White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

March 3, 2012

Robin Ventura’s batting order thoughts

Ventura wants:

Chris Sale had a good start in today’s intrasquad game:

Sale said he was mindful during warmups and at the start of the game to not go hard from the onset.“

Just taking it nice and easy and really loosening it up because you have time,” he said. “You’re in no rush. That was nice to go out there and flip some in and start stretching it out and pick it up as it goes.”

Shingo Takatsu, aka Mr. Zero, made an appearance!

And a photo from today’s game. Chris Sale pitches to Alex Rios:

More pictures here.

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:

December 6, 2011

Who will be the Sox closer next year and afterwards?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2011 6:30 pm
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Michael Barr @ FanGraphs:

One guy that many fantasy owners, not to mention White Sox faithful, would like to see handed the job is Addison Reed. Reed, 22, tore through the minor leagues making mincemeat of hitters at every level, Rookie through AAA ball, finishing with a minor league career 1.41 ERA over 108 innings pitched, striking out 155 and walking just 20. He earned a late season call to the majors in September where he threw 7.1 innings, striking out 12 batters and walking one. Reports from his minor league appearances put his fastball in the 94-97 range and that fits with what batters saw in his brief major league stint, averaging 94.9 mph. He has fantastic command and a very good slider, and in terms of just overall stuff, he’s probably the closer of the future and perhaps even the best man for the job in 2012. But it could be that Robin Ventura and company would prefer someone more seasoned, not wanting to throw the kid into the proverbial fire just yet — not to mention the fact that Reed very well could start the season in the minors.

Doug Padilla says it may be Jesse Crain next year.

Sox trade closer Sergio Santos to Toronto for RHP Nestor Molina (video)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2011 12:15 pm
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whitesox.com press release:

The Chicago White have acquired right-handed pitcher Nestor Molina from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for right-handed reliever Sergio Santos.

… The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Molina spent most of the season with Dunedin, going 10-3 with a 2.58 ERA (31 ER/108.1 IP), 16 walks and 115 strikeouts in 21 games (18 starts).  He was named to the Florida State League mid and postseason All-Star Teams.

A native of Valencia, Venezuela, Molina made his final five starts with New Hampshire, where he was 2-0 with a 0.41 ERA (1 ER/22.0 IP), two walks and 33 strikeouts.  He finished the season with a streak of 16.0 consecutive scoreless IP over his final four outings.

Molina is 27-7 with a 2.21 ERA (72 ER/292.2 IP) and 277 strikeouts in 103 games (27 starts) over six seasons in the Blue Jays minor-league system.  He was signed by Toronto as a free agent on April 2, 2006 and spent the 2006-07 seasons as an outfielder/third baseman before being converted to a pitcher. …

Molina’s 2011 stats (full stats on the end):

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2011 22 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-AA TOR 12 3 .800 2.21 26 23 1 0 0 0 130.1 114 39 32 8 16 0 148 1 1 5 512 0.997 7.9 0.6 1.1 10.2 9.25
2011 22 Dunedin FLOR A+ TOR 10 3 .769 2.58 21 18 1 0 0 0 108.1 102 37 31 8 14 0 115 1 0 3 432 1.071 8.5 0.7 1.2 9.6 8.21
2011 22 New Hampshire EL AA TOR 2 0 1.000 0.41 5 5 0 0 0 0 22.0 12 2 1 0 2 0 33 0 1 2 80 0.636 4.9 0.0 0.8 13.5 16.50
A+ (2 seasons) A+ 10 3 .769 2.56 23 18 2 0 0 0 112.2 109 41 32 8 14 0 118 1 0 3 452 1.092 8.7 0.6 1.1 9.4 8.43
AA (1 season) AA 2 0 1.000 0.41 5 5 0 0 0 0 22.0 12 2 1 0 2 0 33 0 1 2 80 0.636 4.9 0.0 0.8 13.5 16.50
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 12/6/2011.

Wow! a 0.0997 WHIP and a 148/16 K/BB ratio!

And minorleaguecentral says Molina did this with a .318 BABIP in 2011!! And a 2.12 FIP!!

John Sickels on Molina last week:

2) Nestor Molina, RHP, Grade B+: Ranking the Blue Jays pitching prospects is quite difficult. Although Molina hasn’t received as much press as some of the other guys, his performance was impeccable, I think his stuff is underrated, and he’ll get to the majors sooner than the others. Despite his season, he is still underrated by a lot of people.

and

Molina [ranking] is both stats and scouting reports. I think the scouting reports that are out there are underrating his stuff. But we will see.

From a Jim Callis chat on Aug. 24, 2011:

Q: What is Nestor Molina’s stuff? He is making double a look very easy.

A: It’s all solid: fastball, slider, changeup, occasional curveball. Not sure you’d call any of his offerings a plus pitch, but he mixes them well and moves the ball around the strike zone. Not the sexiest scouting report, but that’s the type of guy who winds up in the big leagues.

From Kenny Williams’ comments it seems Molina will start 2012 in the minors:

“I would hope that we give him a little bit more seasoning, but he’s got the kind of ability that, there are certain guys that will force his way onto major league rosters. When you look at a young pitcher, you look at what kind of stuff he has, what kind of composure he has, and his ability to command the strike zone, and this guy does it in a way that very few do so. I’m not going to say that he can’t, and he won’t.”

I like the trade from what I hear so far. Molina’s stats are impeccable. And Addison Reed can take over.

And a 9-minute youtube video of Molina:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKNGVIep51I
(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:

November 29, 2011

Are the Sox trying to trade LHRP Matt Thornton? [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 29, 2011 9:35 pm
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MLBTR:

The White Sox have been looking to trade Matt Thornton since July and are still trying to move him, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (on Twitter). Before the 2011 season, the White Sox signed the left-hander to a two-year, $12MM extension that covers the 2012-13 seasons and includes a club option for 2014.

The 35-year-old posted a 3.32 ERA with 9.5 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.45 HR/9 and a 48.8% ground ball rate in 59 2/3 innings this past season. Armed with a fastball that averages 96 mph, Thornton figures to draw interest this offseason, as he did last summer, especially since the free agent market doesn’t feature lefty relievers of his caliber. The Yankees, Blue Jays and Rangers are among the teams that may seek left-handed relief this offseason.

Thornton commented on his brief and unsuccessful trial as a closer last spring:

“Was mine an interim thing? If I had success, I’m sure it wouldn’t have been,” said Thornton of his abbreviated run at closer. “Obviously everyone knows what happened in the games I was in. Things just didn’t go well for me in that role.

“Maybe it was a sign I wasn’t meant to be a closer here. Over the years, I’ve done a good job of filling in as closer, and I believe in myself in that role and think I can get the job done at any given time when they give me the ball in the ninth inning. But the surge of [Chris] Sale this past year, what he did, and how good Sergio was for most of the year, this is the way it worked out.

“It’s one of those things where things weren’t going good for us and I was part of that in the back end of the bullpen,” Thornton said. “They had to make changes at the time. Just the lack of performance was the most frustrating part for me, my inability to have success that I expect myself to have, prepare and dedicate myself to have all offseason long. It’s very frustrating when you let the team down.”

If Thornton is traded, with Chris Sale moving to the starting rotation, the only lefty in the bullpen will be Will Ohman.

UPDATE: Buster Olney in his video blog (1:52) says the Sox are trying to move Carlos Quentin, Gavin Floyd, John Danks, and Matt Thornton.

Other White Sox links:

October 3, 2011

Kenny Williams’ 2012 plan: Let the kids play

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 3, 2011 8:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Does that imply Carlos Quentin is gone? Will Kenny try to get A.J. Pierzynski to waive his 10-and-5 rights, so he can trade him?

Other White Sox links:

October 1, 2011

Will Harold Baines become the new bench coach?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 1, 2011 10:30 pm
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Mark Gonzales:

His [Kenny Williams] revelation that virtually silent but sound coach Harold Baines will play a greater role on the next coaching staff is a step in the right direction.

Or the new hitting coach? I think both positions require more communication though than 1st base coach though.

Other White Sox links:

September 30, 2011

Sox sign RHRP Sergio Santos to 3-year, with 3 one-year options, deal

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 30, 2011 9:00 pm
Tags: ,

Scott Merkin (press release):

[Sergio] Santos, 28, and the White Sox agreed on a three-year, $8.25 million deal, with club options for 2015-17. Under the terms of the agreement, Santos will earn $1 million in 2012, $2.75 million in 2013 and $3.75 million in 2014. The club option for 2015 stands at $6 million, with an $8 million option for 2016 and an $8.75 million option in 2017. If any of the three club options are declined, then Santos receives a $750,000 buyout.

The deal covers Santos’ final pre-arbitration year and the first two arbitration years. The three 1-year options cover the final arbitration year and the first two free-agent years. That’s a very good deal for the Sox. Fangraphs says Sergio was worth $7.3 million this year. Sergio must stay away from Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, and Jake Peavy. Kenny did good.

September 15, 2011

Quitting. Man, where do kids learn such things?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 15, 2011 2:02 pm
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Steve Rosenbloom:

Ozzie Guillen accused White Sox players of quitting, and he meant even before Wednesday’s regularly scheduled choke against Detroit.

Quitting is a serious charge, maybe the worst thing you can say about a player, other than “He’d be a perfect Cub.’’

Quitting. Man, where do kids learn such things?

Perhaps Sox players learned it from their manager who spouted off two weeks ago that he’ll likely quit on next year’s contract unless he gets an extension.

You want players to follow their manager’s lead, but do the Sox want that type of leader — the kind who is with you win or extension? …

That was a funny read!

Other White Sox links:

July 16, 2011

Trying to predict Adam Dunn’s 2nd half rebound

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 16, 2011 2:30 pm
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Zimmerman @ FG:

… The performance of this group of players did jump quite a bit in the 2nd half of the season with the biggest increase coming in the form of power (SLG increases by 0.115 and ISO increasing by 0.086). Using these numbers to predict how the rest of the season would go, Adam Dunn would have a 2nd half triple slash line of 0.198/0.340/0.427. …

BTW, Adam Dunn is felling good. And Jake Peavy agrees: “That looked like you.” Hey you two, get a room!

Other White Sox links: colin takes a close look at Sergio Santos, James speaks with White Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Doug Laumann, Mike says the White Sox have been very boring, FutureSox published their ‘Top 25 Sox prospects’ list, Jake Peavy’s arm is tired and his next start was pushed to Tuesday from Sunday, and Brett Ballantini posts his latest 13-item report card.

July 7, 2011

ESPN says Sergio Santos’ slider is MLB’s top out pitch

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 7, 2011 1:30 pm
Tags:

ESPN Stats & Info:

ESPN’s Stats & Information Group broke down its pitch performance data and looked at strikeouts by pitch type, compared to the number of two-strike pitches thrown with that particular pitch. A good “putaway rate” with a pitch is upwards of 30 percent. The major league average for all pitches is just below 20 percent.  In Santos’ case, he’s thrown the slider 101 times with two strikes this season and netted 47 strikeouts, most recently whiffing Royals rookie Mike Moustakas in the ninth inning on Monday. Santos’ “putaway rate” with the slider is 47 percent (47 divided by 101). …

July 5, 2011

Balk-off!

Bottom of the 9th, A.J. at 3rd, Big Donkey batting, Aaron Crow at the mound:


http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=16613133&c_id=cws (0:54)

Boxscore:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Buehrle 7.0 7 3 3 1 4 1 3.66
Crain 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.56
Santos(BS, 3)(W, 3-3) 1.0 3 1 1 0 1 1 3.07
Totals 9.0 10 4 4 1 5 2 3.79

RE24:A.J. Pierzynski 1.51, Adam Dunn 1.29, Alexei Ramirez -1.39, Alex Rios -1.13.

Sergio was lucky he didn’t give up more dingers though. Pitch F/X shows only 2 sliders:

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) 95.38 96.1 -4.07 9.55 12 10 / 83.33% 0 / 0.00% 1.2934 0.395
CH (Changeup) 88.50 88.7 -8.43 3.72 2 1 / 50.00% 0 / 0.00% -0.0304 0.428
SL (Slider) 84.55 85.2 3.74 -0.43 2 2 / 100.00% 0 / 0.00% -0.2115 0.446
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
9 16 13Adam Dunn, 81.25 16 1.051

Other White Sox links: J.J. explains how Juan Pierre’s 3-game Game-Winning RBI streak can be costly to the Sox, James celebrates getting to .500 (it applies!) and recaps the past week, colin looks at the mystery of Adam Dunn, and Ozzie Guillen gets 2nd place on B-R’s ‘Man, if only they could hit’ leaderboard.

July 1, 2011

Another nasty 1-2-3 inning for Sergio Santos

Nice comeback. Alexei and Juan came through. Sergio and the bullpen shut it down. Crain has been very good this year.

RE24: Juan Pierre 1.58, Alexei Ramirez 1.07, A.J. Pierzynski 0.88, Alex Rios 0.69, Carlos Quentin -2.05, Edwin Jackson (P) -0.75, Brent Lillibridge -0.59, Edwin Jackson -0.55 (H).

Boxscore:

Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Jackson, E(W, 5-6) 6.0 5 4 4 1 5 1 4.24
Bruney(H, 3) 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 3.27
Crain(H, 12) 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2.63
Santos(S, 18) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2.92
Totals 9.0 7 4 4 1 10 1 3.84

At-bat screenshots for Santos from MLB Gameday:

1st batter:

pitch #1: 94mph 4-seam fastball: foul
pitch #2: 84mph slider: foul
pitch #3: 86mph slider: swinging strike

2nd batter:

pitch #1: 95mph 4-seam fastball: strike
pitch #2: 84mph slider: strike
pitch #3: 85mph slider: swinging strike

3rd batter:

pitch #1: 95mph 4-seam fastball: strike
pitch #2: 84mph slider: ground out

The first pitch was a 4-seam fastball all time though.

Pitch F/X for Santos:

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) 94.80 95.3 -2.36 7.57 3 3 / 100.00% 0 / 0.00% -0.1292 0.392
SL (Slider) 84.54 85.7 3.76 -1.99 5 5 / 100.00% 2 / 40.00% -0.7332 0.442
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
9 8 8 100.00 8 -0.862

Pitch F/X for Crain:

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) 94.71 95.3 -1.53 10.19 9 6 / 66.67% 1 / 11.11% -0.5081 0.394
SL (Slider) 85.13 86.3 2.61 0.78 8 6 / 75.00% 3 / 37.50% 0.1163 0.436
CU (Curveball) 72.40 72.4 5.57 -9.71 1 0 / 0.00% 0 / 0.00% 0.0421 0.527
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
8 18 12 66.67 18 -0.350

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
Tags: , , , , , ,

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.

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