White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

September 27, 2011

Don Cooper will be the Sox manager for the two remaining games

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 27, 2011 2:44 pm
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September 26, 2011

Don Cooper is staying with the Sox

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 26, 2011 11:40 pm
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Jon Paul Morosi reports it too

September 10, 2011

The bulldog is sleeping

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 10, 2011 10:00 pm
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Scott Merkin:

White Sox pitching Don Cooper and Peavy spoke to MLB.com about that decision on Saturday.

“Jake right now is shut down,” said Cooper of the right-handed starter. “The things we are looking at right now are, one, we want to win as many games as we can. Two, we want to keep everybody strong and healthy and continue to finish this season strong.”

“With the way we are playing and with how it looks for us winning, and just where we are at in the season, they made a decision to start to rest and the recovery in the offseason period and try to get strong for next year,” Peavy said.

How will the Sox catch the Tigers now? :-)

Here are Peavy’s final 2011 stats:

Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB Awards
2011 30 CHW AL 7 7 .500 4.92 19 18 0 1 1 0 111.2 117 61 61 10 24 4 95 3 0 4 470 86 1.263 9.4 0.8 1.9 7.7 3.96
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/10/2011.

The K/BB ratio looks good. The HR/9 too. But his fastball is down about 1 mph from last year. Hopefully he gets his strength back in the off-season and has a nice year in 2012.

Other White Sox links:

August 18, 2011

Is Don Cooper working his magic?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 18, 2011 8:00 pm
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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:

July 28, 2011

Keith Law’s Zach Stewart scouting report

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 28, 2011 6:16 pm
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Rogers @ CT:

ESPN’s Keith Law seems to have the same viewpoint of Zach Stewart that the White Sox expressed after acquiring him in the Jackson trade. Here’s what he wrote about him after scouting an appearance by Jackson late last season: “Stewart showed four pitches, pitching at 90-96 with sink and some tail with a tight, out-pitch slider at 83-87 that he threw for strikes, even back-dooring it to left-handed hitters for called strikes. His changeup was the biggest surprise, as another scout at the game told me he hadn’t seen it this good before; it’s mostly straight but has good separation from the fastball at 81-85 and his arm speed is excellent. He also used a fringy curveball with good depth but he didn’t command the pitch as well as he did the slider. Stewart worked aggressively with everything and had good tempo. He stays over the rubber before driving forward with a long stride, although his arm action is a little long in the back and he pronates relatively late in the delivery. I know several scouts see Stewart as a sinker/slider pen guy, but I see four pitches, a good frame, and a pitcher who likes to attack hitters. I see a potential No. 2 starter, maybe a No. 3 if the changeup isn’t always where it was tonight.”

Stewart has failed to take another step forward in 2011 but Law still believes they got a guy who Don Cooper could help turn into a solid big-league starter. Here’s what he wrote on Wednesday after the Jackson trade: “Stewart is a classic sinker-slider starter with great movement on a low-90s sinker that will touch the mid-90s; his control took a step forward this year but he wasn’t getting as many ground balls, which is more a question of his pitching plan than a lack of life on the fastball. His slider is his best offspeed pitch, tight at 83-87 with good tilt, and he commands the pitch well, throwing it to both sides of the plate. He’s got a solid, average-or-better changeup and showed no platoon split this year. With a show-me curveball and good control, he should be given every opportunity to start for Chicago, and I like pitching coach Don Cooper’s chances to turn Stewart into at least a mid-rotation starter if not more.”

Kevin Goldstein won’t agree with Mr. Law:

June 23, 2011

Dr. Cooper

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 23, 2011 11:50 pm
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Schouwen @ CST:

Don’t sell White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper’s knowledge of pitching mechanics short. He can analyze and break it down with anybody. But where he sets himself apart is the psychology of pitching.

‘‘I view my job as barten­der-slash-psychologist,’’ Cooper said.

… Cooper built his reputation as one of baseball’s best pitching coaches by keeping the complicated art of pitching simple and accentuating the positive with his pitchers. …

Other White Sox links: J.J. looks at the booing in ChicagoJames looks at the entire bullpen’s performance in yesterday’s game, and Scot Gregor says Phil Humber is no Esteban Loaiza.

June 18, 2011

Jake Peavy to start on Wednesday against the Cubs?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 18, 2011 3:30 am
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Schouwen @ CST:

After breezing through six scoreless innings of a rehab start for Class AAA Charlotte on Thursday night, Jake Peavy appears ready to face the Cubs on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, pitching coach Don Cooper said Friday.Manager Ozzie Guillen said the six-man starting rotation also appears to be back, probably through the All-Star break.“Without discussing it with Ozzie and [GM] Kenny [ Williams], it looks like he’s lined up for the last game against the Cubs,’’ Cooper said. “That’s unofficial, as well as the six-man rotation. But all of that is going to be discussed and probably shook out after the game today or tomorrow. We’ll talk more about it.”

Other White Sox links: J.J. wants more Brent Lillibridge and less Juan Pierre, and Brett Ballantini updates his most and least valuable Sox players calculations. and colin looks at the last 15 Home Runs that were hit by Carlos Quentin.

June 4, 2011

Don Cooper says Matt Thornton isn’t Chicago Tough

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 4, 2011 11:00 pm
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WSCR AM670:

“I know how the season has gone from the beginning with him,” White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “There’s been some tough luck and there’s been some inconsistent pitches and tough luck involved in there, you know. But he’s physically throwing the ball well, I just want him to get ultra aggressive, early in the count, attacking the zone.“My pet peeve is I see too many balls early in the count. You know, Matt’s success is attacking early, attacking late, and he hasn’t been attacking early to dictate who’s boss. There’s been too many balls and walks.”

Audio at the link. And Sale should get the same lecture. If he had issued less walks tonight, Crain wouldn’t have to face Miguel Cabrera.

June 3, 2011

Kenny Williams wants more pitching

Merkin @ CWS:

“If [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] and Kenny had their way, it would always be pitching,” Laumann said. “I don’t necessarily disagree with that. You also need guys to catch and throw across the field and score some runs.” … “We will deal from the depth of the Draft, which looks like it’s in the college pitching, and that’s a good thing for us,” Laumann said. “Or if we feel like there’s one position player that stands out as an impact guy, we can possibly get him at 47 and feel confident about the next two or three college arms.”

Other White Sox links: James has fun with arbitrary datesSergio Santos hasn’t changed, A.J. Pierzynski is balancing his hands, Don Cooper says the 6-man rotation will stick around for a while, and Josh Phegley has good day at the plate and says he always goes after the first available fastball he sees.

May 29, 2011

Tony Pena sabotages six-man rotation

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 29, 2011 1:31 am
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Gonzales @ CT:

“Right now we’re a little confused,” Guillen chuckled Saturday morning. “We’re very confused. The six-man rotation puts a lot of load on Crain. If Pena goes out there and does what he should do, I don’t mind staying in a six-man rotation. We even talk about leaving it like that, but my worry is how much Crain will work. He’s the only right-hander we have with (Sergio) Santos. I use Santos as a closer,  there is a very big gap out there to cover. Hopefully Pena comes on and does a better job.”

“I wish Pena could be used when we’re winning to help Crain, and we’d be fine. Everybody else is pretty young. We’re still talking about it every day. Every day we change our mind. (Pitching coach) Don Cooper comes up with good ideas. To make the right decision, right now in my mind, I don’t think what I have is the right decision. We have to wait and play around with it. You see this kid (Phil) Humber throw, and (John) Danks, and it’s kind of hard. We will work it out. But right now I’m between.”

Padilla @ ESPN:

“A lot of people in Chicago thought how crazy you are you were down by one and you brought in Pena,” Guillen said. “I don’t have anybody else. I used Crain the night before and it’s not fair for him to be out there every day to take care of somebody else’s job. I’m not going to do it. I don’t care what people say.

“I’m not going to make somebody suffer with somebody else not doing what they’re supposed to do. I’m not going to do it.”

Schouwen @ CST:

Guillen said there have been no talks about possibly trading a starter.

“No, we don’t even talk about trade, no way,” he said. “The last thing we talk about is trade. We try to figure out how we’re going to play this and how we’re going to be a better ballclub. Right now we don’t have a close decision. We’re still talking to [general manager] Kenny [Williams] and Coop. We have ideas. The only thing is if Pena throws the ball better, then we’re set. We’re fine.”

May 27, 2011

Could the 6-man rotation stick around?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 27, 2011 9:41 pm
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Don Cooper says maybe:

“Right now we’re in a six-man rotation and everyone is throwing well,” Cooper said by phone before Friday’s game in Toronto. “We haven’t thought about ‘who’s out?’ And we may not even do that. We might not do that. If they continue to throw the ball well, it’s working right now, so why would we change anything?” … “There’s nothing being considered. We’re not there yet,” Cooper said. “There’s been nothing like, ‘This guy’s throwing the ball a tad less than this guy so it’s got to be him.’ None of that is going on here.”

May 23, 2011

No more six-man rotation? Jake Peavy says wait a minute [UPDATE #2]

Merkin @ CWS:

The White Sox were still using a six-man rotation as of Monday night.

Manager Ozzie Guillen said general manager Ken Williams is on the trip and the plan is to sit down and talk about how to handle the extra starting pitcher. The White Sox started a 10-game road trip with three games in Texas, followed by four games at Toronto and three more in Boston.

“Right now we have a plan,” Guillen said. “Maybe through this trip, but later on maybe not, because if we have some days off, somebody is going to not pitch in seven or eight days. I don’t know if we want to deal with that.”

Guillen and Williams will have a tough job at hand with six quality starters currently in the rotation. Jake Peavy will start Tuesday’s game and Gavin Floyd on Wednesday. Monday’s starter John Danks, Edwin Jackson, Philip Humber and ace Mark Buerhle are also currently in the rotation.

Guillen isn’t worried about telling one of them they’re going to the bullpen.

“It’s not about one guy,” Guillen said. “It’s about the ballclub. We don’t want to do it to anybody.”

more Ozzie:

‘‘It’s not about one guy; it’s about the ballclub,’’ Guillen said. ‘‘We don’t want to do it to anyone, but some guys can’t pitch with eight days’ rest.

‘‘Listen, they can think whatever they want to think. I have a job, and our job is to do the best for the team, not the best for the player. Sometimes when you do the best for the player, they don’t appreciate that, either. I will do what’s best for the ballclub.

‘‘They don’t have a choice because it’s about 25 guys. It’s about the Sox; it’s not about somebody’s name on the back. We’re going to do what’s best for the ballclub.’’

Jake Peavy has a different take though:

“The extra day is so big. Today should be my day. I have no problems pitching on this day. That extra day is big in recovering and it’s just one more day for you to feel even better than you already do.”It’s strange to be pitching in a six-man rotation — the Red Sox are the only other team to do it this season — but Peavy said it might help out all of the starters later in the season.”When you have six guys who are throwing the ball as well as we have, knock on wood, we have six guys who give us a chance every time we go out,” Peavy said. “I can’t see us staying in this the rest of the season, but I can’t see us not having a little bit of an advantage over guys in August and September when we have to be ‘whip hard,’ so to speak, going out of the back stretch. At that point in time, you’re letting it all hang out. I can see us being a little bit ahead of the pack.”

UPDATE: Could John Danks end up in the bullpen?

Guillen said he will talk to pitching coach Don Cooper in the coming days and the team will have a better idea of who might be relegated to bullpen duty. It could be that the staff wants to see John Danks’ start Monday to determine if he or Edwin Jackson is the one that will have to get by, for the time being anyway, on relief appearances.

UPDATE #2: Probably not:

There was some good news Monday night for John Danksdespite suffering his seventh consecutive loss to start the regular season.Manager Ozzie Guillen believes that Danks has pitched well enough to remain in the Chicago White Sox’s rotation even when they trim to a five-man alignment.”I think so,” Guillen said after Danks didn’t receive any run support in a 4-0 loss to Texas and Alexi Ogando, who improved to 5-0 with a 1.81 ERA. “I think he threw the ball well. I think he had really one bad game. We didn’t do anything for him. We don’t help him. That’s the problem. I think I’m very happy with the way he threw the ball.”

And Jake Peavy says ‘whatever dude’:

“Obviously everyone throwing the way we’re throwing, it’s going to be a tough call to do whatever they’re going to do,” Peavy said. “It’s not my call. I’m in it for as long as they want to do it or not do it.”

Peavy believes the starters would have no problem reverting to a normal five-man rotation.

“We’ve done it all our lives,” Peavy said. “We have such a routine that that extra day you can play with. And alter your routine and draw it out longer. But we have such a routine and are creatures of habit that I can easily pitch tonight and feel healthy and strong. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”

May 20, 2011

Pitching updates

A 6-man rotation means 1 less reliever. How will the Sox compensate?

In order to compensate for the loss of a middle reliever, one of the starters will be available in relief during the middle of their extended break. The exclusions to that possible role are Mark Buehrle and Gavin Floyd.

The six-man rotation will give the starters some relief since the Sox embark on a stretch of playing on 20 consecutive days without a scheduled day off starting Friday, and Guillen wants to ensure the health of Buehrle and Floyd through the entire season.

And if the 6-man rotation experiment goes well?

Manager Ozzie Guillen said he sees no reason not to stay with a six-man rotation if it works past the 20-day experimentation period that began with Phil Humber’s start against the Athletics on Friday night.

“If we like what we see, of course we’ll keep it at six,’’ Guillen said when asked if he can envision it in place deep into the summer. “Yes. Because I don’t see no reason to change it.’’

Why isn’t Santos given the closer title?

Santos wasn’t used Sunday the way a closer would normally be handled. When on the road in extra innings, teams typically save closers in case they take the lead and need to shut down the victory in the bottom of the inning. …

“[If I did,] all of a sudden, I have to stick with him,” Guillen said. “All of a sudden you don’t see him in the ninth and it’s, ‘What happened here? You said he was going to be the closer.’ When you are there, close the game. I think it’s too early to say this is the guy we are going to use. We’re not save that many games. But every time he’s there, he does the job. I hope he just wait a little bit for what’s going on and then we do something or tell him.”

And from the Coop Pitching Education department:

Humber credited Cooper with helping him add a slider to his repertoire during spring training.

‘‘[Before] I was fastball, curve, change,’’ Humber said. ‘‘The slider takes a lot of pressure off my other breaking ball because it gives hitters something else to think about.’’

Humber has been using his slider early in counts and throwing the curve as his put-away pitch.

and

Right-hander Jesse Crain tinkered with a split-fingered grip on his changeup last year in Minnesota, refined it in spring training and has mastered it this season.

The pitch looks like a fastball, then sinks late.

‘‘It’s been good, something else to keeps hitters off balance,’’ said Crain, who also throws a good curve and plus-fastball. ‘‘It’s slower [around 83 mph], it kind of fades into a righty and fades away from a lefty. Got some jams from righties and swings and misses and rollovers from lefties.’’

Other White Sox links: James says Alexei is breaking out, J.J. looks at Alexei’s acting skills, Chuck Garfien interviews Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland, and Carl has his latest sketch.

Paint it black

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 20, 2011 12:00 pm
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Petti @ BTB:

The graphic above depicts all AL Central starting pitchers with greater than 40 innings pitched through May 18th. So far, this is the most surprising divisional breakdown I’ve done. Why? Simple. The White Sox.

Currently they have four starters with FIPs better than league average, and four of the top seven in the division. How have they given up so many runs this year? Their bullpen also has a sub-4 FIP. As someone who doesn’t follow the team closely, this is perplexing. With Jake Peavey seemingly set to pull a Bartolo Colon, that rotation could look even scarier.

Title. Stones.

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