… Outside of his poor HR/FB rate, there is another aspect of Rios’ performance that warrants concern. Rios has been absolutely terrible against fastballs this season. Though he has hit fastballs well over his career, Rios currently carries the fourth worst pitch value against fastballs this season. When a hitter suffers such a drastic decline against fastballs, it’s typically due to reduced bat speed as a result of age. Rios is only 30, and it would be surprising if he lost his effectiveness this early in his career. This is purely speculation, but it’s possible something was off with Rios’ swing early in the season. That could be an explanation as to why he has really struggled against fastballs this year. …
May 16, 2011
May 13, 2011
Only 3 White Sox players are above the AL Central average. The Indians and Royals have 6 players that are above the AL Central average. The Tigers have five. Minnesota is worse than the Sox; only one.
Other White Sox links: J.J. comes up with an awesome nickname for Adam Dunn: Canonyero and looks on ex-Sox Brandon McCarthy’s success in Oakland, James looks at Jake Peavy’s return, the Sox search for a #2 hitter and replacing some of the Sox problematic players, and Jim looks at the sophomore struggles of Chris Sale.
April 26, 2011
Still just 26, [John] Danks has always been considered an above-average starter, but his strikeout rate has always prevented him from being elite. While a career 7.06 K/9 isn’t a bad thing, it’s not exceptional either. This season, Danks is fooling hitters more than ever. Through 33.0 innings pitched, Danks has struck out a batter per inning. Typically, we would attribute that large of a jump to luck or blame it on small sample size, but Danks has made some adjustments this season that may allow him to sustain his success. …
The big culprit in Rios’ case is that he’s falling behind in counts from pitch one and having trouble from there: In 48 plate appearances in which he faced an 0-1 count, [Alex] Rios has managed just 6 hits while striking out 12 times. But his first-pitch strike percentage (63.7%) is his highest ever by a good margin, so it stands to reason that as that tapers off, he’ll start seeing more hitter’s counts, giving him more opportunities to be aggressive rather than defensive. …
April 22, 2011
BTW, here are some BABIPs from statcorner:
Gordon Beckham: .237
Adam Dunn: .250
Brent Morel: .250
A.J. Pierzynski: .250
Alexei Ramirez: .241
Alex Rios: .213
Edwin Jackson: .342
Jesse Crain: .200
Will Ohman: .348
Chris Sale: .346
Sergio Santos: .250
Matt Thornton: .400
February 22, 2011
“To me, you guys know me, the team to beat is the Twins.
Whoever wins the title from the year before is the champion until they get knocked off. What I think about what’s being said or what anybody thinks is irrelevant. We’ll get an answer 6½ months from now. That’s how it is. It’s pretty black and white
I don’t know how that came up with Alex. Maybe he didn’t mean it like that or maybe he was trying to be confident. But that’s fine. I am too. But it’s pretty simple. You go out and play the games every day and at the end of September there will be a champion in this division. There’s no need to talk about it up until then.
But the Twins deserve the respect. They earned it last year and had a great year. Until someone knocks them off, they are the team.”
That’s more like it.
February 21, 2011
At the end of his typically abbreviated chat with reporters, Rios was asked if the White Sox are the team to beat in the AL Central this season.
“Oh, yeah,” Rios said. “Definitely. We’re the team to beat. We have good additions to the team. The core is solid and with the additions we’re even stronger. I think we’re going to give a hard time to a lot of people out there.”
Can we beat the Twinkies first, Alex? What the heck happened to humility?
UPDATE: Here’s Ozzie:
Guillen wants his players to be confident but not boastful, until they have fulfilled their potential. And he doesn’t want them to be consumed with AL Central nemesis Minnesota despite incessant questions about how much better they stack up against the Twins following their offseason upgrades.
“The one thing I’m concerned about is don’t let the hype get you,” Guillen said. “We haven’t done anything yet. We haven’t proved anything yet. We don’t know what’s going to happen. All that stuff like ‘we should win, we should have to win’ — keep that thing behind. Prove to people what you can do, show them what you can do. And then you talk.
“Just play your game. Let your ability take over and the confidence. Be confident, but don’t be cocky. And that’s one of the things I worry about.”
January 22, 2011
Jordan Danks will get a chance to show his stuff in big-league camp this spring, but he doesn’t have much of a chance of making the big-league roster. Williams said Danks, the younger brother of John Danks, still needs to play every day and the current OF spots are set with [Juan] Pierre, Alexis Rios and Carlos Quentin. As for [Brent] Morel, Williams thinks he could still be useful playing four times a week with the big-league team, which seems to suggest a Morel/Teahen 3B platoon, at least at the start of the season.
As for Quentin, Guillen boldly predicted that the high-intensity run producer will have a season like he did in 2008 when he was an MVP candidate before a late-season hand injury. Perhaps it was Guillen’s way of saying that Quentin will be expected to deliver up to his potential, something he will only be able to do by staying healthy.
January 13, 2011
Camp (Joey) Cora: Gordon Beckham, Ramon Castro, Brent Morel, Alexei Ramirez, Alex Rios and Dayan Viciedo, Juan Pierre, A.J. Pierzynski and hitting coach Greg Walker.
November 10, 2010
As the coals in the hot stove are just beginning to get stoked up, it’s time to rank the current Chicago White Sox, in order of importance for 2011 and beyond. It’s not intended to be a strict list of merely the best players, or best values, on the White Sox. Rather, it takes into account team depth, the free agent market, or answering the question of which player would hurt the most not being on the team? …
… 1. Chris Sale, P
Sale is not the best White Sox player — yet. But in just 21 games last season, he established himself as a potential superstar. He’s the most important White Sox player in 2011 because of his flexibility — he’s a potential starter, setup man, or closer. Talk about a “Sale” — the 21-year-old lefty will fill a crucial slot on the team for peanuts, and for a guy who provided $2.6 million in value (estimated salary values all via FanGraphs) in just his short stint with the club last season, the value of this Sale is immeasurable.
October 11, 2010
A couple of years ago, Chris Dutton and Peter Bendix did some research on batted-ball data and created a metric called xBABIP (“expected BABIP”). xBABIP dispelled the myth that BABIP was primarily a function of “LD%+ .120.” Rather, as Dutton and Bendix found, BABIP was better explained as a function all batted-ball types and ratios with speed/power/strikeout considerations.
Last year, Derek Carty and Chris Dutton debuted the simple xBABIP calculator on THT. This tool has empowered users to determine a player’s xBABIP and compare it to their actual BABIP. Therefrom, one could forecast a hitter’s expected batting line, assuming all the input ratios were to remain constant. Over the course of 500+ PA, these ratios tend to be significant, though conclusions can still be drawn at the 300 PA threshold (we’d really only be waiting on IFFB% stabilization).
For all 270 hitters who accrued 300 or more plate appearances this season, I applied the xBABIP formula (by park) to determine each hitter’s expected batting lines. In short, what I have created is a spreadsheet of “what you can expect as a baseline for production in 2011, assuming all else remains constant.” In other words, this is how these hitters should have hit in 2010. …
Numbers for the White Sox players from the full spreadsheet:
For players that played part of the year with the White Sox I got their BABIP numbers from statcorner. All the numbers are for the time they played for the White Sox:
Mark Teahen had only 262 PAs.
September 16, 2010
Kenny Williams is thinking about something.
“You know I love this city,” he says. “I love my job. Understand that. Get that part right. I love what I do, and I love where I am. But if the Oakland Raiders called tomorrow and asked me to run the team, I would go. I would do it.”
He wants me to write this down. I write it down. He is joking. He is not joking.
“Don’t misunderstand,” he says. “Get it down right. Get it down that I love what I do. Don’t get it wrong, now. I absolutely love what I do.”
“But you would leave to run the Raiders?” I ask. It’s the second question of the interview. Kenny Williams keeps staring out at the field, and for the first time a hint of a smile on his face.
“I’d have to go,” he says. “I’d have to tell people, ‘Sorry, I’ve been called home. The Silver and Black has called me home.’” …
July 12, 2010
Looking for reasons to explain Alex Rios’ bounceback from a down year in 2008 and a simply bad year in 2009, all you have to do is look to the hands.
Rios lowered his hands considerably this year. Compare the clips below. The clips on the left are from 2009 and the clips on the right are from 2010. …
June 6, 2010
June 3, 2010
June 2, 2010
Now, it’s time for White Sox fans to take notice of Rios. The center fielder has played Gold Glove-caliber defense in center. He leads the White Sox with a .315 average, while knocking out 11 home runs and driving in 27. Rios has fanned just 21 times in 178 at-bats, and with 16 stolen bases, he’s on pace to become the franchise’s first 30-30 man in a single season.
Yet, Rios sits on the outside looking in of the top 15 vote-getters among American League outfielders in the second round of online voting, with the results released on Tuesday.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot sponsored by Sprint until July 1 at 10:59 p.m. CT. Sprint subscribers can now vote on the go with select Sprint devices. They can learn more about how to vote on their smart phones at MLB.com/Sprint.
So go vote!