White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

March 31, 2012

White Sox set their 25-man roster

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 31, 2012 10:05 pm
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Scott Merkin:

The White Sox set their 25-man roster on Saturday morning by optioning right-handed pitcher Dylan Axelrod to Triple-A Charlotte and reassigning RHP Brian Bruney, C Hector Gimenez, INF Rey Olmedo, LHP Leyson Septimo and LHP Eric Stults to Minor League camp.

With those moves, the White Sox have 12 pitches, two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders set to break camp. Eduardo Escobar was selected as the final position player, as expected, while Zach Stewart and Nate Jones round out the seven-man bullpen.

In that relief crew, the White Sox have four players with 70 days of big-league experience or less and three in Addison Reed, Jones and Hector Santiago, with 30 days or less. General manager Ken Williams said Saturday that he knew two weeks ago Jones and his fastball in the high 90s would make the team.

Here’s the Sox 25-man (Active) roster.

And here are Kenny Williams’ comments on today’s roster decisions.

BTW, Nate Jones was working on his changeup yesterday:

Jones added a cutter/slider to his repertoire last season and has worked on his changeup over the past six weeks. He showed that change during his one inning of work Friday against the Royals, bouncing back from walking the first two hitters he faced to pitch a scoreless inning

Here are the Pitch-F/X readings for Jones’ appearance yesterday.

How about another minor league 1st baseman?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 31, 2012 9:30 pm
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Scott Merkin:

Conor Jackson signed a Minor League deal with the White Sox on Saturday and was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte. The right-handed-hitting outfielder was in camp with the Rangers during Spring Training before being released.

Jackson, 29, is a .271 career hitter with 52 home runs over stops with the D-backs, Red Sox and A’s in seven seasons. But as general manager Ken Williams pointed out, Jackson never really fully recovered from Valley Fever that hit him in 2009.

“He was on a career trajectory where his ceiling was through the roof,” said Williams of Jackson, who had three productive seasons in Arizona from 2006-08. “He got Valley Fever, which was a terrible thing to catch. He will be working his way back in Triple-A.”

White Sox vs. Rockies @ 3:05 pm CT; free webcast

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 31, 2012 2:05 pm
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Watch exclusive live webcast

John Danks will be on the mound today at 3:05 p.m. CT when the White Sox host the Rockies. Will Ohman and Jesse Crain also scheduled to throw. Watch live webcastGameday | Boxscore

Or click the video below and wait 4-5 seconds (the video at the whitesox.com webcast can be expanded to full-screen):

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Pitch-F/X for yesterday’s Nate Jones appearance

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 31, 2012 2:00 pm
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Boxscore:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Stults(L, 1-2) 4.0 5 3 2 1 2 1 3.38
Bruney 3.0 6 4 4 2 2 0 2.93
Jones, N 1.0 0 0 0 2 2 0 1.69
Totals 8.0 11 7 6 5 6 1 5.43

Brooks Baseball:

Pitch Statistics
Pitch Type Avg Speed Max Speed Avg H-Break Avg V-Break Count Strikes / % Swinging Strikes / % Linear Weights Time to Plate
FF (FourSeam Fastball) 96.50 97.4 -8.63 8.94 12 4 / 33.33% 0 / 0.00% 0.3342 0.387
CH (Changeup) 84.04 85.2 -6.43 7.30 7 5 / 71.43% 2 / 28.57% -0.6245 0.443
SL (Slider) 86.05 88.1 -0.05 1.42 6 2 / 33.33% 0 / 0.00% 0.0595 0.433
Pitch classifications provided by the Gameday Algorithm and may be inaccurate. Pitch Type LWTS correspond to how many runs were likely to score on a particular pitch based on average run expectancy when each pitch was thrown and what happened as a result. Negative scores indicate more effective pitches. Time to Plate is the time, in seconds, that it takes an average pitch of this type to reach the plate. This is strongly correlated with velocity, but also factors in movement.
Inning-by-Inning Pitch Totals
Inning Pitches in Inning Strikes in Inning Strike% in Inning Cumulative Total Pitches Pitch LWTS in Inning
8 25 11 44.00 25 -0.231

UPDATE: BTW, Nate Jones was working on his changeup yesterday:

Jones added a cutter/slider to his repertoire last season and has worked on his changeup over the past six weeks. He showed that change during his one inning of work Friday against the Royals, bouncing back from walking the first two hitters he faced to pitch a scoreless inning

And here are Kenny Williams’ comments on Nate Jones making the Sox 25-man (Active) roster:

On Nate Jones seemingly coming out of nowhere:

It’s not out of nowhere for us.  When you throw 97-100 and you’ve got a hard curve ball, and I think you guys finally saw the change-up last night, which we developed when he started a couple years ago.  Last night, I think he was 98-99 and the change-up was around the 86 range and had some sink and fade to it, along with the curveball, it just makes everything better.   I think he got in trouble early in spring cause when you’re just sitting on two pitches, guys could guess. When you put another thought in their mind, you’ve got something to work with.  I’ve been impressed with his aggressiveness.  He was a little geeked up last night, trying to make that last impression and walked the first couple guys.  But then he really settled down and got in the swing of things.

March 30, 2012

Seems Jared Mitchell is going to AA-Birmingham

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 30, 2012 9:30 pm
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Scott Merkin:

A White Sox fan in search of the team’s future starters need look no deeper than Double-A Birmingham. That rotation features Nestor Molina, Simon Castro, Jose Quintana and Pedro Hernandez, who all took part in big league camp, as well as right-hander Cameron Bayne. If a starting spot opens up during the course of the season, there’s a chance the White Sox would look at the Barons as quickly as they would check the rotation for Triple-A Charlotte.

Molina (Sergio Santos, from Toronto), Castro and Hernandez (both Carlos Quentin, from San Diego) all came over during offseason trades. Birmingham’s roster also will feature relievers such as Nevin Griffith, Dan Remenowsky and Ryan Kussmaul, as well as position players such as Mitchell, Andy Wilkins and Jose Martinez.

Other White Sox links:

March 29, 2012

White Sox sign 23 year-old SS D.J. Jarrad

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 29, 2012 10:00 pm

Scott DeCamp:

The former Portage Northern High School standout received a surprising phone call Friday from Del Matthews, who is assistant director of player development and scouting for the Chicago White Sox.

The White Sox wanted Jarrad to report to their spring training facility in Glendale, Ariz., immediately. They sent him a plane ticket, and the recent Oakland University graduate flew out of Detroit Metro Airport on Monday morning.

The former Golden Grizzlies shortstop is expected to be in Glendale for extended spring training through mid-April. Depending on the organization’s needs, Jarrad could very well end up playing rookie ball or low Class A. Contract discussions would ensue at that time, he said.

From D.J. Jarrad’s Oakland U page:

Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Height: 6’01″
Weight: 170
Born: 1989-02-15
Hometown: Portage, MI
Class:  Senior

Jarrad’s stats:

Year AVG GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SLG% BB HBP SO GDP OB% SF SH SB-ATT PO A E FLD%
2011 .304 50-50 191 37 58 8 3 2 33 78 .408 24 4 19 3 .386 4 5 14-20 76 132 15 .933
2010 .282 44-43 163 33 46 11 0 2 23 63 .387 13 3 14 3 .343 2 3 4-6 61 104 15 .917
2009 .291 37-27 110 19 32 8 2 0 18 44 .400 11 6 17 3 .383 1 5 0-2 36 67 10 .912
2008 .211 24-12 57 3 12 3 0 0 4 2 0 14 1-1 0-0 6 29 4 .907

In which Alex Rios doesn’t want to change his hitting stance this year

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 29, 2012 9:00 pm
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Scott Merkin:

Now, Rios employs a stance that seems to fit best, which was the culmination of an extended search process beginning with offseason video studies of previous standout years to incorporate into the present.In Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Padres at Camelback Ranch, Rios faced Edinson Volquez with his legs spread shoulder width apart, his hands back and just above mid-chest height and in a slight crouch.

“It’s kind of like in 2010, when my hands were a little lower and I was crouched a little bit,” said Rios, who hit .284 with 21 homers and 88 RBIs to go with 34 stolen bases that season. “So that’s where I’m trying to stay the whole year. That’s how I feel strong and comfortable.

“When you do constant changes like that, you never feel comfortable in one spot. You are always searching, and when you are searching, you don’t focus on your approach. And it’s like a chain reaction. Everything piles up, and when you look back, it’s too much. Just too much to handle.

“I don’t want to go back to the changes,” Rios said. “I know that doesn’t work. I’m going to stick to it this year and be positive. That’s the only thing I can do, stay positive and have a good approach at the plate.”

If things don’t go as planned, the temptation to tweak something is enormous.

Palehose 12 [UPDATE #3]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 29, 2012 8:00 pm
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Hellbreak Part 1, Page 9

Hellbreak Part 1, Page 10

UPDATE:

Hellbreak Part 1, Page 11

Hellbreak Part 1, Page 12

UPDATE #2:

Hellbreak Part 1, Page 13

Hellbreak Part 1, Page 14

UPDATE #3:

Hellbreak Part 1, Page 15

Hellbreak Part 1, Page 16

White Sox @ Dodgers @ 3:05 pm CT; game on CSN-TV [UPDATE]

Watch live on CSN-TV as Chris Sale takes the hill as the Sox are hosted by the Dodgers today at 3:05 p.m. CT. Rookie closing candidates Addison Reed and Hector Santiago will be throwing their second game in back-to-back appearances, while Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain also are scheduled to pitch. Brent Lillibridge will be at 1st base. Gameday | Boxscore

UPDATE: It was the Chris Sale show baby! 7 striKeouts (3 of them were against Matt Kemp) and 0 walks in 6 innings. And Spring Training strikeouts and walks matter.

John Sickels’ favorite young players

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 29, 2012 12:00 am
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John Sickels:

Gordon Beckham, 2B, Chicago White Sox: Age 25. Three-year downtrend in performance but still young enough to live up to what he showed in college. As with Pedro Alvarez, it is too soon to give up on him.

Dayan Viciedo, OF, Chicago White Sox: Age 23. Not as good as he hit in 2010, and not as bad as he hit in 2011. Real skills somewhere in the .280/.325/.440 range with a chance for more eventually.

UPDATE: And on the pitching side:

Chris Sale, LHP, Chicago White Sox: Age 23. I’m optimistic that the conversion to starting will go well, provided the White Sox don’t do something stupid with his workload. Considered for Top 12.

March 28, 2012

White Sox vs. Padres @ 3:05 pm CT; free webcast

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 28, 2012 1:05 pm
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Watch exclusive webcast

Watch the live free video webcast as the White Sox host San Diego at 3:05 p.m. Dylan Axelrod starts for the Sox. Watch webcastGameday | Boxscore

Or click the video below and wait 4-5 seconds (the video at the whitesox.com webcast can be expanded to full-screen):

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Jake Peavy says there is no way the White Sox will lose 95 games this year

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 28, 2012 12:00 am
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Scott Reifert:

On if the team is going to lose 95 games as predicted by Sports Illustrated:

“That’s not going to happen. That ain’t going to happen, I can promise you that. We’re going to get after it.  I don’t know how many we’re going to win and how many we’re going to lose, but we’re not going to lose 95 games. This team has too much pride. We’re going to play the right way and we’re going to compete, that’s just all there is to it. We’re not going to give away games. We’re going to have some growing pains, especially with how young we are in the backend of the bullpen, I’m sure there’s going to be times that we lose some tough ones or give one away but that’s to be expected. At the same time, we have enough veteran presence on this team, guys who have been in the fire before, to lead these young guys. We got great leadership from the coaching perspective and we got too much pride, this team’s going to compete. We’re not losing 95 games, I can tell you that.”

And I was worried!

Other White Sox links:

BTW, Fangraphs’ Mike Podhorzer looks what Spring Training stats matter. Hint: ERA: No. K% and BB%: Yes. And BTB’s Lewie Pollis looks to see if a teams W-L record matters.

March 27, 2012

White Sox vs. Indians @ 3:05 pm CT; free webcast

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 27, 2012 2:05 pm
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Watch exclusive webcast

Watch an exclusive free video webcast as the White Sox host the Indians at 3:05 p.m.. Zach Stewart starts. Jake Peavy and Jesse Crain are scheduled to pitch in a minor league game. Watch webcastGameday | Boxscore

Or click the video below and wait 4-5 seconds (the video at the whitesox.com webcast can be expanded to full-screen):

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SeedlingsToStars 2012 mock draft’s Sox picks

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 27, 2012 12:00 am
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Round 1:

13th Overall: Chicago White Sox

The White Sox are in trouble. They’re a middling team at best and their farm system is the worst in baseball. Maybe it’s time for a little bit of a philosophy change. The White Sox minor league starting pitching is absolutely horrendous, and rather than another safe college pick, the White Sox could go for upside in the form of Olympia, FL High School right-hander Walker Weickel.

Weickel is a big, projectable pitcher at 6’6″, 200, and even though he has more velocity to come, his current arsenal is already promising. His fastball ranges from 89 to 92 MPH with his fastball and has his 95 MPH, and he takes advantage of his height to throw the pitch with a nice downward plane and good sink. As he fills out, Weickel’s fastball could be a plus pitch in the mid-90′s. Weickel’s fastball may be better paired with a slider with a nice horizontal movement, but he currently throws a 12 to 6 curveball that has plus potential with big, late break. He complements his two team pitches with a low-80′s changeup that should definitely be at least an average pitch going forward. Weickel would give the White Sox a pitching prospect with the potential to be an ace or at least a number two, something they are severely lacking. The question is whether the White Sox will be willing to acknowledge their past mistakes and completely shift their draft strategy. If they don’t do so, I could see them taking Florida two-way player Brian Johnson, who would probably turn into another 3rd starter prospect in the White Sox weak organization. It makes sense for the White Sox will go with the former option, and their fans have a right to be upset if they don’t.

The Pick: Walker Weickel, RHP, Olympia High School, FL

Supplemental 1st round:

48th Overall: Chicago White Sox (Compensation for Mark Buehrle)

If the White Sox are known for anything, it’s for rushing top prospects through the minors. If they’re inevitably going to do that anyway, they might as well draft players who can handle such rapid movement. Oklahoma State left-hander Andrew Hearney fits that mold.

Hearney, a slender, projectable lefty at 6’2″, 175, is the most advanced pitcher in the 2012 MLB Draft. He’s a “thinking man’s pitcher”, possessing a four-pitch arsenal and does things few pitchers his age or even in general do, such as purposely varying arm slots to befuddle hitters. Hearney’s fastball currently ranges from the high-80′s to low-90′s with some nice late movement, but he could have a couple more MPH in him after he fills out. His best secondary pitch is a curveball with quick descent that flashes plus. His remaining two pitches are a two-seam fastball with late cutting action and a changeup with some sink. Hearney should be able to fly through the minors and he has a chance to be in the back end of a big league rotation by early 2013. He currently profiles as a safe bet to be a 3rd or 4th starter in the big leagues, but if he can fill out his frame and get some more velocity on his fastball while also improving his secondary pitches, he could have number two starter upside. In a White Sox system with a dearth of pitching, Hearney can provide a stable presence that could zoom through the minors.

The Pick: Andrew Hearney, LHP, Oklahoma State University

Draft pick projections for Round 2 and Round 3 are below:

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March 26, 2012

Palehose 12 [UPDATE #3]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 26, 2012 9:30 pm
Tags: ,

Carl Skankberg presents ‘Hellbreak: The Illustrated tale of Adam Dunn and the 2012 White Sox’:

Hellbreak Title Page

Hellbreak Part One

Hellbreak Part 1, Page 1.

Hellbreak, Part 1, Page 2.

UPDATE #1:

Hellbreak, Part 1, Page 3

Hellbreak, Part 1, Page 4

UPDATE #2:

Hellbreak, Part 1, Page 5

Hellbreak Part 1, Page 6

UPDATE #3:

Hellbreak, Part 1, Page 7

Hellbreak, Part 1, Page 8

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