White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

May 3, 2010

Gordon Beckham defends Greg Walker

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 3, 2010 11:25 pm
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Gonzales:

… “We’ll set the record straight,” Beckham said. “Anybody who thinks it’s Greg Walker’s fault that we haven’t hit well is wrong.”

Beckham worked on flip drills on the field four hours before the game and employed the same wide stance that he and Walker worked on last Wednesday.

“That’s something I tinkered with,” Beckham said. “I’m going to continue some form of that, but it doesn’t have to be as wide. Once again, it’s small adjustments that will get me in the right spot because my swing is the same, no matter if I’m swinging good or bad. It’s the same swing.”

April 28, 2010

In which Gordon Beckham wants to adjust his batting stance

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 28, 2010 8:17 pm
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Gonzales:

Gordon Beckham believes simply widening his batting stance will help remedy his struggles at the plate. … Beckham, who is batting .205, thought that unnecessary movement was affecting his pitch selection and swing. He worked on changing his stance with hitting coach Greg Walker.“I’m either lunging or behind,” Beckham said. “There’s not an in-between right now. There’s no happy medium for me as of right now, and that’s the issue we’re having.”

Cowley:

“Not mechanical. It’s more my mind,” Beckham explained. “I’m not taking my BP into the game. When I’m getting in the game I feel like I’m a little rushed, I feel like my head is moving a little faster than it should. As opposed to being calm and just sitting in the box and let the ball come to me. I’m going to spread out a little bit, eliminate the lower half a little bit, and that’s going to keep me locked in, a little quieter. Hopefully, that will help me be more accurate with the ball and make better decisions on pitches that are close and not close. I think that should help. I just have to do it in the games. It’s all there.”

April 26, 2010

A.J. Pierzynski is on-notice

Manning:

Tyler Flowers has a .421 wOBA for Triple-A Charlotte and may A.J. Pierzynski be put on notice:

And Ozzie says:

“I might move (Mark) Teahen up in A.J.’s spot and move A.J. down,” he said. “If I do that, I don’t want those guys to feel I don’t have confidence in them. But when the manager changes the lineups and moves people, that’s for a reason. I have a couple days to think about it.”

BTW, A.J. has a .151 BABIP.

UPDATE: I forgot Mark Kotsay! I put him in Harrelson’s place.

April 22, 2010

Ozzie Guillen on Carlos Quentin’s plate discipline

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 6:34 pm
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Gonzales:

“I think Carlos right now is going crazy,” Guillen said. “I think, just looking at his at-bats, I think he’s guessing at the wrong pitch. He’s very out front with the breaking ball and very late with the fastball. I told (bench coach) Joey Cora during the game it seems like he’s between every pitch. One thing about it, he’s looking for one pitch in particular. … He’s swinging at a lot of bad pitches,” Guillen said. “Right now he’s swinging too much.”

Levine:

“When he is swinging the bat good, he’s got to drive it to right-center. Right now he is just swinging too much, not looking for a particular pitch.”

Merkin:

“One thing about Carlos, he’s seen a lot of pitches in the past,” Guillen said. “Now, whatever he sees he swings at. Last night, his last at-bat, I don’t think he swung at one strike. I don’t think it’s just Carlos, anybody, use me as an example. When you swing at bad pitches, you’re going to make a lot of outs.”

Here are Quentin’s plate discipline numbers. His O(utside)-Swing% is down to a career best 22.8%. His F(irst)-Strike% is also down to 49.2% from 57.5% in 2008 and 58.2% in 2009. His contact numbers are down though.

Quentin also has a .175 BABIP. Brutal…

April 19, 2010

Gordon Beckham on Greg Walker

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 19, 2010 10:38 pm
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Isaacson:

“Wow, where really do I start? I feel like Greg, since I’ve gotten here, has been like a dad to me, and I take his opinion and his knowledge of the game very seriously. He knows when to step in and say something, and he also knows when to sit back and let it play out.”

… [Beckham] credits Walker with helping him become a major league hitter with adjustments they made at midseason.

“We changed my swing. If you go back and look at the tape, my hands were by my head and I was very stiff, and within a month, I had my hands shoulder level and was very relaxed at the plate and hit .330 [in July]. [Walker] got me through hopefully the toughest time of my career at the start when I struggled so bad, and when everyone was saying I shouldn’t be up there, I shouldn’t be playing, I shouldn’t be in the big leagues. He didn’t believe that. He believed I should’ve been there and just got me through it.”

Getting ready to swing the bat, he came to learn, was as important as his swing.

“I never understood that when I get to a certain spot, that’s when I hit it, that’s when I’m good. And now I wiggle my hands a little bit to get to where I want to be. That’s something he helped me realize, and it helped me drive through the ball and hit the ball the other way.”

White Sox baseball: Hackin’ it

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 19, 2010 11:39 am
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Erik takes a look at the 2010 White Sox swing numbers and the numbers are … well, see for yourself!

BTW, here are the 2010 White Sox Plate discipline stats [Fangraphs]

And a quick explanation of the these numbers from the Fangraphs Quick glossary:

O-Swing% – Percentage of pitches a batter swings at outside the strike zone
Z-Swing% – Percentage of pitches a batter swings at inside the strike zone.
Swing% – Total percentage of pitches a batter swings at
O-Contact% – Percentage of times a batter makes contact with the ball when swinging at pitches thrown outside the strike zone
Z-Contact% – Percentage of times a batter makes contact with the ball when swinging at pitches thrown inside the strike zone
Contact% – Total percentage of contact made when swinging at all pitches
Zone% – Percentage of pitches seen inside the strike zone
F-Strike% – First pitch strike percentage

April 18, 2010

Beckham: We are pressing too much – Walker: Put pressure on the pitcher

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 18, 2010 2:14 pm
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Here’s Gordon Beckham:

“I’ve said it for a week now. I think we are really pressing. We really want to win so bad that we are almost hindering ourselves in a certain way.”

And Greg Walker:

“The issue there is putting the pressure on the pitcher,” Walker said. “It almost seems like that in the big situations, all it takes is a flyball or a ground ball even and we are putting the pressure on ourselves. We are the one in trouble instead of the pitcher in trouble.

Well, today’s culprit wasn’t the hitting…

April 17, 2010

For the 563th time: Greg Walker is at the park at 8 in the morning

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 17, 2010 6:12 pm
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Ozzie Guillen comments on the White Sox offensive woes:

“It’s not Greg Walker’s fault. (Bleep) it. I’m not going to fire a guy that has nothing to do with this thing. Look at (Mark) Kotsay, (Omar) Vizquel and (Jayson) Nix, they don’t need a hitting coach. They need to (bleeping) get hits. … Two things I keep saying this and I always do this. As long as my coaches go out there and work and give the guys the information, that’s all you can do. If you have kids — (Dayan) Viciedo, (Jordan) Danks and (Tyler) Flowers — that’s a little different.”

Does Walker start before 9 in the morning?

“Greg Walker is here every day at 8 in the morning watching videos, getting the information. He talks to them about hitting. Juan Pierre (has) 2,000 at-bats or more. (Gordon) Beckham and (Carlos) Quentin, they don’t need a hitting coach. It’s a matter of time when they start hitting. If we have different players, then we need to teach them. Those guys, I don’t think any guy in this lineup needs a teacher or know how to handle the big leagues.”

What can be wrong Ozzie?

“There’s too much freaking information in baseball now. There’s too many (bleeping) guys on the computer. It’s simple. I say that. Pete Rose never watched a computer. Rod Carew never did. All those hitters, they go out and see the ball, hit it and move on.”

Stop staring at the computer dammit!

March 30, 2010

Scouting Jake Peavy

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 30, 2010 8:01 pm
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Gregor:

Here is what one respected scout told me the other day about Jake Peavy, who threw all fastballs during a Cactus League loss vs. the Royals last week:

“He lost confidence in his fastball when he was with the Padres last year. He was just throwing sliders and cutters. They’re both great pitches and he gets a lot of movement with them. But he’s got to get the fastball back.”

March 26, 2010

Joe Cowley plays GM

Cowley says trade Flowers and re-sign AJ. Joe says trade Marquez too. Who will take him?

March 21, 2010

Greg Walker on Mark Teahen

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 21, 2010 9:54 pm
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Gonzales:

“Right now the effort level is too high,” hitting coach Greg Walker said Sunday morning. That was before Teahen headed to the minor league complex to get extra at-bats in an effort to find the stroke that produced a .404 batting average against the Sox last season while playing for the Royals.

“There’s no fluidity to it. Everything is hard. He needs to slow the game down,” Walker continued. “All we’re looking for is the guy who hits to all fields and hits line drives and in gaps and drives in runs. He’s done it before.”

The Sox and Teahen realize two weeks are left before the regular season, but they want more signs of encouragement from their new third baseman, who is hitting .120 in 25 at-bats and hasn’t hit the ball with authority.

“All that matters is that he’s ready to go on Opening Day,” Walker said. “There’s still time. But to accelerate the process, he needs more at-bats.”

March 3, 2010

Lillibridge adjusts his swing with Walker’s help

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 3, 2010 8:49 pm
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Merkin:

Following his extensive offseason work, including two sessions in California with hitting coach Greg Walker, Lillibridge understood how the mindset wasn’t necessarily flawed. It was his swing that held the problem.

“There were a couple of things,” said Lillibridge, explaining his swing struggles. “I had high hands that caused me to have a steep slope to the baseball, swinging down on the baseball versus kind of matching the plane of the baseball.

“You see guys with really long nice swings through the zone, like an Albert Pujols and most of the guys on our team. I lack that. It was in and out and caused all those pop flies. It makes sense that if you are swinging down on the baseball, you are going to have that backspin going straight up.

“Another one was I just stayed way too far on my back leg, which caused a big slope and me not staying through the ball. Once in a blue moon, I would square a ball up, and that’s not good enough to be up here.” …

February 22, 2010

Walker’s probable lineup

Gregor:

Walker’s not sure what the regular lineup is going to look like.

Pierre is going to lead off, likely followed by Gordon Beckham, Quentin and Konerko. Walk said Teahen could hit fifth, likely followed by Rios, A.J. Pierzynski, Ramirez and whoever the DH is that day.

February 19, 2010

Sox front office gets its own TV series

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 19, 2010 2:39 pm
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Premiere is July 4, 7 pm:

MLB Network will be delving deeply into White Sox business during the 2010 season.

Per an announcement made Friday, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, general manager Ken Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen will be featured in “The Club,” an original reality series produced for MLB Network by MLB Productions that will air this summer. This follow-up to “The Pen,” featuring the Phillies bullpen in 2009, will have unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the White Sox front office.

Beginning during Spring Training in Arizona, each episode will focus on the challenges faced both on and off the field by this trio of White Sox leaders. That footage will carry through roster meetings, Opening Day, on the road for away games and up through the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, along with presenting a look at the three men away from the ballpark. Assistant general manager Rick Hahn, pitching coach Don Cooper and hitting coach Greg Walker, personnel who work within the front office, also will be featured. …

January 23, 2010

Soxfest (Day 2) news

Kenny wonders who’s Johnny Damon’s agent. Marc Teahen might wear #23. Bobby Jenks was offered a multi-year deal before he signed his arbitration contract. Kenny on Jordan Danks and Jared Michell: “this is 2010 and we have to win … They got to wait.” Ozzie blamed Kenny for the 2008 team. Jeff Cox: “There’s no ‘i’ in team, but there are 2 in ‘idiot.'” Steve Stone to Greg Walker: “Can you make a guy who can’t hit, hit?” “Um, no.” Rick Hahn: [Gordon] Beckham has changed perception about length of development time. Doug Laumann: [Dayan] Viciedo “a man among boys,” probably will end up @ 1B. Rick Hahn: We’re re-investing in Latin American scouting infrastructure.

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