White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

April 9, 2012

Chris Sale strikes out 5 and walks 2 in his 1st major league start

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 9, 2012 9:00 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Boxscore:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Sale(W, 1-0) 6.2 3 1 1 2 5 0 1.35
Reed(H, 1) 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Thornton(H, 1) 0.2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Santiago, H(S, 2) 1.0 1 1 1 0 2 1 4.50
Totals 9.0 5 2 2 2 7 1 3.18

Pitches-strikes: Sale 100-60, Reed 12-7, Thornton 7-5, Santiago, H 24-15.
Groundouts-flyouts: Sale 9-3, Reed 1-1, Thornton 2-0, Santiago, H 0-1.
Batters faced: Sale 25, Reed 3, Thornton 3, Santiago, H 4.

Pitch F/X for Chris Sale:

Pitch Statistics
Pitch Type Avg Speed Max Speed Avg H-Break Avg V-Break Count Strikes / % Swinging Strikes / % Linear Weights Time to Plate
FA (Fastball) 90.22 92 12.15 3.21 23 16 / 69.57% 1 / 4.35% -1.3461 0.411
FF (FourSeam Fastball) 92.85 94.8 11.47 4.56 14 6 / 42.86% 0 / 0.00% -0.2536 0.398
CH (Changeup) 83.81 86.5 12.38 3.61 12 7 / 58.33% 1 / 8.33% -0.6511 0.445
SL (Slider) 80.20 82.3 -2.70 -1.78 31 16 / 51.61% 4 / 12.90% -0.4366 0.465
FT (TwoSeam Fastball) 94.26 95.4 11.15 5.95 20 15 / 75.00% 2 / 10.00% -0.6952 0.396
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 18 8 44.44 18 -0.518
2 20 12 60.00 38 -0.048
3 14 9 64.29 52 -0.848
4 7 6 85.71 59 -0.848
5 11 7 63.64 70 -0.834
6 23 14 60.87 93 -0.004
7 7 4 57.14 100 -0.283

Very impressive stuff! If Sale remains healthy, the sky is the limit!

UPDATE: More on Sale’s starting debut: James @ WSO, JJ @ CSN, Fornelli @ SSA, Jack Moore @ Fangraphs /UPDATE

More Pitch F/X inside

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April 8, 2012

Hector Santiago’s magical screwball

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 8, 2012 8:30 pm
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Chuck Garfien:

The solution for Santiago was to learn how to throw a screwball, a deceptive and difficult pitch to master which breaks in the opposite direction of a curveball. Thrown by a lefty like Santiago, it goes from right to left, moving down and in on a left-handed batter, and down and away to a right-hander. Thrown properly, the ball can move as much as two feet.

Christy Mathewson was the first prominent pitcher to use the screwball in the early 1900’s. Carl Hubbell threw it in the 1934 All-Star Game when he famously struck out five future Hall of Famers in a row: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin.

Fernando Venezuela and Tug McGraw later made careers hurling the screwball. However, in the last 25 years, it’s almost become a dinosaur — pretty much extinct from the game.

Why? …

April 6, 2012

Closer by matchup?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 6, 2012 3:30 pm
Tags: , , , ,

JJ Stankevitz:

Robin Ventura hasn’t named a closer, although that may just be a formality — it looks like the White Sox manager will use multiple pitchers in the ninth inning based on matchups:

Given the Sox don’t have anyone with extensive closer experience at the MLB level, this is a refreshing strategy. It’ll allow Ventura to ease Addison Reed into save situations by using him in low or medium-leverage save spots (like a two or three-run lead). And it’ll allow Ventura to pick and choose when to use Matt Thornton, hopefully in the highest-leverage situation (be it the seventh, eighth or ninth inning).

UPDATE: Scott Merkin:

On Thursday’s workout day, pitching coach Don Cooper said there would be no closer by committee. But before Friday’s setback, Ventura said that matchups could determine who actually pitches the ninth.

“At some point, it’s not going to be the same guy all the time,” Ventura said. “And not necessarily you think ahead as a bullpen committee, but a guy coming in the ninth, it will end up being different at some points of the season. Yeah, depending on how guys do versus certain teams and matchups. If we had Mariano Rivera, I’d be able to tell everyone I have a closer.”

That’s awesome! I love it!

April 4, 2012

Pitch F/X for Chris Sale and other Sox pitchers from yesterday’s game

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 4, 2012 9:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Boxscore:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Sale(W, 2-1) 4.0 3 1 1 2 6 0 4.18
Jones, N(H, 1) 1.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 1.54
Reed(H, 4) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.45
Crain(H, 2) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.00
Thornton(H, 1) 1.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2.08
Santiago, H 1.0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0.82
Totals 9.0 7 1 1 4 10 0 5.60

Pitches-strikes: Sale 62-37, Jones, N 21-12, Reed 9-7, Crain 14-8, Thornton 13-7, Santiago, H 22-14.
Groundouts-flyouts: Sale 2-0, Jones, N 0-0, Reed 1-0, Crain 0-1, Thornton 2-1, Santiago, H 1-0.
Batters faced: Sale 14, Jones, N 4, Reed 3, Crain 3, Thornton 5, Santiago.

Pitch F/X for Chris Sale:

Pitch Statistics
Pitch Type Avg Speed Max Speed Avg H-Break Avg V-Break Count Strikes / % Swinging Strikes / % Linear Weights Time to Plate
FA (Fastball) 90.90 90.9 12.81 2.09 1 1 / 100.00% 1 / 100.00% -0.0753 0.413
FF (FourSeam Fastball) 91.17 92.5 14.83 2.76 3 2 / 66.67% 0 / 0.00% 0.0296 0.414
CH (Changeup) 84.29 85.9 13.81 1.83 11 6 / 54.55% 2 / 18.18% -0.5692 0.452
SL (Slider) 80.78 82.4 -3.52 -3.13 19 12 / 63.16% 4 / 21.05% -1.0619 0.472
FT (TwoSeam Fastball) 93.99 95.8 13.37 4.88 28 16 / 57.14% 0 / 0.00% 0.7132 0.403
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 25 14 56.00 25 0.925
2 12 9 75.00 37 -0.862
3 11 7 63.64 48 -0.757
4 14 7 50.00 62 -0.269

Graphs for Chris Sale:

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April 3, 2012

White Sox @ Astros @ 7:05 pm CT; game on CSN-TV

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 3, 2012 7:00 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Watch live on CSN-TV as Chris Sale gets the start in the first of two exhibition games vs. the Astros at Minute Maid Park today at 7:05 p.m. CT. Four closing candidates are also scheduled to pitch, including Addison Reed, Matt Thornton, Hector Santiago, and Jesse Crain, as well as rookie reliever Nate Jones.  Boxscore | Gameday

The game is, also, carried live on MLB.TV’s free game of the day and Gameday Audio.

April 1, 2012

White Sox @ Reds @ 3:05 pm CT; game on CSN-TV

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 1, 2012 12:15 pm
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Watch live on CSN-TV as Jake Peavy takes the hill when the Sox are hosted by the Reds today at 3:05 p.m. CT. Look for the right-hander to throw fewer innings and fewer pitches in comparison to his Minor League start this past Tuesday (3 innings and/or 70 pitches), giving Zach Stewart ample time and opportunity to work two or three innings in relief, with Addison Reed, Matt Thornton and Hector Santiago also scheduled to throw. The White Sox are expected to throw out their everyday lineup, with the exception of Kosuke Fukudome in right instead of Alex Rios. Gameday | Boxscore

March 31, 2012

White Sox set their 25-man roster

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 31, 2012 10:05 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Scott Merkin:

The White Sox set their 25-man roster on Saturday morning by optioning right-handed pitcher Dylan Axelrod to Triple-A Charlotte and reassigning RHP Brian Bruney, C Hector Gimenez, INF Rey Olmedo, LHP Leyson Septimo and LHP Eric Stults to Minor League camp.

With those moves, the White Sox have 12 pitches, two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders set to break camp. Eduardo Escobar was selected as the final position player, as expected, while Zach Stewart and Nate Jones round out the seven-man bullpen.

In that relief crew, the White Sox have four players with 70 days of big-league experience or less and three in Addison Reed, Jones and Hector Santiago, with 30 days or less. General manager Ken Williams said Saturday that he knew two weeks ago Jones and his fastball in the high 90s would make the team.

Here’s the Sox 25-man (Active) roster.

And here are Kenny Williams’ comments on today’s roster decisions.

BTW, Nate Jones was working on his changeup yesterday:

Jones added a cutter/slider to his repertoire last season and has worked on his changeup over the past six weeks. He showed that change during his one inning of work Friday against the Royals, bouncing back from walking the first two hitters he faced to pitch a scoreless inning

Here are the Pitch-F/X readings for Jones’ appearance yesterday.

March 29, 2012

White Sox @ Dodgers @ 3:05 pm CT; game on CSN-TV [UPDATE]

Watch live on CSN-TV as Chris Sale takes the hill as the Sox are hosted by the Dodgers today at 3:05 p.m. CT. Rookie closing candidates Addison Reed and Hector Santiago will be throwing their second game in back-to-back appearances, while Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain also are scheduled to pitch. Brent Lillibridge will be at 1st base. Gameday | Boxscore

UPDATE: It was the Chris Sale show baby! 7 striKeouts (3 of them were against Matt Kemp) and 0 walks in 6 innings. And Spring Training strikeouts and walks matter.

March 19, 2012

Hector Santiago, starting pitcher?

Scott Merkin:

[Hector] Santiago, 24, entered Tuesday’s scheduled off-day for the White Sox as a veritable lock to break camp as one of the team’s seven relievers. He threw a scoreless inning against the Reds during Monday’s 1-0 loss at Camelback Ranch, giving him six without allowing a run this spring, while striking out six.

And the screwball has played a major part in this success.

… After being selected in the 30th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Santiago made 129 of his first 130 appearances out of the bullpen for Bristol, Class A Kannapolis and Class A Winston-Salem. He started 23 games for Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham in 2011, before pitching 5 1/3 scoreless innings in relief for the White Sox, giving up just one hit.

His impressive debut with the White Sox and continued success in Spring Training has caught the eye of the higher-ups in the organization.

“You know, we may take a [Chris] Sale approach with him,” said White Sox general manager Ken Williams of Santiago, who also could work as a late-inning left-hander. “We might keep him in the bullpen and then look to start him down the line.”

Speaking of pitches, Jake Petricka wants to continue developing his breaking stuff:

The harshest critic of Jake Petricka is … Jake Petricka.

Armed with a mid-90 mph fastball that most deem to be a “plus” offering — scouting jargon for beyond big league average — the White Sox’s No. 5 prospect shrugged and said he believed it to be only average. OK, he relented, maybe slightly above average.

Despite receiving an invitation to Chicago’s Major League camp this spring, it’s clear the 23-year-old right-hander is wary of becoming a one-pitch pitcher destined for the bullpen. He’s intent on improving his secondary pitches — a changeup and a slider — necessary ingredients for a future in the rotation.

Petricka finished 2011 in Class A Advanced Winston-Salem’s starting rotation. He went 7-8 with a 3.65 ERA over a career-high 113 1/3 innings across three lower levels before working exclusively as a reliever in the Arizona Fall League. Impressing others, if not himself, in either role this month likely would lead to a spot with Double-A Birmingham.

MiLB.com asked Petricka to describe and grade each of the three pitches he employs, fastball included. (His grade is based on a scout’s traditional 20-80 scale, 50 being Major League average.) Here is Petricka, in his own words:

Other White Sox links:

White Sox vs. Reds @ 3:05 pm CT; free webcast [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 19, 2012 1:15 pm
Tags: , , ,

Watch webcast of Sale’s next rotation turn vs. Reds

Watch a free exclusive video webcast of left-hander Chris Sale and the White Sox in action today against the Reds at Camelback Ranch at 3:05 p.m. CT. Watch webcastGameday | Boxscore

UPDATE: It was the Chris Sale, Addison Reed, and Hector Santiago show:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Sale 6.0 2 0 0 0 6 0 5.40
Reed 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.69
Santiago, H 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Bruney(L, 1-1) 1.0 2 1 1 1 0 0 1.50
Totals 9.0 4 1 1 1 9 0 5.14

It’s still Spring Training though…

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:

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February 9, 2012

MLB.com’s 2012 Top 20 White Sox Prospects

Jonathan Mayo:

1. Addison Reed, RHP (video)
2. Nestor Molina, RHP (video)
3. Trayce Thompson, OF (video)
4. Eduardo Escobar, SS (video)
5. Jacob Petricka, RHP (video)
6. Erik Johnson, RHP (video)
7. Keenyn Walker, OF (video)
8. Simon Castro, RHP (video)
9. Tyler Saladino, SS (video)
10. Jhan Marinez, RHP (video)
11. Marcus Semien, SS (video)
12. Nate Jones, RHP (video)
13. Hector Santiago, LHP (video)
14. Charlie Leesman, LHP (video)
15. Kevan Smith, C (video)
16. Andy Wilkins, 1B (video)
17. Michael Blanke, C (video)
18. Scott Snodgress, LHP (video)
19. Jose Quintana, LHP (video)
20. Josh Phegley, C (video)

No Dylan Axelrod, Jared Mitchell, Andre Rienzo, Gregory Infante, Jeff Soptic, Rangel Ravelo on the list.

January 27, 2012

FutureSox’s 2012 Preseason Top 25 White Sox Prospects

Matt Cassidy:

1. Nestor Molina, RHP     [NEW]
2. Addison Reed, RHP     [Previous Rank: 2nd, no change]
3. Simon Castro, RHP     [NEW]
4. Tyler Saladino, SS     [Previous: 9th, +5]
5. Trayce Thompson, OF     [Previous: 3rd, -2]
6. Jacob Petricka, RHP     [Previous: 4th, -2]
7. Hector Santiago, LHP     [Previous: 16th, +9]
8. Keenyn Walker, OF     [Previous: 7th, -1]
9. Eduardo Escobar, SS     [Previous: 6th, -3]
10. Dylan Axelrod, RHP     [Previous: 19th, +9]
11. Jared Mitchell, OF     [Previous: 5th, -6]
12. Andre Rienzo, RHP     [Previous: 11th, -1]
13. Jhan Marinez, RHP     [NEW]
14. Gregory Infante, RHP     [Previous: 14th, no change]
15. Erik Johnson, RHP     [Previous: 17th, +2]
16. Charlie Leesman, LHP     [Previous: 15th, -1]
17. Pedro Hernandez, LHP     [NEW]
18. Andy Wilkins, 1B     [Previous: 13th, -5]
19. Scott Snodgress, LHP     [Previous: UNR]
20. Brandon Short, OF     [Previous: 12th, -8]
21. Jeff Soptic, RHP     [Previous: UNR]
22. Kevan Smith, C     [Previous: 24th, +2]
23. Ozzie Martinez, SS/2B     [NEW]
24. Ryan Buch, RHP     [Previous: 18th, -6]
25. Michael Blanke, C     [Previous: 32nd*, +7]

January 20, 2012

John Sickels updates his ‘Top 20 White Sox prospects for 2012′ list

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 20, 2012 7:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

John Sickels updated his ‘Top 20 White Sox prospects for 2012′ list. #1 and #2 were interchanged and Simon Castro was added at #4:

1) Addison Reed, RHP, Grade B+: The best closer prospect in baseball thanks to superior command of 93-97 MPH fastball and devastating slider. One of my favorite prospects.

2) Nestor Molina, RHP, Grade B+: Acquired from the Blue Jays for Sergio Santos, and immediately became Chicago’s first or second-best prospect. I think he can remain a starter. Molina was a big topic of discussion earlier this winter. I like him a lot.

4) Simon Castro, RHP, Grade C+: Acquired from the Padres for Carlos Quentin. Live fastball, but secondary pitches went backwards last year and will need to rebound if he wants to stay a starter. The change of scenery could help him.

…We’ll start with the good stuff first. Both Nestor Molina and Addison Reed are personal favorites. I originally had Molina one spot ahead because I think he can start. Of course, I think Reed could probably start too, but given how well he pitched last year I can understand their desire to keep him in the bullpen. He should be ready to close sometime in 2012, perhaps out of spring training. I went back and forth on this but in the end I ranked Reed slightly ahead.

BTW, here’s the original list:

1) Nestor Molina, RHP, Grade B+: Acquired from the Blue Jays for Sergio Santos, and immediately became Chicago’s first or second-best prospect. I think he can remain a starter. Molina was a big topic of discussion earlier this month.

2) Addison Reed, RHP, Grade B+: The best closer prospect in baseball thanks to superior command of 93-97 MPH fastball and devastating slider. You can make a case to rank him ahead of Molina, if you think Molina will be a reliever.

3) Tyler Saladino, SS, Grade C+: 2010 seventh round pick out of Oral Roberts developed from draft sleeper into solid prospect. Good power for a middle infielder, and has some idea about the strike zone, scouts like his work ethic. Main issue now is if he can stick at shortstop, and I think he has a decent chance to do so.

4) Trayce Thompson, OF, Grade C+: Highest-ceiling bat in system, tapping into his power now and making good progress on defense. Kills lefties but has serious contact problems against right-handed pitching. Struck out 172 times while repeating Low-A. Has the tools to be a star slugger but also carries a high risk of failure.

5) Hector Santiago, LHP, Grade C+: Came out of nowhere to reach the majors (briefly) in 2011 thanks to development of a new screwball to go with 90-95 MPH fastball. Third pitch still needs work and it is unclear if he starts or relieves in the long run, although recent rumors indicate the Sox will continue to start him. Projects as number three/four starter if third pitch develops, or a power relief arm.

Hopefully Coop will help Castro with his secondary pitches in Spring Training.

December 29, 2011

John Sickels’ Top 20 White Sox prospects for 2012

John Sickels:

1) Nestor Molina, RHP, Grade B+: Acquired from the Blue Jays for Sergio Santos, and immediately became Chicago’s first or second-best prospect. I think he can remain a starter. Molina was a big topic of discussion earlier this month.

2) Addison Reed, RHP, Grade B+: The best closer prospect in baseball thanks to superior command of 93-97 MPH fastball and devastating slider. You can make a case to rank him ahead of Molina, if you think Molina will be a reliever.

3) Tyler Saladino, SS, Grade C+: 2010 seventh round pick out of Oral Roberts developed from draft sleeper into solid prospect. Good power for a middle infielder, and has some idea about the strike zone, scouts like his work ethic. Main issue now is if he can stick at shortstop, and I think he has a decent chance to do so.

4) Trayce Thompson, OF, Grade C+: Highest-ceiling bat in system, tapping into his power now and making good progress on defense. Kills lefties but has serious contact problems against right-handed pitching. Struck out 172 times while repeating Low-A. Has the tools to be a star slugger but also carries a high risk of failure.

5) Hector Santiago, LHP, Grade C+: Came out of nowhere to reach the majors (briefly) in 2011 thanks to development of a new screwball to go with 90-95 MPH fastball. Third pitch still needs work and it is unclear if he starts or relieves in the long run, although recent rumors indicate the Sox will continue to start him. Projects as number three/four starter if third pitch develops, or a power relief arm.

The best closer prospect in baseball” comment helps explain Sergio Santos’ trade.

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