White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

September 16, 2010

A look at 22-year old Cuban OF Leonys Martin

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 16, 2010 1:12 pm
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Martin is trying to establish residency in Mexico. He could be ready for the 2011 season. Could.

John Manuel @ BA:

He’s a lefthanded hitter whose best tools are his speed and defense. He’s a plus runner at least, being timed in 4.1 seconds to first base from the left side in Taiwan, and showed strong small-ball skills, with the ability to drag bunt for hits and handle the bat on the hit-and-run. He also played center field and showed at least average range. Martin also hit .326 with 10 home runs in the last Serie Nacional, Cuba’s top-level league, while playing for Villa Clara, and has drawn plenty of walks in Cuba, posting a .311/.492/.491 line in 2008-2009, when he drew 78 bases on balls and ranked second in the league with 17 steals (in a 90-game season).

B-R Bullpen:

Leonys Martín became a star in his third season in Cuba in 2007-2008, hitting .398/.497/.564, just behind Yoandy Garlobo for the league lead in average. He tied for second in the league in triples (9) and was 6th in steals (13). He failed to make the post-season All-Star team as Alexei Bell, Alfredo Despaigne and Yoandry Urgelles were picked as the outfielders.

And from Peter Bjarkman:

Cut in the mold of one-time Camagüey star Luis Ulacia (with a dangerous combination of speed and power,) youngster Leonys Martin has developed quickly into the most effective leadoff batter on the entire island. Martin stroked 3 homers in the opening round and added two more in the semis.

“Leonys Martin” @ Google Images


Mike Blanke: 2010 Great Falls Voyagers MVP

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 16, 2010 2:21 am
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Joe Urso, Head Coach of the [U of Tampa] Spartan baseball team, said that the coaches saw Blanke progressing as a player and growing into his body. Urso said that Blanke was 5 feet 10 inches coming out of high school. On the roster for UT, Blanke was listed at 6 feet 4 inches tall. … “That was the big challenge, how he was going to develop as a catcher here,” said Urso. “He did a great job and everything I’m hearing from the White Sox scouts and the people we talk to is they’re just raving about this guy’s ability, not only as a hitter but now as a catcher as well.”

… Coach Urso said that Blanke is solid at blocking balls in the dirt and has good arm strength, but will have to work on his receiving ability and the speed of his release behind the plate.

Blanke: Stats, Splits

September 15, 2010

Gordon Beckham: Pay Paulie his money down

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 15, 2010 9:24 pm
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“He’s a guy we need to have back, for sure,” said Beckham. “This team, he is our leader, he’s had a great year. He deserves to be back here and paid the right way.”

… “If he leaves, then you have people that have to fill his spot,” Beckham said. “I don’t know if anyone here is ready for that. You have to think we need him back for the sole purpose of having a guy around who knows the game and is real cerebral about the game. He’s that guy.”

And here’s Bruce:


September 14, 2010

Jake Peavy update

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 14, 2010 9:04 pm

Here’s Jake:

“We’re entering our third week of rehab, and I’ve almost got full range of motion back. We haven’t started incorporating any weights down below my shoulder, but we’re right on the cusp of full range of motion. Within the next week, we think we’ll have full range of motion back. It’s a significant thing because you want to have that full range of motion when you haven’t been able to do that. … Any time you go through surgery and have a couple of different things, I certainly have some scar tissue in there and they think that’s where my discomfort is coming from when we do reach the limit of trying to stretch it back out. As far as the lat and the muscles surrounding the lat, the doctors have been feeling them on a daily basis and think that everything feels great. Once we get past all the rehab, we might have one more MRI just to make sure everything looks good to go with starting big-time weight lifting. Stuff like that probably won’t happen before, maybe December.”

Peavy is working with a massage therapist to relieve the discomfort.

White Sox release 2011 schedule [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 14, 2010 8:36 pm

2011 White Sox Schedule link.

The season starts April 1 at Cleveland and ends September 28 against the Toronto. The home opener is April 7 against Tampa Bay. The White Sox still play at the American League, which uses a DH.

UPDATE: Here’s a one-page PDF of the 2011 schedule.

September 13, 2010

Stephen Sauer leads Winston-Salem to a Game 1 win in CL Finals

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 13, 2010 9:56 pm
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Parker @ MiLB.com:

Stephen Sauer hadn’t pitched in nine days, but showed no evidence of rust Monday night. The right-handed White Sox prospect allowed five hits over a season-high eight innings as Winston-Salem blanked visiting Potomac, 4-0, in the opening game of the best-of-5 Mills Cup Finals. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.

… Sauer got 14 groundball outs and four flyouts in the game, throwing just 82 pitches — 62 of them for strikes. He allowed one Potomac runner past second base.

Sauer took a perfect game into the 6th inning. Dylan Axelrod starts Game 2 for Winston-Salem.

Game 1 Boxscore.

Buddy Bell: Kenny Williams pushed the White Sox to draft Chris Sale

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 13, 2010 9:36 pm
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Chris Sale was mentioned on the latest issue of ‘Sporting News’:

White Sox director of player development Buddy Bell had the following to say about Sale.

“From the beginning, Kenny (Williams, the Sox’s G.M.) is really the one who pushed this through. He felt along that Chris could help the major league club at some point this year. The thing about Chris is he’s a very mature kid. He has no fear at all. He’s competitive. He pitches in the mid-90s, and he’s throwing his breaking ball and changeup for strikes. That’s an usual combination for any young pitcher. The plan all along is to get him back into the rotation, but he’s been so successful out of the bullpen. That’s a good problem to have.”

Baseball-Intellect reviews its White Sox prospects list


7. Trayce Thompson | OF | Age – 19 | Grade – C+

Numbers don’t completely reflect it, but he’s made a lot of progress since last year. Upside remains huge, but as big as his upside is, he’s just as raw.

September 12, 2010

Ozzie’s latest Jim Thome rejection justification

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 12, 2010 9:21 pm
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Earlier today I wondered isn’t time for Ozzie to tell us he made the right move going without Jim Thome. Well, Scot Gregor has Ozzie’s latest justification:

“My conscience is very clear,” Ozzie said. “If people, like I say, want to blame me, blame me. We had Jim here for four years and I always say I’m the luckiest manager ever in the history of baseball because I had him. He went another way. Good for them.”

You feel you are the luckiest manager ever in the history of baseball because you managed Jim Thome and then you ran him out of town? Yeah right.

And he went another way? That’s creative! But Ozzie’s own words from January disagree:

“Right now, the only reason that holds me up with our conversation about Jimmy is I don’t know how many at-bats we can give him,” said Guillen.

I don”t see any ‘if Jimmy wants to play for the Sox.’ And what about Jimmy’s own words?

“Ultimately, if things work out, I would love to come back. It’s a great city. It’s home. It has been a great place. Jerry, Ozzie, the whole organization, they have all treated me great.”

Jimmy waited for the Sox. He didn’t went anywhere until Ozzie rejected him.

Now, let’s return to today’s Ozzie:

If it wasn’t Jim, it could have been someone else. If (Nick) Punto hit the home run, I would have been ‘God, I can’t believe it.’ If Jim hit the home run, good for them. I have no regrets.”

I have the impression Nick Punto’s home run hitting power is much smaller than Jim Thome’s. And a visit to Baseball-Reference.com confirms my impression. Jim Thome hits a HR every 10.7 AB in 2010, while Nick Punto hits a HR every 233.0 at-bats in 2010. Damn!

What will Ozzie’s next excuse be?

Will it involve aliens? What about UFOs?

Kenny Williams would like to have Paul Konerko retire as White Sox

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 12, 2010 7:57 pm
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Here’s Kenny Williams:

“I would love to have him retire as a White Sox. That’s pretty much all I’m going to say on it, because I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know how we are going to finish. We are driven by the revenue stream that comes in. People might not like it but it is what it is. We have to at least be able to be a break-even operation, and try to win at the same time.”

Well, that pretty much says nothing!

Isn’t it time for Ozzie to tell us how he made the right move?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 12, 2010 7:03 pm
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Thome hit a game-winning HR yesterday. Last time we got this gem from Ozzie:

“We’re not in second place right now because of Jimmy. We’re in second place right now because Minnesota play good and we have two very bad months.”

You know Ozzie, Jimmy is a member of the Minnesota team. Jimmy does not still play for the Dodgers.

September 10, 2010

Kenny Williams: Paul Konerko can grow a Mohawk

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 10, 2010 8:23 pm
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Asked if Tony Gwynn or Ichiro Suzuki came to the White Sox with long hair, Williams amended that statement saying that anybody with Hall of Fame credentials can take some liberties with the team’s appearance standards. He added that Paul Konerko could grow a Mohawk andhe wouldn’t have an issue with it.

Will Paulie be able to adjust [to a Mohawk]?

Baseball Analysts on Brent Morel and Charlie Leesman

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 10, 2010 6:47 pm
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Baseball Analysts looks on prospects that raised their value in 2010:

Brent Morel, 3B, AA/AAA
Experience: 3 years
Age: 23

A number of the White Sox’s top prospects lost value in 2010. Morel, a third baseman, had a solid 2010 season split between double-A and triple-A. Overall, he hit .322/.359/.480 in 490 at-bats. With 37 doubles, he has some gap power but Morel’s over-the-fence power is definitely below-average for the hot corner. The 23-year-old prospect made just three errors in 63 games at third in triple-A but he also played some shortstop and could develop into a utility player at the MLB level. He has a strong enough arm to play anywhere in the field. Left-handed pitcher Charlie Leesman is another player to keep an eye on in 2011. He’s still raw for a former college draftee (control, secondary pitches) but he has solid velo on his heater for a lefty and induces a lot of ground balls.

BTW, Morel is starting at 3B tonight.

Fangraphs looks on Gordon Beckham

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 10, 2010 1:10 pm


It starts with one game, maybe even one at-bat. Maybe the player wasn’t seeing the ball well that day. Maybe there was something physically wrong with him. Maybe he had a mental block. Whatever the reason, a slump has to start somewhere. It’s not always easy to pinpoint the exact moment, but in Gordon Beckham‘s case the bookends look clear. …

September 9, 2010

Dylan Axelrod: 7 IP / 2 H / 9 K / 1 BB

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 9, 2010 10:18 pm
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Winston-Salem Dash
Axelrod (W, 1-0) 7.0 2 0 0 1 9 0 0.00
Kloess (H, 1) 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
Corley (S, 2) 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00


“I moved into the rotation in the second half of the season, which gave me a chance to throw and develop all my pitches,” said Axelrod.

After yielding a two-out single to Kinston first baseman Jeremie Tice in the first inning, Axelrod was all but unhittable. The Cal-Irvine product set down the next 19 batters through the end of the seventh.

“I was spotting my fastball pretty well and my cutter. My changeup was working pretty well too,” he said.

Axerod, drafted by  San Diego in 2007, has allowed 103 hits and has a 92 K / 15 BB ratio in 109.1 innings this year.

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