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December 6, 2011

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…)

December 5, 2011

White Sox announce 2012 Spring Training schedule

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 5, 2011 1:00 pm
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whitesox.com press release:

The Chicago White Sox begin their 2012 spring training schedule on Monday, March 5 as the home team against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch – Glendale (CBR), the teams’ shared ballpark in Glendale, Ariz.

White Sox pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training on February 23, with position players reporting on February 28.  The first full-squad workout is set for February 28.

The White Sox play 16 home games at CBR, including one against the crosstown-rival Cubs (March 9), two against National League Central Champion Milwaukee (March 7 and April 2), one contest against the two-time defending American League Champion Texas Rangers (March 10) and one game against Arizona (March 23), champions of the NL West.  The Sox also play the Cubs in Mesa on March 18 and are the visiting team against the Dodgers at CBR on March 26 and 29.

All Sox home games begin at 1:05 p.m. (Arizona time), except for contests vs. the Dodgers on March 10 (7:05 p.m.), vs. Arizona on March 23 (7:05 p.m.) and vs. Milwaukee on April 2 (12:05 p.m.).

The White Sox exhibition schedule closes with a two-game set against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park beginning on Tuesday, April 3.  The Sox will open the 2012 regular season on the road against Texas on Friday, April 6 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and host the Detroit Tigers in their home opener on April 13.

Spring Training schedule in calendar format here. or here. (more…)

December 4, 2011

Kenny Williams will probably wait if he intends to trade John Danks or Gavin Floyd

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 4, 2011 11:00 pm
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Commenting on Jon Heyman’s tweet that the Sox wanted C/1B Jesus Montero and LHP Manny Banuelos for LHP John Danks J.J. Stankevitz writes:

… What it shows is that the Sox will probably wait until C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle are off the market to make a move. When they do sign, more teams will likely be interested in trading for Danks (or Gavin Floyd), thus upping the potential return.

Yeah, Kenny will probably wait if he intends to trade Danks or Floyd. Except if he gets an offer too good too pass up. Or if they hypnotize him and we get a repeat of Swisher II…

PS. Yes, Montero is probably too much but Banuelos isn’t enough. He’s a 1.53 WHIP 1.81 K/BB AA pitcher:

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
2010 19 Trenton EL AA NYY 0 1 .000 3.52 3 3 0 0 0 0 15.1 15 8 6 2 8 0 17 0 0 1 64 1.500 8.8 1.2 4.7 10.0 2.13
2011 20 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-AAA NYY 6 7 .462 3.75 27 27 0 1 1 0 129.2 130 63 54 9 71 0 125 7 0 11 577 1.550 9.0 0.6 4.9 8.7 1.76
2011 20 Trenton EL AA NYY 4 5 .444 3.59 20 20 0 0 0 0 95.1 94 46 38 7 52 0 94 6 0 9 422 1.531 8.9 0.7 4.9 8.9 1.81
2011 20 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre IL AAA NYY 2 2 .500 4.19 7 7 0 1 1 0 34.1 36 17 16 2 19 0 31 1 0 2 155 1.602 9.4 0.5 5.0 8.1 1.63
AA (2 seasons) AA 4 6 .400 3.58 23 23 0 0 0 0 110.2 109 54 44 9 60 0 111 6 0 10 486 1.527 8.9 0.7 4.9 9.0 1.85
AAA (1 season) AAA 2 2 .500 4.19 7 7 0 1 1 0 34.1 36 17 16 2 19 0 31 1 0 2 155 1.602 9.4 0.5 5.0 8.1 1.63
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 12/4/2011.

The K/BB ratio isn’t anything special. Don’t let the Yankee mystique influence you Kenny.

December 3, 2011

Acquired veterans failed to put you to the top? Time to go young!

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 3, 2011 12:00 am
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Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times writes about the 1961 trade of lefty Billy pierce to the Giants and tells us the happenings on the Sox at the time:

The 1961 season placed the South Siders at a crossroads. Beginning in 1951, the team rattled off a series of winning seasons that culminated in the 1959 pennant winning Go-Go White Sox. Hoping to seize the moment and create a dynasty for himself, then-team owner Bill Veeck spent the 1959-60 off-season trading away his best prospects for established veterans.

… Worse yet, the veterans did not quite pan out as expected. The 1960 Sox fell from first to third place. In 1961, they fell further still, finishing in fourth place with an 86-76 record.

… So in the 1961-62 off-season, the Sox engaged in a series of trades in hopes of undoing the 1959-60 offseason. …

So, how did those off-season moves turn out?

The Sox actually won one fewer game in 1962 than the year before, but moving out some of their older players helped them out down the road. In 1963, they began a series of three straight 90-win seasons and remained competitive through 1967.

Will Kenny clean house or go for it again? We could know by this time next week!

Other White Sox links:

December 2, 2011

Rick Hahn turned down interview for the Houston GM job

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 2, 2011 7:35 pm
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