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

Bye-bye Pablo

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – In one of the stranger White Sox moves of the season thus far, the club announced on Tuesday that Juan Uribe has more value to them than Pablo Ozuna.

It was no surprise that the club reinstated Paul Konerko from the 15-day disabled list prior to the start of the series with Kansas City, but the decision to make Ozuna the odd-man out seemed, well, a bit odd.
Ozuna brings more consistency to the plate than Uribe, is a better pinch-hitter and pinch-runner, plus can play all three infield spots, as well as act as an emergency outfielder if need be. He was hitting .391 against left-handers this season, as well as .353 in the month of June.
Uribe was hitting .206 this season with an oh-so-lovely .258 on-base percentage.
Konerko is scheduled to start against the Royals, while Ozuna will now go through waivers.

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21 Comments

Wow! Now's the time for Indians to pick up Ozuna, and he can then make the Sox pay when they play each other. How could they not designate Uribe? What is their explanation?

I agree with Joe on this one. Who plays 3rd now if Crede gets hurt? Ramirez? Uribe? What about the fact that we have 3 center fielders now? Hopefully, Ozuna will rejoin the team in a few weeks. In general, it's kind of sad when members of the '05 squad start moving on, whether it be Uribe, Ozuna, or (hopefully not) Crede. It was even tough watching Cotts pitch against us a few weeks ago. Hope Ozzie sees something in Uribe's bat that the rest of us don't.

Why do the White Sox love Juan Uribe?? Is it his salary?

It's only a strange move because you've been predicting Uribe's demise since May. That, despite his obviously superior defense.
To Sox fans, this was the right move. Ozuna can't play 3B or SS at anywhere league-average, while Uribe can provide that. No argument that Uribe is less than AAA with the bat, but this is why Kenny is GM. Though I wouldn't expect him to get credit for anything from this paper.

Do you watch these games? Ozuna is not a good player and never has been - he cannot play SS and is a lousy 3B. If Crede goes down, Fields plays 3B. Uribe can at least play three positions.

Why not put Jenks on the DL retro active to his last appearance. This would create an opening to keep Ozuna on the roster until after the All Star break and then make a decision at that time. From what I hear Jenks was close to being DL'd anyway.

Kevin said it all above. Ozuna's value was his speed and once he broke his leg he slowed down noticeably. Uribe can play a top notch 2B or SS; he can certainly handle 3B in a pinch (have you watched Ozuna in the field this year? Shades of Andy Gonzales/Alex Cintron '07). The insurance Uribe provides at two key defensive positions outweighs Pablo's decent but light hitting bat against lefties. Uribe may even get traded before 7/31 but at least he does have a market value. Ozuna has none, other than a DFA pickup after he clears waivers. I remember Pablo fondly for the '05 run but logic dictates the move IMO.

it was economics; uribe was being paid big time and the GM wants to trade for something (anything) and can't unless he's on the roster. the sox will be disappointed because no one wants that tub of lard.

Keeping Uribe will come back on Sox. Uribe is a horrible hitter to be kind . Ozuna can hit & play several positions. With a sox club full of players barely hitting above Mendoza line, I hope Ozuna comes back with another club one day soon & sticks it to KW !Crede a all star? Something funny here ,Ozuna batting .391 against lefty's & gets release .Crede not even batting a buck against lefty's & he gets chosen for all star team? lol.Crede a great fielder too! lol (17 errors & counting). Dye showed why he is not a all star. Turned a routine fly ball into a Royals tie (game not blown yet by chisox as I'm writing).Linebrink is starting to come back to reality that he really sucks at his job.

Joe H, you're right about Dye. That dropped ball really shows his true colors. Never mind that anybody with eyeballs knows he's been playing out of his mind in right this year. And a paltry .302, 19, 52, .545 to boot. And if Crede had been playing his career in a Yankees uniform, he'd of had 5 Gold Gloves by now. Yes the 17 is high for Joey Clutch, but are you kidding me? Do you actually watch this guy day-to-day, year-in-year-out? He's an athletic freak. And there's nobody, besides Dye, that I'd want up to bat with 2 out in the bottom of the ninth inning of a playoff game than Crede.

Hey 4applying that kind of logic spells a season coming up short for chisox. Ozuna certainly not a huge impact player & not the best on D . But he adds a piece of a team that is so valuable. A key hit ,a stolen base etc. None of which you get with Uribe. What is so good about a player who can play decent in the field & is a sure out at the plate ? That kind of logic is a defeated attitude . Enjoy 05 WS sox fans. You won't see another one in most of our lifetimes. KW 's arrogance strikes again. This time he(KW) struck out!

Terrible move by the Sox. What do the Sox and Ozzie see in Uribe. Uribe must have pictures of Kenny and Ozzie. Also who says or where is it documented that Uribe can play 3rd.

Joe H please go back to cubs.com and stop posting on a Sox blog

It's too bad that Pablo Ozuna was put on waivers. I'm really surprised that utility infelders inspire that kind of passion among the press and fans. If whether you keep Uribe or Ozuna is going to determine the fate of the Sox, then they really have a problem.

The people who seem to hate Uribe remind me of the situation with Cubs a couple of seasons back when the fans thought Dusty Baker playing Neify Perez was the reason the Cubs were bottom feeders.

One of the biggest problems with the White Sox is that they all seem to hit at once and go hitless at the same time. Both of their power guys hit when the Sox are on top by a couple of runs and do very little when the game is on the line.

Not totally accurate, Jim. Carlos and Dye(?) are tied for the team lead in HRs. Joe H, worry about the Cubs winning the division, not the White Sox. Greg and Bill T, nice posts, I also think Uribe is more valuable now, Ozuna looks like a different player since he broke his leg.

Uribe played 3rd in 2004. He played ss and 3b in Colorado. Eventually they will trade him but until then they had a tough decision to make. Pablo is a spark plug, no doubt. But he would be a bench player on lesser teams as well. He can't play SS and he is a butcher in the OF. Blame Wise for playing so well.

I don't understand the logic, but I am also not understanding why people are having such fits over Ozuna.

I like Pablo, but when you really look at his overall performance, it isn't that impressive. In short, he does a good job of hitting singles off of left-handed pitchers. That's it.

He doesn't walk.

He doesn't have an ounce of power.

And contrary to rhetoric -- Joe H -- he is a mediocre fielder.

He's played SS all of four games his entire career and has made 13 errors in 57 games at 3B his entire career, including four this season -- a lifetime 926 fielding average.

He has also lost his ability to steal bases, and is of no use in the outfield anymore. If they need pinch runners off the bench, Anderson and Wise are far better options at this point.

What about Uribe?

He can't hit for average. We know that. He also doesn't walk. But throughout his career, he has come up with some clutch hitting.

And yes, he can play 3B, at least better than Ozuna. He played 27 games there in 2005, and had a 968 fielding percentage.

Besides -- if Crede ends up on the DL, they will call up Fields, just like they did last season.

We also all know that he can play solid D at 2B and SS.

That is why, in the end, I can see the logic of KEEPING Uribe.

Contrary again, Joe H, there was a time when teams were more than satisfied with a player at SS who was a solid fielder but lousy hitter.

Since he is a backup now, you would only need him on occasion, and frankly, his fielding outweighs Ozuna's ability to hit singles.

We are not in interleague anymore, Sabathia is gone, and you really don't have anyone you would want to pinch-hit for in the lineup. Keep in mind that we have Toby Hall on the bench if needed.

Another thing -- if you want to have a backup 3B on the bench, you might as well go with Fields. He can run as well as Ozuna, but hit for power.

That said . . .

I don't like the move, only for this reason.

Brian Anderson has options. Wise has clearly outplayed him and is a lefty-bat with speed.

There was no reason they couldn't have sent Anderson down for the time being.

Then again, Anderson has proven, recently, that he can hit when called upon, and pinch run. He's also a tremendous fielder.

I'm sorry to see Ozuna go. But I'm not about to call for KW head over the loss of a seldom used utility player.

I'm far more worried about the bullpen.

Chuck: The two Power guys referred to in my previous post are Thome and Konerko. If the Sox were getting more out of those two guys, we would be so far in front that our main concern would be how to keep the team's edge instead of whether it's better to keep Ozuna instead of Uribe. Or what are we going to do for a closer if Jenks is out for any extended length of time?

The main problem for the Sox management in this situation is that the players and the fan's think that the choice was more about monetary value instead of playing value. Also if the players start thinking it's more about money than it is about winning, then there's trouble ahead.

Most fan's in Chicago have felt for a long time that the ownership was mainly about the cash and it took a World Series for the fans to overlook past mistakes involving players. ( In other words-" where have you gone Sr. Magglio the South Side turns their lonely eyes you."

Ozzie is so full of @@@@ . . . all Uribe has done since 2005 is get bigger . . . and bigger. He ate his way out of shortstop, but Ozzie still loves him. Ozzie is a hypocrite. He talks about tough baseball and he slackens on Uribe . . . all the time. I think the players laugh at Ozzie in the club house! And then the way Ozzie cursed Contreras about Ozuna . . . NO CLASS!

Bill T & others. Don't get me wrong love the Sox! I just felt Ozuna had more upside than Uribe. Hopefully I'm proved wrong. Do follow both Chi teams from my transplanted home on west coast. Always lean towards Sox especially when they play each other. A little upset on seeing Ozuna go. Love to see a all chi world series! I've been a sox fan since the 50s , so again don't think I'm down on team !

This is quite simple. Just look at a depth chart.

3B: Crede, Uribe, Fields
2B: A-Ram, Uribe
SS: OC, Uribe

They won't bring Fields up unless Crede goes on the DL. If Crede's back should flare up, he'll be day to day. Uribe will play 3B on his days off. If either the OC or A-Ram go on the DL, Uribe will take over.

Ozuna is an error waiting to happen regardless of where you play him. As evident in the KC series, the WSox can ill-afford his errors right now.

Wise is starting to prove to us that his AAA #'s this yr are no fluke. He might finally have turned the corner & Walker should take some of the credit.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on July 8, 2008 1:20 PM.

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