White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

April 22, 2010

Justin Smoak comes to the majors

Filed under: MLB — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 10:43 pm


MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers have promoted first base prospect Justin Smoak from Triple-A Oklahoma City and demoted struggling first baseman Chris Davis in a corresponding move.

Smoak will take over starting first base duties for the Rangers and could hang onto the gig for a long while if he performs as expected.  The 23-year-old was off to a superb start at Triple-A this year, with a .326/.500/.587 batting line and two home runs over 62 plate appearances.  He has serious, serious upside.

Davis, meanwhile, had been batting just .188 with a 556 OPS in 48 at-bats.  He may need to find another organization in order to continue his major league career.

Stats (AAA): .326/.500/.587 with 6 K / 16 BB in 42 ABs. And a .342 BABIP.

UPDATE: Satchel Price likes.

Trayce Thompson: en fuego!

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 9:22 pm

Thompson hit HR. #3 tonight!

#2 was 2 days ago.

#1 (as a pro) was 4 days ago.

Thompson is batting now .385/.448/.846/1.294 with 3 BB / 8 K in 26 ABs.

Gordon Beckham’s ‘Out of the Park for Parkinson’s’ video

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 7:12 pm


Chicago White Sox player Gordon Beckham launched Out of the Park for Parkinson’s in 2010 to raise awareness and support to help end Parkinson’s disease. For every home run Gordon hits during the 2010 season, a donation will be made to the National Parkinson Foundation.

Gordon needs your help! Pledge or donate today for chances to win valuable prizes and to meet Gordon at a post season Homerun Celebration party!

All proceeds benefit the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF), a national non-profit organization that funds research, education and outreach programs to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s. NPF has a strong presence in Chicago, supporting the work of Northwestern University’s Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center, and through our local chapter, the Parkinson Association of Illinois.

John Sickels on 2009 unsigned Sox draftee Bryan Morgado

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 7:06 pm


Bryan Morgado, LHP, University of Tennessee
A draft-eligible sophomore last year, Morgado was picked by the White Sox in the third round but did not sign. That may have been a mistake, as his performance this spring has been erratic. He has an ugly 5.88 ERA and has walked 28 in 52 innings, but has allowed just 44 hits and has fanned 60. The K/IP and H/IP point to his potential. Mechanical problems are his biggest issue, but he still has a live arm with a 90+ fastball that someone could take a chance on fairly early.

Ozzie Guillen on Carlos Quentin’s plate discipline

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 6:34 pm
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“I think Carlos right now is going crazy,” Guillen said. “I think, just looking at his at-bats, I think he’s guessing at the wrong pitch. He’s very out front with the breaking ball and very late with the fastball. I told (bench coach) Joey Cora during the game it seems like he’s between every pitch. One thing about it, he’s looking for one pitch in particular. … He’s swinging at a lot of bad pitches,” Guillen said. “Right now he’s swinging too much.”


“When he is swinging the bat good, he’s got to drive it to right-center. Right now he is just swinging too much, not looking for a particular pitch.”


“One thing about Carlos, he’s seen a lot of pitches in the past,” Guillen said. “Now, whatever he sees he swings at. Last night, his last at-bat, I don’t think he swung at one strike. I don’t think it’s just Carlos, anybody, use me as an example. When you swing at bad pitches, you’re going to make a lot of outs.”

Here are Quentin’s plate discipline numbers. His O(utside)-Swing% is down to a career best 22.8%. His F(irst)-Strike% is also down to 49.2% from 57.5% in 2008 and 58.2% in 2009. His contact numbers are down though.

Quentin also has a .175 BABIP. Brutal…

John Sickels on Tyler Flowers

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 2:57 pm


White Sox catching prospect Tyler Flowers is thriving offensively at Triple-A Charlotte, hitting .316/.447/.553 through 11 games, with 11 RBI, six walks, and 10 strikeouts in 38 at-bats. This is improved production compared to his ’09 trial at the same level, where he hit .286/.364/.438 in 31 games. His defense has been so-so; he’s throw out three of 12 runners for a 25% percentage, also giving up two passed balls and making one error so far. His defense is never going to be great, but it should be enough to keep him in the lineup if he hits as expected.

Paul Konerko will be available this summer says Jayson Stark

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 2:53 pm
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Being available is only half of it. Someone wanting you is the other half:

Paul Konerko: He’s finally in the last year of that five-year, $60 million contract. He’d still have nearly $5 million coming by late July. And the White Sox should have enough pitching to scramble back into contention. But if not, it’s hard to imagine Konerko would use his no-trade rights to block a deal to a team with a shot to win.

You can’t call a team Ozzieball, you actually have to do it

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 1:48 pm
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Nice recap of yesterday night’s game by Mike DePilla:

Once again: You cannot just call a team “Smallball” or “Ozzieball.” You actually have to do it. The obsession with bunting is one thing, but this team’s defense showcases startlingly bad fundamentals. Bad communication on pop ups, OK that is a once-in-a-while occurrence. But the inability to manage a standard relay throw or hit a cut-off man is nothing new and needs to change now. …

and on Q:

Last night he swung feebly at breaking pitches low and out of the zone several times, indicating to me he’s not his normal self. When Quentin came to the Sox, he was heralded as an OBP machine who could take a walk like Big Frank and play pepper with the rightfield wall for doubles. That’s the guy I want, not the guy who is going to sacrifice 50 points of batting average or OBP for some extra homeruns and strikeouts. Hitless in his last 20 at bats, he needs to get back to that approach. …

Sergio Santos hit 97 (Pitch F/X)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 1:31 pm
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Pitch F/X for Sergio Santos yesterday:

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) 96.25 96.8 -6.08 8.43 11 7 / 63.64% 0 / 0.00% 7.88 0.392
CH (Changeup) 86.42 87.9 -10.79 1.83 5 2 / 40.00% 1 / 20.00% 8.89 0.436
SL (Slider) 86.12 87 3.67 -4.28 5 2 / 40.00% 1 / 20.00% 3.02 0.436
Pitch classifications provided by the Gameday Algorithm and may be 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”.
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.

Fangraphs on Tyler Flowers

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 1:30 pm


Chicago White Sox | Top Prospect: Tyler Flowers, Catcher (AAA)

If A.J. Pierzynski was not entrenched in Chicago, Flowers would already be the favorite of MLB headline writers everywhere. Triple-A has not kept Flowers from doing what he always does: get on base and hit for power. His current triple-slash line is .316/.447/.553. He also has 11 RBI in as many games.

Kevin Goldstein on Trayce Thompson

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 1:11 pm
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Q: Trayce Thompson hit his second home run tonight. What’s his ceiling?

A: As big as it is risky.

Stats: .333/.417/.714/.1131 with 3 BB / 7 K in 21 ABs. .417 BABIP though. FirstInning, MILB, MinorLeagueSplits

Christina Kahrl on how to fix the White Sox problems

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 12:57 pm
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Problem: Getting offense at DH and catcher.

Solution: It’s springtime, so plant Flowers.

Why? It’s already just a matter of time before Tyler Flowers arrives to stay in The Show. He’s already off to a decent start at Triple-A Charlotte (translated .472 slugging, .261 TAv), and the South Side needs runs, ranking 27thin MLB in True Average at .243. A.J. Pierzynski (.145 TAv) is cold at the plate and in the walk year of his contract, while Mark Kotsay is a popular bench player, he’s not a starting DH (.127 TAv). Between the DH at-bats against right-handers and the opportunity to sit AJP to get Flowers time behind the plate, the Sox should squeeze in Flowers’ 2010 PECOTA-projected .270 TAv.

Kevin Goldstein on Bryce Harper

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 12:48 pm

On his makeup:

This should not be underrated. It’s impossible to find any talent evaluator who isn’t blown away by Harper’s ability on the field, but it’s equally difficult to find one who doesn’t genuinely dislike the kid. One scout called him among the worst amateur players he’s ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance, a disturbingly large sense of entitlement, and on-field behavior that includes taunting opponents. “He’s just a bad, bad guy,” said one front-office official. “He’s basically the anti-Joe Mauer.” How this plays into the negotiation or future evaluation is yet to be determined, as history has shown us that the bigger talent a player is, the more makeup issues teams will deal with. Bench players can’t afford to be problems, but plenty of teams happily put up with difficult superstars.

UPDATE: THT has roundup of the reaction.

UPDATE #2: Deadspin.

THT’s Dan Hudson projection

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 22, 2010 11:46 am
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Dan Hudson / SP / Chicago White Sox

2010 thoughts:
Hudson is Triple-A Charlotte’s best arm. It will be difficult for Chicago to keep him away from the majors. Expect them to cave in by July.

Average-year projection:
198 IP / 4.40 ERA / 1.33 WHIP / 13 W / 12 L / 163 SO / 194 H / 69 BB

Prime-year projection:
210 IP / 3.91 ERA / 1.25 WHIP / 15 W / 12 L / 181 SO / 197 H / 66 BB

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