White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

January 18, 2010

FutureSox looks at the 2005-2008 drafts

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 18, 2010 10:36 pm
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Baseball America graded every team’s last 4 drafts. FutureSox normalized the grades to the money a team spent in those drafts:

Team Original Budget Original GPA New Budget New GPA
Chicago White Sox $3m 2.38 $5.04m 4.00
Cleveland Indians $5.1m 2.00 $5.04m 1.98
Detroit Tigers $5.2m 3.25 $5.04m 3.15
Kansas City Royals $7.4m 2.38 $5.04m 1.62
Minnesota Twins $4.5m 3.00 $5.04m 3.36

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Sox draft spending was in “normal” levels? Of course if by spending $3m you get a 2.38 grade, that doesn’t mean if you spend $5 million you’ll get a 4.oo grade. The “extra” prospects may become busts.

Comparing the Performance of Baseball Bats

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 18, 2010 9:34 pm

Alan M. Nathan:

The game of baseball as played today at the amateur level is very different from the game I played growing up in Rumford, Maine in the early 1960s. In my youth, wood bats ruled. Nowadays, almost no one outside the professional level uses wood bats, which have largely been replaced by hollow metal (usually aluminum) or composite bats. The original reason for switching to aluminum bats was purely economic, since aluminum bats don’t break. However, in the nearly 40 years since they were first introduced, they have evolved into superb hitting instruments that, left unregulated, can significantly outperform wood bats. Indeed, they have the potential of upsetting the delicate balance between pitcher and batter that is at the heart of the game itself. This state of affairs has led various governing agencies (NCAA, Amateur Softball Association, etc.) to impose regulations that limit the performance of nonwood bats. The primary focus of this article is on the techniques used to measure and compare the performance of bats. …

Cool cool read!

January 18 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 18, 2010 8:48 pm
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- Happy MLK day. And donate if you can to the Haiti earthquake relief.

- Jim’s ‘White Sox Outsider 2010‘ will be illustrated by Carl Skankberg.

- Scot Gregor looks at the ‘Jim Thome returns’ scenarios.

- John Danks will have the index finger in his left hand examined by Sox doctors Wednesday to see if there are any circulation problems left.

- Jeff Lubbers and Matt Claassen look at Baseball’s Three True Outcome Leaders.

- Decision-making charts.

- Maximum Likelihood Teams of the 2000s.

Sox sign Tony Pena

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 18, 2010 6:47 pm
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whitesox.com:

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.2-million contract with right-handed pitcher Tony Pena, avoiding arbitration.

Pena, 28, went 1-2 with a 3.75 ERA (15 ER/36.0 IP), one save and 29 strikeouts in 35 relief appearances last season with the White Sox. He was acquired from the Diamondbacks on July 7 in exchange for minor-leaguer Brandon Allen. He combined to go 6-5 with a 3.99 ERA (31 ER/70.0 IP) and 55 strikeouts in 72 games in 2009 between Arizona and the Sox. Since the start of the 2007 season, Pena ranks fifth in baseball with 66 holds.

Left-handed pitcher John Danks is the White Sox last arbitration-eligible player.

Konerko wants to finish his career at the South Side

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 18, 2010 1:24 pm
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Merkin:

“Absolutely, I would like to stay [with the White Sox],” Konerko told MLB.com on Saturday night, prior to the 15th Joyce Thome Benefit for Children’s Hospital of Illinois at the Peoria Civic Center. “I know I’m not going to play forever. But I’ve come this far, so I might as well finish it out with them.

“That would be my hope. At the same time, I’m prepared for anything. We’ll have to see how it plays out.” …

January 17, 2010

4 teams interested in Jim Thome

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 17, 2010 2:41 pm
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I hope the Sox are one of the teams interested in Big Jim:

Present job opportunities for Thome clearly will be limited to the American League. A handful of teams have contacted Thome’s representative, Pat Rooney from SFX Baseball, and while Thome would not list any of those with interest, MLB.com has learned Tampa Bay stands as one of them.

The Rays would make sense in that Thome could split DH time with Pat Burrell, who previously played with Thome in Philadelphia. Thome’s power stroke would serve as a great benefit for any team with playoff aspirations, such as Tampa Bay.

Paulie wonders what Kenny is waiting for:

“If you are a team that wants to win, it’s hard for me to see, with the way Jim swung the bat last year and the person he is, that somehow, some way he can’t fit on a team in the Major Leagues,” said White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko of his friend and former teammate. “Things are a little different now. Signings happened quickly before, where everything took place before Christmas. Now, it seems like everything is being drawn out more to the start of Spring Training. There are still a lot of good players out there, guys who had very good seasons and haven’t signed yet.”

Get on it Kenny! You aren’t seriously thinking letting Ozzie play Kotsay, Vizquel, and Jones at DH, right?

Kenny went for Roy Halladay

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 17, 2010 12:43 pm
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Griffin (via SoxMachine):

According to sources, the most competitive offers for Halladay came from clubs he was ultimately unwilling to go to – the Chisox, Cubs and Dodgers. Heading to the meetings, Anthopoulos had not asked for a list of teams to which his ace would accept a trade. He could then honestly approach everyone and find out what they had to offer without feeling he was leading them on.

The Blue Jays ended up with Travis D’Arnaud (B), Kyle Drabek (B+) and Michael Taylor (B+/A-). Taylor as traded to Oakland later. Prospect grades from John Sickels. A better package of prospects from the Sox would be Dan Hudson (B+), Tyler Flowers (B) and Gordon Beckham? Boy, I’m so glad that trade didn’t go through. Beckham+ for 1 year of 33 years old Halladay.

January 16, 2010

Updated Sox 2010 CHONE projections

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 16, 2010 10:36 pm
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First the hitters in Merkin’s projected lineup:

Player Pos Age G AB R Hits 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP PA AVG OBP SLG R150 Def
Pierre, Juan CF 32 140 504 66 141 23 6 2 34 34 12 28 38 6 538 0.280 0.325 0.361 -12 -1
Rios, Alexis OF 29 146 567 80 153 34 4 18 75 20 6 43 100 5 615 0.270 0.327 0.439 2 -1
Quentin, Carlos OF 27 123 415 70 110 24 1 23 76 3 2 43 66 17 475 0.265 0.358 0.494 19 -2
Konerko, Paul 1B 34 141 517 70 135 27 1 26 81 1 0 59 93 7 583 0.261 0.345 0.468 11 0
Teahen, Mark 3B 28 144 536 72 141 30 4 16 65 7 3 44 126 4 584 0.263 0.324 0.424 -2 -7
Beckham, Gordon 3B 23 148 530 79 146 38 2 18 80 8 6 53 92 6 589 0.275 0.348 0.457 11 3
Pierzynski, A.J. C 33 133 494 56 136 26 1 13 53 1 1 19 63 5 518 0.275 0.309 0.411 -8 -4
Kotsay, Mark 1B 34 102 366 37 93 20 1 6 42 3 2 27 45 1 394 0.254 0.307 0.363 -16 -2
Ramirez, Alexei SS 28 147 527 69 146 24 2 17 73 11 7 37 68 2 566 0.277 0.327 0.427 1 -2

Pierre seems like a big hole. We have

Botts, Jason OF 30 107 343 50 82 20 1 13 49 1 1 54 111 3 400 0.239 0.348 0.417 5 0

Kotsay seems like another hole. We could use a real DH:

Thome, Jim DH 39 123 412 64 96 17 0 23 69 0 0 72 131 3 487 0.233 0.351 0.442 11 0

The current starting pitchers (both Garcia and Hudson):

Player Age G GS Won Lost IP Hits BB SO HR HB Runs ER ERA R vs Rep
Mark Buehrle 31 30 30 11 11 192 210 47 105 22 5 96 88 4.12 38
Gavin Floyd 27 30 30 10 11 185 187 61 145 25 6 97 89 4.33 35
John Danks 25 29 29 9 10 169 170 59 133 22 4 87 80 4.26 35
Jake Peavy 29 24 24 8 8 145 139 49 130 16 4 69 63 3.91 35
Daniel Hudson 23 20 20 5 7 106 109 44 88 15 7 62 57 4.84 14
Freddy Garcia 35 12 12 3 4 63 69 21 42 9 2 35 32 4.57 10

and the top 6 bullpen candidates:

Player Age G GS Won Lost IP Hits BB SO HR HB Runs ER ERA R vs Rep
Matt Thornton 33 64 0 4 3 59 51 21 63 5 2 24 22 3.36 11
Bobby Jenks 29 53 0 3 2 52 46 15 40 5 1 21 19 3.29 9
Carlos Torres 27 57 0 4 4 65 61 31 56 7 3 33 30 4.15 6
Tony Pena 28 67 0 4 4 69 70 21 47 7 3 34 31 4.04 6
J.J. Putz 33 39 0 2 2 37 35 17 31 4 1 19 17 4.14 4
Scott Linebrink 33 53 0 3 3 52 52 19 42 8 2 28 26 4.50 2

Sox agree to 1-year deals with Bobby Jenks and Carlos Quentin

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 16, 2010 6:35 pm
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whitesox.com:

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on one-year contracts with right-handed pitcher Bobby Jenks ($7.5 million) and outfielder Carlos Quentin ($3.2 million), avoiding arbitration with both players.

Jenks, 28, went 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA (22 ER/53.1 IP) and 29 saves with the White Sox in 2009. He fell one save shy of his fourth consecutive 30-save season. Jenks ranks third in White Sox history with 146 saves.

Quentin, 27, hit .236 (83-351) with 21 home runs and 56 RBI in 99 games last season. He was on the disabled list from May 29-July 19 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Quentin batted .288 (138-488) with 36 homers and 100 RBI in 2008 when he was named to the American League All-Star Team and received his first Silver Slugger Award.

Left-handed pitcher John Danks and right-hander Tony Pena are the White Sox remaining arbitration-eligible players.

Jenks played under a 1-year/$5.9 million contract last year. He gets $1.6 million more in 2010. Quentin played under a 1-year/$0.55 million contract last year. He gets $2.65 million more in 2010.

and

Arbitration-eligible players without a 2010 contract will exchange figures with their respective clubs on Tuesday, and arbitration hearings will be scheduled Feb. 1-21. Clubs can still negotiate with their players from the time they exchange figures until the respective hearings.

The White Sox haven’t had to go to arbitration with a player since 2001.

January 15, 2010

January 15 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 15, 2010 9:13 pm
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- John Danks, Bobby Jenks, Carlos Quentin and Tony Pena filed for arbitration. Scot Gregor’s take.

- Jeff F. Marquez is focused on returning to form.

- The Pirates signed D.J. Carrasco and are close to signing Octavio Dotel.

- Matt Thornton will answer questions in Scott Merkin’s next mailbag. Submit yours using the form on the middle of the page.

- Jim looks at the Sox ticket prices for Spring Training and compares them to the other baseball teams that have Spring Training in Arizona. He also looks at the 15 players that the Sox invited for Spring Training.

- Happy 39th birthday to Don Cooper.

- Fangraphs looks at the remaining 1B/DH players.

Remember Oneli Perez?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 15, 2010 8:21 pm
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John Sickels writes:

Scouts have never liked Oneli Perez much. His fastball isn’t very fast at 86-89 MPH. He’ll occasionally spike it as high as 92, but the lack of consistent velocity makes scouts skeptical about him. He does have a good slider, and will mix in a pretty solid changeup at times. His statistical track record at the lower levels in the White Sox system was excellent. Indeed, he pitched great at every level until reaching Triple-A in 2008, where he struggled in 30 innings. He ended up in independent baseball to start 2009, which shows you exactly how low his stock was with scouts despite his past track record. Perez was very effective with Newark, and the Cardinals signed him as a free agent when Memphis needed a pitcher at mid-summer. His second try in Triple-A was much better, and as I write this he is pitching very well in the Dominican Summer League: 2.11 ERA, 14/5 K/BB in 21 innings with 15 saves. Perez is 26 years old now. I know Perez will never get a lot of slack, but the numbers are solid, and he strikes me as the kind of pitcher who can be a surprise contributor at the major league level when no one expects it. Grade C.

Oneli has 6 fingers on his hand.

Here is the original (doesn’t work anymore) Baltimore Post blog post that reported it:

Reliever Antonio Alfonseca might not be the only 12-digit pitcher in the majors next year. Oneli Perez, the White Sox’s Double-A closer last season, leads the Dominican Winter League in saves and could win a job in spring training. Must be the extra finger on each hand.

How would you have proceeded with your day without knowing this?

What are the chances Jim Thome comes back to the Sox?

Scott Merkin answers:

There’s some sort of chance, even if it’s small, especially with the strong bond between the prodigious slugger and the White Sox. The South Siders also could benefit from a big left-handed bat in the middle of the order.

As mentioned above, though, Guillen seems set on using the rotating DH for now. And it’s Guillen who runs the team on a day-to-day basis, so there’s no reason to force anyone who isn’t part of his present plan. Thome still has some good years ahead of him, and whatever team eventually adds Thome will get 25-to-30 home run potential, great on-base potential and a tremendous clubhouse presence.

Merkin also predicts the Opening Day lineup and batting order:

Let’s go with the Opening Day lineup since it’s hard to predict who will be around in May with general manager Ken Williams at the helm, let alone at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Cleveland stands as the White Sox opponent, meaning right-handers Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona or Justin Masterson will get the start.

So, it would be Juan Pierre in left field, Alex Rios in center field and Quentin in right field. The infield, from third to first, would be Mark Teahen, Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham and Konerko, and I’m guessing the left-handed-hitting Kotsay at DH. Mark Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski will make up the battery. As for a batting order, let’s try Pierre, Rios, Quentin, Konerko, Teahen, Beckham, Pierzynski, Ramirez and Kotsay. Of course, write that lineup in pencil for now.

BTW, Matt Thornton will be answering next week’s mailbag so submit your questions for next week’s mailbag at the form in the middle of the page.

UPDATE: More Thome from Merkin’s ‘Sox continue support of Thome charity’ article:

A strong possibility presently exists that Jim Thome has taken his last swings as part of the White Sox organization.

That possible departure for the popular and prolific designated hitter doesn’t mean a permanent separation will take place between Thome and the South Side of Chicago. In fact, the White Sox once again will serve as presenting sponsors for Saturday’s Joyce Thome Benefit for Children’s Hospital of Illinois in the Peoria Civic Center Ballroom. …

Smells Like Mascot: The Quest for a DH

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 15, 2010 1:13 pm
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Carl’s latest:

http://www.smellslikemascot.com/2010/01/quest-for-dh.html

Jake Peavy wants a ring

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 15, 2010 12:52 am
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Cowley:

”Nothing else matters except that ring now,” Peavy said. ”I have done the other stuff. I know you need to put up the numbers. I’m financially blessed thanks to the game of baseball. To win the Cy Young was the coolest thing individually that I have done. But I’m not in the gym every morning now for the Cy Young. I want what the boys did in 2005. I want that dog pile, that memory, that ring. If you’re not dreaming of that same thing, I question where you are as an athlete.”

… ”I couldn’t have imagined a better fit,” Peavy told the Sun-Times in a phone interview. ”I talk to [general manager] Kenny [Williams] and [pitching coach Don Cooper], and I’m completely on the same wavelength as those guys. Nothing matters except being a champion. They got that taste in 2005, and I haven’t even been close. That’s the driving force for me right now. ”I’m with the White Sox, and when you talk to Kenny about 2010, anything short of a championship is a failure.”

… ”I told Kenny and Coop that I will do whatever it takes — good, bad or ugly — to win,” Peavy said. ”I’m not going to sit here and give you numbers or promise how I will perform, but I can promise you that I will do everything I can to prepare.”

January 14, 2010

Kenny is pretty sure the Sox roster is complete

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 14, 2010 6:15 pm
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Levine:

The Sox executive told me he’s pretty sure the 25-man roster for 2010 is complete.

“I think at this point of the offseason, you’re looking at more free agents than trades,” Williams said. “That probably means we’re beyond [looking at any deals], and there are other teams still talking about some things, but I would doubt it. “

And Kenny downplayed the Ozzie Guillen-Bobby Jenks exchanges:

“Open and honest comments have been inflammatory as they’ve come out to the public, but it’s really men being men, and Ozzie and I being ourselves,” he said. “It’s about us being honest with our guys first,and honest with you guys and the public second. We had many, many instances where we had differences with our players, and then the next day it’s over and done with, and back to business as usual.”

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