White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

April 23, 2012

No more Mr. Screwball?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 23, 2012 1:05 am
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Daryl Van Schouwen:

Video coordinator Bryan Johnson dug into the archives for rookie closer Hector Santiago to find video of former left-handed screwball pitchers Fernando Valenzuela, Tug McGraw and Willie Hernandez.

Santiago, who got his fourth save in five chances, threw only one screwball as he looks to rediscover the pitch he said was better for him last season. He attributes that, in part, to higher seams on minor-league baseballs, allowing for a better grip and more spin, but he wants to do everything in his power to make it an important part of his arsenal. Santiago watched the tapes to see how the ball came out of the aforementioned trio’s hands.

“I’m kind of a fastball guy now,’’ Santiago said. “Usually I’m a changeup guy trying to sneak a fastball in, but right now I’m just going after guys.’’

BTW, here’s a link to the Pitch F/X numbers for Santiago’s outing.

Other White Sox links:

March 23, 2012

White Sox @ D-backs @ 9:05 pm CT; game on CSN-TV [VIDEO UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 23, 2012 9:04 pm
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Watch on CSN as Gavin Floyd and the White Sox face the D-backs tonight. Floyd is scheduled for five innings or 78 pitches. Gameday | Boxscore

UPDATE: A.J. ‘Tubby‘ Pierzynski hit an inside-the-park HR! Here’s video of the HR (0:14) and Tubby’s reaction (1:06).

March 11, 2012

In which Robin Ventura has Adam Dunn’s respect

Scott Merkin:

MLB.com surveyed a handful of White Sox players over the past few days, looking for one sentence to describe Ventura’s managerial start. Most players went deeper than the required basic statement, but through the first quarter of Spring Training, there seems to be nothing but strong support for Ventura’s debut camp.

“I mean, it’s almost, I don’t want to sound corny, but he’s almost like it’s too good to be true,” said White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn. “He’s unbelievable. I’m not just saying that. I feel like he’s still a player but yet he’ll get on you, he’ll jump on you.

“He’s got that fine line down really well early. He has a lot of respect coming toward him and I think he realizes it, too. He’s in a tough position, but I respect him from, I still remember him as a player, how good of a player he was playing against him. He has all my respect.”

Other White Sox links:

March 3, 2012

Robin Ventura’s batting order thoughts

Ventura wants:

Chris Sale had a good start in today’s intrasquad game:

Sale said he was mindful during warmups and at the start of the game to not go hard from the onset.“

Just taking it nice and easy and really loosening it up because you have time,” he said. “You’re in no rush. That was nice to go out there and flip some in and start stretching it out and pick it up as it goes.”

Shingo Takatsu, aka Mr. Zero, made an appearance!

And a photo from today’s game. Chris Sale pitches to Alex Rios:

More pictures here.

Other White Sox links:

February 23, 2012

Herm Schneider is in the best shape of his life

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 23, 2012 12:00 am
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No kidding, he really is:

The most noticeable change among the Sox’s traveling party was trainer Herm Schneider, who declined to disclose how much weight he lost this winter.

Daryl Van Schouwen says it’s 70 pounds:

BTW, here’s a picture of Herm from August of 2011:

Good job Herm!

Other White Sox links:

November 1, 2011

Mark Buehrle just won the AL pitcher Gold Glove award [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 1, 2011 9:58 pm
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It’s Buehrle’s 3rd consecutive AL Gold Glove. A.J. Pierzynski didn’t get the catcher Gold Glove award. Looking at BTB’s catcher defense ratings makes you wonder why he was nominated.

UPDATE: As James points out, Buehrle, also, won his 3rd Fielding Bible Award on Monday.

October 29, 2011

Buddy Bell sure likes Terry Doyle; Terry Doyle sure likes teaching

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 29, 2011 10:00 pm
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Buddy Bell talks about Terry Doyle in Mark Gonzales’ article:

“It’s amazing what you can do in this game with a heart and a brain,” Bell wrote in an email. “This guy epitomizes that. We have liked him from the beginning, and I don’t think there is anyone who can figure out why he was such a late-rounder. He knew how to pitch when he got here. It’s probably because he just doesn’t profile as a major leaguer.”

Doyle on school and teaching:

If Doyle had not been selected to pitch for the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL, he likely would have returned to his hometown of Warwick, R.I., to teach.

“My whole life I’ve been a good student,” said Doyle, who graduated from Boston College. “I’ve always enjoyed school. I had a lot of respect for my coaches, who are teachers.

“It’s just a sport instead of a subject. I’ve always had lot of respect for my coaches and teachers because they do a lot of work, and it’s almost selfless work. Having all these people help is unbelievable.”

It sure is a lot of work and selfless work. And some people think the problem with today’s schools is with the teachers. No, the problem is the ever-increasing child poverty rates.

As a student-teacher, Doyle instructed algebra, algebra II and pre-calculus classes. As a substitute teacher, Doyle rotates through Warwick’s three high schools and four junior highs.

“If I go to regular teaching, I would like to have those more advanced calculus classes just because they’re more entertaining for me than regular algebra,” Doyle said.

A numbers guy! Cool! Very Cool!

Other White Sox links:

October 17, 2011

Jim Thome, White Sox hitting coach?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 17, 2011 10:00 pm
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Daryl Van Schouwen:

Sox farm-system hitting instructors Jeff Manto or Tim Laker are thought to be the top candidates to replace Greg Walker as hitting coach, but don’t rule out the Sox making a play for a bigger name such as Jim Thome.

Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf loves Thome, 41, whose playing career likely has come to an end after 21 seasons and 604 home runs. The two share the annual habit of meeting for dinner to talk about life and baseball after the season, and a major-league source said Reinsdorf was eager to move this year’s meeting up.

Jerry is bringing the band is coming together!

Other White Sox links:

October 12, 2011

In which A.J. Pierzynski finds the ‘Paul Konerko player/manager’ idea hilarious

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 12, 2011 10:23 pm
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Sun-Times:

“I thought that was hilarious,” ­Pierzynski said. “Konerko thinks everything through and analyzes until he’s blue in the face.

“He’d be out there playing first base missing balls in the third inning because he’d be worried about what the pitching matchup would be for the eighth inning.

“I texted him when I heard the rumor, and he wrote back, ‘Yeah, and you’ll be batting ninth.’ And I wrote back, ‘No, I’ll be demanding a trade.’ ’’

1B will be manned by Lillibridge. Paulie would be DHing.

September 7, 2011

BTB talks about Tyler Flowers

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 7, 2011 4:05 pm
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Satchel Price:

The White Sox still have A.J. Pierzynski around for 2012, but I expect the team to begin to phase him out over the next year. More and more, you’ll be seeing Mr. [Tyler] Flowers crouching behind the plate, and more importantly, smacking bombs at the plate. After a rough 2010 caused many to sour on the former Braves farmhand, Flowers turned in a .261/.390/.500 line with Triple-A Charlotte this season, and he’s been playing semi-frequently with Chicago for roughly a month now. It remains to be seen how the playing time will stack up in Chicago next season, but Flowers is worth keeping an eye on given how power/OBP potential.

Maybe the Sox will eat some money and trade A.J. because if A.J. is here I don’t think he’ll go along the “phase-out” plan.

Other White Sox links:

August 20, 2011

Kenny Williams is angry

Merkin @ CWS:

“Go get the inspirational speeches from someone else. I’m [angry],” Williams told MLB.com, responding to a question concerning the White Sox chances to claim an American League Central over the final 40 games. “This team should be 10 games over .500 right now.

“That’s the bad news. The good news is we still have time to right the ship. But if you are looking for inspiration, or anyone is, or pats on the back from this recent surge, you are looking at the wrong person. I’ll give you a pat on the back if you end up in first place.”

Williams said that anything short of winning the division would be an obvious disappointment, adding that winning the division really isn’t even good enough in the White Sox championship-oriented minds. He acknowledged, as an example, being impressed by Alejandro De Aza’s play since called up to the big league club, as the outfielder is batting .310 and infusing life into the White Sox lineup.

But he added that he’ll be more impressed if De Aza keeps it up.

“Nothing is going to impress me the rest of the year unless we are in first place at the end,” Williams said. “Other than that, it’s just find a way to win today.”

Other White Sox links:

August 16, 2011

A.J. Pierzynski down; Donny Lucy up [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 16, 2011 3:30 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

The White Sox placed catcher A.J. Pierzynski on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a fractured left wrist and purchased the contract of catcher Donny Lucy from Triple-A Charlotte.

This marked Pierzynski’s first career trip to the disabled list. The 34-year-old catcher, whose placement on the DL was retroactive to Saturday, suffered the injury Friday against Kansas City, when he was hit by a Bruce Chen pitch in the third inning.

The legend of Cy Chen grows…

UPDATE: Herm Schneider says Pierzynski could return on August 29 because the fracture is more of a “compression” fracture.

Other White Sox links:

August 5, 2011

A.J. Pierzynski and Gordon Beckham think the booing of Adam Dunn isn’t helping

Merkin @ BOG:

“I love Adam Dunn, on and off the field,” Pierzynski said. “Everyone’s been there. If you’ve ever played this game, you’ve struggled. This is not an easy game to play. It’s not something that you can go out there and say this or that and it works. It’s not football where you can get yelled and screamed it and it makes you play better. There’s only so much you can do. You’ve got to put the work in. He’s done that. He’s put the time in and he’s trying to make adjustments.”

Until those adjustments pay off in consistent offense, the boos will continue to cascade down upon Dunn’s broad shoulders at U.S. Cellular Field. Opposing pitchers will continue to target Dunn in potential game-changing situations, and the baseball nightmare will continue to be reality for the affable slugger. …

“It’s not easy when people don’t seem like they are behind you, and I know it’s tough on him,” Beckham said. “Obviously he wants to do well, we want him to do well. I definitely wouldn’t be taking it like he’s been able to. He’s been upbeat the whole time but it still hasn’t come for him. There’s still time and I believe there’s still time. If he can just get going for us in any capacity, we have a good chance to win.”

Other White Sox links:

July 19, 2011

Don’t wait for Alex Rios to go the other way

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 19, 2011 10:40 pm
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Pinto @ BA:

Alex Rios of the Chicago White Sox sports the lowest OBP in the major leagues among players with at least 300 plate appearances, .256.  Interestingly, Alex does chase more pitches than usual outside the strike zone, but in general, he swings at strikes more often than he swings at balls.  His problem lies in his approach at the plate, and approach that pitchers easily exploit. …

Other White Sox links: J.J. looks on what return we can expect if the Sox trade Edwin Jackson, Mike wonders if Mark Teahen and Brent Morel are on the move, and A.J. Pierzynski’s defense is still bad.

July 11, 2011

Ozzie looks at the Dunn-Rios pledge [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 11, 2011 12:00 pm
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Ginetti @ CST:

‘‘I am,’’ Dunn said, ‘‘because I feel like me and Alex, we’ve been as bad as you could possibly be, and if we’re doing half of what we normally do, we’re not even talking about this. . . . We’re putting it all on us in the second half, basically.”

Guillen likes Dunn’s optimism, ‘‘but I don’t want him to put more pressure on himself, like, ‘I have to do it in the second half for the White Sox to win.’ Everybody has something to do here. The second half is about 25 guys, not about two guys. If [everybody] puts it together and does what they’re supposed to do, we’re going to have a chance.’’

Like Dunn needed more pressure.

UPDATE: More Ozzie:

“He’s wrong. He’s wrong. Very wrong,” Guillen said. “Because I don’t think we pay Adam Dunn and Alex Rios for it to be on them. I think they have to do their part. I think it’s about 25 guys, maybe about 26 or 28, but it’s about everyone. Hopefully they come out of their slump and play better, but we’re not going to win if Adam Dunn hit 40 (home runs). It’s going to make it easier, but if everybody contribute and everybody do what they’re supposed to do, then it will change.”

Other White Sox links: J.J. says Tyler Flowers may not be the ideal backup form A.J. Pierzynski, James tries to find out what’s wrong with Gavin Floyd and also looks at the Dunn-Rios pledge, and the 2nd half rotation will be: Floyd-Jackson-Peavy-Buehrle-Humber-Danks.

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