Don’t look now, but White Sox outfield prospect Jared Mitchell might be figuring something out at High-A Winston-Salem. He’s hitting .355/.432/.581 in his last 10 games, with two homers. More importantly, he has four walks and just five strikeouts in that span. His overall line is now .224/.277/.408, which isn’t exactly good but represents considerable improvement over where he was two weeks ago. His overall BB/K still stinks at 11/61, but the reduction in strikeouts and increase in walks over the last stretch is impressive. We need to see if this continues and the sample is tiny, but it is worth watching. The tools have always been here. White Sox officials have spoken recently about Mitchell making adjustments to his swing as he works the rust off from missing all of 2010. Perhaps that is having an impact.
May 31, 2011
A list for discussion purposes: It’s all active players with at least 1,000 games played between 1996 and 2011 (to date). And, it’s their “WPA Clutch” ranking in those games played since 1996.Here is the list -
Rk Player Clutch G From To Age PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm 1 Ichiro Suzuki 5.7 1641 2001 2011 27-37 7580 7000 1074 2305 267 71 90 576 475 159 697 47 28 30 49 396 92 .329 .374 .426 .801 *98/D SEA 2 Juan Pierre 4.4 1648 2000 2011 22-33 7047 6403 923 1900 222 84 14 445 403 8 402 91 133 17 82 536 181 .297 .346 .364 .710 *87/D COL-FLA-CHC-LAD-CHW 3 Scott Podsednik 4.1 1016 2001 2010 25-34 4129 3707 544 1036 171 41 41 300 327 7 595 24 49 22 64 301 102 .279 .340 .381 .721 *78/D9 SEA-MIL-CHW-COL-TOT 4 Bill Hall 3.8 1031 2002 2011 22-31 3619 3287 442 819 208 21 124 438 278 13 956 13 15 26 62 60 39 .249 .308 .438 .746 5648/791 MIL-TOT-BOS-HOU 5 Bobby Abreu 3.0 2160 1996 2011 22-37 9326 7829 1382 2313 537 57 278 1289 1378 109 1690 33 7 79 151 380 123 .295 .400 .485 .885 *9/D78 HOU-PHI-TOT-NYY-LAA 6 Aaron Rowand 2.8 1293 2001 2011 23-33 4626 4191 600 1153 258 17 133 525 258 22 871 121 31 25 109 66 29 .275 .333 .440 .773 *87/9D CHW-PHI-SFG 7 A.J. Pierzynski 2.7 1414 1998 2011 21-34 5395 5028 586 1426 291 16 122 622 215 51 598 93 26 33 162 13 19 .284 .323 .421 .744 *2/D MIN-SFG-CHW 8 Chone Figgins 2.6 1145 2002 2011 24-33 4986 4382 675 1238 177 56 33 388 497 6 752 9 61 37 67 329 116 .283 .354 .371 .725 *548/769D ANA-LAA-SEA 9 Omar Vizquel 2.6 2009 1996 2011 29-44 8447 7398 1072 2066 350 59 67 721 761 23 768 41 179 68 152 320 116 .279 .347 .370 .717 *65/4D39 CLE-SFG-TEX-CHW
Paul Konerko, and Adam Dunn aren’t. Neither is Big Jim…
… It’s difficult to say for how long the Indians will keep it up. There’s little doubt they have a good team. But are they this good? For what it’s worth, they’ve already played the Royals nine times and have gone 7-2 in those contests, during which they have a run differential of plus 42. Take those games away, and they’re 24-18 with a negative run differential. What’s that mean, then? The truth is, I don’t know. You could probably pick apart any team using a similar method, even the ’27 Yankees. (Well, maybe not the ’27 Yankees.)Perhaps the best thing to take away from this is that the Indians look fantastic so far, but there’s an awful lot of baseball to go. That, and the Minnesota Twins are highly unlikely to give them much trouble as the Indians do everything possible to fight off the Tigers and White Sox for the division crown. …
|Santiago (W, 2-0)||8.0||1||0||0||2||9||0||1.88|
Hector Santiago learned to throw a screwball just six months ago while pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League. After Monday’s gem, other hurlers may soon be inquiring about a trip to the Caribbean in the offseason.Santiago allowed a lone hit — a sixth-inning single — and struck out a career-high nine batters over eight sparkling innings to lead the Double-A Birmingham Barons to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Chattanooga Lookouts.
Hector Santiago, 23 1/2 years old, was promoted to AA Birmingham after pitching 44.0 innings, 3.68 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 4.59 FIP, 43 K / 14 BB, .279 BABIP, in A+ Winston-Salem.
“I think my arm is still getting stronger,” Peavy said. “It’s tough on a daily basis to grind through it and see how your arm is going to feel, coming back from this surgery. It’s been different. With rest you feel like a million bucks. And sometimes you don’t and it gets kind of frustrating. But I’ve got enough to compete and pitch.” … “I hope so; I hope I just get stronger,” Peavy said. “Like I said, it has been a constant battle. Some days I go out there and on Day 3 I feel better than I do on Day 5. It’s kind of piecing it together. I’m going to take some time and maybe alter my pregame program and try to throw a little bit longer and see if I can get a little bit looser than I’ve been getting.”
Other White Sox links: James recaps the past week.
May 30, 2011
|Chi White Sox||IP||H||R||ER||BB||SO||HR||ERA|
|Pitch Type||Avg Speed||Max Speed||Avg H-Break||Avg V-Break||Count||Strikes / %||Swinging Strikes / %||Linear Weights||Time to Plate|
|FF (FourSeam Fastball)||89.63||91.7||-5.59||6.53||27||21 / 77.78%||1 / 3.70%||-1.0138||0.424|
|CH (Changeup)||82.19||83.1||-7.00||0.53||14||10 / 71.43%||0 / 0.00%||-1.1955||0.458|
|SL (Slider)||82.49||84.7||2.01||2.56||23||13 / 56.52%||2 / 8.70%||0.1747||0.457|
|CU (Curveball)||81.21||84.4||0.71||-1.72||11||7 / 63.64%||1 / 9.09%||-0.1246||0.465|
|FC (Cutter)||85.89||87.3||2.18||1.44||16||12 / 75.00%||3 / 18.75%||0.9298||0.438|
|FT (TwoSeam Fastball)||90.09||92.4||-8.66||5.21||21||15 / 71.43%||1 / 4.76%||0.2219||0.424|
|Pitch classifications provided by the Gameday Algorithm and may be inaccurate.
Pitch Type LWTS correspond to how many runs were likely to score on a particular pitch based on average run expectancy when each pitch was thrown and what happened as a result. Negative scores indicate more effective pitches.
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.
|Inning-by-Inning Pitch Totals|
|Inning||Pitches in Inning||Strikes in Inning||Strike% in Inning||Cumulative Total Pitches||Pitch LWTS in Inning|
Dunn said he has watched video and studied what his swing looked like when he played with the Nationals and Reds. Hitting coach Greg Walker has talked to former hitting coaches of Dunn on numerous occasions.”I’ve done all that,” Dunn said. “I”ll let you see it and you tell me if you see anything. I can’t find anything. It’s baseball, I don’t know how else to put it. I feel like I’m fouling off the good ones and putting myself in a bind and swinging at the bad ones. It’s not a very good combinations.””I’m getting pitches like I do normally. It seems like when I get a pitch to hit, I foul it off. I’ve never fouled off this many balls in a year, let alone two months. It seems like every swing I take, I foul it off. I don’t know what it is. If I’m too late or what not. I don’t know. We’ll just keep grinding. It will come.”
“I feel timing wise I’m fine. I always look at stuff if getting deep on counts, I’m seeing it and on time. I’m not swinging at bad pitches. But the day before and it’s like I don’t know what happens. I wish I had the answer for you.”
UPDATE: A quick look at Dunn’s plate discipline numbers shows a few things:
- His F-Strike% (First pitch strike percentage) is 4 percentage points above his career average
- His Z-Contact% (Percentage of times a batter makes contact with the ball when swinging at pitches thrown inside the strike zone) is 3 percentage points below his career average.
- His O-Contact% (Percentage of times a batter makes contact with the ball when swinging at pitches thrown outside the strike zone) is 18 percentage points above his career average.
- His overall Contact% [Total percentage of contact made when swinging at all pitches] is half a percentage point above his career average.
A look at Dunn’s Pitch-F/X numbers follows
Hawk is pissed there is no Yaz statue in Fenway. Says someone in Boston’s front office must not like Yaz.
Season’s not over! Brent Morel’s first walk in 2011′s first 114 at bats.
With that 2-run single, AJ Pierzynski has 4 RBIs in the last 2 games, after having 2 RBIs in the previous 24.—
Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) May 30, 2011
Brian Bruney and Jeff Marquez. Season’s over.
47) White Sox (for J.J. Putz): Sean Gilmartin, LHP, Florida State: The White Sox are tough to predict. I had fireballer J.R. Graham here last time but he sounds like a second or third round pick now. The Sox had good luck with a college lefty from Florida last year, so let’s try that again.
Gilmartin is a four pitch lefty who figures to be drafted by the end of the second round this year. He throws his fastball in the low 90′s (89-92). He also throws a curve, slider, and change. Gilmartin’s slider is an improving pitch that he is using more often. His change is also a solid offering. He mixes his pitches well and has a good feel for pitching overall.
47) White Sox (for J.J. Putz): J.R. Graham, RHP, Santa Clara. The White Sox are always tough to read and the farm system needs everything. Graham could go a lot higher than this.
Even with his slight frame, Graham has one of the most-electric arms in this year’s draft class. His fastball reached 97-98 mph this spring as a matter of routine, and often peaked out at 100. …. During the summer in the Northwoods League, Graham focused on pitching and earned strong reviews for his quick arm and ability to pound the strike zone with easy 92-94 mph velocity. By this spring, Graham had jacked up his velocity another 4-5 mph. Though he also has a quality slider and changeup, giving him the three pitches he would need to work as a starter, Graham’s startling performance this spring in an end-of-game role, where he has been able to air out his fastball almost exclusively, has left little doubt in the minds of scouts that his future role is at the back end of the bullpen.
Youtube has a lot of videos of JR Graham too.100 mph! Kenny’s phone is going nuts!
I watched the entire video at the link above. If you have the time you should too, because his comments provide some pretty interesting insight into the mind of a manager, not just the typical “Ozzie said something crazy” kind of thing. If someone reported just the stuff Guillen said about the fans at the 11-12 minute mark and and none of his other comments, Ozzie has a valid argument that his words were cast in a misleading light inasmuch as he did not set out to specifically and exclusively rip fans. It was a very small part of a larger monologue and, in context, they seem fairly benign and reflective, not malicious toward fans. One could even make the argument that the “peeing on the monuments” thing was a metaphor, though I don’t expect many will actually make that argument.
It turns out that White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen got a raw deal.
Portrayed on Sunday as lashing out at White Sox’s fans, a careful review of the 17-plus minute audio of his pregame session with reporters reveals fans weren’t the subject of his disappointment. Instead, Guillen is clearly reacting toward the hosts of opinion shows on talk radio and television.
Guillen has either listened to or been told of shows where critics have called for him or his coaches to be fired. He has also apparently heard of criticism that his strategy and desire is not worthy of the post he currently holds. In his discussion with reporters Sunday he was defending himself and his coaches. …
Padilla has a transcript of Ozzie’s comments.
“Everything is clear,” Guillen said in a calm tone. “The only thing is when I read that and sleep well and don’t care about it, that’s all I care. People out there, they don’t know who I am, they don’t know what I do. If you sit with me for a few hours or 20 minutes, … . It upset me? Yes, because it put me in the spotlight, talking about White Sox fans. The last thing I talk about when the team not playing good is the fans. That’s not a good combination. But I was upset because I feel like I’m stupid or crazy or ignorant. But it’s over with, a new day, I sleep well.”
“It upset me because most of my quotes [in the stories] they don’t start with the quote [from] when the conversation started,” Guillen said. “ They only pick one stuff here one stuff there and boom.. I never get upset, I never get sad with the media because hey I have to say what I have to say.”
… Danks has been pretty unlucky compared to the rest of this group. He’s pitched to a better ERA than most but ended up with more losses than most (on a per-start basis, at least.)Yesterday’s blowout was the worst start of Danks’ career by most measures, including Game Score:
Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc 1 2011-05-29 CHW TOR L 4-13 GS-4 ,L 4.0 9 9 9 1 1 3 96 61 8 2 2010-05-29 CHW TBR L 5-8 GS-5 ,L 4.0 8 8 8 3 2 1 102 62 13 3 2008-04-09 CHW MIN L 5-12 GS-3 ,L 2.1 7 7 7 3 2 0 69 39 14 4 2007-05-29 CHW MIN L 2-9 GS-4 ,L 3.1 9 6 6 4 0 2 83 44 14 5 2009-05-15 CHW TOR L 3-8 GS-4 ,L 3.0 9 7 7 1 3 1 62 40 15
May 29, 2011
“Are [the fans] going to feel sorry because we’re going to get fired? [Heck] no,” Guillen told reporters before Sunday’s game. “They only remember us from [the World Series title in] 2005. In 2020 we’ll come here in a wheel chair all [messed] up. As soon as you leave the ballpark they don’t care about you anymore. They don’t. The monuments, the statue they got, they [urinate] on it when they’re drunk. That’s all they do. Thank you for coming, bye-bye.”
Am I gonna feel sorry if you get fired? No. Not at all. You’re not managing out of the goodness of your heart Ozzie. Same for the players. Neither of you play/manage because you love the team or the game.
I DO feel sorry for all the working people that try to feed their families and lose their jobs because their employer moves their jobs in another country where the labor costs are lower.
UPDATE: From Ozzie’s twitter (in chronological order):
Thas bull crap what the media print today about celular field and the fans … The should print and said everything I said thas low blow and imrresponsable no clas … Bunch a crap … No mention any fans and alcohol … Press asociacion print you name who put that today tha will be fear … I have the enterviu on tape I whish I can sue then thas a very low blow … Allways take stuff out the contest put people in bad situation to people can read then … What a hell I going to say bad thing about white sox fan they are behind me all my carrer a less most of then
Hmmm, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Ozzie’s not the greatest speaker of the English language.
With others egging Beckham on to claim his injury came on the ice in the pucks capital of the world, it seems the southern gentleman was doing just fine with his badge of honor being recorded on the diamond.“
Me and [former White Sox Jayson] Nix were out for drinks and a girl came right up and said, ‘What’d you do to your eye?’” Beckham laughed. “I’m like, ‘Dude, it’s that easy?’”