Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Jim Thome On The Move

- lot of things to be thankful about as we head into the holidays. the arbitrator smacked TO in the mouth and, according to espn, jim thome appears to be headed out of town.
White Sox Trading For Thome
The Phillies confirmed Wednesday that they have tentatively agreed to trade first baseman Jim Thome and cash to the White Sox for center fielder Aaron Rowand. The deal will become official pending the outcome of physicals to be taken later this week.
the pat gillick era is starting off with a bang!

- inquirer has some details.
Three years ago, that would have been impossible to imagine. The Phillies expected Thome to help deliver the franchise a trip to the playoffs. He did his part his first two seasons, but injuries helped bring his Phillies career to an unceremonious end. There are some with the Phillies who think Thome, who has been said to be in incredible shape, will be a force next season - a man with something to prove, and still the hitter who hit 89 homers in 2003 and 2004.
call me a cynic, but i interpret that to mean thome's back on the juice.

- the baseball america profiles of the two minor leaguers the phils got in addition to rowand. BA rated gonzalez as the white sox 7th best prospect going into last season.
7. Gio Gonzalez, lhp Age: 19 B-T: L-L Ht: 6-0 Wt: 170
Drafted: HS—Miami, 2004 (1st round supplemental) Signed by: Jose Ortega

Background: A top pitching prospect since he won Florida 6-A state title games at Miami’s Hialeah High as a freshman and sophomore, Gonzalez transferred to private Monsignor Pace High for his senior season. The White Sox might not have been able to grab him with the No. 38 pick had he not been dismissed from the team following a dispute between his mother and the coach over his brother’s lack of playing time. He signed for $850,000.

Strengths: Gonzalez has an advanced feel for pitching for someone so young, with good command of a nice collection of pitches. His 87-90 mph fastball peaks at 94, but his out pitch is a tight curveball he throws in any count. He also has a decent changeup.

Weaknesses: Because he does not have a powerful build, some scouts wonder about Gonzalez’ durability. He carries himself with an air of cockiness that could get tiresome, especially if he struggles.

The Future: Gonzalez handled low Class A in his pro debut but probably will begin 2005 back in Kannapolis. He should move faster than most high school pitchers.

2004 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG
Bristol (R) 1 2 2.25 7 6 0 0 24 17 0 8 36 .198
Kannapolis (Lo A) 1 1 3.03 6 6 0 0 33 30 1 13 27 .244
daniel haigwood wasn't rated nearly as high, but seems solid.
The best way to describe Haigwood is that he just wins. He went 43-1 at Midland High in Pleasant Plains, Ark., and he has gone 32-11 as a pro. He had one of the better statistical years among minor league pitchers in 2005, going 14-3, 2.82 in 26 starts between high Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. He had a 160-64 strikeout-walk ratio in 144 innings, while limiting opponents to a .223 average and eight homers (including a .170 mark and no homers in Double-A).

A 16th-round pick in 2002, Haigwood missed all of 2003 after having surgery to fix a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He doesn't overwhelm hitters so much as keep them off balance. His curveball is his best pitch, his changeup has improved and he throws both two-seam and four-seam fastballs. His sinker is better than his four-seamer, which ranges from 88-92 mph.

Haigwood, 21, isn't a top-shelf pitching prospect, but he's worth watching. I can't imagine he's untouchable, but I also doubt the White Sox are just looking to give him away. Lefties with command of multiple pitches aren't easy to find.

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