All is not well in White Sox land.
Amid a report last week that the relationship between Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen is “beyond repair,” Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the White Sox GM recently had a “heated exchange” with hitting coach Greg Walker.
Williams told reporters last month that he preferred the swing second baseman Gordon Beckham had when he was first drafted out of the University of Georgia in the first round of the 2008 draft as opposed to the one he has now. Walker took it personally. The two exchanged in the tunnel at U.S. Cellular Field, which led Williams to tell Walker to clean out his locker. The situation was resolved by White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
“I’d rather not comment on it,’’ Walker told the Sun-Times on Friday. “What goes on in our clubhouse stays in our clubhouse. It’s been a very frustrating year for a lot of people.’’
It’s tough to blame the hitting coach for the failures of Beckham, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, but the White Sox enter play Saturday ranked 11th in the league in OPS and 12th in runs scored. None of the White Sox coaches are signed beyond this season and Van Schouwen reports that most of them are confident they will not return.
The White Sox lost 8-1 to the Tigers last night and now 6 1/2 games back in the American League Central.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.