A week after the Jim Thome drama concluded, the White Sox have decided to table their search for a left-handed-hitting RBI bat until it’s determined if the rotating designated hitter that manager Ozzie Guillen envisions will be a functioning tool for the 2010 season.
The White Sox looked at the viability of former New York Met and Toronto Blue Jay Carlos Delgado, who missed the majority of the 2009 season because of injuries. The White Sox had a scout watch Delgado during his stint playing winter ball in Puerto Rico. The consenus opinion is that Delgado did not have the legs and athleticism to play first base even in a part-time role.
That opinion moved the White Sox away from making a bid. …
January 29, 2010
Projecting Rios could be a case study in the “statistical sample size” vs. “what have you done for me lately” aspects of performance expectations. On the “lately” side, only the last 10 games of 2009 gave any inkling of hope (he hit .333/.400/.556 in 40 PA). But while we know that 10 games is a “throwaway” sample size, could it be that the entire 2009 is also? BABIP is shown to track with career BABIP, and Rios still sports an excellent .323 career BABIP, due to his line-drive hitting ways (before 2009), good speed, and decent power. So, do we assume that his BABIP will rebound to the .320 range? His BB% and ISO were down a little in 2009 (5.8% vs 6.6% career BB% and .148 ISO vs .163 career ISO), but nothing that seems out of place from a random fluctuation. And his contact rate remained virtually unchanged (though he struck out more after coming to Chicago). …
What is the latest on Cuban defector Yuniesky Maya? The last I’d heard about him was around Christmas time, and the White Sox and Mets were said to be the front-runners to land him. After watching a little bit of footage of him pitching, I think he’d be a good fit as a long reliever out of the bullpen.
– Dan, Aurora, Ill.
I was told at SoxFest that the White Sox scouted Maya and watched him throw, but they dropped out of the Maya picture after signing J.J. Putz. The money wanted wasn’t commensurate with where the White Sox thought Maya would be pegged as a fourth- or fifth-starter type.
BTW, here’s my Yuniesky Maya scouting report.
White Sox Top 1o prospects of the decade:
1. Mark Buehrle, lhp
2. Bobby Jenks, rhp
3. Jon Garland, rhp
4. Aaron Rowand, of
5. Joe Crede, 3b
6. Jon Rauch, rhp
7. Gordon Beckham, ss
8. Miguel Olivo, c
9. Kip Wells, rhp
10. Brandon McCarthy, rhp
After futzing around as a starter unsuccessfully in 2008, Santeliz moved back to the bullpen in ’09 and was very impressive at times for Double-A Birmingham. He’s got a terrific fastball at 95-98 MPH, with movement, and he continued to make strides with his slider and splitter, though both pitchers remain erratic. He posted good K/IP and H/IP marks, but his walk rate was still high and that will hurt him at higher levels. There was a lot of good luck involved with the 0.96 ERA: his FIP was 4.00, much better than the 5.98 mark he posted in ’08, but showing that the ERA overstates how much he improved. I remain intrigued with his arm strength, but the control still worries me. Don’t overrate him based on the pretty ERA. Grade C.
They’d like to know when or if Thomas will return to have his day, get his number retired and visit his statue.
And it’s really all up to Thomas now.
“The door is open,” said White Sox GM Ken Williams. “It’s pretty much in his court as far as what he wants to do.”
Despite his conflicts with Thomas in the past, Williams said it’s all forgotten, and he was in favor of Thomas returning last year so that he could retire in a Sox uniform.
“If he felt like the time was right to come back for a day and retire with this uniform, I think everyone here wants that to happen,” Williams said of Thomas, who hasn’t played since August 2008. “I don’t know that we’d want it to be an official appearance, because then you’d have to restart the clock on his Hall of Fame status.” …