LF Juan Pierre – .273 wOBA, -7.4 UZR, -1.1 WAR
Top alternatives: Alejandro De Aza, Dayan Viciedo, Jordan Danks
The weirdest part of this season for Pierre is how little he’s changed as a hitter from last season, and yet his overall performance has totally polarized. His walk rate, strikeout rate, BABIP, and isolated power are all similar… but slightly worse. Toss in a nearly 20-run shift in his defensive work (+12.4 in 2010, -7.4 in 2010) and a 43% success rate on 14 stolen base attempts, and you have the worst player in baseball so far. If you ever wondered what Juan Pierre would look like without the elite range or base-stealing skills, well, now you have it. And it’s very, very ugly. It’s going to be hard to ignore Danks (.262/.349/.546) and Viciedo (.309/.356/.488) all season.
May 23, 2011
|Kloess (L, 1-2)||1.1||2||1||1||0||3||0||4.09|
Groundouts-flyouts: Rienzo 5-1.
Batters faced: Rienzo 24.
Thornton has modified his slider, going back to a harder, true 88-91 mph slider as opposed to the slower, more curvy second pitch he used to throw. He got a big strikeout with it against Oakland’s David DeJesus,, but his bread-and-butter pitch is still a 96-97 mph fastball.”It has a late cut when it’s right,” Thornton said. “Just a touch of cut where I get jams and broken bats. Hitters see a fastball coming in and they’re geared up for a mid-90s fastball and it cuts at the end. It’s a pretty tough pitch to handle.”
The White Sox were still using a six-man rotation as of Monday night.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said general manager Ken Williams is on the trip and the plan is to sit down and talk about how to handle the extra starting pitcher. The White Sox started a 10-game road trip with three games in Texas, followed by four games at Toronto and three more in Boston.
“Right now we have a plan,” Guillen said. “Maybe through this trip, but later on maybe not, because if we have some days off, somebody is going to not pitch in seven or eight days. I don’t know if we want to deal with that.”
Guillen and Williams will have a tough job at hand with six quality starters currently in the rotation. Jake Peavy will start Tuesday’s game and Gavin Floyd on Wednesday. Monday’s starter John Danks, Edwin Jackson, Philip Humber and ace Mark Buerhle are also currently in the rotation.
Guillen isn’t worried about telling one of them they’re going to the bullpen.
“It’s not about one guy,” Guillen said. “It’s about the ballclub. We don’t want to do it to anybody.”
‘‘It’s not about one guy; it’s about the ballclub,’’ Guillen said. ‘‘We don’t want to do it to anyone, but some guys can’t pitch with eight days’ rest.
‘‘Listen, they can think whatever they want to think. I have a job, and our job is to do the best for the team, not the best for the player. Sometimes when you do the best for the player, they don’t appreciate that, either. I will do what’s best for the ballclub.
‘‘They don’t have a choice because it’s about 25 guys. It’s about the Sox; it’s not about somebody’s name on the back. We’re going to do what’s best for the ballclub.’’
“The extra day is so big. Today should be my day. I have no problems pitching on this day. That extra day is big in recovering and it’s just one more day for you to feel even better than you already do.”It’s strange to be pitching in a six-man rotation — the Red Sox are the only other team to do it this season — but Peavy said it might help out all of the starters later in the season.”When you have six guys who are throwing the ball as well as we have, knock on wood, we have six guys who give us a chance every time we go out,” Peavy said. “I can’t see us staying in this the rest of the season, but I can’t see us not having a little bit of an advantage over guys in August and September when we have to be ‘whip hard,’ so to speak, going out of the back stretch. At that point in time, you’re letting it all hang out. I can see us being a little bit ahead of the pack.”
Guillen said he will talk to pitching coach Don Cooper in the coming days and the team will have a better idea of who might be relegated to bullpen duty. It could be that the staff wants to see John Danks’ start Monday to determine if he or Edwin Jackson is the one that will have to get by, for the time being anyway, on relief appearances.
UPDATE #2: Probably not:
There was some good news Monday night for John Danksdespite suffering his seventh consecutive loss to start the regular season.Manager Ozzie Guillen believes that Danks has pitched well enough to remain in the Chicago White Sox’s rotation even when they trim to a five-man alignment.”I think so,” Guillen said after Danks didn’t receive any run support in a 4-0 loss to Texas and Alexi Ogando, who improved to 5-0 with a 1.81 ERA. “I think he threw the ball well. I think he had really one bad game. We didn’t do anything for him. We don’t help him. That’s the problem. I think I’m very happy with the way he threw the ball.”
“Obviously everyone throwing the way we’re throwing, it’s going to be a tough call to do whatever they’re going to do,” Peavy said. “It’s not my call. I’m in it for as long as they want to do it or not do it.”
Peavy believes the starters would have no problem reverting to a normal five-man rotation.
“We’ve done it all our lives,” Peavy said. “We have such a routine that that extra day you can play with. And alter your routine and draw it out longer. But we have such a routine and are creatures of habit that I can easily pitch tonight and feel healthy and strong. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”