White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

June 9, 2011

Fangraphs’ Justin Merry on Carlos Quentin

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 9, 2011 10:30 pm
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Merry @ FG:

Fun fact: My now-five year old daughter’s first baseball game was Quentin’s major league debut, a game in which he hit his first home run.  So while I admit that I have a soft spot for him, I also think that what the 28-year old has done so far is sustainable.  Part of it is that he’s done it before: his .408 wOBA this year wouldn’t even be a career high (.414 wOBA in 2008).  And part of it is that a major reason for his lower performance over the past few years may be injury.  He has missed a lot of time over the last two years (240 games played total from 2009-2010), and it’s possible that the injuries negatively affected his play–if nothing else, by throwing off his timing upon returning.  There is nothing really alarming about his indicator stats: walk rates, strikeout rates, HR/FB rates, BABIP, etc, are all close to career norms.  He may well just be healthy for the first time in a while, and is clobbering the ball.  Hopefully he can stay that way!

June 7, 2011

Phil Humber’s White Sox defeat King Felix’s Mariners [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 7, 2011 10:39 pm
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6/7:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Humber(W, 5-3) 7.2 5 1 1 3 5 0 2.87
Sale 1.1 1 0 0 0 0 0 4.44
Totals 9.0 6 1 1 3 5 0 4.05

RE24 values: Omar Vizquel 1.42, Paul Konerko 1.17, Carlos Quentin 1.16, Brent Morel 1.03, Juan Pierre -1.97.

Pitch F/X for Humber:

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) 90.73 92.6 -5.23 7.57 54 36 / 66.67% 0 / 0.00% -1.2960 0.416
CH (Changeup) 83.68 85 -5.15 5.63 10 4 / 40.00% 1 / 10.00% -0.1808 0.451
SL (Slider) 84.72 86.3 0.35 2.84 14 10 / 71.43% 5 / 35.71% 0.2458 0.440
CU (Curveball) 80.40 82.2 5.95 -4.61 26 18 / 69.23% 5 / 19.23% -1.1158 0.468
FT (TwoSeam Fastball) 89.55 90.9 -9.17 5.88 2 1 / 50.00% 0 / 0.00% -0.3465 0.422
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
1 15 11 73.33 15 -0.019
2 7 6 85.71 22 -0.848
3 20 12 60.00 42 -0.020
4 18 10 55.56 60 -0.048
5 7 5 71.43 67 -0.834
6 8 6 75.00 75 -0.848
7 16 11 68.75 91 0.163
8 15 8 53.33 106 -0.240

UPDATE: Greenberg @ ESPN:

“My curveball’s always been my best pitch, and so I’ve always been real hesitant to go to a slider,” Humber said. “Because I’ve always been told sometimes guys with good curveballs, if they start throwing a slider, they lose their curveball. From what I heard, you kind of lose the feel for what you’re doing, because it’s a real similar pitch, but it’s not the same. So it’s hard to separate the two.”

June 4, 2011

Carlos Quentin’s epic bat-flip after yesterday’s 3-run homer (video)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 4, 2011 12:05 pm
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Good thing the opposing pitcher wasn’t John Danks! Click picture or link to play:


http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=15496565&c_id=cws (0:49)

It’s on 0:02

June 3, 2011

Q’s rocket pushes White Sox to 3 games under .500

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 3, 2011 10:50 pm
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Carlos Quentin hit a 3-run HR (epic bat flip) and Juan Pierre and Brent Lillibridge jacked solo HRs. Brent Morel brought the D. Pierre had a nice catch too. The defense was pretty god.

RE24 values: Quentin 4.04, Pierre 0.98, Morel 0.68. Alexei -1.44, Dunn -0.79.

6/3 Boxscore:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Buehrle(W, 5-4) 6.0 10 3 3 1 4 1 3.95
Bruney(H, 1) 0.2 0 0 0 1 1 0 13.50
Thornton(H, 6) 1.0 3 1 1 0 0 0 5.79
Santos(S, 10) 1.1 0 0 0 1 2 0 1.29
Totals 9.0 13 4 4 3 7 1 4.12

Pitch F/X for Mark Buehrle:

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) 84.72 88 1.94 7.06 33 15 / 45.45% 0 / 0.00% 0.6064 0.446
CH (Changeup) 78.64 80.6 7.72 5.03 20 19 / 95.00% 4 / 20.00% 0.7972 0.482
CU (Curveball) 74.65 80.9 -2.59 -2.19 11 5 / 45.45% 0 / 0.00% 0.5792 0.510
FC (Cutter) 81.93 83.3 -1.93 4.32 11 6 / 54.55% 2 / 18.18% 0.1613 0.464
FT (TwoSeam Fastball) 85.18 87.6 8.66 6.75 24 17 / 70.83% 2 / 8.33% -0.6282 0.449
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
1 22 12 54.55 22 -0.034
2 11 8 72.73 33 -0.561
3 14 8 57.14 47 -0.848
4 17 12 70.59 64 0.925
5 20 13 65.00 84 2.383
6 15 9 60.00 99 -0.350

May 29, 2011

Greg Walker says Adam Dunn must put his foot down

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 29, 2011 2:24 am
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Schouwen @ CST:

“To me he’s a feel hitter,” Sox hitting coach Greg Walker said Saturday. “I really think if you break down his swing it’s a fairly simple fix. We feel like he needs to get his foot down on time to be balanced.”

Walker has talked several times with Rick Eckstein, Dunn’s former hitting coach with the Washington Nationals. He said they agree on what Dunn’s major issue has been.”

He’s shown flashes — that game in Texas [Tuesday when he hit his last home run] he was real good getting the foot down and being balanced. When he gets that feel he’s going to be real explosive for us and do great things. Right now getting his big body in position to hit is the real battle.”

Walker said 3 days ago Carlos Quentin did what he wants Dunn to do:

“Obviously [Tuesday] night he was awesome and he’s had days like that this year where he’s been unbelievable,” hitting coach Greg Walker said. “To me, the only issue so far this year is Carlos being late with the foot down, and we kind of corrected that a week, 10 days ago. Other than having a sore knee one day, he’s really been good ever since.

”Essentially, Walker has worked with Quentin to refine the timing of his swing. If Quentin can stride and get his foot down before the ball arrives, he is in a better position to cover the strike zone. His most impressive home run Tuesday came when he reached out across the plate and slugged a 400-foot-plus shot just inside the foul pole in right field.

“Going the other way is always a good sign for any hitter, especially being able to hit the ball in the gap and drive the ball,” Quentin said. “My push is to always stay up the middle and to the right side and to accomplish that, that’s something good.”

More Dunn inside. (more…)

May 25, 2011

Carlos Quentin puts his foot down

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 25, 2011 11:55 pm
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Padilla @ ESPN:

“Obviously [Tuesday] night he was awesome and he’s had days like that this year where he’s been unbelievable,” hitting coach Greg Walker said. “To me, the only issue so far this year is Carlos being late with the foot down, and we kind of corrected that a week, 10 days ago. Other than having a sore knee one day, he’s really been good ever since.”

Essentially, Walker has worked with Quentin to refine the timing of his swing. If Quentin can stride and get his foot down before the ball arrives, he is in a better position to cover the strike zone. His most impressive home run Tuesday came when he reached out across the plate and slugged a 400-foot-plus shot just inside the foul pole in right field.

“Going the other way is always a good sign for any hitter, especially being able to hit the ball in the gap and drive the ball,” Quentin said. “My push is to always stay up the middle and to the right side and to accomplish that, that’s something good.”

Other White Sox links: J.J. wants the Sox to trade Juan Pierre, move Carlos Quentin to LF, and call up Dayan Viciedo, Brett Ballantini updates his six-man rotation and his most and least valuable Sox players calculations, Satchel Price says Alexei Ramirez is the best shortstop in the AL, and John Sickels’ Prospect of the Day is ex-Sox prospect Fautino de los Santos.

April 25, 2011

Q!

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 25, 2011 7:18 pm
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and

April 22, 2011

Carlos Quentin: now OPSing 1.121 (video) [UPDATE]

Video: HR #1 (0:54), HR #2 (0:52). Dr. Fishbein is doing an awesome job!

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

(more…)

March 21, 2011

Chris Jaffe’s Five White Sox questions

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 21, 2011 3:45 pm
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Jaffe @ THT asks and answers five questions about the 2011 White Sox. From the 4th question:

Is Don Cooper the most underrated man in major league baseball?

… The Sox have a secret weapon, perhaps the most underrated man in major league baseball: Don Cooper, their pitching coach. Since Cooper took over in mid-2002 as the Sox’s hurler handler, the team has had an impressive record with its pitchers.

… Perhaps what’s most impressive about the Sox under Cooper is the health of their starters. From 2002-10, the Sox have coaxed 30 starts in a season from one of their pitchers 32 times. For perspective, here’s how the Sox compare to the other leading MLB teams in this category in the Cooper Era.

Team		30+ GS
CWS		32
OAK		26
ANA		25
BOS		24
LAD		24
SFG		24
STL		24
ATL		23
PHI		23
7 teams		22

Damn. That ain’t even close. The Sox are a standard deviation unto themselves.

It takes more than just a pitching coach to produce results like that. It tells you the front office prioritizes dependability in picking starters. It tells you their farm system takes care of guys. It tells you the pitchers are durable. No, you can’t give Cooper all the credit, but you sure as hell can’t ignore his contribution. As the pitching coach for the MLB team, he’s point man in ensuring the starters remain healthy and effective. He’s done an excellent job of that.

Cooper doesn’t wave a magic wand and suddenly make people better. (Buehrle may very well be a back-of-the-rotation guy if his strikeouts keep sinking, and that drop could easily happen this year.) But Cooper is mighty nice pitcher insurance to have on the team.

Cooper has never gotten the attention of say, Dave Duncan or Leo Mazzone, at least not yet anyway. If Cooper isn’t the most underrated man in MLB, it may be his counterpart in Minnesota, Rick Anderson. Both men are part of the reason why their teams often seem to exceed their projections.

March 11, 2011

“it’s about the five minutes right after”

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

That ultimate Cactus League grade for Quentin won’t come from results, which have him holding at a dismal-looking .136 average through Friday’s personal off-day. For Quentin, it’s about dealing with the negative moments even when they don’t count on his resume.

“To be honest, I’m really paying attention to, how do I say this, how I respond to whatever happens out there,” Quentin said. “That’s something I’ve planned on the offseason to work on.

“So I want to maintain a level head, just maintain a relaxed feeling out here. It’s been pretty good. There have been a couple of days where I resorted back to frustration. But I want to say that I’m making some progress there. From this point, I want to monitor how my mindset is on a day-to-day basis.”

As far as Quentin’s swing progress, the deep-thinking right fielder said he has been working with hitting coach Greg Walker with a purpose in order to clean some things up. Walker pointed to looking for a lower-effort swing for Quentin and getting consistent with posture and body position.

“There’s a trust involved,” Quentin said. “[Walker] sees stuff I can’t see, and I go to work on them. The at-bats have been better. Contact has been better.”

Major production hasn’t been there for Quentin, who has three singles in 22 at-bats. But those struggles actually might provide better regular-season preparation for Quentin than hitting safely in almost every at-bat. Quentin understands he isn’t perfect, and there will be the occasional bat slam after missing a pitch he should have hit.

“Really, it’s about the five minutes right after that,” Quentin said. “Maintain a good mindset to go out there and compete and have the best chance to succeed in the next opportunity.

“It’s always easy to handle good results. The key is to handle the ones that aren’t so optimistic and move on from there to have the best chance for good results the next day.”

February 25, 2011

Bloomberg Sports on Carlos Quentin

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 25, 2011 9:45 pm
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Gardner @ BS:

And yet, Quentin still represents a potential value this upcoming season. Bloomberg Sports also projects 29 HRs, 65 RBIs, 4 SBs, and a .268 AVG for Quentin in 2011, which translates as the 70th best player in standard 5×5 leagues. As for where he’s going in drafts, Quentin’s average draft spot is 157th overall.

And remember, that’s just with 459 at-bats. Quentin is the only non-catcher in Blooomberg’s top 100 with less than 500 at bats. …

February 22, 2011

Carlos Quentin tries to relax

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 22, 2011 11:30 am
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Gonzales @ CT:

“Pressure is always something that’s been self-inflicted by myself, it’s something I’ve worked on to lighten up and enjoy this game this off-season,” Quentin said Tuesday morning. “And definitely bringing in this enormous bats with Paulie (Konerko), A.J. (Pierzynski) and Adam (Dunn), it will be fun to be on this field with these guys, like it’s always has been for me. And it will be even better.”

Konerko, AJ and Dunn? Enormous bats? Well, one of these things isn’t like the other.

January 22, 2011

Kenny Williams says outfield is set; Brent Morel/Mark Teahen platoon at 3B?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 22, 2011 3:30 pm
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Padilla @ ESPN:

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 18, 2011

White Sox sign John Danks, Tony Pena and Carlos Quentin to 1 year contracts

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 18, 2011 12:37 pm
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whitesox.com:

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on one-year contracts with left-handed pitcher John Danks, outfielder Carlos Quentin and right-handed pitcher Tony Pena, avoiding arbitration with all three players.

Under terms of the agreements, Danks will receive $6 million in 2011, Quentin $5.05 million and Pena $1.6 million.

Danks, 25, went 15-11 with a 3.72 ERA (88 ER/213.0 IP) and 162 strikeouts in 32 starts with the White Sox in 2010, recording his second straight season with at least 10 wins, 30 starts and 200.0 IP. He established career highs in victories, strikeouts and IP and limited opponents to a career-low .237 (189-799) average. Since 2008, Danks ranks third among American League left-handers in IP (608.1) and strikeouts (470) and fifth in victories (40).

Quentin, 28, hit .243 (110-453) with 25 doubles, 26 home runs and 87 RBI in a career-high 131 games with the White Sox last season. He finished fifth in AL Most Valuable Player voting in 2008, batting .288 (138-480) with 36 home runs and 100 RBI in his first season with the Sox.

Pena, 29, was 5-3 with a 5.10 ERA (57 ER/100.2 IP) in 52 games (three starts) with the White Sox in 2010. He established a career high with 100.2 IP and led all AL relievers with 81.2 IP.

The White Sox have no remaining arbitration-eligible players.

December 15, 2010

White Sox sign RHRP Jesse Crain to 3-year, $13 million deal [UPDATE #2]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 15, 2010 8:04 pm
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Gammons @ MLB tweets:

White Sox have three year deal with Jesse Crain.

First mentioned in a tweet by Cowley:

Market on Q is not to KW’s liking …. but what’s that I smell in the kitchen? Smells like Crain cooking.

Crain is a Type-B free agent. He was offered arbitration.

UPDATE: A mini scouting report from Brett Ballantini:

Crain fits well in a Chicago bullpen filled with power arms, and features a wicked slider that has made a fool of many a White Sox hitter in the past. However, Crain has a tendency to give up flyballs, which could have a much more dangerous effect in homer-happy U.S. Cellular Field than at the Metrodome or Target Field in Minnesota.

UPDATE #2: Levine @ ESPN:

The deal is expected to be worth $13 million over three years, another major league source said.

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