White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

March 29, 2012

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.

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 28, 2012

Paulie’s 2012 analysis

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 28, 2012 11:30 pm
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Scott Reifert:

“We’re starting with a new staff, kind of a whole new era here, and I think you can start building something now. The teams the past few years have been about: try real hard this year to win, you failed, and then you come back next year and try again from a totally different angle. I think what’s happening here is that they’re trying to build something a little more stable, a little more sustaining. If we go out and compete this year and it doesn’t happen – and you see this with some other teams in the league – you build up momentum and use that to build from the year before and I think that’s why it could be successful. I’m not conceding anything, especially in today’s game there’s way too many teams and with another wild card spot, I mean there are all kinds of other things that are available to make the playoffs and there seems to be a lot of parity. I think with the amount of young guys that we have you have to throw that into the equation if we don’t make it to the playoffs but we do it right and go out and compete well. If you look at it at the end of the year and Morel’s had a really good year, Beckham’s had a good year, Addison Reed’s had a great year – those are all good signs that it’s moving in the right direction and that’s what in my mind can be determined to be a success. Again, you don’t concede anything because anything can happen if you go out there and play hard. There’s a very fine line between those teams that finish in first place and second or third so who knows. You have to give a lot of respect to Detroit right now, not because of what they did in the offseason, but because they became a really good team at the end of the year. They were pretty good all year but at the end of the month they just took it to another level and they are the team to beat. They got a lot of guns and we’ll see what goes on there.”

Reifert has more. Schouwen has even more.

Other White Sox links:

February 27, 2012

Sox outfield: Dayan Viciedo @ left, Alejandro De Aza @ center, Alex Rios, @ right?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 27, 2012 8:30 pm
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Scot Gregor:

It looks like the White Sox are going to be shaking up their outfield. Manager Robin Ventura indicated Dayan Viciedo is going to move from right field to left field, Alex Rios is moving from center to right and Alejandro De Aza is moving from left to center. We’ll see how this plays out … nothing is definite yet.

and

I don’t think Viciedo has played any games in left in the majors or the minors

BTW,

Oh boy…

February 25, 2012

Alex Rios doesn’t want any mechanics advice

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 25, 2012 10:05 pm
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I see Alex Rios is aiming for an average below the Mendoza line…

January 26, 2012

Robin Ventura talks about the 2012 Sox

Scott Merkin:

Ventura was asked about a few key matters during an interview session with White Sox beat reporters on Thursday and came up with a few pre-Spring Training solutions. The White Sox starting rotation, which looks to be one of its strongest suits, seems all but set with John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Chris Sale and Jake Peavy. According to Ventura, Philip Humber has the advantage at No. 5 over any of the young newcomers such as Nestor Molina or returnees such as Zach Stewart or Dylan Axelrod.”Phil would be that leader heading into the clubhouse,” Ventura said of Humber, whose breakout 2011 effort resulted in a 9-9 record and 3.75 ERA. “I don’t see anything changing with that at this point. We will see during Spring Training, but I’m confident in Phil in doing that No. 5 position.”Humber posted an 8-5 record with a 3.10 ERA and .218 opponents average against in the first half, but had a 1-4 mark, 5.01 ERA and .287 average against after the All-Star break.

Reliever Matt Thornton‘s season was slightly reversed, as the left-hander posted a 2.45 ERA over 52 games after May 1 following an 8.64 ERA in April. Thornton also had blown saves in his first four chances, although he didn’t have the best of luck behind him. Even with that slow start, Ventura tabbed Thornton on Thursday as his leading 2012 closer candidate over rookie Addison Reed and Jesse Crain. “I’m leaning on Matt doing that,” Ventura said. “I don’t think those type of things are concrete. I would like to see him do that, but we’ll see how that goes in Spring Training with him and how he feels.”

In Ventura’s estimation, the team doesn’t have a true utility infielder at this point. Brent Lillibridge earned high praise from Ventura for his versatility and talent, but he wasn’t identified as a possible backup shortstop. Ventura said that Alex Rios could see time in both left field and center field, and as of now, Alejandro De Aza looks to be the leadoff man. Of course, it’s just late January and things could change by the end of Cactus League action. “Gordon [Beckham] could probably do it depending on how he feels about that and how he looks in Spring Training, as far as getting on base,” Ventura said of the leadoff slot. “He has more power than normal leadoff guys, but he’s one of them.”

January 10, 2012

Short leash for Alex Rios?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 10, 2012 12:10 am
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Scott Merkin’s mailbag:

… If Rios does get off to a slow start, let’s say through April or even a week into May, I don’t think the White Sox will hesitate to go in a different direction.

Other White Sox links:

January 3, 2012

Why aren’t the Sox rebuilding?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 3, 2012 12:00 am
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Paul Swydan @ Fangraphs:

The White Sox cleared payroll this weekend, trading Carlos Quentin and Jason Frasor to the Padres and the Blue Jays, respectively. As Eno Sarris predicted a month ago, Chicago didn’t get spectacular returns for either player. But the question still remains — why aren’t the White Sox tearing it all down and starting over? The answer might be because they can’t. …

Other White Sox links:

September 4, 2011

Adam Dunn, pitcher?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 4, 2011 11:40 pm
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Padilla @ ESPN:

ESPN’s Pedro Gomez reported the White Sox considered using Adam Dunn to pitch in the ninth inning, but manager Ozzie Guillen nixed that idea.

Couldn’t make things any worse…

Other White Sox links:

August 10, 2011

The 5-man rotation returns

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 10, 2011 11:00 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

But pitching coach Don Cooper believes a decision will be made by Saturday, with the likelihood of a five-man rotation returning.

“More than likely, and this is not official, we move one of the guys to the bullpen,” Cooper said. “We have off-days coming up, and that’s too many days off for a lot of guys.

“We are looking at it and we are going to reassess and see what we have to do. Right now, it is what it is through Sunday.”

Other White Sox links:

August 5, 2011

Is Paul Konerko sending a message to Alex Rios?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 5, 2011 11:41 pm
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Gonzales @ CT:

Paul Konerko recalled how he salvaged his 2003 season, when he batted .197 in a poor first half but elected to make some changes under new hitting coach Greg Walker and raised his average by 37 points.

It’s tough because in the second half, I felt I was as good as any hitter in the field, and you look up and you’re hitting .220,” Konerko said. “But I told myself I’m going to survive. People need to gain a little perspective on the outside.”

And it may be working:

Alex Rios said he’s started the process of revamping his batting stance in an effort to resurrect his production.

Rios, who didn’t start for the White Sox on Friday night for the second consecutive game, said he has moved his hands away from the middle of his body and said he will continue this if he feels aggressive and comfortable.

This is the start of a process that Rios hopes won’t require the entire offseason to get comfortable with. …

Frank Thomas suggested to Rios to change his batting stance last Sunday:

For Rios, on the other hand, Thomas suggested an entire overhaul of his plate approach.

“Right now, he’s fighting himself,” Thomas said. “For me, I would change that stance. We talked about it the other day. There’s nothing wrong with going in the cage and messing around with it. We saw one of the most successful players to ever play this game, Cal Ripken, he had a new stance every week. I told Alex, the bottom line is hitting the baseball. Go in the cage and figure something out, Get comfortable, because he’s not comfortable right now.”

Other White Sox links:

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 31, 2011

Frank Thomas tells Alex Rios what to do

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 31, 2011 3:00 pm
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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.

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