White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

March 13, 2010

Rick Hahn’s interview


Will the rotating DH position work this season:

“If it doesn’t work, be rest assured we will do everything in our power to correct the problem. There is already a list in place for “replacements” if  the DH situation doesn’t work. We always have a contingency plan, and this is no exception. With that said, we do feel strongly in Andruw and Mark the DH position.”

Hahn also says he views Tyler Flowers as a catcher but he could help in another way this season. DH?

Hahn touches on more at the interview: Scott Linebrink, Dayan Viciedo, Jared Mitchell, 2010 mlb draft.

March 3, 2010

So, the DH by committee begins

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 3, 2010 6:04 pm
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Mark Kotsay will serve as the designated hitter Thursday when the Sox play the Los Angeles Angels in Tempe. The plan remains to rotate the DHs, and Alex Rios will get some time there while he recovers from a sore right throwing shoulder. Andruw Jones will start Thursday in center field, but will serve as the DH against left-handers.


It also means that Guillen will begin to show the versatility his DH-by-committee plan really gives him. With Alex Rios nursing a sore throwing shoulder, Guillen will sit him out of the opener and then start Rios as the DH for a few games, while Andruw Jones plays in the outfield.

February 25, 2010

First episode of the Sox TV show to be on the Thome decision

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 25, 2010 9:39 pm
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The White Sox first reality show episode will feature an inside look at the team’s front office as they discussed the pros and cons of offering designed hitter Jim Thome a 2010 contract. Featured in the episode are general manager Kenny Williams, and assistant general manager Rick Hahn. …

The 2nd episode will be on Jerry Reinsdorf having lunch with Bud Selig.

February 24, 2010

Kenny, Ozzie, and the DH

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 24, 2010 1:53 am
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While Guillen and Williams are on the same page in many instances, the job description of the DH isn’t one of them. Williams wants a 40-homer bull while Guillen wants matchup nightmares.

So even with Williams saying he and Guillen have been on the same page, his actions scream otherwise.

Case in point: SoxFest and Williams throwing Jim Thome at Guillen’s feet to either bring him aboard or allow him to continue his free-agent shopping.

Once Guillen took the pass on Thome, Williams started shaking the Scott Boras tree and seeing if Johnny Damon fell out. Detroit gave the former Yankee 8 million reasons to go to Motown. …

February 23, 2010

Andruw Jones to DH against left-handed pitching

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 23, 2010 7:13 pm
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Ozzie Guillen mentioned Tuesday that Andruw Jones will be penciled in as the 2010 White Sox designated hitter against left-handed pitchers, at least at this early stage of Spring Training.

But the White Sox manager left the door open for the physically fit Jones to earn even more warranted at-bats.

“Can he play every day and help us? I don’t see why not,” said Guillen of Jones, who has already drawn early-camp notice from his svelte look. “He has to use all the fields to make him better. The potential and ability is there. He has to know how to use it the best.

“Talking about him right now, he will play against lefties and is going to be in the middle of the lineup. It depends how [Carlos] Quentin and [Paul] Konerko swing the bat, and [Alex] Rios. I hope he keeps in the middle of the lineup and hopefully that works out.”

Gonzo says this means Kotsay will get more of the DH at-bats against right-handed pitching, and that Ozzie Guillen didn’t rule out Jones batting lead-off against tough left-handers.

February 20, 2010

Darrin Jackson doesn’t approve Ozzie’s 2010 gameplan

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 20, 2010 7:55 pm
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Chris Rongey conducted a very good interview with Darrin Jackson on White Sox weekly this morning that revealed a contradiction in Ozzie’s 2010 gameplan. Jackson, normally a toe-the-company-line guy, said he is not crazy about the rotating DH/OF/1B/everywhere plan because players are much more efficient when they have a set position and role with the club. Citing his own playing days, Jackson said players are more focused and productive when they are mentally prepared for one role. …

When even DJ does not like your gameplan, you know your gameplan has serious problems.

February 18, 2010

Jim Thome just wanted to play

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 18, 2010 12:32 am
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”I loved my time in Chicago,” Thome said. ”My home was there. My kids are in school there. They never offered me contract. I’m a Twin now.

”Cleveland was my [first baseball] home. If their organization had pursued me, great. It didn’t happen. No hard feelings.”

”Money to me was not an issue,” Thome said. ”I wanted to play. The bottom line is, at a certain point, you’re not going to make the money you’ve made.” …

Damn you Ozzie…

February 10, 2010

Jake Peavy trying to tell Ozzie Guillen he should get a DH (video)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 10, 2010 10:31 pm
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Rob Lehocky:

“The American League is a little different animal. It’s a dog eat dog world, a big bangers league. Obviously there’s a lot of big bats. But your team’s going to score more runs for you too,” he said.

and on his current and former teams:

“The White Sox are a completely different class,” he said. “They have established players, guys who’ve proven themselves.”

there is a video clip (1:18) of the TV segment at the same link

February 7, 2010

You’re doing it wrong!

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 7, 2010 1:38 pm
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When even Phil Rogers implores you to get a DH:

The guess here is he can make enough plays to make a difference in 2010. He [Johnny Damon] appears headed to the Tigers, but the White Sox ought to stage an intervention.

Imagine Damon in the Sox leadoff spot and Juan Pierre as the No. 2 hitter — or the other way around. Can a rotating DH including Mark Kotsay, Andruw Jones, Omar Vizquel and Jayson Nix outproduce Damon? And what would be the harm in having 23-year-old Jordan Danks spend time with Damon? They seem to be the same kind of player.

Dye’s continuing unemployment relates to an unflattering statistical analysis of his outfield skills and his reluctance to accept a role as a DH or extra outfielder (the Cubs pursued him before turning to Xavier Nady).

… Branyan, like Damon, could improve the White Sox’s DH spot. He strikes out a ton but delivers long balls — 43 in 563 at-bats the last two seasons — and the Sox haven’t added power after sliding to sixth in the AL in homers. He could fit on almost any team in a bench role but fits best in the AL, where he would be an instant upgrade for the Indians, Athletics and Rangers.

then you know,

The run projections I calculated with Dye as DH yielded 12-18 runs more than the ones with Kotsay/Jones.

February 5, 2010

Fangraphs on Ozzie’s ‘rotating DH’ idea

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 5, 2010 6:35 pm
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Seriously, a Jones/Kotsay platoon is the first option? Keep in mind that a league-average hitter is a replacement level DH. While Jones might still have his uses as a bench/platoon player, CHONE projects him as a below average hitter (.324 wOBA, -7/150 in context-neutral linear weights). If you think that’s bad, Kotsay projects at .297 wOBA, -16/150 context-neutral. That’s not useful at any of the positions Kotsay backs up at this point, much less DH. Even if efficiently platooned, that’s ugly. Heck, Mike Jacobs (-6) would be an upgrade, and would also keep the Chicago/Kansas City pipeline active.

They really didn’t have room for Thome? He probably adds just a few runs for the Twins, but he would be at least a one, maybe two win improvement over Jones/Kotsay. …

January 28, 2010

Kenny won’t close the door on DH

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 28, 2010 6:39 pm
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But there’s one major misconception among fans frustrated or even angry with Guillen’s decision to bypass Thome or a primary designated hitter, and that misconception would be viewing this move with any sort of finality. If the White Sox, as an organization, believe this DH-by-committee to be a liability, then Williams won’t hesitate to upgrade.

“There might be a time in June or July where we look around and say, ‘We have to address that need,'” said Williams, speaking in generalities about any missing element on the team. “And we’ll go to work.”

When Williams was asked if that search could come as early as May, Williams paused, smiled and added, “Perhaps.”

Ozzie said it can be as soon as March.

January 26, 2010

Jim Thome signs 1-year deal with East Dakota

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 26, 2010 5:36 pm
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Charley Walters and Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press are reporting that the Twins and Jim Thome have agreed to a one-year contract.  LaVelle Neal of the Star Tribune (via Twitter) says the deal is worth $1.5MM, with an additional $700K available to be earned in incentives.  It’s a big step back salary-wise for Thome, who earned $13MM in 2009, but a bigger salary didn’t appear to be available elsewhere. …

Big Jim’s message:

“Throughout my career, I have been blessed to have amazing fans supporting me the whole way. This past week, it’s been no different. Thanks to the people of Chicago for making my playing time here so special.

“And to those who continue to follow my career, … I hope to be able to give you a lot more to cheer about in the future.”

You’re a fuckin’ moron Ozzie

January 25, 2010

Ozzie’s underpants theory of baseball

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 25, 2010 10:42 pm
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1. Replace your DH that gives  you a .900 OPS and with a combination of 3 guys with .700, .700, and .600 OPS (stats are for last 3 years)

2. ?

3. Win your division

(South Park’s Underpants Gnomes video)

Adding a bat in the middle of the batting order during Spring Training?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 25, 2010 9:02 pm
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While Guillen mentioned Sunday how Thome was the only left-handed hitter he really wanted, he admitted Monday night that this bat in the middle of the order could be explored again in the future. That future date could come as soon as March, if the White Sox realize something is missing during Spring Training.

“It’s weird because for as long as I’ve been here, we always played in the past with the big boys in the middle,” Guillen said. “We changed our philosophy and what we want to do is have more speed and other stuff.

“Maybe it will take us a little while to see what we have, but I’m very optimistic. I’m very excited. I don’t want to say I’ll put my job on the line, but I love what I have. Everything should be set right now, but believe me, I talk to [GM Kenny Williams] every day about the ballclub.”


Although Guillen did say that if Thome were to be out there still come spring training and the current plan of DH-by-committee wasn’t working, well, bringing him back would be revisited.

“We might see in spring training that we’re missing a piece and go get him,” Guillen said. “But hopefully Jim is not waiting that long. Hopefully Jim has found a job.”


Ken Williams, on making another move before spring training: “Unless it translates into a championship, it’s a wasted effort. I’m a bottom-line guy and for me the bottom line is winning championships.”

January 24, 2010

Does Ozzie Guillen think that the DH will be outlawed?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 24, 2010 7:41 pm
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The traditional designated hitter is fading from the American League. Guillen looks at the landscape and sees Travis Hafner in Cleveland, David Ortiz in Boston and nobody else really making it a full-time job.

“You’re not gonna see (another) Harold Baines,” Guillen said. “You’re not gonna see the Dave Parkers. You’re not gonna see the Big Papis (anymore).”

What is Ozzie talking about? If he’s eager to trot out a DH-less lineup all he has to do is look at the results of interleague play to see what happens when a team with a DH plays a team without one. And don’t forget this gem: “We are not a home-run team anymore.”

More here.

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