White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

May 19, 2012

Kenny gets his man, again

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 19, 2012 7:00 pm
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Scott Merkin:

Infielder Orlando Hudson, who was released on May 17 by the Padres, has agreed to terms with the White Sox but has not signed officially, according to a source close to the situation. MLB.com’s Peter Gammons first reported Hudson joining the White Sox earlier Saturday evening.

Hudson, 34, will be playing for his fifth team since 2008 and brings a .276 career average and .343 on-base percentage. Hudson will play some third base and back up Gordon Beckham at second base, having turned down a chance to play regularly elsewhere in order to join the White Sox in this role.

In 1,294 career games over 11 seasons, Hudson has played no other defensive position but second base. He hit .211 over 123 at-bats for the Padres this past season.

Since Hudson was released, the Sox will pay the pro-rated portion of the minimum salary. The minimum salary is $480,000 And the last time Hudson played 3B was 11 years ago in the minor-leagues (AAA).

Hudson’s stats:

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
2002 24 TOR AL 54 207 192 20 53 10 5 4 23 0 1 11 27 .276 .319 .443 .762 97 85 6 2 0 2 0 4
2003 25 TOR AL 142 521 474 54 127 21 6 9 57 5 4 39 87 .268 .328 .395 .723 87 187 13 5 0 3 1 *4
2004 26 TOR AL 135 551 489 73 132 32 7 12 58 7 3 51 98 .270 .341 .438 .779 98 214 12 4 3 4 0 *4
2005 27 TOR AL 131 501 461 62 125 25 5 10 63 7 1 30 65 .271 .315 .412 .728 91 190 10 3 0 7 1 *4 GG
2006 28 ARI NL 157 650 579 87 166 34 9 15 67 9 6 61 78 .287 .354 .454 .809 102 263 17 2 4 4 5 *4 GG
2007 29 ARI NL 139 601 517 69 152 28 9 10 63 10 2 70 87 .294 .376 .441 .817 105 228 21 2 5 7 1 *4/D AS,GG
2008 30 ARI NL 107 455 407 54 124 29 3 8 41 4 1 40 62 .305 .367 .450 .817 108 183 18 2 3 3 2 4/D
2009 31 LAD NL 149 631 551 74 156 35 6 9 62 8 1 62 99 .283 .357 .417 .774 109 230 16 4 9 5 4 *4 AS,GG
2010 32 MIN AL 126 559 497 80 133 24 5 6 37 10 3 50 87 .268 .338 .372 .710 96 185 14 4 5 3 0 *4/D
2011 33 SDP NL 119 454 398 54 98 15 3 7 43 19 3 49 84 .246 .329 .352 .681 94 140 5 2 1 4 6 *4
2012 34 SDP NL 35 131 123 11 26 0 5 1 11 3 2 8 27 .211 .260 .317 .577 63 39 3 0 0 0 0 *4
11 Yrs 1294 5261 4688 638 1292 253 63 91 525 82 27 471 801 .276 .343 .415 .757 98 1944 135 30 30 42 20
162 Game Avg. 162 659 587 80 162 32 8 11 66 10 3 59 100 .276 .343 .415 .757 98 243 17 4 4 5 3
NL (6 yrs) 706 2922 2575 349 722 141 35 50 287 53 15 290 437 .280 .353 .421 .774 102 1083 80 12 22 23 18
AL (5 yrs) 588 2339 2113 289 570 112 28 41 238 29 12 181 364 .270 .330 .407 .737 94 861 55 18 8 19 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 5/19/2012.

Seems the 700 OPS days are gone.

UPDATE:

May 12, 2012

Gordon Beckham’s swing returns to its roots

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 12, 2012 3:30 am
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Daryl Van Schouwen:

White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto is satisfied with one of the most analyzed and scrutinized swings in Chicago — Gordon Beckham’s.General manager Ken Williams drew more attention to it last season, saying he longed for Beckham’s college and (successful) rookie swing.“He’s gotten that back to where he was in the minor leagues and when he first got here,’’ Manto said Monday. “That’s what the project has been, to get him to where he was.’’… “I feel like I’m doing what I thought I would do,’’ said Beckham, whose average was up to .217 after a 3-for-27 start.

“Where he was, I don’t think he could have sustained a major-league season, 600 plate appearances,’’ Manto said. “The bat path was a little off, and his shoulders were steep. Right now he’s square, head with the shoulders. He has way better balance, and he’s way more aggressive. In the position he is now, being taller, and the bat path a little better, he can sustain. I’m not saying he can hit .300 or .280, but he’s able to make adjustments throughout a season.’’

Other White Sox links:

May 2, 2012

Robin Ventura puts Gordon Beckham, Brent Morel on notice

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 2, 2012 4:00 am
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Scott Merkin:

Support for struggling White Sox infielders Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel continued to come in Tuesday from manager Robin Ventura.

But as the calendar turns from April to May and with Morel (.182) and Beckham (.190) sitting a few games of consistent hitting below the Mendoza line, even following Beckham’s three-hit effort in Tuesday’s 7-2 victory over the Indians, that unconditional support from Ventura soon might be slightly altered.”Eventually you probably have to do something,” said Ventura before the series opener with the Indians. “Right now I’m believing what I see and talking to them.

“I want to know what they’re thinking, too. I’m still confident they’re going to perform. Eventually it gets to the point where you would have to make a move if it would stay like that, but right now I’m not going to do that.” …

I don’t think Ventura has good replacements available though.

Other White Sox links:

April 27, 2012

What does the future hold for Gordon Beckham?

Chris Cwik:

Gordon Beckham has not lived up to expectations. After being selected eighth overall by the Chicago White Sox in 2008, Beckham was expected to be one of the team’s future stars. And after a strong rookie season, it looked like Beckham might achieve that goal. Since then, however, Beckham was struggled mightily. For the 25-year-old, 2012 is a make-or-break year. The early signs do not look encouraging. …

Other White Sox links:

April 18, 2012

Frank Thomas breaks down Gordon Beckham’s swing

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 18, 2012 10:00 pm
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J.J. Stankevitz:

Gordon Beckham showed some progress Wednesday, collecting an RBI single through the left side in the sixth. But that hit was only his fourth of the season, and it saved him from sustaining a batting average below .100.

I had the chance to sit down with Frank Thomas for Beckham’s fourth-inning at-bat — a weak flyout to right — to pick the Big Hurt’s brain on the second baseman’s struggles. Here’s what he had to say as the at-bat went on, with images of Beckham’s swing below: …

March 29, 2012

John Sickels’ favorite young players

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 29, 2012 12:00 am
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John Sickels:

Gordon Beckham, 2B, Chicago White Sox: Age 25. Three-year downtrend in performance but still young enough to live up to what he showed in college. As with Pedro Alvarez, it is too soon to give up on him.

Dayan Viciedo, OF, Chicago White Sox: Age 23. Not as good as he hit in 2010, and not as bad as he hit in 2011. Real skills somewhere in the .280/.325/.440 range with a chance for more eventually.

UPDATE: And on the pitching side:

Chris Sale, LHP, Chicago White Sox: Age 23. I’m optimistic that the conversion to starting will go well, provided the White Sox don’t do something stupid with his workload. Considered for Top 12.

March 11, 2012

In which Robin Ventura has Adam Dunn’s respect

Scott Merkin:

MLB.com surveyed a handful of White Sox players over the past few days, looking for one sentence to describe Ventura’s managerial start. Most players went deeper than the required basic statement, but through the first quarter of Spring Training, there seems to be nothing but strong support for Ventura’s debut camp.

“I mean, it’s almost, I don’t want to sound corny, but he’s almost like it’s too good to be true,” said White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn. “He’s unbelievable. I’m not just saying that. I feel like he’s still a player but yet he’ll get on you, he’ll jump on you.

“He’s got that fine line down really well early. He has a lot of respect coming toward him and I think he realizes it, too. He’s in a tough position, but I respect him from, I still remember him as a player, how good of a player he was playing against him. He has all my respect.”

Other White Sox links:

March 8, 2012

Adam Dunn gives Robin Ventura his first managerial win

Adam Dunn went 2-3 with a 3-run home run against Naftali Feliz and a double against a lefty, Gordon Beckham added a 2-run home run, Dayan Viciedo and Kosuke Fukudome added a double each, and Hector Santiago struck-out three and walked 1 in the 2 scoreless innings he pitched. The Sox won 6-3 and Ventura got his 1st win as a manager. Boxscore | Gameday | Recap

J.J. has the strikezone plot of Dunn’s home run at-bat from Brooks Baseball (Pitch F/X for Dunn’s home run at-bat).

And here’s the lineup card from today’s win:

(more…)

January 31, 2012

Clay Davenport’s and sg’s 2012 projections

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 31, 2012 11:30 pm
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Clay Davenport (1/31):

AL Cent Won Lost Runs Runs A
DET 89 73 771 696
CWS 79 83 696 716
CLE 78 84 700 728
MIN 74 88 679 741
KCR 71 91 681 779

sg @ RLYB uses his 2012 Marcel forecasts (1/28):

Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
DET 84 78 747 708 43.0% 2.4% 10.1% 55.4%
CLE 83 79 722 708 30.6% 2.9% 7.8% 41.3%
CHA 79 83 686 703 15.2% 1.5% 4.2% 20.9%
KC 79 83 691 714 10.8% 1.9% 4.1% 16.9%
MIN 68 94 693 813 0.4% 0.0% 0.1% 0.5%

Other White Sox links:

January 28, 2012

Brent Lillibridge attends the Manny Ramirez school of hitting

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 28, 2012 10:45 pm
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Scott Reifert:

LILLIBRIDGE ON HIS APPROACH TO HITTING: “When Manny (Ramirez) was here, it was great to pick his brain because he’s an amazing hitter.  He said he looks for a spot, not a pitch.  Doesn’t matter if you watch two strikes go by, wait for your spot.”

Brent Lillibridge seems to be the Gordon Beckham fallback plan:

January 26, 2012

Robin Ventura talks about the 2012 Sox

Scott Merkin:

Ventura was asked about a few key matters during an interview session with White Sox beat reporters on Thursday and came up with a few pre-Spring Training solutions. The White Sox starting rotation, which looks to be one of its strongest suits, seems all but set with John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Chris Sale and Jake Peavy. According to Ventura, Philip Humber has the advantage at No. 5 over any of the young newcomers such as Nestor Molina or returnees such as Zach Stewart or Dylan Axelrod.”Phil would be that leader heading into the clubhouse,” Ventura said of Humber, whose breakout 2011 effort resulted in a 9-9 record and 3.75 ERA. “I don’t see anything changing with that at this point. We will see during Spring Training, but I’m confident in Phil in doing that No. 5 position.”Humber posted an 8-5 record with a 3.10 ERA and .218 opponents average against in the first half, but had a 1-4 mark, 5.01 ERA and .287 average against after the All-Star break.

Reliever Matt Thornton‘s season was slightly reversed, as the left-hander posted a 2.45 ERA over 52 games after May 1 following an 8.64 ERA in April. Thornton also had blown saves in his first four chances, although he didn’t have the best of luck behind him. Even with that slow start, Ventura tabbed Thornton on Thursday as his leading 2012 closer candidate over rookie Addison Reed and Jesse Crain. “I’m leaning on Matt doing that,” Ventura said. “I don’t think those type of things are concrete. I would like to see him do that, but we’ll see how that goes in Spring Training with him and how he feels.”

In Ventura’s estimation, the team doesn’t have a true utility infielder at this point. Brent Lillibridge earned high praise from Ventura for his versatility and talent, but he wasn’t identified as a possible backup shortstop. Ventura said that Alex Rios could see time in both left field and center field, and as of now, Alejandro De Aza looks to be the leadoff man. Of course, it’s just late January and things could change by the end of Cactus League action. “Gordon [Beckham] could probably do it depending on how he feels about that and how he looks in Spring Training, as far as getting on base,” Ventura said of the leadoff slot. “He has more power than normal leadoff guys, but he’s one of them.”

January 24, 2012

Alexei Ramirez to Boston? Gordon Beckham to SS?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 24, 2012 11:45 pm
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Phil Rogers says Gavin Floyd isn’t the only White Sox player rumored to be traded to Boston:

With Eduardo Escobar already on the fringes of the big-league roster and Tyler Saladino on the horizon, why wouldn’t Ken Williams consider sending Ramirez and [Gavin] Floyd to Boston in a package for as much 25-and-under talent as possible?

One rumor bouncing around says Ramirez isn’t the White Sox regular the Red Sox are eyeing for the shortstop opening they created when they traded Marco Scutaro to the Rockies. It says they think Gordon Beckham is capable of regaining his ability as a run-producer and returning to the position he played at the University of Georgia.

Eduardo Escobar playing 2B? I don’t see this happening.

January 16, 2012

BDD is reviewing PECOTA’s 2011 projections

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 16, 2012 7:30 pm
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Doug Thorburn:

The isolated power of Alexei Ramirez has bounced around like a pinball for the last few seasons, and PECOTA mined beneath the career marks and struck gold. The relative hits on Ramirez’s batting average and OBP are less impressive, if only because his career numbers in those categories are more stable. Ramirez did up his walk rate beyond expectations, improving on the biggest deficiency in his offensive game, though he had showed similar patience back in 2009. PECOTA came very close on this hi-beta player, coming within 4 points of OPS and righteously projecting his 2nd-worst performance of the last four years. However, there is no way to measure the deleterious affect that Ramirez may have had on the approach of his aforementioned double-play partner, if only through association by proximity.

Alexei’s stats:

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
2008 26 CHW AL 136 509 480 65 139 22 2 21 77 13 9 18 61 .290 .317 .475 .792 103 228 14 3 4 4 3 *468/5 RoY-2
2009 27 CHW AL 148 606 542 71 150 14 1 15 68 14 5 49 66 .277 .333 .389 .723 86 211 15 1 6 8 3 *6
2010 28 CHW AL 156 626 585 83 165 29 2 18 70 13 8 27 82 .282 .313 .431 .744 99 252 12 2 7 5 2 *6 SS
2011 29 CHW AL 158 684 614 81 165 31 2 15 70 7 5 51 84 .269 .328 .399 .727 97 245 19 6 8 5 1 *6/D
4 Seasons 598 2425 2221 300 619 96 7 69 285 47 27 145 293 .279 .323 .421 .745 96 936 60 12 25 22 9
162 Game Avg. 162 657 602 81 168 26 2 19 77 13 7 39 79 .279 .323 .421 .745 96 254 16 3 7 6 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 1/16/2012.

There’s a review of Gordon Beckham’s projection as well at the link.

December 20, 2011

Sox watch Yoenis Cespedes workout

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 20, 2011 11:05 pm
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Danny Knobler @ CBS Sports:

The 26-year-old Cuban outfield (and YouTube) sensation isn’t technically available yet. His agent told ESPNDeportes.com that Cespedes should be able to establish residency in the Dominican Republic this week. There’s another step after that before he can become a free agent, but the expectation in baseball is that he’ll officially go on the market sometime in January.

And the expectation in baseball is that the bidding for him could get crazy.

Also, word in the international scouting community is that the White Sox watched Cespedes in a private workout recently. The White Sox have had recent success with Cuban players, having signed Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo.

Crazy bidding? The Sox are probably just “kicking the tires.”

Other White Sox links:

December 13, 2011

Addison Reed, future White Sox closer

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 13, 2011 11:00 pm
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Scott Merkin:

Since the White Sox traded Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays, who is in line to become the White Sox closer in 2012?
— Steve, Plainfield, Ill.

Assuming no other trades are made involving the bullpen, Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton would be the leading candidates to start the season. But Addison Reed is one of the major reasons why Santos became expendable.

Reed, who turns 23 just after Christmas, had a 1.26 ERA over 43 games during four Minor League stops last year. He struck out 111 and walked just 14 in 78 1/3 innings, not to mention his 12 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings with the White Sox. The right-hander definitely stands as the team’s closer of the future, and the organization has no doubt he can handle the role.

Other White Sox links:

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