White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

May 31, 2010

Ozzie Guillen on his son’s, Ozney, baseball skills

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 31, 2010 8:31 pm
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Ozney could be drafted in next week’s baseball draft. Here’s Ozzie’s opinion of his son:

“One thing about it, he’s got the itch and he knows how to play baseball,” Guillen said. “He’s not a tools player. He’s a good baseball player. That’s missing from baseball. A lot of people pick or draft people with tools. They not pick a player. That’s what we are missing in this game. We need to pick people who can play this game.”

May 31 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 31, 2010 7:45 pm
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- FutureSox Mock Draft roundup

- Mike DePilla finds the 2010 White Sox springboard

Tyler Flowers doesn’t like Greg Walker’s advice

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 31, 2010 6:43 pm
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Tyler Flowers is hitting .207/.313/.429/.742 with 19 BB / 55 K in 140 AB / 163 PA and  a .273 BABIP. Scott Merkin looks at the situation:

When Flowers joined the White Sox, the story was about a Major League-ready hitter who needed work behind the plate. Flash-forward two springs, and Williams told MLB.com how Flowers had progressed nicely in the catching department but needed to make changes in the mechanics of his swing in order to show he was an everyday catcher.

Those changes were implemented by Flowers. But with all due respect to the organization, Flowers wants to somewhat return to a more familiar style that made him previously successful.

“At the point where I’ve tried doing it their way this last month, sadly enough the numbers speak for themselves, and that way doesn’t totally work,” Flowers said. “I have to go back to the old me. I have to go back to my style of hitting, while implementing the little things Walk [White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker] and Kenny talked about.

“I’m about being a little more aggressive. I haven’t been happy with not driving balls anywhere, especially to right field. I’m not driving them like I can and why Kenny traded for me. I’ve lost that since spring. It has even been frustrating in batting practice. But I think I found where that piece was missing. I’m pumped up to get my game going and get my timing back and get rolling.”

Here’s Merkin’s article on the Spring Training changes:

So, what happened to Flowers’ hitting strength? It was no less than general manager Ken Williams who made that claim of Flowers being ready to hit Major League pitching shortly after picking him up from Atlanta, and it was Williams who said Monday that Flowers would have not only hit but hit with some impact in the big leagues if he had maintained the same approach Williams witnessed in the 2008 Arizona Fall League.

According to Williams, Flowers’ approach at the plate had changed when he was called up to the Majors last September and was exaggerated more this spring. The 24-year-old moved his hands behind his right shoulder, creating for a much longer swing, while adding a twist of the upper body and opening up his hips and leading with his hips.

“It was a double combination of bad,” Williams said. “Tyler had them more in a traditional place with a traditional load. Walk has talked to him about it. I talked to him about it. I have the greatest frame of reference to see him.

“I do see signs of him now getting his hands away from his body a little bit. He’s showing a shorter swing. His short swing is still very powerful. He’s better able to handle all the pitches when he does this. I’m encouraged by him at this stage.”

Walker thought Flowers’ previous hitting instructors weren’t up to MLB standards:

“There are some things mechanically he needs to clean up, but that’s what Triple-A is for,” Walker said. “I still believe he’s got a chance. I don’t think he’s that far off, and I love his talent.”

“That happens sometimes when guys go home and they work with their own individual hitting instructors and they aren’t necessarily qualified instructors to teach Major Leaguers how to hit Major League pitchers,” Williams said. “He and Walk talked about it and worked very diligently to try to correct those mistakes.”

All this may be overlooking something. Take a look at Flowers’ BABIP splits at Flowers’ minorleaguesplits.com page or Flowers’ firstinning.com page.

A wOBA+ primer at THT

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 31, 2010 2:54 pm
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JT Jordan:

There have been a number of wOBA primers circulating around the Internet recently to help answer this question. I love primers, and I love reading people’s explanations of the more advanced statistics. These primers on wOBA are accessible to the most casual of fans. They answer the “what,” and occasionally the “why,” but not the “how.” This is important. We can’t trust a statistic unless we really know what goes in to it, and how it compares to other statistics that attempt to accomplish the same goal. …

Frankie Piliere’s Mock Draft [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 31, 2010 1:02 pm
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Pilliere:

13. White Sox – Bryce Brentz (OF) | Middle Tennessee State

Look for the White Sox to look at the college ranks to find their pick. That much we can depend on. Brentz and Kvasnicka top their short list of college bats they would consider in this spot. They have looked at college arms like Wojciechowski and Workman, but they don’t appear to be on Wimmers. High school bats Sale and Nick Castellanos are also apparently not in play. Chicago is one of the biggest believers in Brentz’s bat in the round so I’d look for them to go there with this pick. If they do go the high school route, Yordy Cabrera, who is a hot name all over the round, could get a look here.

MLB Draft Central’s scouting report/video on Brentz:

Hitting ability: Brentz has a short, compact stroke and could become an above-average hitter.

UPDATE: In Pilliere’s previous mock draft, the Sox got:

13. White Sox | Nick Castellanos (3B) | Archbishop McCarthy H.S. (Fla.)

The White Sox have been linked to a number of young bats and some college arms, but they may have their sights set on Castellanos. They’ve seen him perform well of late and have continued to show serious interest. Josh Sale and Bryce Brentz, if he’s available, are also players that could go here.

Pilliere (twitter):

I think the original buzz [about Castellanos being the target] was wrong, but so hard to tell because obviously no one with CWS would say which it was

BTW, MLB Draft Central’s scouting report/video on Josh Sale:

Hitting ability: Sale has a very quick bat with the potential to be an above-average hitter. He does have some holes in his swing that he’ll have to address.

and Nick Castellanos:

Hitting ability: Castellanos has the offensive skills to be an average hitter in the future.

May 30, 2010

Sox win 8-5. Pitch F/X, videos, and boxscore.

Video recap.

Highlights: Nix hit a Grand Slam HR. Rios hit a solo HR and two 1B, Konerko hit a 2B, a 1B, and drew a BB. Teahen hit a 2B and a 1B. Vizquel hit a 2B and a 1B too. Alexei hit two 1B.

Boxscore:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Peavy(W, 4-4) 5.1 10 5 5 0 5 1 6.23
Santos(H, 5) 0.2 2 0 0 0 1 0 0.48
Thornton(H, 3) 2.1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1.59
Pena, To 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 4.05
Totals 9.0 13 5 5 1 8 1 4.58

Pitch F/X: (more…)

Ozzie Guillen refused Kenny Williams’ attempts to add players multiple times

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 30, 2010 2:50 pm
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here’s Ozzie:

“I remember telling Kenny 20 times, ‘I like what we have. I think we are OK. Don’t add any more players.’ “He kept calling me every week. Well, I guess Kenny knew more than I do because he said he wanted to add someone else and I was,’No, no, no.'”

Ozzie says now June is Judgment Month:

“It’s going to be a month that is going to show [general manager] Kenny [Williams], ‘OK, we add or we subtract,'” Guillen said. “What way are we going to go? Or we going to move people or add people to help?

“That’s what I call this month. I want to keep those guys, but in the meanwhile, if we keep playing like that, Kenny has a job to do and [White Sox assistant general manager] Rick [Hahn] have a job to do. They have to do what they have to do.

“We have to play good for them and make it tough for them to make decisions,” Guillen said. “Right now, the way we are playing, it’s easy to make decisions. We have not performed the way we thought. When you play good, make them think about it and say, ‘Wow. What are we going to do?’ That’s what I expect the players to do to make this month very good and hopefully they can stay good.”

Don’t expect a big return in a potential Paul Konerko trade

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 30, 2010 2:41 pm
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Cowley (twitter):

And don’t think the Sox would be getting some top prospect for Konerko. It would be to dump money and do Konerko a solid.

J.J.:

If Williams does trade Konerko, he won’t get much of anything back in return. Sure, Konerko is one of the big bats likely to hit the trade market this summer, but he’s likely nothing more than a three or four-month rental.

While Konerko would be a nice boost to a contending team, that he’s a rental player means the Sox won’t get anything better than a B-/C+ prospect in return.

How about a pitcher like Fabio Martinez (B-/B-), Tyler Skaggs (B-/B-), Jordan Walden (B-/B-), Jon Bachanov (B-/C+), Ryan Chafee (C+/C+), Tyler Chatwood (C+), Pat Corbin (C+)? Letter grades are from John Sickels’ and Baseball-Intellect’s 2010 Angels prospects lists. More prospect lists here.

Bruce Levine on Carlos Quentin

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 30, 2010 1:03 pm
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from Tuesday’s Bruce Levine’s chat:

Q: In your humble opinion, what do you think Carlos Quentins current trade value is, should he become available?

A: Not sure on that one. Not sure I really even know whether Quentin is the player we are seeing now or the one we saw in 2008. He’s a guy who is wound really tight. Really a good guy who internalizes way too much. I advise a slump buster for him.

If Mark Buehrle is traded, he isn’t coming back to the South Side

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 30, 2010 12:53 pm
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from Tuesday’s Bruce Levine’s chat:

Q: Bruce-If we see the Sox drop off next month and Kenny starts to trade people , like Mark Buehrle, is there a chance we could see him comeback to the team after the season?

A: Buehrle if traded will not be back. You’re not going to bring back a guy making $14 million if you’ve already made a decision to move a lifelong Sox player. He wouldn’t come back. His choice would be St. Louis. He’s always said he wanted to play for his hometown team at least for one year.

White Sox and sabermetrics

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 30, 2010 12:46 pm
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from Tuesday’s Bruce Levine’s chat:

Q: Do you the White Sox have many scouts or front office people who lean more towards the stats based, Sabermetric kind of player evaluation?

A: They do a nice combination of both. Assistant GM Rick Hahn is a statistical genius. He has a photgraphic memory. However he combines old school techniques and is a firm believer in scouting. Dan Fabian is also involved in technical data for the team.

Cafeteria y Restaurante de Pancho is the place for Alexei Ramirez

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 30, 2010 12:33 pm
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Donovan:

So on that April day in 2008, the newly minted Sox player headed straight to the humble Logan Square eatery Cafeteria y Restaurante de Pancho, 2200 N. California.

There, he not only found the arroz y habichuelas — rice and creamy, buttery black beans — of his mother’s kitchen, but a second home in Chicago and a friend in owner Francisco “Pancho” Mendez.

Over a recent lunch of bistec encebollado con maduros — flank steak made with a garlic, adobo, oregano, black pepper and vinegar rub and paired with sweet fried plaintains — Ramirez said, “If I’m not home or at the ballpark, I’m here.” …

Paul Konerko to the Angels? [speculation]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 30, 2010 2:37 am
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Gonzales:

And although A.J. Pierzynski, J.J. Putz and Jenks have received plenty of scrutiny, first baseman Paul Konerko might be added to the list in the wake of a season-threatening ankle fracture suffered by Los Angeles Angels first baseman Kendry Morales.

Konerko possesses full trade-veto rights by virtue of having at least 10 years in the majors and more than the past five years with the same team. But he nearly signed with the Angels after the 2005 season and he maintains a friendship with Angels manager Mike Scioscia from their days in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ farm system.

Cowley, who makes the same speculation, reminds us that Konerko said in last year that he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause “if he felt it could help the Sox, as well as put him in a good place.”

May 29, 2010

Sox lose 8-5. Pitch F/X, videos, and boxscore.

Quentin hit a 2-run HR. Alexei hit a solo HR. Koneko had a 2B. All 3 had a 1B too. Konerko, Alexei and Rios drew a BB too. Beckham went 0-4 and under the Mendoza line.

Boxscore:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Danks(L, 4-4) 4.0 8 8 8 3 2 1 3.34
Pena, To 0.1 1 0 0 1 0 0 4.15
Williams, R 1.1 0 0 0 2 2 0 5.40
Putz 1.1 1 0 0 0 4 0 3.38
Linebrink 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 4.19
Totals 8.0 11 8 8 6 10 1 4.57

Pitch F/X: (more…)

Chuck Garfien’s fantastic Old Hoss Radbourn’s story

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 29, 2010 10:03 pm
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Garfien:

Asked one day if he ever got tired from pitching so often, Old Hoss replied (and this is an actual quote), “Tired of tossing a little five-ounce baseball for two hours? I used to be a butcher. From four in the morning until eight at night, I knocked down steers with a 25-pound sledge. Tired from playing two hours a day for 10 times the money I used to get for 16 hours a day?”

Old Hoss clearly didn’t have time to be bothered with such absurd questions.

And I don’t want to bore you with the details of Radbourn’s pedestrian season of 1883, because it’s what happened the following year, in 1884, that created this legend and how fiction became fact.

But first some backstory. …

Old Hoss stats.

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