White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

April 15, 2011

Joe Crede speaks

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 15, 2011 8:24 pm
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JJ has the interview

February 26, 2011

Ozzie Guillen fires back at Bobby Jenks [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 26, 2011 3:05 pm
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Ozzie Guillen responded to Bobby Jenks. Gonzales @ CT:

“Too bad that all the stuff we had between me and Kenny interrupted his career because he did a lot of bad things last year,” Guillen quipped. “We lied for him, we protected him. I’m the first manager in the history of baseball to give a guy a week off to take care of his kids when his father-in-law was sick. It wasn’t even his wife, it even wasn’t a (family) member. But it was out of respect I have for his family. I sent him home because he had to babysit his kids because his father-in-law was sick. I don’t think any manager is doing that. But coming from him, I expect that.”

“We don’t miss him,” Guillen said. “You ask 30 guys in there. By the way, I was asking for his phone number to talk him to about it, and nobody had his phone number. None of his (former) teammates had his phone number. That you can tell what happened. But (criticism of ) me, that’s fine. He wasn’t talking about the ballclub, he was talking about Ozzie and Kenny (Williams). I respect that. ”

“Thank God he wasn’t talking about the club. If Bobby was taking about the club, I would have been everywhere on ESPN because I will rip his guts. But he was talking about me. I can take that. Just be careful of what you say about Oney because Oney will say stuff he’s not supposed to be saying. That’s just a warning for him just in case somebody don’t call him. Just stay away and don’t name Oney for this because it will be pretty ugly.”

Scot Gregor @ DH:

“First of all he can’t make any comments about last year because he was never in the clubhouse,” Guillen said. “He spent more time at his house than he did in the clubhouse. They told me about it. I didn’t read it yet. The only thing I can say is that I feel bad for him because I think the way we treated this kid, just the White Sox and myself, or our front-office people, we helped him a lot on the field and off the field.”

“Just worry about Boston, don’t worry about the White Sox,” Guillen said. “He has to worry about Boston and what he has to do for them. And I bet you (Red Sox manager) Tito Francona won’t put up with the (bleep) we put up with here. I have Tito’s number here to call him and say make sure you tell Bobby to worry about the Boston Red Sox and don’t worry about what happened here or whatever. We don’t miss him.

Brett Ballantini @ CSN:

“Please, someone who knows [Jenks], please [tell him not to] talk about Oney,” Guillen said. “It’s going to be ugly. I talked to my wife about it, to make sure to tell Oney to let it go. It can [end] bad. Me? That’s OK. Kenny is OK with it—I talked to Kenny. But Oney? Stay away from Oney. He’s not a good kid. When you go to that point with him, Oney knows a lot about a lot of things. Make sure [Jenks] stays away from [Oney].”

“He had a lot of problems, but we were loyal to him by playing him. I was a very bad manager because I kept him as my closer when he couldn’t [close]. He has to look [at] himself in the mirror.”

“I’m very sad,” Guillen said. “I’m not even mad about it. I’m very sad about the way he thinks about us. Am I going to say anything bad about him? I’m not going to waste my time—he’s not part of my program. It’s very sad because he should look at himself in the mirror, and all the things he said in the paper, to realize what he said. Like I said in January, if there was one player I ever managed, I did more stuff for him than anybody else, on the field and off the field.

“He did a lot of bad things last year. We lied for him. We protect[ed] him.”

UPDATE: Audio from ESPN (3:15).

January 20, 2011

Ozzie Guillen leaning towards Chris Sale as closer

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 20, 2011 1:27 pm
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Gregor @ DH:

Ozzie also talked about the closer’s role, and he is leaning toward Chris Sale but also keeping a close eye on Jake Peavy’s health.

The White Sox’ manager also said Dayan Viciedo might get a shot in either left or right field.

UPDATE: Merkin @ CWS:

Although Guillen couldn’t provide any clarity on Sale’s immediate future, he did admit that breaking camp with a “closer by committee” is not a routine he wants to follow.

“That’s a good thing for the pitcher, knowing what [his] position is going to be,” Guillen said. “I think that’s one thing we’re looking for and I hope we do.

“You look around and Matt Thornton is the guy with experience. The guy was there before. You look at Sale and we don’t know. We got to wait to see if Peavy is ready and see if we use Sale or somebody else. I got to wait for that. But pitching, Cooper knows about that and [general manager] Kenny [Williams] has an idea and I feel comfortable either way.

“Having Sale in the bullpen is a plus,” Guillen said. “That depends on Peavy and who’s going to cover early in the season.”

January 1, 2011

Matt Thornton: Oney Guillen’s personal White Sox tweets must be snuffed out fast

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 1, 2011 8:38 pm
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ESPN Chicago:

“I’m not a big fan of the social media, personally,” Thornton said on ESPN 1000’s “Talking Baseball.” “I don’t tweet. I don’t Facebook. I don’t like it in sports at all. I don’t think it’s necessary at all. … What happened here with Oney tweeting what he did, that’s crossing a pretty big line in my personal opinion. That’s something that’s gotta be addressed quickly and taken care of and snuffed out real fast. Anytime you bring clubhouse stuff out in the open, I don’t care what it is, it’s that person’s personal business and also the clubhouse’s personal business. That’s the first time all this stuff has really irritated me. It doesn’t matter what’s true and what’s not true, I don’t care about that. The fact that anything was said at all is ridiculous. It’s definitely gotta be addressed and taken care of real quick around here.”

Audio (3 minutes) at the link. Or download the mp3 here (748 KB).

December 30, 2010

Kenny Williams to Ozzie Guillen: You handle Oney-Bobby saga

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 30, 2010 12:10 pm
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Haugh @ CT:

Oney, Ozzie’s 24-year-old son, put his famous father in another awkward spot Wednesday when he aired details via Twitter of Bobby Jenks’ personal problems shared in the sanctity of the clubhouse.

References to Jenks’ drinking issues, his marriage, an altercation with a clubhouse attendant and an emotional breakdown in Guillen’s office did little but raise doubts about just how private any future interaction with the Sox manager will stay.

“It is an issue I trust Ozzie to manage as there are obvious peripheral issues that are in direct conflict to what we believe and could directly compromise the integrity of clubhouse privacy, privacy that is vital to a team’s unity and success,” general manager Ken Williams told the Tribune in an e-mail.

What could go wrong? Ozzie has been handling Oney less than masterfully… Remember the Guillen-Ordonez fight? Could we have more fireworks?

UPDATE: JJ has a good post about it.

UPDATE #2: Kenny also addressed Bobby’s remarks:

“Not only do I disagree with Bobby’s assessments, I condemn them for being non-factual and the reckless spirit they represent,” Williams said. “The White Sox organization appreciates Bobby’s efforts while he was here, and we wish him well. But if he pauses to reflect on the many hours of conversation and examples of support we have shown over the years, it is my hope he realizes he owes Ozzie Guillen an apology.”

December 28, 2010

Bobby Jenks wants a manager who knows how to run a bullpen

Merkin @ CWS:

“I’ll always respect [Guillen] as a person and give him credit that’s due,” Jenks said. “But I want to play for a manager who trusts his relievers, regardless of what’s going on.

“With the way Ozzie was talking this winter and the way he treated me, I don’t want to fight with the guy. How many times did he question my ability, and then saying how he would love to have me back, but I would have to come to Spring Training and fight for the closer’s role like anyone else?

“Why would I come back to that negativity?” Jenks said. “I’m looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen.”


According to Jenks, the White Sox offered two years at $10 million after the Winter Meetings and the team then asked for an answer on the morning before the initial agreement was reached with Crain. The White Sox source said the organization spoke with Jenks’ agent before Crain was signed, but no offer was made. It simply was a conversation about expectations.

Other teams besides Boston had interest. Jenks listed those opportunities from closing for Tampa Bay to starting — yes, starting — for the Texas Rangers. Jenks was a starter for five Minor League seasons with the Angels before being converted to the bullpen when joining the White Sox.

UPDATE: Seems Oney Guilen, Ozzie Guillen’s son, didn’t like Jenks’ comments.

December 6, 2010

Kenny Williams talks bullpen

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2010 11:12 pm
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Ballantini @ CSN:

Williams forecasted the news that J.J. Putz apparently signed with Arizona to become the Diamondbacks’ closer, saying, “We wanted him back, but [Putz is] headed elsewhere.”

As for the recently non-tendered Bobby Jenks, Williams remained open to a return by his five-year closer, with logical hesitation: “He’s new to the market, and he’s got to flesh some things out before he gets back to us.”

With holes in the pen (just Matt Thornton, Sergio Santos, and possibly Chris Sale and Tony Pena project as holdovers in 2011), Williams knows he needs at least one recognizable addition in the trenches.

“[A trade is] quite possibly the way we might have to go because we’ve taken ourselves to—or beyond—our payroll limits,” he said. “I might have to get a little creative with trades…[but] I don’t think a reliever is going to come at these meetings for us. That will be after.”

December 2, 2010

JJ Stankevitz and Fangraphs on the Adam Dunn and Bobby Jenks moves

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 2, 2010 10:18 pm
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JJ Stankevitz @ Examiner:

While Dunn hasn’t hit 40 home runs since 2008, he’s played half his games in a pitcher’s park with Washington. Nationals’ Park hurt left-handers when it came to home runs, according to StatCorner’s park factors (94=below average, 100=average). Dunn still hit 20 home runs at home in 2010 and 19 in 2009, though, both of which were not lower than his road totals.

But U.S. Cellular Field is a hitter’s haven, as StatCorner rates its home run park factor for left-handed hitters at 122. That bodes extremely well for Dunn’s chances to get back to a 40-home run mark.

Cameron @ FG:

… Essentially, the White Sox are betting that Dunn can maintain his peak production into his early 30s while switching leagues and potentially transitioning to being a bat-only player. If he sees some age related decline, struggles in the American League, or doesn’t adjust well to life as a sometimes-DH, he’ll have a hard time justifying this contract.

However, Dunn has been a remarkably consistent offensive performer, and he’s going to the American League version of heaven for flyball hitters. While it’s probably a bit more money than I would have paid, it’s pretty easy to see Dunn being successful in Chicago for at least the first half of this deal. It’s probably a bit of an overpay, but it’s one that has a decent chance of working out.

JJ Stankevitz @ Examiner:

It’s the right move for the White Sox to make. Whether it’s correlated to questions about his conditioning, Jenks has proven to be injury-prone over the last few seasons. And he’s due for a raise off his $7.5 million 2010 salary. There aren’t many closers that are worth ~$9 million. Jenks isn’t one of them.

But here’s why letting Jenks go is dangerous: All his advanced numbers point in the direction of a rebound year in terms of results. …

R.J. Anderson @ FG:

As for Jenks, he now becomes one of the most interesting free agents available. With no free agent compensation required, teams will only part with money in order to sign him. The disagreement between Jenks’ earned run average (4.44) and peripheral-based run average metrics (2.59 FIP) might lead to a discount rate as well. This is a guy coming off a season with a career-low xFIP (2.62) who also had the worst strand rate (65.4%) and batting average on balls in play against (.368) of his six-year career.

Those last two are vital to his inflated ERA. It’s common baseball sense: the fewer runners you strand, the more runners you allow to score and the larger your ERA grows. How BABIP plays into an increased ERA is no philosophical issue either, as more hits have a tendency to mean more baserunners and more run-scoring opportunities. Given how the rest of Jenks’ career has played out, it seems safe – if not concrete – to say 2010’s hit and strand rates will become apparitions rather than telltale embodiment of Jenks’ abilities. …

UPDATE: Brett Ballantini @ CSN:

… Jenks has lost confidence in his deathly yakker, and must regain it to become an elite closer again. He threw it just 7.4% of the time in 2010, the lowest of his career—and often replacing it is his most hittable pitch, the slider.

And it’s not as if Jenks has lost his stuff, with a sweet K rate (10.42 K/9, second best of his career). His Fielder Independent Pitching (FIP, essentially an ERA-type figure taking fielders out of the equation) was as good as any in his career, at just 2.52. And his ground ball-to-fly ball ratio, which must be high to ensure success in a microwave like U.S. Cellular Field, was a career-best 2.80, indicating that Jenks, for all his woes, is keeping the ball down and mastering the ability to pitch in his tricky home park.

So a strong case can be made that Jenks is due for a strong, if not stellar, bounce-back season. Sabermeister Bill James envisions (not entirely because of but largely due to better luck, a BABIP trimmed to .307) a 32-save season and a 3.12 ERA.

White Sox non-tender Bobby Jenks and Erick Threets [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 2, 2010 2:31 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

on Thursday, the White Sox announced they declined to tender a 2011 contract to Bobby Jenks. Left-handed reliever Erick Threets also was non-tendered.

Contracts were offered to arbitration-eligible players in John Danks and Carlos Quentin, as well as Tony Pena, who appeared to be on the proverbial non-tender bubble.

UPDATE: The Sox can still re-sign Jenks. He’s a free-agent now.

UPDATE #2: Kenny won’t close the door:

As far as Jenks, Williams wouldn’t close the door on him completely, but not at the price Jenks would have received in arbitration.

“Bobby Jenks brought a World Series to Chicago and I will never forget that,” Williams said. “And I haven’t closed the door on that. All it says today is with the dollars it will bring in an arbitration hearing we cannot go there. The message I have to Sox fans and to Bobby Jenks is he gave us everything he had. I’m proud of his growth as a person, a player and as a dad. I wish the best for him if indeed he does end up somewhere else.”

November 9, 2010

Most Important Sox, 2011 and beyond edition (#11-20)

Ballantini @ CSN:

As the coals in the hot stove are just beginning to get stoked up, it’s time to rank the current Chicago White Sox, in order of importance for 2011 and beyond. It’s not intended to be a strict list of merely the best players, or best values, on the White Sox. Rather, it takes into account team depth, the free agent market, or answering the question of which player would hurt the most not being on the team? …

12.    Juan Pierre, LF

Another player who is easy to take for granted is Pierre, but the left-fielder was a miraculous find for the White Sox in 2010. Pierre almost completely offset his arm in the field by getting to every ball hit his way, compiling a UZR of 13.4, ninth-best in baseball, sixth among outfielders and third among left fielders. Pierre was also one of the best pressure hitters in baseball, with a 1.15 Clutch rating that was tied for eighth among all players. Pierre brought $9 million in value to the White Sox, who paid him just $3 million for the season. Williams and Guillen so gush over what Pierre brings to the field that it would not surprise if the soft-spoken speedster ascends to the role of team captain if both Konerko and Pierzynski fail to return.

October 4, 2010

Chuck Garfein’s 2011 off-season predictions

Garfien @ CSN:

Let’s start with the four World Series heroes, and their chances of coming back:

Paul Konerko: 50 percent

A.J. Pierzynski:  40 percent

Bobby Jenks: 1 percent

Freddy Garcia:  25 percent

I’d go with those numbers too. More predictions at the link.

October 3, 2010

Kenny Williams disappointed with Bobby Jenks?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 3, 2010 2:40 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

General manager Ken Williams’ comments on Sunday, though, made Jenks’ return seem less likely and put the right-hander on the list of possible non-tender candidates.

“That’s something we have to evaluate strongly because I’ve been disappointed on a number of levels,” Williams said. “And there are certain things that I’m not going to talk about right now.”

… “What I will say is Bobby Jenks has been good for a long time here,” Williams said. “He is one of the reasons we got that banner up here and an ’08 division as well. As we sit here, two years after winning the division, I’m not going to criticize one of the guys that helped us get there.

“We’ll just make the moves necessary for the continuity of the team and the success of the team.”

September 29, 2010

BTB looks on potential White Sox non-tenders

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 29, 2010 6:32 pm
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Satchel Price (9/15):

It hasn’t been a great season for Quentin, who’s only partially bounced back from his thoroughly disappointing 2009 performance. His .236/.333/.477 line isn’t bad, particularly when you see a .233 BABIP, but he’s managed to offset nearly all of that value with defensive numbers that border on Dunn-like. He’s put up a -32.1 UZR in his past 219 games, and one has to wonder now if the team is better off using him at designated hitter. I still think that he’s worth tendering; the offensive upside is easy to see, and he’s been an above-average hitter even during these disappointing years. But it looked like the White Sox had themselves a star when he batted .288/.394/.571 in 2008, and that’s looking an awful lot like his career-year right now.

August 5, 2010

Bobby Jenks doesn’t like Freddy Garcia

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 5, 2010 8:23 pm
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Merkin says “Jenks has wasted two three-run leads in quality second-half starts made by Freddy Garcia.”

July 29, 2010

Bobby Jenks: No sign of the curveball

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 29, 2010 12:00 pm

Pitch F/X (MLB Gameday data) sees 11 fastballs and 2 sliders on yesterday’s Bobby Jenks outing:

Pitch Statistics
Pitch Type Avg Speed Max Speed Avg H-Break Avg V-Break Count Strikes / % Swinging Strikes / % Linear Weights Time to Plate
FF (FourSeam Fastball) 97.05 98.9 -4.85 9.24 11 9 / 81.82% 1 / 9.09% -0.7268 0.388
SL (Slider) 88.35 89.5 1.48 1.12 2 1 / 50.00% 1 / 50.00% -0.1499 0.426
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
9 13 10 76.92 13 -0.877
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