White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

July 25, 2011

New York Yankees interested in Matt Thornton?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 25, 2011 11:56 pm
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ESPN:

A major league source said Monday that the Yankees have interest in White Sox left-hander Matt Thornton if Williams starts making moves. Thornton was also said to be of interest to the St. Louis Cardinals in a report on the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

and Gonzales @ CT:

A major league source said the Cardinals remain interested in [Edwin] Jackson, and [Colby] Rasmus is receiving interest from two American League East teams.

UPDATE: Other White Sox links: Mike looks at the Edwin Jackson/Matt Thornton for Colby Rasmus trade rumor, James recaps the past week and comments on many more things, J.J. looks at some spring training game-worn jerseys, and Brett Ballantini calculates the Sox player values for the past 10 days.

Kenny Williams talks about the Colby Rasmus rumors and more

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 25, 2011 10:15 pm
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Reifert @ ITWS:

Q:  On the Colby Rasmus rumors:

A: “I’m not going to get into who we’re talking to or what sort of deals are out there for us, but that, as reported, is incorrect.  Here’s the deal: you can virtually speak to most of the teams with impact players at any given time where there’s any kind of trade talk, and you can put us in a room because we are constantly, aggressively asking how we can acquire an impact player to help our situation.  It’s easy to get it wrong, too.  Generally, the things you’re hearing in public too loudly, don’t usually happen for us.  Seems like the things that we’re able to get done, we get done and make the announcement.”

Brett Ballantini tweets the translation:

Ken Williams translation key: When KW adds the “as reported” into his denials, the mettle of the rumor is true.

Maybe the Thornton part is incorrect? :-)

UPDATE: Video from CSN (1:46).

July 24, 2011

Edwin Jackson and Matt Thornton plus minor leaguers to St. Louis for Colby Rasmus?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 24, 2011 3:00 pm
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Strauss @ SPD:

Publicly insistent that they are not seeking a destination for center fielder Colby Rasmus, the Cardinals have made the struggling 24-year-old talent available for the right deal with the Chicago White Sox, according to several sources familiar with the situation.

… Negotiations with White Sox general manager Kenny Williams have accelerated in recent days, according to sources, with the Sox able to dangle pending free agent pitcher Edwin Jackson or high-salary lefthanded reliever Matt Thornton.

Talks also hinge on minor-league or cost-controlled talent the White Sox could include in a deal and, according to a source, a third team may be sought to facilitate a trade.

Dammit Kenny. That’s too much. Rasmus had a good year last year due to a high-BABIP. He hit .276/.361/.498/.859 with a .356 BABIP. He had the 7th highest BABIP-xBABIP difference in baseball (chart)! This year when his BABIP is down to a normal .286, his batting line is down to .241/.327/.402/.730. And why give away Thornton too and weaken the bullpen? When Chris Sale goes to the rotation next year, the bullpen will be 2 lefties down. And I don’t see any good, not even adequate, lefties in the minors (starters or relievers).

UPDATE: Oh, I forgot Hector Santiago and his new screwball. He MIGHT be an option.

BTW,

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.

May 23, 2011

Matt Thornton modifies his slider

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 23, 2011 11:01 pm
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Schouwen @ CST:

Thornton has modified his slider, going back to a harder, true 88-91 mph slider as opposed to the slower, more curvy second pitch he used to throw. He got a big strikeout with it against Oakland’s David DeJesus,, but his bread-and-butter pitch is still a 96-97 mph fastball.”It has a late cut when it’s right,” Thornton said. “Just a touch of cut where I get jams and broken bats. Hitters see a fastball coming in and they’re geared up for a mid-90s fastball and it cuts at the end. It’s a pretty tough pitch to handle.”

Other White Sox links: J.J. looks on Alexei Ramirez’s improvement, James recaps the past week, and Gordon Beckham feels good about his swing.

April 26, 2011

Gavin Floyd struck out 10 and walked 1 tonight

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 26, 2011 10:50 pm
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Boxscore:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Floyd, G(W, 3-1) 8.0 4 2 2 1 10 2 3.60
Thornton(H, 1) 0.1 0 0 0 1 0 0 6.43
Santos(S, 2) 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Totals 9.0 4 2 2 2 10 2 4.14

Floyd’s curveball was awesome tonight:

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) 90.60 92.5 -5.03 9.16 35 22 / 62.86% 4 / 11.43% -0.1221 0.415
CH (Changeup) 83.80 85.3 -6.57 8.60 7 2 / 28.57% 0 / 0.00% 0.1175 0.450
CU (Curveball) 77.60 79.4 9.01 -5.58 31 20 / 64.52% 5 / 16.13% -1.9682 0.488
FC (Cutter) 84.44 86.9 0.37 4.71 25 20 / 80.00% 6 / 24.00% -0.8447 0.444
FT (TwoSeam Fastball) 90.38 91.5 -9.50 8.12 4 2 / 50.00% 0 / 0.00% -0.0197 0.414
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 14 8 57.14 14 -0.862
2 12 9 75.00 26 0.596
3 15 8 53.33 41 -0.547
4 12 7 58.33 53 -0.834
5 10 6 60.00 63 0.596
6 9 7 77.78 72 -0.575
7 17 10 58.82 89 -0.862
8 10 8 80.00 99 -0.848
9 3 3 100.00 102 0.498

Matt Thornton, and Sergio Santos inside:

(more…)

April 22, 2011

Carlos Quentin: now OPSing 1.121 (video) [UPDATE]

Video: HR #1 (0:54), HR #2 (0:52). Dr. Fishbein is doing an awesome job!

BTW, here are some BABIPs from statcorner:

Gordon Beckham: .237
Adam Dunn: .250
Brent Morel: .250
A.J. Pierzynski: .250
Alexei Ramirez: .241
Alex Rios: .213

Edwin Jackson: .342
Jesse Crain: .200
Will Ohman: .348
Chris Sale: .346
Sergio Santos: .250
Matt Thornton: .400

(more…)

April 15, 2011

The Santos rules? What Santos rules?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 15, 2011 9:08 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

Sergio Santos has become the popular choice to become the White Sox closer, pitching scoreless baseball since the start of Spring Training. Even with his 96 mph fastball, slider and changeup developing quickly, that job never would have been a thought in 2010 when Santos was making the big league transformation from infielder to pitcher.

Last-season restrictions such as keeping Santos to one inning per outing, which happened every appearance but two through June, and restricting his back-to-back work have been removed. The White Sox view him as a prime reliever, not a talented project.

“Just be prepared for anything, that was the message they got to us,” Santos said. “[Matt] Thornton was our closer, but be prepared for the seventh or eighth, back-to-back, two innings.

April 14, 2011

JJ takes a look on Matt Thornton’s struggles

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 14, 2011 11:42 pm
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Stankevitz @ BL:

While some of Matt Thornton’s early-season struggles have been due to bad luck, command issues have plagued him as well. …

Terrific article. James pointed to Thornton’s command too.:

His control hasn’t been up to his usual standard, his fastball maxing out at 95.6 mph isn’t up to his usual standard, has struck out on 2 batters in 3.1 innings, and he gave a go-ahead 3-run HR to Rays 1st basemen Dan Johnson, who was perhaps the only player having a worst start to the season than Rays RF Matt Joyce.

Fangraphs’s Chris Cwik has a post on the White Sox bullpen struggles too:

Despite his early troubles, Thornton has gotten consistent support from his manager. Guillen also likely realizes that Thornton is his best pitcher, and that he should be able to rebound rather quickly. For now, the frustration with the pen is at a high point and Guillen is likely to ride the hot hand. Could that include Tony Pena? Maybe, but it’s not likely. Once Thornton returns to form, he should return to the closer role.

March 24, 2011

A.J. Pierzynski, Matt Thornton, and Chris Sale, are ‘all in’ [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 24, 2011 11:30 pm
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http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=13260195&topic_id=16598450&c_id=cws (0:30)

UPDATE: Here’s the ‘Behind the scenes’ video (1:42).

March 21, 2011

The bullpen will be flexible says Matt Thornton

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 21, 2011 2:45 am
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Gonzales @ CT:

Left-hander Matt Thornton accepted his appointment as the Chicago White Sox’s closer in stride, adding he was ready for any changes during the regular season.

“(Manager Ozzie Guillen) said, ‘Look, you’re our guy to start the season,’ ” Thornton said. ” ‘And if you throw back-to-back days and we got a run of big righties coming up, we’ll probably go with someone else in that situation.’ Obviously, at the same time, if a closer throws back-to-back games early in the year, more than likely you’re going to give him that third day off. I’m looking forward to the opportunity and the challenge of being the ninth-inning guy.”

March 19, 2011

Matt Thornton named White Sox closer

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 19, 2011 10:00 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

A good percent of the time, he will be the guy,” said Guillen of Thornton, who won the closer’s job over rookie Chris Sale. “In my opinion, with Sale, we [would] have to put a lot of things on his shoulders, not because this kid pitched well last season, but we would put a lot of pressure on him to be the closer.

“Matt Thornton earned it. We have a lot of confidence. He is the guy I think can do the job better.”

Hopefully this doesn’t mean much, good percent sounds good, and Kenny’s bullpen flexibility theory prevails.

UPDATE: Padilla @ ESPN:

Guillen did give himself some wiggle room, though, to make a change later in the season.

“I talked to Thornton and I said he would get more than the chance to be the closer,” Guillen said. “Obviously when you’re closing, I talked to him about it, a good percent of the time, he will be the guy.”

March 6, 2011

White Sox sign LHRP Matt Thornton to 2 year extension

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 6, 2011 8:00 pm
Tags:

whitesox.com:

The Chicago White Sox and All-Star relief pitcher Matt Thornton have agreed to terms on a two-year, $12-million contract extension which includes a club option for the 2014 season.

Under terms of the deal, the left-handed Thornton will receive $5.5 million each in 2012 and 2013. The White Sox hold a $6-million option for the 2014 season, which includes a $1-million buyout. Thornton, 34, will earn a base salary of $3 million in 2011 as per the terms of the three-year contract extension (with club options for 2010-11) he signed with the Sox on April 1, 2007. …

UPDATE: JJ writes Thornton’s extension is good but not without risk.

February 17, 2011

Kenny Williams wants flexibility in the bullpen roles

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 17, 2011 7:26 pm
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Kenny Williams doesn’t want relievers to be tied to a specific point in games (like on the last 3 outs):

Manager Ozzie Guillen didn’t specify if Sale would become the White Sox closer or be used in a setup role. For Williams, late-inning relief is all about getting important outs. So, if Matt Thornton is chosen as the closer but is needed in the eighth, then the roles will have to be adjusted.

“It’s a great scenario if Matt Thornton is the guy because of what he has been doing for the White Sox,” Guillen said. “Sale has great stuff to be the closer. A couple of guys out there have closed before. Right now, it’s too early for me to say whether this guy is going to be the closer or not.”

UPDATE: Gonzo has a quote from Kenny:

“Sometimes that means in seventh inning if Moreau and Mauer are coming up, maybe the guy you have tabbed as your ‘closer’ is better for that situation versus the ninth, when you have the No. 9-1-2 or 8-9-1 (hitters) coming up,” Williams explained. “Right now, we have a situation where people have earned right to pitch the last inning or last couple of innings. Fortunately we have some candidates.”

Kenny Williams says Chris Sale goes to the bullpen [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 17, 2011 2:45 pm
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Chuck Garfien @ CSN tweets:

Kenny Williams makes it official. Chris Sale will start the season in the bullpen.

other Garfien tweets:

KW wants three lefties in the bullpen to go after the tough lefty hitters in the Central division.

Ozzie says that he’d prefer that Thornton be the Sox closer, but will take his time to make a decision.

Peavy threw 40 pitches off the mound. Said he felt “free and easy.” Good first day.

Until Peavy is ready, Sox will fill gap with off days and a couple possible candidates. Ozzie forgets their names.

Merkin says their names are Phil Humber, Charlie Leesman, Jeff Gray or Lucas Harrell.

BTW, now we know the answer to the previous post, Did Kenny Williams change Don Cooper’s mind on Chris Sale? No, he didn’t.

UPDATE: Merkin expands on the bullpen-starter decision:

The 22-year-old rookie had been in discussions as a possible temporary replacement for Jake Peavy in the fifth starter’s spot, assuming Peavy’s road to full recovery from season-ending surgery to repair a torn latissimus dorsi muscle in his right shoulder doesn’t lead him to Opening Day. But during organization meetings involving the White Sox front office and coaching staff held Thursday morning, it was decided the White Sox were best armed with Sale as a full-time reliever on the heels of his stellar 1.93 ERA posted out of the bullpen in 2010.

That decision won’t alter the White Sox decision to use Sale as a starter in Cactus League action, a plan Williams believes will be best-served for the southpaw’s overall development.

“This is very important because I had to explain this to my coaching staff as well,” Williams said. “The reason I had Chris Sale prepare as a starter is because that’s what he has done his whole life.

“So if you now tell him to prepare differently, might you not see the guy you last saw in September? We want him to prepare as he did so we can expect the same guy to show up. That means using all of his pitches and building him up as a starter.

“He has shown he can transfer that to a relief role,” Williams said. “Had we said he’s going to be a reliever from Day 1, might he prepare as a reliever and not build his arm up and legs up? We want him to be the best guy we just saw.”

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