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December 31, 2009


Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 31, 2009 12:51 pm

for the Rock

Pitch Counts and Pitch-F/X

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 31, 2009 12:33 pm
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I remember Randy Johnson throwing 99 to finish a complete game. Back in their day, Nolan Ryan and Bob Feller probably did that on a regular basis (if you were to ask them). There’s a lengthy list of early 20th century pitchers who pitched complete games in both ends of a doubleheader. So what’s the driving force behind the pitch count craze? Are we going soft? …

December 30, 2009

Tango looks into the future

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 30, 2009 1:09 pm

all the way to the year 3000:

Wait until PITCHf/x, FIELDf/x, and HITf/x take shape.  You will wish and pray to get back to the simpler times of 2000s.  The 2010s will bring an avalanche of data.  It will absolutely be a major part of the front office.  …

Tango looks at a lot more.

Matt Thornton’s stuff are among ‘The Best Stuff On Earth’

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 30, 2009 12:59 pm


I’ve been looking at a pitcher’s “stuff” using pitchf/x data recently, and here’s how I would rank the top five starters of 2009 by stuff:

… Relievers

1. Matt Thornton

December 29, 2009

Searching for Juan Pierre

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 29, 2009 8:52 pm


I figured slap-hitting, hustling, base-stealing Juan Pierre’s move to the Chicago White Sox would be met with article upon article with writers gushing over Pierre’s grit, .300 batting average, and ability to wreak havoc on the base-paths.  This, I figured, would be the type of tripe I’d find when searching stories about the Dodgers trading Pierre to the Sox.  The type that the guys at FJM would destroy, referencing Pierre’s below-average career OPS+, noodle-arm, and overall history of being overrated.

But, I found nothing of the sort.  It seems that FJM may be gone because there’s just not quite the need anymore.  Oh sure, I may be letting this one story influence me and the kind of writing they panned is still abundant, but damned if I didn’t fully expect the Tribune and SunTimes to be full of analysis extolling Sox G.M. Kenny Williams for finding a ‘true lead-off man’ who ‘knew how to win’.  When I looked and didn’t see that, I chuckled inside, thinking that somewhere, some successful t.v. writers and former bloggers might feel they made a difference. …

Jim Thome to Detroit?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 29, 2009 6:16 pm
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Craig Calcaterra has a thin rumor:

How thin? I’m going to base it on a single tweet from MSG Network’s Tina Cervasio, who said that she saw Jim Thome in a suburban Detroit hotel a few minutes ago. …

Carlos Quentin was #1 in xBABIP-BABIP in 2009

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 29, 2009 11:52 am
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Today, let’s turn out attention to the hitters. I compiled a list of the batters (minimum 350 plate appearances) with the biggest gap between their batting average on balls in play (BABIP) and their expected batting average on balls in play (xBABIP). …

Carlos Quentin: BABIP 0.223, xBABIP: .295, xBABIP-BABIP: 0.072

December 28, 2009

Remember ex-Sox prospect Chris Carter?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 28, 2009 6:41 pm
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The prospect that the Sox traded to Arizona for Carlos Quinten two years ago and then Arizona traded to Oakland 10 days later? Well, John Sickels reviewed the prospects in Oakland’s minor-league system and gave Chris Carter an A- grade:

1) Chris Carter, 1B-OF, Grade A-: I just absolutely love this bat, enough to override the questions about defense and give him an A-. He added pure hitting skills to go with the power.

UPDATE: And Kevin Goldstein says Carter is a Five-Star  prospect.

Sox looking for a bat

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 28, 2009 5:46 pm
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The Sox’s only hole going into 2010 is a right-handed RBI bat. Although sox officials have talked about using DH as a rotation spot for veterans, left-handed RBI men like Aubrey Huff, Hank Blalock, Carlos Delgado and former Sox DH remain on the market.

I assume the former Sox DH is Jim Thome. Speaking of Big Jim.

8 teams interested in D.J. Carrasco

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 28, 2009 2:31 pm
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On Friday, Carrasco said eight teams had already shown some interest in signing him. Carrasco’s agent preferred that he didn’t mention which teams.

After pitching 93 innings and posting a 3.76 ERA in 2009, including a 3.43 ERA as a reliever, he shouldn’t have to wait too long to find a new home. …

December 27, 2009

BDD’s Top Prospects Compilation: Update #9

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 27, 2009 2:25 pm


Just as I have done the past few years, I have uploaded and attached the new Top Prospects Compilation file to this blog posting. Prospect rankings from Baseball America, BP’s Kevin Goldstein, and MiLB.com are just some of those that you’ll find in the file.

The Excel workbook contains several tabs at the bottom representing each of the league’s divisions as well as a tab for top 100 lists and the top 20 lists from Baseball America. …

Spreadsheet: 2009-2010 Top Prospect List Compilation.xls.

Baseball Musings looks on Mark Buehrle

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 27, 2009 12:47 pm


… Buehrle represents a nice example of a pitcher with a glaring weakness, his low strikeout rate, who is able to compensate by limiting free passes and taking out base runners with GDPs (Andy Pettitte built a fine career the same way). Add to that his durability, and Mark emerges as one of the top pitchers of the decade.

December 26, 2009

My favorite movies of the decade (so far!)

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Wizard @ December 26, 2009 1:25 pm
  1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  2. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
  3. The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)
  4. V for Vendetta (2005)
  5. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

December 24, 2009

Yuniesky Maya scouting report

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 24, 2009 9:26 pm
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Yesterday we learned that the Sox and the Mets are the front-runners to sign 27–year-old Cuban RHP Yuniesky Maya. Maya and fellow Cuban Deinys Suarez threw for several scouts in the Dominican last week:

One scout said Maya, 28, threw in the 88-92 mph range, much like he did in the World Baseball Classic this year when he had a 1.23 ERA in 7 1/3 innings.

“That’s what he normally pitches,” said Maya’s agent Bart Hernandez. “His command was great. He has three plus quality pitches and he throws them for strikes.”

B-R Bullpen says he trows 4 pitches:

Maya’s repertoire includes a fastball (which peaks at 90 mph), curveball, changeup and slider.

Here’s another scouting report on Maya from cubanballplayers.blogspot.com:

Maya began his baseball career late. He has played six Cuban seasons. The 27 year old Maya is listed as 6’0 and 190 pounds.  The righthander from Pinar del Rio debuted in the ’04 season. Maya was the winning pitcher at the ’05 Serie Nacional All-Star game where he threw three scoreless innings.

During this past season (SN 48), Maya finished 2nd in ERA with 2.22, tied for 1st in CG with 7, tied for 1st in Wins with 13, tied for 1st in Shutouts with 2, 1st in IP with 146, 2nd in Strikeouts with 119 and tied for 5th in Dead Balls with 13.

Maya said during a recent interview that he replaced the slider with a curveball. He also throws sinker, changeup and fastball. This year he touched 96 MPH against Villa Clara. Pedro Pérez, the pitching coach for the Cuban National team, asked him to throw even more inside fastballs. …

He finished with 119Ks and 40 BBs. Peter Bjarkman’s blog shows a 1.51 ERA with 81 Ks and 23 BBs in the midpoint of that season. Here are his W-L and ERA numbers for the last 5 years.

Yuniesky Maya was voted the best right handed pitcher in the Cuban 48th series (2008) awards according to myworldofbaseball:

Maya doesn’t throw 100, but is a pitcher that knows how to slice and dice the corners.  He throws in the low 90s and mixes in a curveball, changeup and slider.  At 27, Maya can probably help a rotation now.

And here are a couple videos of Yuniesky Maya on youtube. You can see the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd innings of his start against Japan in the WBC.

In which Gordon Beckham goes Christmas shopping

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 24, 2009 4:09 pm

Gordon Beckham gives the 2010 MLB.com Holiday Q&A to Scott Merkin:

MLB.com: Let’s continue with one of our holiday traditions, in which you pick out gifts for other teammates or members of the White Sox organization. What would you get for catcher A.J. Pierzynski?

Beckham: I would give him a muzzle, for reasons undisclosed.

MLB.com: How about manager Ozzie Guillen?

Beckham: That’s a tough one. I would give Ozzie some English-speaking lessons, really some enunciation lessons. I would buy them online, at some Web site.

MLB.com: Let’s move on to general manager Ken Williams.

Beckham: There’s another tough one. I would give him a Santa hat. He’s like our Santa Claus, bringing gifts for our team.

MLB.com: Hitting coach Greg Walker?

Beckham: I would give him a new rifle for hunting.

Click the link for the full interview.

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