White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

December 3, 2011

Acquired veterans failed to put you to the top? Time to go young!

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 3, 2011 12:00 am
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Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times writes about the 1961 trade of lefty Billy pierce to the Giants and tells us the happenings on the Sox at the time:

The 1961 season placed the South Siders at a crossroads. Beginning in 1951, the team rattled off a series of winning seasons that culminated in the 1959 pennant winning Go-Go White Sox. Hoping to seize the moment and create a dynasty for himself, then-team owner Bill Veeck spent the 1959-60 off-season trading away his best prospects for established veterans.

… Worse yet, the veterans did not quite pan out as expected. The 1960 Sox fell from first to third place. In 1961, they fell further still, finishing in fourth place with an 86-76 record.

… So in the 1961-62 off-season, the Sox engaged in a series of trades in hopes of undoing the 1959-60 offseason. …

So, how did those off-season moves turn out?

The Sox actually won one fewer game in 1962 than the year before, but moving out some of their older players helped them out down the road. In 1963, they began a series of three straight 90-win seasons and remained competitive through 1967.

Will Kenny clean house or go for it again? We could know by this time next week!

Other White Sox links:

October 28, 2011

Gordon Beckham missed ‘Super Two’ status by 23 service days

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 28, 2011 1:00 pm
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This year the ‘Super Two’ cutoff was 2 years and 146 days of service time (it was rather late). Gordon Beckham had 2 years and 123 days of service time.

Alejandro De Aza missed by 7 days! He had 2 years and 139 days of service time.

As MLBTR says:

Some players with more than two and less than three years of service time go to arbitration, while others don’t. Going to arbitration an extra time, the right earned by baseball’s super two players, is a clear advantage; super twos earn more than others in their service class.

BTW, Dayan Viciedo has accumulated 123 days of service time.

September 18, 2011

September sweeps

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 18, 2011 10:31 pm
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Brett Ballantini:

September swoons have become an Ozzie trademark

…Here are the dirty details:

2004 – White Sox go 17-12 in September, swept by Minnesota Twins.
2005 – White Sox go 17-12, swept by Los Angeles Angels and see lead shrink to 1 1/2 games before running off five wins to end the season and 16 of 17 to end the season as World Series champs.
2006 – White Sox go 12-16, including a sweep by the Oakland A’s.
2007 – White Sox go 15-12 and avoid a sweep but finish at 72-90 and in fourth place.
2008 – White Sox go 12-15 in September in what becomes a war of attrition with the fading Twins. The White Sox won three straight games to end the season as Central champs, but lost five straight, including being swept out of first place on September 25 by the Twins to create such dire straits.
2009 – White Sox go 13-14 and are swept by the Twins.
2010 – White Sox go 14-13 and are swept by the Twins and Tigers, essentially eliminating them from the division race.
2011 – White Sox are 5-12 and will have to go 10-1 in the home stretch to finish better than .500 for the month. Two sweeps by Detroit nailed the coffin shut on the 2011 season.

Seems like September is sweeps month in the south side…

Other White Sox links:

September 2, 2011

Friction between Kenny Williams and Greg Walker?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 2, 2011 11:10 pm
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Schouwen @ CST:

The frustration stemming from the shortage of production from Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham recently reached a boiling point between ­general manager Ken Williams and hitting coach Greg Walker.

Walker took issue with Williams’ comments about Beckham’s swing, and after he and Williams exchanged heated words in the tunnel leading to the Sox clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field, Williams told Walker to clean out his locker, a source said.

When chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was made aware of what happened, things were smoothed over.

Williams had said he liked the swing Beckham had at college. Walker said as long as Beckham keeps working on his swing, he’s OK with it. The odds that Brett Ballantini’s prediction of big changes after the season is over comes true seem to increase everyday.

August 20, 2011

Kenny Williams is angry

Merkin @ CWS:

“Go get the inspirational speeches from someone else. I’m [angry],” Williams told MLB.com, responding to a question concerning the White Sox chances to claim an American League Central over the final 40 games. “This team should be 10 games over .500 right now.

“That’s the bad news. The good news is we still have time to right the ship. But if you are looking for inspiration, or anyone is, or pats on the back from this recent surge, you are looking at the wrong person. I’ll give you a pat on the back if you end up in first place.”

Williams said that anything short of winning the division would be an obvious disappointment, adding that winning the division really isn’t even good enough in the White Sox championship-oriented minds. He acknowledged, as an example, being impressed by Alejandro De Aza’s play since called up to the big league club, as the outfielder is batting .310 and infusing life into the White Sox lineup.

But he added that he’ll be more impressed if De Aza keeps it up.

“Nothing is going to impress me the rest of the year unless we are in first place at the end,” Williams said. “Other than that, it’s just find a way to win today.”

Other White Sox links:

August 19, 2011

Is Gordon Beckham heading to the bench?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 19, 2011 9:07 pm
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Gregor @ DH:

Gordon Beckham is probably heading to the bench after another brutal night at the plate.

The slumping second baseman was 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts and he stranded seven baserunners.

“I talked to him before the game, and I worry about him because he’s chasing a lot of bad pitches,” Guillen said. “When you are a hitter and you chasing bad pitches, it’s like you are pitching and not throwing strikes. You will dig yourself a hole. You have to look for something.

“I know it’s not easy. I played this game before and went through it. I was swinging at everything in my career as a player, but I think he has to lay off the high fastball as soon as he can because he’s going to put himself in a deeper position.”

Kenny Williams likes the swing Beckham had at Georgia:

Nobody is more frustrated with his struggles at the plate than White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham, who is hitting just .238 and went 1-for-13 in his team’s previous three-game series against the Indians.Coming in a close second, however, might be general manager Kenny Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen — who both see Beckham falling victim to pitches out of the strike zone, particularly high ones.

Asked on Friday afternoon if it’s still too early in Beckham’s career to say he’s nearing a crossroads, Williams didn’t mince words.

“No, because with his current approach, I think they’re going to continue to expose his weakness,” Williams said. “As I’ve told him in the past, this is nothing he hasn’t heard from me in the past, I liked the swing coming out of the University of Georgia — the one that we saw when he first got here to the big leagues, where he was able to drive the ball and pound it into the right-center-field gap. And any high fastball, he could get on top if it with his top hand.”

Guillen was also quick to point out the pitches Beckham’s been swinging at are up in the zone.

“I think the only thing about Gordon is chasing bad pitches,” Guillen said. “He can’t lay off of the high ones, and the longer you do that, you’re going to be in the same situation.”

August 5, 2011

A.J. Pierzynski and Gordon Beckham think the booing of Adam Dunn isn’t helping

Merkin @ BOG:

“I love Adam Dunn, on and off the field,” Pierzynski said. “Everyone’s been there. If you’ve ever played this game, you’ve struggled. This is not an easy game to play. It’s not something that you can go out there and say this or that and it works. It’s not football where you can get yelled and screamed it and it makes you play better. There’s only so much you can do. You’ve got to put the work in. He’s done that. He’s put the time in and he’s trying to make adjustments.”

Until those adjustments pay off in consistent offense, the boos will continue to cascade down upon Dunn’s broad shoulders at U.S. Cellular Field. Opposing pitchers will continue to target Dunn in potential game-changing situations, and the baseball nightmare will continue to be reality for the affable slugger. …

“It’s not easy when people don’t seem like they are behind you, and I know it’s tough on him,” Beckham said. “Obviously he wants to do well, we want him to do well. I definitely wouldn’t be taking it like he’s been able to. He’s been upbeat the whole time but it still hasn’t come for him. There’s still time and I believe there’s still time. If he can just get going for us in any capacity, we have a good chance to win.”

Other White Sox links:

July 23, 2011

Ozzie Guillen doesn’t like all the Dayan Viciedo talk

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 23, 2011 11:30 pm
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Padilla @ ESPN:

With Saturday’s rained out game against the Indians expected to be moved to September as part of a day-night doubleheader, Guillen was asked in jest if that means Viciedo will be there to help the cause.

“Well if Viciedo is going to be the White Sox’s savior we will be in deep [expletive] … and you can quote me on that,” Guillen said. “If we wait for [expletive] Viciedo to be the savior, we’re in deep [expletive] if we wait for a Triple-A kid to come here and be the savior.”

The Cuban has cooled off a bit at Triple-A Charlotte, but is still batting .307 with 16 home runs and 64 RBIs heading into play Saturday.

“Can he help? Yes,” Guillen said. “Is he going to be the savior? I like the talent we have here.”

“we will be in deep [expletive]“? we already are in deep [expletive]

Other White Sox links: James looks at the improvement in Gordon Beckham’s defense and Tyler Flowers filling the backup catcher position, J.J. looks at the lack of moves in the White Sox roster after Ozzie’s rant, and Mike looks at Ozzie Guillen’s frequent “lack of effort” rants.

July 21, 2011

White Sox scout Ozzie Guillen doesn’t like the White Sox approach at the plate

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 21, 2011 3:00 am
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Ballantini @ CSN (video):

“There’s nothing more painful than losing the f—— game against Bruce Chen once again,” Guillen spat. “F—— pathetic. [We had] no f—— energy. We just go through the motions. We take the day off today instead of tomorrow.”

“If we go to Cleveland [beginning on Friday] and play the way we did in Kansas City, it’s going to be a f—— long-ass, God—— July. Nothing against Bruce Chen, I have a lot of respect for this kid. But our approach at the plate, that’s not a good club out there. F— it. I’m tired of protecting people … I take my s— back, what I said in Detroit. I take it back. This thing about ‘one day at a time.’ One day we’re good, three days we’re bad. We don’t have energy in the dugout. [We had a] horses— approach at the plate for the 90th time.”

“F—. If we go to Cleveland the way we go [in Kansas City], good luck. We’re wasting our money on this club if we go to Cleveland the way we were here,” Guillen said. “That’s the team we’ve had all year long—that’s the club. [People think] I talk s— because I ‘have’ to talk s—. No, I don’t. I talk s— because of what I see. All I see is very bad. Nothing against Chen, nothing against the Kansas City pitching staff—they’re good. They’ve got a young ballclub.

“But the way we go about our business here [was] horses—. [The team] can say whatever they want to say. If we go to Cleveland that way, and [then] we’ve got to play New York, Boston and Detroit? Good luck.”

“Oh, and John Danks pitched well.”

If only the White Sox had Ozzie as their coach…

Other White Sox links: James says the White Sox are fixing the problems they don’t have because those are easier and links to many Sox-centric stories. The Brandon Allen video is depressing. colin looks at Gordon Beckham, Dan at FutureSox looks at Dayan Viciedo’s progress, and Ramon Castro will be out for 2-3 months, so Tyler Flowers will probably be with the Sox the rest of the year.

July 2, 2011

Jake Peavy wants White Sox players to become dirtbags

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 2, 2011 8:00 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

“I agree with Kenny in that we have to have more attitude,” Peavy told MLB.com. “We need a little more savvy and scrappiness. I’m saying in everything — pitching, defense, running bases, every aspect of our game. We have to find a way to play with a little more fire, a little more desire to win. I’m not saying there aren’t guys on this team who really want to win. But we need to get it in our blood. When we are at Wrigley Field, we have to flat out want to win more than the Cubs. It’s oozing out your pours. It will take a team with the talent like we have over the top.”

“The bottom line is we are four games behind a very good Detroit team. We can’t lay back. We have to show up every day, and for the next three hours, bust [our butts] and find a way to win. Get that mentality and attitude about us.”

Other White Sox links: J.J. examines Gordon Beckham’s opposite field power, James changes his blog’s interface and won’t put it all on JuDavid Holmberg,an Pierre and roll the dice (Thursday post), THT’s Harry Pavlidis looks at Phil Humber’s slider, and BTB’s Dave Gershman wonders if Daniel Hudson is the most underrated pitcher in baseball. Speaking of Hudson, Baseball America looks on David Holmberg’s success. That trade will keep haunting us for many years.

June 30, 2011

Sergio Santos eases up on the slider. Gets strikes on his fastball too.

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 30, 2011 11:45 pm
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Will today’s Juan Pierre heroics ensure he gets to chance to do more damage? J.J. takes a look. Good game by Beckham too.

RE24: Gordon Beckham 3.47, Juan Pierre 1.10, A.J. Pierzynski 1.06, Adam Dunn -1.86, Omar Vizquel -1.27.

Boxscore:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Peavy 6.0 7 4 4 2 4 1 4.47
Ohman 1.0 1 0 0 2 1 0 4.84
Sale 1.1 1 0 0 1 2 0 3.71
Crain(W, 4-2) 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.70
Santos(S, 17) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3.00
Totals 10.0 9 4 4 5 9 1 3.84

What about Sergio? Here’s Pitch F/X:

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) 94.48 95.8 -0.31 6.07 12 7 / 58.33% 1 / 8.33% -0.0350 0.391
SL (Slider) 84.25 85.1 4.01 -2.41 6 5 / 83.33% 2 / 33.33% -0.8274 0.440
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
10 18 12 66.67 18 -0.862

Relese point looks OK:

For video highlights go here or here or click the video tab here.

June 20, 2011

Greg Walker says Gordon Beckham has messed up his swing

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 20, 2011 11:07 pm
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Schouwen @ CST:

Hitting coach Greg Walker said Beckham must simplify things at the plate.

“Looking back at Gordon’s 2009 tape, it was brilliant how simple it was,” Walker said. “When Gordon goes bad, his leg kick is bigger, his hand move is bigger and he ends up with bad posture and a loopier, longer swing. We need less of a leg kick, hand move — less of an effort level.”

As if we didn’t have enough things to worry about.

June 12, 2011

Lillibridge!

8th inning, Sox up 3-2. 1 on, Coco Crisp hits one to the fence. Brent Lillibridge is tracking it. Ball goes over the fence. And then:

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=15795827&topic_id=8879206&c_id=cws (0:50)

and Danks’ 2nd win of 2011 was preserved!

Boxscore:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Danks(W, 2-8) 7.2 4 2 2 2 4 0 4.54
Crain(S, 1) 1.1 0 0 0 1 1 0 3.10
Totals 9.0 4 2 2 3 5 0 4.10

RE24: Alex Rios 0.56, Ramon Castro 0.48, Alexei Ramirez 0.47, Paul Konerko -1.44, Brent Morel -0.82, Gordon Beckham -0.50.

Pitch F/X for John Danks:

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) 92.13 94.5 4.87 10.12 44 27 / 61.36% 2 / 4.55% -1.7938 0.413
CH (Changeup) 82.71 84.1 6.68 6.32 20 16 / 80.00% 2 / 10.00% 0.3825 0.459
CU (Curveball) 77.76 78.8 -2.90 -0.28 5 3 / 60.00% 1 / 20.00% -0.2023 0.484
FC (Cutter) 88.10 91.4 -1.12 5.32 40 25 / 62.50% 1 / 2.50% -0.5303 0.426
FT (TwoSeam Fastball) 92.85 94.2 7.31 10.09 4 3 / 75.00% 0 / 0.00% -0.2896 0.410
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 17 11 64.71 17 -0.862
2 10 5 50.00 27 -0.743
3 19 12 63.16 46 -0.518
4 19 12 63.16 65 0.149
5 12 10 83.33 77 -0.038
6 12 6 50.00 89 0.240
7 15 10 66.67 104 -0.848
8 9 8 88.89 113 0.187

May 29, 2011

Gordon Beckham and his “hockey injury”

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 29, 2011 3:11 pm
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Ballantini @ CSN:

With others egging Beckham on to claim his injury came on the ice in the pucks capital of the world, it seems the southern gentleman was doing just fine with his badge of honor being recorded on the diamond.“

Me and [former White Sox Jayson] Nix were out for drinks and a girl came right up and said, ‘What’d you do to your eye?’” Beckham laughed. “I’m like, ‘Dude, it’s that easy?’”

Gordon Beckham will live

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 29, 2011 1:23 am
Tags:

Merkin @ CWS:

The White Sox have dodged a bullet with second baseman Gordon Beckham, who will miss just a day or two after being struck under the left eye by a relay throw.The incident happened in the third inning of Friday’s 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays, when Alex Rios’ relay from center field took a high hop behind second and hit Beckham in the face. Beckham labored on the field momentarily before leaving the game and going to hospital with the team’s head athletic trainer, Herm Schneider, for X-rays.

The results of the X-rays were negative, and now the team will just wait for the swelling to go down around Beckham’s eye before he can rejoin the lineup.

“I feel fine, other than the bruise. The bruise is the only thing that hurts,” Beckham, who is sporting a black eye, said on Saturday. “I can see fine. I think that once the swelling goes down, I’ll be back in there. I don’t know if that’s [Sunday] or Monday.”

Beckham continued to receive treatment on Saturday morning in order to relieve some of the swelling that is preventing him from fully opening his injured eye. He said he hopes to take batting practice and maybe even play on Sunday, but Monday might be a more realistic target.

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