Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

So it begins

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Forget Sparta.


Jobs will be won over the next six weeks, some will be lost. And it all starts on Saturday, when pitchers and catchers are expected to report for the start of White Sox Camp 2008.
Until the position players check in almost a week later, however, don’t expect much “drama.’’ Unlike last spring, the starting staff is intact, and six of the seven bullpen spots are all but locks.
“I don’t see a lot of drama as far as who is going to be on this staff,’’ pitching coach Don Cooper insisted on Tuesday. “I have my own mindset right now on where it is, who I think, penciled in lightly. And let’s face it, some guys are already inked in.’’
The one battle that will catch Cooper’s eye, as well as the eye of general manager Ken Williams, will come between Ehren Wassermann and Nick Masset.

The card:

Wassermann – RHP – age: 27
Pros: Limited right-handers to a .174 average and did not allow a home run in 33 appearances. Also, has that fearless look to him on the mound that manager Ozzie Guillen loves.
Cons: Lefties hit .533 off him, making him a right-handed specialist, while first batters faced hit .313.

Masset – RHP – age: 25
Pros: Was 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA as a spot starter, and has long relief stuff, as well as an ability to fill in when a starter goes down.
Cons: Is out of options and never grasped the idea of being a reliever. His 1-3 record and 7.75 ERA out of the bullpen were evidence of that.

The Frontrunner: If the season were to start today, Wassermann would be breaking camp on the 25-man roster. As for Masset, expect the pitcher to be moved near the end of camp if he doesn’t change some minds. He is a power arm and has better stuff than Wassermann, but that means very little. See Andrew Sisco and David Aardsma.

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Keep both, dump Logan.

you cant reward Masset for doing nothing, Wassermann was one of the few bright spot in the bullpen at the end of the season. Also why the sox arent trying to get roberts from baltimore, he's a very good player and a proven leadoff guy with great speed, this will give guillen a great 1, 2 punch that many teams will kill for, give uribe, masset, richar and someone else, then we are really going to contend with detroit and cleveland, also this will take a lot of preasure of Owens, so he can get playtime in the bottom of the order like they did anderson

Joe, it is true lefties murdered Wassermann at the rate of .533/.632/.733 -- but have you ever heard of sample size? Lefties got just 19 plate appearances against E.W. in his career. It is probably true EW is basically a righty-specialist, but lefties wouldn't keep hitting him at a 1.365 OPS clip.

We have no bullpen. We came in last place in 2007. What else is next for us.

Oh, thats right. You treat uslike dirt at the White Sox convention and then lie to us about spending money to get quality players and breaking up and not adding to our world series quality team

Im THROUGH with the White Sox!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The O's are not actively shopping Roberts which means you better be willing to give up as much as the M's did for Bedard to get him.

Sox fans will just have to wait until ST to get going before they can lock into a roster. In addition to the battles in the Sox camp the BoSox will be scouting Contra for a possible Crisp trade, & the Giants will be scouting Crede for a possible Lowry trade. Kenny will be actively shopping Uribe as well.

A lot will depend on the spring's for Danks, Floyd, Crede, & Uribe. I don't think there's anything Owens/Quentin can do to stop a Crisp trade if the BoSox make a reasonable offer.

Thats the most lopsided trade proposal i've ever heard. might as well send us Arod for Paul Konerko while you're at it.

The advantage that Kenny Williams and the Sox have when facing the Wassermann/Masset conundrum is that Wassermann still have 2 option years left. If the Sox do choose to go with Masset as the seventh man in the pen, Wassermann can start the year in AAA while giving Masset a chance to prove he worth to KennyGM. This is the advantage to the Sox seemingly having decent pitching depth within the organization.

With three question marks filling out the back-end of the rotation after Buehrle and Vazquez, it might make sense to go with a guy like Masset or Broadway to fill the long relief spot. The bullpen would be taxed considerably if Contreras/Danks/Floyd have numerous 2IP, 9ER starts.

This leaves the Sox in a flexible position in that if Masset were to falter in April or May, the Sox can then look to Wassermann with the only harm being the runs Masset would have allowed. The down side is that Masset would have consumed any remaining trade value by that point, so it might make sense to move him before opening day and avoid the risk of getting nothing back for him via DFA or waivers.

Conversely, if the Sox were to trade MacDougal (seems unlikely given his salary and health history) this solves the problem all together.

I cannot support the White Sox anymore. They sicken my stomach. Their lies, they way they treat their fans, and how they are penny-pinching money hogs whogive nothing back to us.

My son and I will NEVER spend any money at US Cellular Field in 2008. Please join me in sending a very strong message that we willno take this anymore!!

I think the white sox organization has taken us for granted and treated all of us fans with no respect puttig a aaa baseball team out there and try and pass it off as a contender bs i will never spend another cent at us cell field again i am done with jerry ,kenny, ozzieand the lies.

I understand the frustration that we as Sox fans experience. Fans of all teams have the same feelings occasionally about their teams. I respectfully ask a question of those who say they have given up or will not support the team in '08. If the Sox contend and have a great year, will you jump on the bandwagon and come back and go to some games? It appears to me that too many fans have quit the team before the season has even started. Give it a chance on the field before you judge the product.

Joseph B. and Frank you two whiners did you think that the market could be controlled? Why should Williams pa millions for a 32 yr old and a human crash dummy just to make you happy? One player was not going to change things Caberra we allready have a few of those slow footed weak fielding sluggers did you want more of them? How many teams give up a quility lead off man or center fielder? no one that's why there is such a high premium on them and there are not a lot of them so wake up the games ain't even been played yet and your on the ledge. I would like to see what you would do if you were in this game for the money if it were your money. How much you would be spending on one or two players when you need nine and that nine have to become a team. Easy on the outside, no so easy on the inside when you are accountable stockholders. It is what it is either like or leave it but QUIT WHINNING!!!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on February 12, 2008 7:31 PM.

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