White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

February 25, 2010

‘If Viciedo can get $10 million, then what am I worth’ ask Cuban ballplayers

Campbell @ Toronto Star:

Neither Morales nor Escobar was a full-time starter in Cuba, but each has excelled in the majors. And Krieger says eyes across the island opened wide when Viciedo signed with the White Sox.

Touted as Cuba’s next great shortstop, Viciedo entered the National Series as a 15-year-old in 2005, and hit 14 home runs the next year. From there, Krieger says, his production declined, yet after defecting in 2008 he still signed a four-year, $10-million (all figures U.S.) deal with Chicago.

“Viciedo had a very significant impact on the thinking of Cuban players,” he said. “They thought, `If he can get $10 million, then what am I worth?” …

February 22, 2010

Walker’s probable lineup

Gregor:

Walker’s not sure what the regular lineup is going to look like.

Pierre is going to lead off, likely followed by Gordon Beckham, Quentin and Konerko. Walk said Teahen could hit fifth, likely followed by Rios, A.J. Pierzynski, Ramirez and whoever the DH is that day.

February 19, 2010

BP’s AL Central division preview

Kahrl:

Why They Might Win: They’ve scrupulously followed the formula that worked in 2005 in assembling their 2010 team: a rotation so good that a former ace ranks as the fifth starter. That was Orlando Hernandez then, and it’s Freddy Garcia now. A bullpen stocked with multiple closers? With the addition of J.J. Putz and the emergence of Matt Thornton to support Bobby Jenks, check. Power up the middle? With Alex Rios in center and Gordon Beckham moving to second to join shortstop Alexei Ramirez and catcher A.J. Pierzynski, that’s looking good, too.

Why They Might Not Win: If Jake Peavy breaks down, the rotation starts to look a lot less impressive. If Rios continues to sleep-walk his way through the South Side portion of his career, he’ll be the most expensive mistake ever made involving revocable waivers. And the thing about that 2005 plan… did they really have to follow the part about getting a leadoff hitter who doesn’t get on base? I see your Podzilla and raise you a Juan Pierre. The hitting portion of being a DH is non-optional, yet that’s what the Sox are probably stuck with if they settle for Andruw Jones and Mark Kotsay. …

February 1, 2010

Playing with the Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis tool – Part 2

Fangraphs carries 4 different projections for the 2010 season: Bill James, CHONE, Marcel, Fans.

In Part 1 we put Merkin’s projected lineup (link) with the various Fangraphs projections on the Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis tool. Let’s see what happens if the Sox sign a DH, say Jermaine Dye. I think Tyler Flowers is a bigger probability, but his projections would be more guesses.

Jermaine Dye as DH, Bill James projections
Player OBP SLG
Juan Pierre .342 .355
Alex Rios .332 .445
Carlos Quentin .356 .511
Paul Konerko .354 .477
Marc Teahen .336 .422
Gordon Beckham .360 .477
A.J. Pierzynski .323 .419
Alexei Ramirez .339 .431
Jermaine Dye .333 .480

Runs per game for above lineup: 5.116. Runs for 162 games: 828.792.
Runs per game for best lineup: 5.257. Runs for 162 games: 851.634.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 5.000. Runs for 162 games: 810.000.

Numbers without Dye were:
Runs per game for projected lineup: 5.043. Runs for 162 games: 816.966. Difference: 11.826 runs less.
Runs per game for best lineup: 5.138. Runs for 162 games: 832.356. Difference: 18.978 runs less.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.872. Runs for 162 games: 789.264. Difference: 20.736 runs less.

Jermaine Dye as DH, CHONE projections
Player OBP SLG
Juan Pierre .325 .361
Alex Rios .327 .439
Carlos Quentin .358 .494
Paul Konerko .345 .468
Marc Teahen .324 .424
Gordon Beckham .348 .457
A.J. Pierzynski .309 .411
Alexei Ramirez .327 .427
Jermaine Dye .332 .461

Runs per game for above lineup: 4.885. Runs for 162 games: 791.370.
Runs per game for best lineup: 5.000. Runs for 162 games: 810.000.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.769. Runs for 162 games: 772.578.

Numbers without Dye were:
Runs per game for projected lineup: 4.768. Runs for 162 games: 772.416. Difference: 18.954 runs less.
Runs per game for best lineup: 4.858. Runs for 162 games: 786.996. Difference: 23.004 runs less.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.605. Runs for 162 games: 746.010. Difference: 26.568 runs less.

Jermaine Dye as DH, Marcel projections
Player OBP SLG
Juan Pierre .336 .361
Alex Rios .327 .444
Carlos Quentin .349 .481
Paul Konerko .342 .457
Marc Teahen .330 .410
Gordon Beckham .353 .458
A.J. Pierzynski .317 .409
Alexei Ramirez .328 .425
Jermaine Dye .328 .474

Runs per game for above lineup: 4.883. Runs for 162 games: 791.046.
Runs per game for best lineup: 5.013. Runs for 162 games: 812.016.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.776. Runs for 162 games: 773.716.

Numbers without Dye were:
Runs per game for projected lineup: 4.810. Runs for 162 games: 779.220. Difference: 11.826 runs less.
Runs per game for best lineup: 4.891. Runs for 162 games: 792.342. Difference: 19.674 runs less.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.671. Runs for 162 games: 756.702. Difference: 17.014 runs less.

Jermaine Dye as DH, Fans projections
Player OBP SLG
Juan Pierre (108) .337 .356
Alex Rios (71) .329 .462
Carlos Quentin (51) .365 .501
Paul Konerko (52) .347 .462
Marc Teahen (41) .322 .421
Gordon Beckham (67) .361 .458
A.J. Pierzynski (39) .317 .405
Alexei Ramirez (57) .337 .437
Jermaine Dye (41) .339 .475

Runs per game for above lineup: 5.027. Runs for 162 games: 814.374.
Runs per game for best lineup: 5.183. Runs for 162 games: 839.946.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.904. Runs for 162 games: 794.448.

Numbers without Dye were:
Runs per game for above lineup: 4.912. Runs for 162 games: 795.744. Difference: 18.630 runs less.
Runs per game for best lineup: 5.031. Runs for 162 games: 815.022. Difference: 24.924 runs less.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.738. Runs for 162 games: 767.556. Difference: 26.892 runs less.

The best and worst lineup combinations are inside. (more…)

Playing with the Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis tool – Part 1

Fangraphs carries 4 different projections for the 2010 season: Bill James, CHONE, Marcel, Fans.

What do we get if we put Merkin’s projected lineup (link) with the various Fangraphs projections on the Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis tool?

Merkin’s lineup, Bill James projections
Player OBP SLG
Juan Pierre .342 .355
Alex Rios .332 .445
Carlos Quentin .356 .511
Paul Konerko .354 .477
Marc Teahen .336 .422
Gordon Beckham .360 .477
A.J. Pierzynski .323 .419
Alexei Ramirez .339 .431
Mark Kotsay .326 .378

Runs per game for above lineup: 5.043. Runs for 162 games: 816.966.
Runs per game for best lineup: 5.138. Runs for 162 games: 832.356.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.872. Runs for 162 games: 789.264.

Merkin’s lineup, CHONE projections
Player OBP SLG
Juan Pierre .325 .361
Alex Rios .327 .439
Carlos Quentin .358 .494
Paul Konerko .345 .468
Marc Teahen .324 .424
Gordon Beckham .348 .457
A.J. Pierzynski .309 .411
Alexei Ramirez .327 .427
Mark Kotsay .307 .363

Runs per game for above lineup: 4.768. Runs for 162 games: 772.416.
Runs per game for best lineup: 4.858. Runs for 162 games: 786.996.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.605. Runs for 162 games: 746.010.

Merkin’s lineup, Marcel projections
Player OBP SLG
Juan Pierre .336 .361
Alex Rios .327 .444
Carlos Quentin .349 .481
Paul Konerko .342 .457
Marc Teahen .330 .410
Gordon Beckham .353 .458
A.J. Pierzynski .317 .409
Alexei Ramirez .328 .425
Mark Kotsay .318 .386

Runs per game for above lineup: 4.810. Runs for 162 games: 779.220.
Runs per game for best lineup: 4.891. Runs for 162 games: 792.342.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.671. Runs for 162 games: 756.702.

Merkin’s lineup, Fans projections
Player OBP SLG
Juan Pierre (108) .337 .356
Alex Rios (71) .329 .462
Carlos Quentin (51) .365 .501
Paul Konerko (52) .347 .462
Marc Teahen (41) .322 .421
Gordon Beckham (67) .361 .458
A.J. Pierzynski (39) .317 .405
Alexei Ramirez (57) .337 .437
Mark Kotsay (15) .316 .371

Runs per game for above lineup: 4.912. Runs for 162 games: 795.744.
Runs per game for best lineup: 5.031. Runs for 162 games: 815.022.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.738. Runs for 162 games: 767.556.

Different lineups will be tested in other posts. The best and worst lineup combinations are inside. (more…)

January 22, 2010

January 22 links

- Gordon Beckham will stay at the 2nd post of the batting order.

- More on the Opening Day starter.

- Matt Thornton takes over Merkin’s mailbag.

- SoxFest news: Bobby Jenks looks good, Ozzie Guillen is a jackass, Carlos Quentin wasn’t there, J.J. Putz is recovering, A.J. Pierzynski went to Africa. From Merkin and Reifert: Reifert is taking questions for Kenny and Ozzie and former Sox greats. Kenny is proud for Bobby. The Go-Go Sox are coming back says Ozzie. Hawk likes his kindle. Juan Pierre is a heavy hitter. Gonzales and Cowley: Peavy can’t afford pants. Ozzie wants Alexei to eat Vizquel’s brain. More SoxFest here.

- Kenny on Jared Mitchell: it’ll be a “little while” till he reaches majors.

- Alexei Ramirez says Dayan Viciedo looks incredible. I hope he has lots of Cuban pride.

- J.J. Putz is looking for an intro song suggestions.

- Scot Gregor is taking questions you want him to ask at Sox Spring Training.

- Gordon Beckham and Jeff Cox were working the phones. Beltin’ Bill Melton too.

- Jon Heyman says “Andruw Jones is said to be in the best shape he’s been in for a decade.”

January 21, 2010

That’s the way it’s going to be?

Say it ain’t so Ozzie:

As for Thome, Guillen said there is no bigger fan of the veteran than him, but life in the American League is changing.

“No one except his wife is a bigger fan of Jim Thome than me,” Guillen said. “I will be grateful and pleased one day to say that I had an opportunity to manage this man, but this game is changing a little bit. It’s easy for manager when you don’t have a true DH. I can move things around, give guys more playing time. That’s the way it’s going to be.

“Fans out there will be looking at this team a little different. They might be saying, ‘Hey, we’re missing something.’ I think we’re going in a different direction, but the right direction. Our team is going to create different things. That’s why things will look weird. People shouldn’t be worried about that. Thome to me is one of the best guys ever to wear the uniform, but DH is changing. Few teams will have a legit DH. Those days are going away.”

Easy for manager? No. It’s easy for the other team’s manager. 2010 is gonna suck. Save us Kenny

BTW, Ozzie will be at ‘Chicago Tribune Live‘ today at 5:30 p.m. E-mail him at CTL@comcastsportsnet.com

UPDATE: More sadness/craziness from Ozzie:

” … (Thome’s departure) gives this ballclub an opportunity to give more people more at-bats and to be flexible in different ways.”

… “To me, it’s easier and we get more production with the team we have now that way,” Guillen said.

… ”Fans, they’re not going to be happy about something,” Guillen said. “Or a question mark as to why we don’t have a big left-handed hitter. We did for a couple years. The ballclub we had in the past didn’t create that many runs.

“We’re going to play different. We’re not going to wait for guys who can hit 30 home runs. I hope not. I hope they don’t come to the mentality that we need pop.” …

UPDATE: Merkin:

“But [the DH by committee] gives this ballclub an opportunity to give people more at-bats and to be flexible in different ways.”We are not a home-run team anymore.”

… “We have that big left-handed bat for a couple of years, and I think the ballclub we have in the past is a club that can’t create runs,” Guillen said. “We still have guys who can hit 30 home runs, but I don’t want them to come with the mentality that we need power.

“Sometime we will be down by one run in the ninth inning and wish we had [Frank] Thomas or Thome, but this is a different type of game. We have the ballclub to play baseball, make the catch and make the plays. We change everything around.

“It’s not to say we will win. But we are going in the right direction. I think this team is almost set.”

January 19, 2010

Camp Walker, Camp Cora, Camp Cooper

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 19, 2010 9:51 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Gonzales:

Coaches Greg Walker, Joey Cora and Don Cooper met with various groups this offseason to address the following areas — hitting, fielding and pitching.

“You have to pay a price to win,” Cooper said Tuesday, nine days after conducting a mini-camp in Glendale, Ariz., with a group of pitchers with assorted experience. “Each guy has to do his preparation.”

Here’s a closer look at what happened in specific departments with the start of spring training about a month away. …

January 15, 2010

What are the chances Jim Thome comes back to the Sox?

Scott Merkin answers:

There’s some sort of chance, even if it’s small, especially with the strong bond between the prodigious slugger and the White Sox. The South Siders also could benefit from a big left-handed bat in the middle of the order.

As mentioned above, though, Guillen seems set on using the rotating DH for now. And it’s Guillen who runs the team on a day-to-day basis, so there’s no reason to force anyone who isn’t part of his present plan. Thome still has some good years ahead of him, and whatever team eventually adds Thome will get 25-to-30 home run potential, great on-base potential and a tremendous clubhouse presence.

Merkin also predicts the Opening Day lineup and batting order:

Let’s go with the Opening Day lineup since it’s hard to predict who will be around in May with general manager Ken Williams at the helm, let alone at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Cleveland stands as the White Sox opponent, meaning right-handers Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona or Justin Masterson will get the start.

So, it would be Juan Pierre in left field, Alex Rios in center field and Quentin in right field. The infield, from third to first, would be Mark Teahen, Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham and Konerko, and I’m guessing the left-handed-hitting Kotsay at DH. Mark Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski will make up the battery. As for a batting order, let’s try Pierre, Rios, Quentin, Konerko, Teahen, Beckham, Pierzynski, Ramirez and Kotsay. Of course, write that lineup in pencil for now.

BTW, Matt Thornton will be answering next week’s mailbag so submit your questions for next week’s mailbag at the form in the middle of the page.

UPDATE: More Thome from Merkin’s ‘Sox continue support of Thome charity’ article:

A strong possibility presently exists that Jim Thome has taken his last swings as part of the White Sox organization.

That possible departure for the popular and prolific designated hitter doesn’t mean a permanent separation will take place between Thome and the South Side of Chicago. In fact, the White Sox once again will serve as presenting sponsors for Saturday’s Joyce Thome Benefit for Children’s Hospital of Illinois in the Peoria Civic Center Ballroom. …

January 5, 2010

January 5 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 5, 2010 1:04 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

- Jim: A lot of mediocrity or not?

- SoxNet reviews the Sox off-season so far and tries to project the Sox opening day lineup. Please sign Big Jim Kenny!

- Jake Peavy, Matt Thornton and J. J. Putz will attend Cooper’s pitcher mini-camp. There won’t be any pitching. Just playing catch and and talking about pitching.

- John Danks isn’t sweating over the arbitration process.

- What was the only occasion after 1954 that a team used 4 pitchers who appeared in a game for 1 batter or less, the pitchers pitched consecutively, and those pitchers didn’t end the game?

- Alexei Ramirez: Not a lot of XBHs in 2009.

- How long did they go? 2009 edition.

- Pitcher wanted. Must be good.

- Baseball America’s All-Bust teams.

January 2, 2010

BDD’s New year resolutions

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 2, 2010 1:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

Thorburn:

White Sox – To optimize the defensive alignment and maximize the overall contributions of Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez, and Mark Teahen. To enroll Carlos Quentin in a class that explains the cost-benefit analysis of getting on base via HBP, and the associated risk of sitting out a chunk of the season when the baseball wins the collision.

December 15, 2009

2010 Outfield: Pierre @ LF, Rios @ CF, Quentin @ RF

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 15, 2009 8:56 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Dyck:

Guillen said either Gordon Beckham or Alexei Ramirez would bat second, although he prefers Beckham in an RBI role in the middle of the order.

As for the outfield alignment, Pierre will play left, Alex Rios center and Carlos Quentin right. And Pierre expects to play every day after sitting for much of his first two years in Los Angeles, or as he calls it, in the “witness protection program.”

December 8, 2009

Beckham, Buehrle, Konerko, Jones, Guillen to attend SoxFest 2010

whitesox.com:

Chicago White Sox players Gordon Beckham, Mark Buehrle, Paul Konerko, Andruw Jones, along with manager Ozzie Guillen, are now scheduled to attend SoxFest 2010, presented by Miller Lite, Pepsi and the Palmer House Hilton. They join Freddy Garcia, Jayson Nix, Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Alexei Ramirez and Matt Thornton who also are scheduled to be at the annual event. …

December 1, 2009

Soxfest 2010

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 1, 2009 1:18 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

whitesox.com:

Chicago White Sox players Freddy Garcia, Jayson Nix, Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Alexei Ramirez and Matt Thornton are just some of the current White Sox players scheduled to attend SoxFest 2010, presented by Miller Lite, Pepsi and the Palmer House Hilton. Additional players from the current White Sox roster, as well as coaches and former White Sox greats attending SoxFest will be announced once their schedules are finalized. …

November 10, 2009

Kenny explains why Gordon Beckham moved to 2B and not SS [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 10, 2009 8:10 pm
Tags: , ,

When Beckham moved why not back to short and Alexei at second?

”Because Alexei’s better than Gordon at short. Not that Gordon can’t play the position, but Alexei is a special guy. What we do have to get Alexei a little bit better on is his focus. That’s not unusual for a young player. Gordon would also have some of those defensive lapses if he were in the middle of the field. People really don’t understand how fast the major-league game is until you’re out there. Believe me, it’s not an indictment on Gordon’s abilities; it’s more praise of what Alexei can do.”

UPDATE: More Kenny:

“It’s not the end of the season with Alexei we have to get squared away. It’s April and May. Now that he’s two years removed from Cuba, hopefully the third year will be the charm where he can have a good April, or maybe we just leave him in Arizona and play someone else there until June. He probably would win a batting title if he didn’t have to play in April.

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