -- The fast track traveled by Chris Sale, the team's top pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, sped up a little bit this week, as Sale was promoted from Class A Winston-Salem to Triple-A Charlotte, completely skipping Double-A competition.
The 21-year-old southpaw gave up one run over four innings for the Dash, while striking out four and walking two. But outstanding location on all of his pitches served as the best news White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper heard when talking to Winston-Salem pitching coach Bobby Thigpen.
"I talked to Thiggy about him the other day, and I received a very, very good report," Cooper said. "The thing I remember [Thigpen] saying, for however long [Sale] was there, was he didn't throw a pitch above the knees.
"He's obviously an advanced kid. We would not be doing what we were doing if he was not giving us reason to do it."
Continued success at Charlotte could lead to the future starter joining the White Sox for the push to the postseason as a left-handed reliever. This quick ascension to the Majors was one of the reasons behind Sale coming to a contractual agreement so quickly with the White Sox.
"If we are in it, Sale would be considered, I would imagine," Cooper said. "It will be interesting to watch him at Triple-A. I'm hearing really good stuff about him."
GM Williams takes fun jab at Ozzie on PTI
MINNEAPOLIS -- Traits such as intensity, passion and fire only begin to describe White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
But by Guillen's own admission, he's not a fighter. So when general manager Ken Williams took a sarcastic jab at Guillen as a guest on ESPN's PTI show Thursday, Guillen could only smile and begrudgingly agree.
Williams was asked about the early-season controversy between him and his manager by the show's hosts, and he talked about how the disagreement was overstated in the media. Williams also mentioned how the report of Guillen almost coming to blows with him during one argument was exaggerated.
"Come on, we are about to come to blows? That's not realistic," said a smiling Williams, who is with the White Sox for the start of their 10-game road trip in Minnesota. "Ozzie would never fight with me. He knows better than that."
That response from Williams drew a raucous response from White Sox players watching in the clubhouse. Guillen put far greater emphasis on how their problem didn't affect the overall team focus.
"One thing about it, I never deny I'm going to fight with him. I never fight with anyone because I don't know how to fight. I'm not a fighter," Guillen said. "It's the one thing about all this stuff, I think the team stay away from the problem from the beginning.
"We have enough professional guys. I have a few guys here who have played for a long time. Whoever is here for the first year, they find out who I am. My job is to make sure those guys play the right way. Make sure I get the best out of them. I think they never was involved in what happened off the field. I appreciate that as a manager.
"Did something happen? Of course it happened. Everyone knows," Guillen said. "But in the meanwhile, we separate those things from one time to another. I separate my problems on the field and off the field. It's the only way this thing is going to work, is if we pull from the same end of the rope, and we do."
Peavy's surgery a resounding success
MINNEAPOLIS -- Wednesday's surgery to repair a detached latissimus dorsi muscle in Jake Peavy's right posterior shoulder at Rush University Medical Center could not have gone any better, according to the White Sox.
The surgery, performed by a team of surgeons from Midwest Orthopedics, led by Tony Romeo and Greg Nicholson and assisted by Charles Bush-Joseph, revealed a clean avulsion of the tendon off the bone with little or no muscle damage.
"That's the best news on Jake," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, who spoke to Peavy via text message on Wednesday night. "He's going to be back with the club as soon as possible. It's very promising news that he may be back with us by the next Spring Training."
Thornton enjoys All-Star experience
MINNEAPOLIS -- Giving up a bases-clearing, three-run double to Brian McCann with two outs in the seventh inning of Tuesday's All-Star Game was not exactly how Matt Thornton wanted to close out two exciting days in Anaheim -- his first appearance in the Midsummer Classic.
But with a broad smile featured when talking about the National League's 3-1 win on Thursday, Thornton found a silver lining in the situation.
"It just means we'll clinch the World Series at home," Thornton said with a laugh. "It's one of those things I did what I always did, attack hitters with my fastball and go right after them.
"Marlon Byrd had a great at-bat and laid off some pitches I tried to get him out with, strike him out. McCann is an All-Star for his fourth time. He's a great hitter. Fastball got over the plate more than I wanted it to be, and he put it in play and cleared the bases. It's disappointing I didn't get the job done, but at the same time, the experience as a whole was great for me."
Back in the real world of the 2010 White Sox regular season, Thornton exited Thursday's 8-7 victory over Minnesota with 13 straight scoreless appearances over 11 innings.
No issue betweeen Thome, Pierzynski
MINNEAPOLIS -- A.J. Pierzynski and Jim Thome, two friends and former teammates, appeared to exchange words in the third inning after the White Sox catcher tossed part of his shattered bat toward the Twins dugout.
Pierzynski battled Minnesota starter Kevin Slowey through a 12-pitch at-bat with Carlos Quentin on first base and two outs, only to have it end on a popup to shortstop J.J. Hardy. Pierzynski slammed his bat in frustration, causing the splinter, and flipped part of it away. Thome tossed the piece back toward Pierzynski, and the two talked when Thome came to home plate in the bottom of the third.
Much ado about nothing, according to both sides.
"That's kind of irrelevant to the game," Thome said. "We've got to battle. We can't worry about all of that."
"We were just talking," Pierzynski said. "Nothing. ... Nothing."
Third to first
MINNEAPOLIS -- Mark Buehrle came up just short at the ESPYs on Wednesday night, finishing second in the Play of the Year fan voting to a Brett Favre-to-Greg Lewis last-second, game-winning touchdown pass. Buehrle still enjoyed the evening's activities. "I really didn't get to meet too many people, but just seeing Danica Patrick, just seeing, I didn't think she was that small, but she's tiny," Buehrle said. "Just sitting across the aisle from Apollo [Anton] Ohno, Evan Lysacek. Just guys from the Olympics, you root them on, going for USA and sitting there, and seeing them in person, you kind of get star struck." ... Mark Teahen had the pins removed from his fractured right middle finger and joined the team in Minnesota. ... The White Sox signed outfielder Jeremy Reed to a Minor League deal. Reed was part of the 2004 trade with Seattle to originally acquire Freddy Garcia. ... Alex Rios picked up his 1,000th career hit with a leadoff single in the sixth.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.