White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

July 9, 2009

Country boy Steven Upchurch and his mind-bending change-up

Filed under: Chicago White Sox,MiLB — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 11:17 pm
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As a second-year player with the Bristol White Sox in the short-season Appalachian League, Upchurch is hoping to earn a promotion to the Kannapolis Intimidators in the Low Class A South Atlantic League. With a solid five-inning performance Thursday against the Burlington Royals, Upchurch moved another step closer to his goal. Relying on a mind-bending change-up, the 6-foot-5 right-hander allowed just five hits and struck out four in a 2-0 loss to the Royals.

“The only thing that’s keeping me down in rookie ball is commanding the fastball and hitting my spots,” Upchurch said. “That’s what I had to show my coaches today. I can pretty much get anybody out with my changeup, and my slider is looking good.”

Chris Getz looking for hitting advice (UPDATE)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 9:02 pm
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If there’s something weird and it don’t look good who you gonna call? Scott Podsednik!

Getz credited some changes in his batting style that led to the first four-hit game of his career.

“I had become kind of one dimensional with my approach, and I opened it up. I talked to [Scott] Podsednik about what he’s trying to do — stay inside the ball — and I’m trying to work on a little bit of a different approach, similar to his.

Scott Podsednik? For sure?


Ozzie Guillen’s spy in Charlotte briefs him on Carlos Quentin

Filed under: Chicago White Sox,MiLB — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 7:56 pm
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What do you hear Ozzie?

”I don’t see him being here pretty soon. Maybe after the All-Star break, that’s my opinion. Some players, when they go to play in the minors, they can’t wait to get out of there. But we aren’t going to make that mistake again. We have to make sure he’s ready to help us here. We try to do the best we can to get him off the field a little bit. He won’t come back here 100 percent. I talked to a couple of people down in the minor leagues. He’s not running full speed right now. I want him to test his foot before he comes here.”

About the spy. Is he a retired CIA guy?

”Oney told me, ‘I don’t think he can run right now, Dad. He can be honest. He knows what I need. He said he swings the bat well. Right now, he said he doesn’t see him pushing hard enough to be up here.”

Paging Buddy Bell…

Ozzie Guillen doesn’t know what to do with Clayton Richard (UPDATE)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 7:47 pm
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Mark Gonzales:

“I don’t know,” manager Ozzie Guillen said on whether the Sox could remain patient with Richard, who lasted one-plus inning and has failed to pitch at least six innings in seven of his past eight starts. “We don’t have any other choice right now.”

Colon updates also at the link.


It’s my party and I’ll tweet if I want to

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 6:57 pm

The man won’t let Chad tweet!

Kenny on his attendance comments

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 6:48 pm
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Kenny on his ‘the attendance at Sox games is lower than we estimated’ comments:

”I don’t give a damn what people are saying,” Williams said when asked about the fallout from Tuesday’s comments. ”I was asked a question, and I gave an honest answer, as people have grown to understand. I’m not going to b.s. anybody. When I tell you I think we can compete, it means I think we can compete. When I tell you I think we’re in trouble, it means we’re in trouble. When I tell you we have resources and are going down an aggressive road, I mean exactly that. What I mean now is that we have to take a step back and survey the landscape. It’s no different than what you have to or anybody has to do in their own households to make ends meet.”

I like that

BA: No Evidence that Aroldis Chapman Is 26

Filed under: MLB — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 6:07 pm
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BA’s J.J. Cooper says “none of the scouts we talked to thought [Aroldis] Chapman was 26 and there wasn’t any report anywhere we could find that said anything of the sort.”

Greg Walker approves of this Gordon Beckham guy

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 5:51 pm
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Paul Ladewski:

Barely more than a month into his rookie season, it’s much too early to make career predictions for 22-year-old Gordon Beckham, the White Sox third baseman. But hitting coach Greg Walker already sees more than a faint resemblance to Michael Young, the Texas Rangers third baseman and one-time American League batting champion.

“In body type, natural talent and position, they’re similar,” Walker said before the game Wednesday against Cleveland. “Their swings are a bit different, but there are a lot of things that are alike about them. …

Poreda not stretched out

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 5:36 pm
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Scot Gregor:

Over his last 5 starts, Richard has pitched 18 innings and given up 21 earned runs on 28 hits and 6 walks.

Rookie left-hander Aaron Poreda is anxious to move from the White Sox’ bullpen to the rotation. Poreda’s not stretched out enough to start right now, according to the Sox, but he has got to be an option to replace Richard.

Paulie is #1

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 3:47 pm

Paul Konerko has the best UZR among 1st Basemen (yes, small sample size). h/t Rich Lederer.

Freddy Garcia looking good

Filed under: Chicago White Sox,MiLB — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 3:25 pm

Will the band reunite?

Meanwhile, as Clayton Richard continues to struggle as part of the starting rotation, don’t discount Freddy Garcia from making a return to the White Sox rotation at some point in the second half of the season. The right-hander, who was such a valuable piece to the team’s 2005 World Series run, reportedly has looked good during his program to get back into pitching shape, after being bothered by shoulder problems for the past two seasons. Garcia, 34, agreed to a Minor League deal with the White Sox on June 8 of this season. Hey, the back to the future move certainly has paid huge dividends with the return of Scott Podsednik.

Colon arrives in Charlotte

Filed under: Chicago White Sox,MiLB — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 3:10 pm
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per Scott Merkin. He was eating tacos in the Dominican and not L.A.

Ozzie Guillen and Alexei Jr.

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 12:41 pm
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Scott Reifert:

I walked into Ozzie’s office to ask him a question only to find a short, pudgy kid all decked out in a Sox uniform. Ozzie was bantering away with him in Spanish. As the three-year-old or four-year-old turned around, I read across the back of his mini White Sox uniform, “Ramirez” and “10.” It was Alexei’s son and he was excited because Ozzie Guillen was heading out onto the field to watch him hit. Swinging an oversized plastic bat and hitting from the left side, the youngster shot ball after ball around the infield. “Mirra, Ozzie, mirra,” he’d call out, making sure Ozzie was watching him as his dad fed him pitch after pitch. “He swings at everything,” a press observor noted jokingly (I know, even on a Thursday morning, a big league dugout can be a tough, tough place). With one line drive toward second, the little Ramirez took off for first base, his legs spinning underneath him.  On to second he ran, and Ozzie headed down to third to be a coach.  Around second and onto third the kid “sprinted”, smiling all the way.  Ozzie gave him the stop sign and pointed to third base.  Running right through it, the kid turned and headed for home.  But he was running …. out ……..of …………steam ……..and his sprint came to a hault about 10 feet from home. Alexei pointed to home plate and his now-tired son walked over and touched it, scoring a run.  Ozzie applauded.

Merkin has more.

College shortstops fielding stats

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 9, 2009 12:09 pm

Jeff Sackmann:

I’m working with a college play-by-play database that goes back through 2007. It has much of the information that play-by-play defensive metrics use to measure professional fielding skill, except for the type of batted ball (grounder, line drive, etc.) on base hits. … While we’re at it, let’s look at a smattering of high draft picks from one year ago. Again, only players above the BIP threshold are included; the numbers include two seasons worth of data, and are regressed based on playing time.

Player            School              +/-
Crawford Brandon  Ucla                 23
Beckham Gordon    Georgia              22
Espinosa Danny    Long Beach State     19
Marseco Michael   Samford              17  

… I can’t imagine many of you expected to see Gordon Beckham (a second baseman? a third baseman? anything but a shortstop!) near the top. He put up nearly equal sterling performances in his last two college seasons.

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