White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

December 6, 2011

Sox want young pitching says Robin Ventura

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2011 6:40 pm
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More Ventura (video too) here.

Who will be the Sox closer next year and afterwards?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2011 6:30 pm
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Michael Barr @ FanGraphs:

One guy that many fantasy owners, not to mention White Sox faithful, would like to see handed the job is Addison Reed. Reed, 22, tore through the minor leagues making mincemeat of hitters at every level, Rookie through AAA ball, finishing with a minor league career 1.41 ERA over 108 innings pitched, striking out 155 and walking just 20. He earned a late season call to the majors in September where he threw 7.1 innings, striking out 12 batters and walking one. Reports from his minor league appearances put his fastball in the 94-97 range and that fits with what batters saw in his brief major league stint, averaging 94.9 mph. He has fantastic command and a very good slider, and in terms of just overall stuff, he’s probably the closer of the future and perhaps even the best man for the job in 2012. But it could be that Robin Ventura and company would prefer someone more seasoned, not wanting to throw the kid into the proverbial fire just yet — not to mention the fact that Reed very well could start the season in the minors.

Doug Padilla says it may be Jesse Crain next year.

Scouting reports on newest Sox RHP Nestor Molina [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2011 3:19 pm
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Baseball America:

Prior to 2011, Molina had made just 77 career appearances, four of which were starts. Toronto had their sights set on giving him a chance to start, assigning him to the high Class A Dunedin rotation. He flourished in the move, throwing 130 innings between Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire while striking out more than a batter per inning and walking about one per nine. Molina has above-average command of a fastball that ranges from 88-93 mph. He originally tried to turn his slurvy breaking ball into a slider, but he has shifted to using a curveball now. Molina has a legitimate out-pitch in his splitter, and he also shows feel for a straight changeup. His secondary stuff doesn’t jump off the page, but his fastball command helps it play up. He profiles nicely in the back of a rotation and will likely make his big league debut in 2012.

UPDATE: John Sickels:

Molina has a solid 90-94 MPH fastball and keeps it low in the zone, picking up grounders. He also has a very good splitter. His slider is still a work-in-progress according to scouts, but his delivery adds deception and helps his stuff play up. His statistics last year were simply spectacular, and it is unusual to see a relief-to-starting conversion turn out this positively. He wasn’t some old guy tricking people; he was just 22 last year. If anything, Molina still doesn’t get the respect he deserves as a prospect. I currently have him rated as a Grade B+ prospect.

Jonathan Mayo:

Molina features an intriguing four-pitch mix with an advanced feel for pitching. He’ll throw his fastball in the 89-92 mph range and complements it with a slider and a changeup. His best pitch, though, might be his splitter, a true plus offering with a ton of deception. Some have said he might be better-suited to be a top-flight bullpen/setup guy, but his stuff and command say he’ll get more time to start.

Eno Sarris @ Fangraphs:

The return is exciting. Molina was given a B+ ranking from John Sickels, who rated him the second-best prospect in the Jays’ organization. In 130.1 innings between High-A and Double-A last year, Molina struck out 148 batters against a mere 16 walks. At 23 next year, he might only need a little more seasoning at Double-A before he can join the big leagues.

If he stays a starter, Molina will only need to be worth about as much as Paul Maholm has been worth over the last six years (13.2 WAR) in order to surpass Santos’ absolute value. Paul Maholm never had a minor league K/BB rate like Molina’s and was never a top-two prospect for the Pirates, but it’s still possible that Molina as a starter doesn’t achieve those heights.

Kenny Williams:

“Nestor Molina is a guy that has a 90-96 mph fastball that bores in on right-hand hitters, that keeps the ball down in the strikezone, can hit outside corner, inside corner, take it upstairs if he needs to.  His secondary stuff…he has a swing-and-miss type split that drops off the table, his slider is a plus slider, and his changeup is equally as effective.  He obviously has a four-pitch mix.  He walked (16) guys in a 130-some odd innings and is in winter league right now and pitching with the same success.”

Kenny Williams says he won’t trade any other starting pitcher … probably! [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2011 2:45 pm
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Chuck Garfien:

“It is the start of a rebuilding and you guys know that I’ve not used that word in 12 years, but it is the start of rebuilding now,” Williams told reporters. “Is it the start of a falling domino-type of rebuilding? No, absolutely not, because as we currently sit here I do not like what’s currently being offered for our valuable pieces. So I’m of the mindset that while we may do a couple more things, as we sit here right now we’ll probably keep the rest of the pitching intact.”

That means John Danks and Gavin Floyd are safe…for now.

UPDATE: Doug Padilla:

“Because as we currently sit, I do not like what is currently being offered for any of our valuable veteran pieces. I’m of the mindset that while we may do a couple of more things, as we sit right now we’ll probably keep the rest of the pitching intact and we’ll focus on some peripheral things to kind of continue to get a piece here or there that will help us in 2013, 2014. But as I sit here right now I don’t see any deals for any of the other pitchers.”

Sox trade closer Sergio Santos to Toronto for RHP Nestor Molina (video)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2011 12:15 pm
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whitesox.com press release:

The Chicago White have acquired right-handed pitcher Nestor Molina from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for right-handed reliever Sergio Santos.

… The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Molina spent most of the season with Dunedin, going 10-3 with a 2.58 ERA (31 ER/108.1 IP), 16 walks and 115 strikeouts in 21 games (18 starts).  He was named to the Florida State League mid and postseason All-Star Teams.

A native of Valencia, Venezuela, Molina made his final five starts with New Hampshire, where he was 2-0 with a 0.41 ERA (1 ER/22.0 IP), two walks and 33 strikeouts.  He finished the season with a streak of 16.0 consecutive scoreless IP over his final four outings.

Molina is 27-7 with a 2.21 ERA (72 ER/292.2 IP) and 277 strikeouts in 103 games (27 starts) over six seasons in the Blue Jays minor-league system.  He was signed by Toronto as a free agent on April 2, 2006 and spent the 2006-07 seasons as an outfielder/third baseman before being converted to a pitcher. …

Molina’s 2011 stats (full stats on the end):

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2011 22 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-AA TOR 12 3 .800 2.21 26 23 1 0 0 0 130.1 114 39 32 8 16 0 148 1 1 5 512 0.997 7.9 0.6 1.1 10.2 9.25
2011 22 Dunedin FLOR A+ TOR 10 3 .769 2.58 21 18 1 0 0 0 108.1 102 37 31 8 14 0 115 1 0 3 432 1.071 8.5 0.7 1.2 9.6 8.21
2011 22 New Hampshire EL AA TOR 2 0 1.000 0.41 5 5 0 0 0 0 22.0 12 2 1 0 2 0 33 0 1 2 80 0.636 4.9 0.0 0.8 13.5 16.50
A+ (2 seasons) A+ 10 3 .769 2.56 23 18 2 0 0 0 112.2 109 41 32 8 14 0 118 1 0 3 452 1.092 8.7 0.6 1.1 9.4 8.43
AA (1 season) AA 2 0 1.000 0.41 5 5 0 0 0 0 22.0 12 2 1 0 2 0 33 0 1 2 80 0.636 4.9 0.0 0.8 13.5 16.50
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 12/6/2011.

Wow! a 0.0997 WHIP and a 148/16 K/BB ratio!

And minorleaguecentral says Molina did this with a .318 BABIP in 2011!! And a 2.12 FIP!!

John Sickels on Molina last week:

2) Nestor Molina, RHP, Grade B+: Ranking the Blue Jays pitching prospects is quite difficult. Although Molina hasn’t received as much press as some of the other guys, his performance was impeccable, I think his stuff is underrated, and he’ll get to the majors sooner than the others. Despite his season, he is still underrated by a lot of people.

and

Molina [ranking] is both stats and scouting reports. I think the scouting reports that are out there are underrating his stuff. But we will see.

From a Jim Callis chat on Aug. 24, 2011:

Q: What is Nestor Molina’s stuff? He is making double a look very easy.

A: It’s all solid: fastball, slider, changeup, occasional curveball. Not sure you’d call any of his offerings a plus pitch, but he mixes them well and moves the ball around the strike zone. Not the sexiest scouting report, but that’s the type of guy who winds up in the big leagues.

From Kenny Williams’ comments it seems Molina will start 2012 in the minors:

“I would hope that we give him a little bit more seasoning, but he’s got the kind of ability that, there are certain guys that will force his way onto major league rosters. When you look at a young pitcher, you look at what kind of stuff he has, what kind of composure he has, and his ability to command the strike zone, and this guy does it in a way that very few do so. I’m not going to say that he can’t, and he won’t.”

I like the trade from what I hear so far. Molina’s stats are impeccable. And Addison Reed can take over.

And a 9-minute youtube video of Molina:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKNGVIep51I
(more…)

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