September 25, 2009
September 24, 2009
So close, so far. Little more than two months after being tied for first place with plenty of momentum headed toward a second American League Central title, the White Sox were eliminated from the postseason Thursday night for the third time in four years. The Tigers’ 6-5 victory over the Indians made it impossible mathematically for the Sox to reach the playoffs. Here’s a look at some of the factors that led to their demise shortly after Mark Buehrle’s perfect game on July 23 moved them into a share of first place with the Tigers: …
Several e-mailers have wondered how the White Sox could be mathematically eliminated from the American League Central title when they could tie Detroit at the end of the regular season should they win their remaining nine games while the Tigers lose their final 10 games to finish with 82 victories apiece. The x factor is Minnesota, which currently has 79 victories. The Twins have 10 games remaining — including four against the Tigers. Should Minnesota win all four games against Detroit next week but lose their remaining games, the Twins still would have 83 wins — one more than the Sox could possibly win.
from the 9/24 AL Closer Report:
A calf injury closes the book on Jenks’ 2009 season. Bobby’s ERA soared from 2.63 in 2008 to 3.71 in 2009, but it’s questionable how much he actually declined. The 28 year-old’s XFIP was 3.86 in ‘08, and a slightly-lower 3.77 in 2009. Jenks’ K rate bounced back this year (5.55 K/9 in ‘08, 8.27 K/9 in ‘09), but a huge 17% home run/fly ball rate put a big dent in his season. He’s basically the same guy: a good late-inning arm, if not an elite one.
With Bobby out of commission, Thornton and Dotel figure to get dibs on any save ops for the Pale Hose. Per Win Probability Added, Thornton (+2.87) has Dotel (+0.74) beat by a healthy margin. Same goes for XFIP (2.92 for Matt, 4.33 for Octavio). Thornton has whiffed 10.72 hitters per nine frames this year, firing a blistering 96 MPH fastball nearly 90 percent of the time.
UPDATE: A couple points from Kenny’s interview:
1) He’d like the the players in the team to have higher OBPs, in the .350 range as a team (.329 this year). Also, more eXtra Base Hits. (9:30)
2) He hasn’t seen the sponsorship, advertising, and season tickets projections for next year to say anything about next year’s payroll. But every year he asks Jerry Reinsdorf, and is over budget. (16:15)
September 23, 2009
Daniel Hudson will make his second major-league start Sunday against American League Central leader Detroit. John Danks still will get a chance to reach the 200-inning mark for the first time in his career. Danks, who has 186 1/3 innings, is scheduled to start Monday at Cleveland and on Oct. 4 in the regular season finale at Detroit. The Sox also clarified their previous schedule and announced that Jake Peavy will open the Detroit series Friday night, followed by Freddy Garcia and Hudson.
Also, Buehrle won’t be shut down:
[Ozzie] Guillen said that Wednesday’s start for Buehrle would not be his last of the season.
So now the portly (6′3″ 275 lbs) closer [Bobby Jenks] is on the DL with a calf strain and the team will get to audition their possible replacement in Matt Thornton. What can we expect, and does Thornton have the stuff to be the closer in 2010?
Minutes after Williams spoke, a source confirmed that all of the coaches that had contracts up after this season — specifically hitting coach Greg Walker, pitching coach Don Cooper, bench coach Joey Cora and first base coach Harold Baines — had or were in the process of signing extensions thought to take the staff through 2011.
There were whispers that Williams recently signed an extension that will keep him the Sox GM through 2012 — the same length of Ozzie Guillen’s deal — but Williams replied in a text that he would not comment on that.
Jayson Nix will serve as the leadoff batter, and power-hitting rookie Tyler Flowers will be the designated hitter and bat ninth as struggling Jermaine Dye returns to the lineup.
The Incredible Q will not tolerate external hardware in his body:
Carlos Quentin revealed he will have a pin removed from his surgically repaired right wrist at the end of the regular season.
September 22, 2009
Bobby Jenks is done for the year after suffering a pulled right calf muscle during pregame workouts at U. S. Cellular Field on Tuesday.”I heard the pop, felt it and it’s not good,” said Jenks, after the White Sox dropped an 8-6 decision to the Twins. “It’s unfortunate with the timing with everything, the way our team has been going. All together, it’s one [bad] deal.” …
His fastball can get up to 90 m.p.h., but sits more in the 88-89 range, and has a lot of sink. Lefties have struggled with his frisbee slider, but it will likely need improvement if he is going to project as more than a righty specialist. …
Pitch F/X says:
|Pitch Statistics (Velocity Histogram)|
|Pitch Type||Avg Speed||Max Speed||Avg H-Break||Avg V-Break||Count||Strikes / %||Swinging Strikes / %||Nibbleness||Time to Plate|
|FF (FourSeam Fastball)||93.63||95.7||-8.22||10.28||62||43 / 69.35%||4 / 6.45%||4.52||0.403|
|CH (Changeup)||83.68||85.5||-10.13||4.40||18||9 / 50.00%||3 / 16.67%||7.07||0.452|
|SL (Slider)||82.21||87.2||-0.72||2.88||13||9 / 69.23%||2 / 15.38%||7.04||0.461|
|FC (Cutter)||85.44||86.1||-1.16||5.31||5||3 / 60.00%||0 / 0.00%||3.75||0.440|
|Pitch classifications provided by the Gameday Algorithm and are unfortunately often inaccurate.
Clicking individual pitch types will provide individual velocity histograms for each pitch.
Nibbleness is the arithmetic mean of the distance of each pitch, in inches, from the edge of a normalized strikezone. Lower indicates “more Nibbley”.
|Inning-by-Inning Pitch Totals|
|Inning||Pitches in Inning||Strikes in Inning||Strike% in Inning||Cumulative Total Pitches|
SoxMachine has more.
September 21, 2009
Q: How similar are Jim Thome and Frank Thomas as hitters?
A: With the end result, they’re very similar, because they’re both very dangerous guys that can carry a ballclub. They do kind of go about it a little differently. Frank was obviously a right-handed hitter, and his numbers simply don’t lie. And he had really good at-bats. But, you know, that’s a tough question. Their numbers are very similar. They both walk a lot and hit a lot of homers, so… you know, now that I think about it, I guess they’re pretty damn similar. I’ll say this: hitting aside, both of them, with their preparation and how they got ready to play each night, you can see why they’re both future Hall of Famers. They’re people who have done so much in their careers, but even though they’ve hit 500 home runs, and won MVP Awards, and played in All-Star Games, they still approached every game as if they hadn’t done anything. That’s another way in which they’re similar. There was never any complacency. Every time they took the field, they’d get after it as if they were hungry to do more, and that gets you a lot of respect. With what they’ve done in their careers, it would be easy not to do that.
September 20, 2009
Guillen reiterated on Sunday that he doesn’t see any changes coming for his infield in 2010. He likes the combination of Gordon Beckham at third, Alexei Ramirez at shortstop and Chris Getz at second base. “My infield is set. That’s going to be the team, hopefully,” Guillen said. “I’ll take the three kids. They play well and have a lot of energy and bring a lot of great stuff. Alexei has been better the past two months, Beckham is unbelievable the way he plays third. Nobody talks about Getz, but he’s a great baseball player.” Guillen also believes that Jayson Nix will continue to function as a top-notch utility player, including as an emergency outfielder.