White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

December 11, 2010

Did Kenny Williams found a hidden nickel?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 11, 2010 7:18 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

The White Sox still are lacking in proven bullpen arms behind Matt Thornton, Chris Sale, Pena and Sergio Santos, and if 2007’s relief debacle proved anything, it would be how they need another two reliable relievers to help make ’11 an elite campaign.

With Williams having stated how the payroll is tapped out as of the end of the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., a trade becomes the only option available. On Saturday, though, Williams presented a small hint how that spending increase might possibly extend into the free agent bullpen pool including plus-arms such as Kerry Wood, Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier, to name a few examples.

“I’m encouraged by the excitement from our fans,” said Williams, who reiterated how he is not looking for a pure closer as much as a versatile late-inning type like the role J.J. Putz held in 2010. “Perhaps if that excitement manifests itself into turning out to more ticket sales, perhaps that might free up some more cash to do something.

“I’ll listen to anyone,” added Williams of trade possibilities. “But I said it right there up on the podium [for the Konerko signing], how I’m not really motivated to take anything away from what the Major League roster looks like, from what the everyday roster looks like.”

Kenny, also, says he isn’t looking to trade Carlos Quentin:

“I did not have one single conversation about Quentin at the Winter Meetings,” Williams told MLB.com on Saturday afternoon. “I have not had any discussions with anyone about Carlos since the General Managers Meetings, and it could never have been described as we were shopping him.

“That’s incorrect. I fielded some phone calls, but that was it. I’ve not had a single conversation about Carlos, and I don’t plan to. I’ll listen, but I’m not terribly interested.”

… One other problem in exploring a trade for Quentin is finding a natural right-field replacement. Jordan Danks seems to be the next internal option, with his defense more than Major League-ready but his offense not quite there. When asked if there was anyone in the organization who could take over for Quentin if he was hypothetically traded, Williams simply responded, “No.”

Despite finishing with 110 hits and a .243 average in 2010, Quentin produced 87 RBIs and scored 73 runs. He also featured a .342 on-base percentage, down from his .394 finish in 2008, but up from .323 in an injury-plagued 2009.

“Carlos Quentin is going to have a big year,” Williams said. “He has big talent, and even in a down year average-wise, he is very valuable.

“No matter what his average is, he picks it up with on-base percentage. Then, if he has a good year, it becomes a great year.

“He plays hard and has the ability to set the tone for a game with a hard slide into second base or taking first to third aggressively. There’s much more to Carlos’ overall game than just hitting for average.”

The problem with the slide Kenny is Carlos will not play for a week after it.

UPDATE: Reifert says the ticket dept. phones are off the hook:

White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert said that while individual tickets aren’t on sale, season ticketholders responded positively.

“Phones are ringing off the hook to the point that the sales department canceled its holiday party tonight to stay late and field all of the calls,” he said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

December 10, 2010

White Sox are trying to trade Carlos Quentin [UPDATE #2]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 10, 2010 9:45 pm
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Cowley @ CST tweets:

Multiple sources confirmed that the Sox are actively looking to trade [Carlos] Quentin for a package w/bullpen help, but “are asking a lot so far.”

MLBTR says the “are asking a lot so far” thing could mean that the Sox are just “gauging the market at this point.”

UPDATE: Kenny says not so fast:

Ken Williams emphatically denied Saturday that any trade talk was ongoing involving White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin for a relief pitcher, and the general manager sought to dispel any rumors that it would happen.

… “Three teams asked about him (at the winter meetings) and I have not had one single conversation with anyone since. We’ll add to our relief pitching without (trading) him.” Williams admitted he needs one or two relievers to round out his team and that a trade could happen soon, but said it will not involve subtracting from his current lineup.

UPDATE #2: Cowley says not so fast himself:

Scout just confirmed that KW is hoping Quentin can land him “a Carlos Lee-type return.” Lee was traded for [Scott] Podsednik and [Luis] Vizcaino in 2004.

and if Quentin isn’t desired by others:

If the deal is not there will then explore moving [Dayan] Viciedo or [Mark] Teahen, but know that the return won’t be as much.

Will there be another update?  You bet!

December 2, 2010

White Sox non-tender Bobby Jenks and Erick Threets [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 2, 2010 2:31 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

on Thursday, the White Sox announced they declined to tender a 2011 contract to Bobby Jenks. Left-handed reliever Erick Threets also was non-tendered.

Contracts were offered to arbitration-eligible players in John Danks and Carlos Quentin, as well as Tony Pena, who appeared to be on the proverbial non-tender bubble.

UPDATE: The Sox can still re-sign Jenks. He’s a free-agent now.

UPDATE #2: Kenny won’t close the door:

As far as Jenks, Williams wouldn’t close the door on him completely, but not at the price Jenks would have received in arbitration.

“Bobby Jenks brought a World Series to Chicago and I will never forget that,” Williams said. “And I haven’t closed the door on that. All it says today is with the dollars it will bring in an arbitration hearing we cannot go there. The message I have to Sox fans and to Bobby Jenks is he gave us everything he had. I’m proud of his growth as a person, a player and as a dad. I wish the best for him if indeed he does end up somewhere else.”

November 17, 2010

Philadelphia Phillies interested in Carlos Quentin? [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 17, 2010 4:20 pm
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Stark @ ESPN:

All you need to know is that they continue to explore numerous options for replacing Werth. They’ve done what one source described as “extensive” groundwork on a potential deal for the White Sox’s Carlos Quentin. They remain interested in Jeff Francoeur to play against left-handers. And while they have mild interest in Jermaine Dye, that appears to be on just a back-burner, spring-training-invite level.

UPDATE: The Sox say they are not shopping Quentin:

On Wednesday ESPN.com Jayson Stark reported the White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies have been talking about a trade that would send Carlos Quentin to Philadelphia. A White Sox source told ESPNChicago.com that the Sox are not shopping Quentin at this time.

Well, Stark didn’t claim that the Sox were shopping Quentin.

November 9, 2010

Most Important Sox, 2011 and beyond edition (#11-20)

Ballantini @ CSN:

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? …

12.    Juan Pierre, LF

Another player who is easy to take for granted is Pierre, but the left-fielder was a miraculous find for the White Sox in 2010. Pierre almost completely offset his arm in the field by getting to every ball hit his way, compiling a UZR of 13.4, ninth-best in baseball, sixth among outfielders and third among left fielders. Pierre was also one of the best pressure hitters in baseball, with a 1.15 Clutch rating that was tied for eighth among all players. Pierre brought $9 million in value to the White Sox, who paid him just $3 million for the season. Williams and Guillen so gush over what Pierre brings to the field that it would not surprise if the soft-spoken speedster ascends to the role of team captain if both Konerko and Pierzynski fail to return.

October 30, 2010

Kenny Williams would trade Carlos Quentin+ for Colby Rasmus [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 30, 2010 3:10 am
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Cowley @ CST:

According to a major-league scout [Kenny] Williams has targeted talented but headline-making Colby Rasmus of the St.Louis Cardinals and is willing to part with a package that includes outfielder Carlos Quentin.

”It was obvious that [the Cardinals] were paying extra attention to Quentin at the end of the season, so this might have been something that was already talked about,” the scout said.

Yeah, I would too but St. Louis has to agree and I don’t think they will. Just because the White Sox gave away Nick Swisher for a bucket of balls a substandard return, doesn’t mean the Cardinals will do the same.

UPDATE: A second look at Rasmus’ stats raises some red flags: a 32% K%, and a .354 BABIP (and a -9 UZR/150) in 2010. Jeffrey Gross at THT calculates Rasmus’ xBABIP at .315 so there is a 39 point difference between Rasmus BABIP and xBABIP. In fact, Rasmus had the 7th higher BABIP-xBABIP in MLB.

The K% and the high BABIP don’t look good.

October 20, 2010

3 year UZR: Carlos Quentin shouldn’t be playing in the field

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 20, 2010 12:10 pm
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Gross @ THT:

Using these thresholds, here are three-year data (to help smooth out small sample fielding volatility) of all fielders who have played a minimum of 1,500 innings at a given position, put to the “should you be a DH” test via their three-year UZR/150 ratings. (Because Fangraphs’ WAR system doesn’t use UZR data to determine the value of catchers, they are omitted here.) The results are presented below. Click to enlarge. You can download my DH data sheet by clicking here. …

October 11, 2010

Differences between expected and actual BABIP for the 2010 White Sox

Gross @ THT:

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:

Player PA xBABIP BABIP Difference
Andruw Jones 328 .310 .239 .071
Juan Pierre 734 .351 .294 .057
Mark Kotsay 359 .298 .247 .051
Carlos Quentin 527 .282 .241 .041
A.J. Pierzynski 503 .299 .278 .021
Alex Rios 617 .322 .306 .016
Alexei Ramirez 626 .311 .300 .011
Gordon Beckham 498 .304 .297 .007
Omar Vizquel 391 .309 .309 0
Paul Konerko 631 .297 .326 -.029

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:

Player PA xBABIP BABIP Difference
Jayson Nix 57 .262 .189 .073
Manny Ramirez 88 .313 .388 -.075

Mark Teahen had only 262 PAs.

October 4, 2010

Chuck Garfein’s 2011 off-season predictions

Garfien @ CSN:

Let’s start with the four World Series heroes, and their chances of coming back:

Paul Konerko: 50 percent

A.J. Pierzynski:  40 percent

Bobby Jenks: 1 percent

Freddy Garcia:  25 percent

I’d go with those numbers too. More predictions at the link.

September 29, 2010

Anonymous scout predicts Konerko’s asking price

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 29, 2010 8:32 pm
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Gregor:

He’s going to attract a lot of interest, and I can see him eventually becoming a full-time designated hitter.”
Any guess on Konerko’s asking price this winter?“Three years and $45 million,” the scout said.

BTB looks on potential White Sox non-tenders

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 29, 2010 6:32 pm
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Satchel Price (9/15):

It hasn’t been a great season for Quentin, who’s only partially bounced back from his thoroughly disappointing 2009 performance. His .236/.333/.477 line isn’t bad, particularly when you see a .233 BABIP, but he’s managed to offset nearly all of that value with defensive numbers that border on Dunn-like. He’s put up a -32.1 UZR in his past 219 games, and one has to wonder now if the team is better off using him at designated hitter. I still think that he’s worth tendering; the offensive upside is easy to see, and he’s been an above-average hitter even during these disappointing years. But it looked like the White Sox had themselves a star when he batted .288/.394/.571 in 2008, and that’s looking an awful lot like his career-year right now.

September 28, 2010

‘Carlos being Carlos’ in 2011?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 28, 2010 8:53 pm
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Carlos Quentin will try to have fun next year:

Yet, this young talent, who can be quite thoughtful and humorous with his comments, walks around with a semi-permanent scowl. He doesn’t seem to be enjoying a game where he has excelled, and that problem has become one Quentin said he will address in the offseason.

“I want to make sure, I need to do all I can to make sure my efforts on the field are in the right direction,” said Quentin, carefully choosing his words while addressing this topic on Tuesday. “When I say that, I mean in a sense of right direction as always positive, always directed toward enjoying this game.”

… “That’s basically what I have to say about that,” said Quentin, without going into specific detail of his plans. “I have to take steps to do that in the offseason, and I will.”

Take it easy Carlos, you’ll bite someone while telling them you want to have fun!

August 31, 2010

Fangraphs looks on the White Sox’ ‘DH by committee’ plan

Pawlikowski:

Twenty times this year Paul Konerko has filled the DH spot and seven times he has taken a day off. In all 27 instances Mark Kotsay took his place at first base. In an additional 47 games Kotsay himself has served as the DH. This has been nothing but a detriment to the team. Kotsay is no longer a good hitter, and really hasn’t been one since 2004. He has a mere .304 wOBA this year after a .309 mark last year, and he hasn’t crossed the .320 mark since 2005. There was no reason to think he’d approach average production for a DH. Yet he has been their primary guy in that spot. It seems like it could have gone to a more worthy player. …

August 21, 2010

Erik takes a good look on Carlos Quentin

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 21, 2010 11:15 pm
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Manning @ PHP:

Over at FanGraphs, Matthew Carruth chronicles Carlos Quentin’s precipitous slide from his glorious 2008 season. Since coming back from his wrist injury, Quentin has been worth -0.3 wins above replacement, meaning the Alejandro de Aza’s of the world could probably do as good of a job or better than Q as the everyday right fielder.

I don’t know about you, but I have a tough time swallowing the notion that Quentin is this bad of a player. Maybe I’m just being a homer, but when I watch Quentin play, my mind doesn’t think “star”, but I certainly don’t think of him as replacement level player either. I think he’s definitely capable of a lot more, and I think just by eyeballing his WAR numbers you don’t get a real clear picture of Q’s true talent. …

August 18, 2010

Fangraphs on Carlos Quentin

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 18, 2010 10:05 pm
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Caruth:

Shortly after Arizona traded him to the White Sox before the start 2008 season, Carlos Quentin unleashed a monster season on the American League. Since then, Quentin’s performances have been disappointing to put it mildly. I endeavored to find out what’s different between the All-Star worthy Carlos Quentin of 2008 and below replacement level Carlos Quentin since. …

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