Stankevitz @ BL:
It’d be way too easy to scream “SMALL SAMPLE SIZE” at Brent Lillibridge’s statistics this season and dismiss them as a fluke. Yes, a .662 slugging percentage probably isn’t sustainable given Lillibridge isn’t Jose Bautista or Matt Joyce. But there’s one stat that can be considered reliable with Lillibridge’s sample size, and that’s swing percentage. …
Fangraphs’ Eno Sarris looks at how should Lillibridge be used.
‘‘Mechanics are big part of it, and the work with [hitting coaches Greg Walker and Mike Gellinger], but for the most part it’s the mental side of it,’’ said Lillibridge, who’s batting .308 after hitting .224 last season. ‘‘It’s helped me not miss pitches and have some success these first two months. I’m really happy with where I’m at.’’
Slowinski @ FG:
Going into this year, Dunn always feasted on fastballs. That was the pitch he swung and missed on the least
(19%), and pitch type values (2.1 wFB/C) rated him as one of the top 15 best fastball hitters in the majors. Changeups were his kryptonite — he swung and missed on them at a high rate (40+%) and they rated as the pitch he performed the worst against.This season, though, things are all weird: Pitchers are throwing Dunn more
fastballs (68% vs. 54%) and he can’t get around on them (-0.7 wFB/C). American League pitchers are also pitching him differently
, using sliders as their main out-pitch, and Dunn’s strikeout rate has spiked to 40%. …
Fangraphs’ David Golebiewski points at the non-crushing of fastballs too:
The main reason for Dunn’s downturn at the plate is that he isn’t crushing fastballs near as much as in years past.Since 2002, Dunn has performed +1.64 runs better per 100 fastballs seen than the average hitter. That places him 10th among all MLB batters over that time frame. With the White Sox, however, Dunn’s runs/100 value against fastballs is -0.75. He had never posted a negative run value against heaters prior to this year, but the slugger is handling fastballs about as well as Brendan Ryan and Brandon Inge in 2011. Pitchers have taken notice: they’re throwing Dunn fastballs over 67% of the time this season, compared to a career rate of 59%. …
Merkin @ CWS:
The White Sox announced their starting pitchers for the upcoming home series against the Tigers and Mariners, and the alignment shows their six-man rotation lives on.
Mark Buehrle opens the three-game weekend set at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday against the Tigers, followed by Edwin Jackson and Jake Peavy. John Danks gets the call Monday against the Mariners, with manager Ozzie Guillen simply wanting to give a healthy Danks the extra day of rest behind Peavy, followed by Philip Humber and Gavin Floyd.Humber has made the White Sox decision to move away from the six-man a difficult one. The right-hander has more recent relief experience, but he also has been the team’s most consistent starter.
Guillen indicated during Wednesday’s pregame interview session at Fenway Park how the six-man rotation would stick at least one more turn. But in that same talk with reporters, Guillen mentioned how the six-man rotation could last through the All-Star break.
“Well, it’s kind of funny, after the All-Star break, we have a lot of days — maybe 12 days with guys without pitching. Then it changes a little bit,” Guillen said. “Before the All-Star break, I want those guys to catch up and breathe for the long stretch.
“Now we have that six-man [rotation], then boom, we go into the All-Star break and we have to figure out to go five or six. In the beginning, we should go with five, because some guys will be spending 10 days without pitching. Obviously they’ll be in the bullpen and throwing on the side and stuff, but it’s not the same.”
Brett Ballantini has more on the 6-man rotation.
Other White Sox links: J.J. looks at how a potential ‘Edwin Jackson to the bullpen’ move would work and concludes that the Sox should “stick with the six-man rotation”, and Matthew Pouliot wonders if Brent Lillibridge is the new Ben Zobrist.
|Thompson, T (W, 4-1)
Doyle was assigned from Birmingham back to Winston-Salem on May 24, after going from Winston-Salem Dash to Birmingham on May 20.