White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

May 17, 2011

Sox re-arrange pitching rotation

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 17, 2011 10:34 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

The White Sox will use Gavin Floyd in Thursday’s finale of a brief two-game home series with the American League Central-leading Indians, flip-flopping with Phil Humber, who will now start Friday’s Interleague opener against the Dodgers.

Humber will have six days off between starts after throwing 82 pitches and six innings for a win over Oakland on Friday. Floyd actually will be working on regular rest in the context of this six-man rotation, having allowed five runs over 4 1/3 innings in Saturday’s loss to Oakland.

Floyd follows Jake Peavy and has a 4-3 career record with a 5.44 ERA against the Indians. Mark Buehrle and Edwin Jackson figure to follow Humber, with a Buehrle-Jon Garland matchup set up for Saturday.

John Danks pitched today.



May 14, 2011

Coop, where is my cutter?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 14, 2011 11:34 pm
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Gonzales @ CT:

An extra two days of rest means more time for John Danks to discover his signature cut fastball that has eluded him for most of this season.

“It hasn’t been very good for most of my starts,” said Danks, who is 0-6 and won’t start again until Tuesday against the Rangers. “In talking with A.J. (Pierzynski) and Coop (pitching coach Don Cooper), it’s almost like I’m throwing it too hard. I’m not giving it a chance to do anything. We’ll work on it. It has been a pitch I’ve gone to a lot the past two years, and I need it now.” …

May 11, 2011

White Sox to use 6-man rotation until June 2 at least

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 11, 2011 2:42 am
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Merkin @ CWS:

Ozzie Guillen announced Tuesday that the White Sox six-man rotation will be in place starting Friday for the next 20 games, running up until an off-day on June 2. At that point, the situation will be re-evaluated.

Today’s Jake Peavy pitchcount: 80-100 pitches

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 11, 2011 2:38 am
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Merkin @ CWS:

Cooper’s goals for Peavy center in the 80-100 pitch area, but he also expects a winning effort from the right-hander as he joins this unique six-man rotation. That “sick feeling” Cooper had when Peavy suffered the torn lat has been replaced by excitement to watch him throw

May 7, 2011

Jake Peavy to return on Wednesday (May 11) in Anaheim?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 7, 2011 3:30 am
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Padilla @ ESPN:

“I think he’s coming here [Friday] or [Saturday], and then we’ll have a sideline and see,” pitching coach Don Cooper said. “Nothing is definite. We haven’t sat down and spoke about it. But it looks good for the 11th [of May].”

and what happens to Phil Humber?

“We’ll figure all that out,” Cooper said. “Nobody is out. Who knows? We got some off days there. We might give some guys extra rest here and there, but nobody is out. We haven’t gotten that far. We’re here [Friday] playing [Felix] Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners and we got an off day six days from now.”

Thats J.J.’s suggestion too. Spot starts to give Peavy breaks.

Ozzie says Humber will stay in the rotation:

“He’s staying in the rotation,” Guillen said after Humber received a no-decision with two runs allowed over seven innings in a 3-2 loss to the Mariners on Friday night. “He has to stay. I don’t think we are going to see anything different. When Jake comes in the rotation, we will talk to [general manager] Kenny [Williams] and Coop [pitching coach Don Cooper] to see what we are going to do. But this kid has earned and deserves to be in the rotation.”

Other White Sox posts: Mike looks back on his ‘keys to the season’ list.

May 3, 2011

Does Kenny Williams want a 6-man rotation?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 3, 2011 3:33 am
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Padilla @ ESPN:

Williams said Monday that he is in the beginning stages of discussions with pitching coach Don Cooper about how the White Sox will move forward with six legitimate starters.

…  Williams has pitched a plan to Cooper where the White Sox can move around their starting pieces for matchup purposes instead of being stuck with a rigid plan where they pitch every five games.

Ozzie Guillen worried about Chris Sale [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 3, 2011 3:26 am
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Padilla @ ESPN:

“I’m worried about it,” Guillen said. “I think his mechanics… I don’t know if you can call it mechanics, he’s all over the place. He’s out of control. He doesn’t throw strikes. In the big leagues, you can throw 89-98 [mph], but if you don’t throw strikes, you’re going to get in trouble. Hopefully he figures out soon because the last couple outings he can’t find the plate.”

UPDATE: Chris Sale says:

“This game can speed up on you in a hurry and make you think a lot of bad things.”


Pitching coach Don Cooper, bullpen coach Juan Nieves and Sale studied tape and “saw some things that were different from last year and early on this year. I’m going to do everything I can to get back to where I was and where I need to be. Eventually things will turn around.”

April 17, 2011

Ozzie Guillen doesn’t like 6-man rotations

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 17, 2011 9:22 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

The White Sox posted the fifth-best starter ERA so far this season entering Sunday’s action. Righty Philip Humber is the likely odd-man out when Peavy returns. However, Humber has pitched well, posting a 2.45 ERA over 11 innings in two starts. Pitching coach Don Cooper has floated the idea of using a six-man rotation to keep the group rested during scheduling crunches, but Guillen said that won’t be a regular practice.

“No. I would rather have more people in the bullpen than a six-man rotation,” said Guillen. “Six-man rotation, not many people do that. Then the six-man rotation goes to seven-man rotation. You never know. But that’s pretty tough to do.”

March 22, 2011

25th player down to Lastings Milledge or Brent Lillibridge?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 22, 2011 3:25 am
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Merkin @ CWS:

The White Sox are down to the final couple of roster decisions before breaking camp, and two of those players on the bubble will be on display Tuesday in Peoria against the Mariners. Lastings Milledge gets the start in left field and will be leading off, while Brent Lillibridge hits ninth and starts in center. Milledge and Lillibridge stand as the main candidates for the 25th man or last utility outfield spot.

BTW, Humber on his cutter:

Humber talked Sunday with pitching coach Don Cooper, who laid out the current scenario for the right-hander. With Peavy almost certain to start the 2011 regular season on the disabled list, the fifth-starter’s job is there for the taking for Humber.

A strong Spring Training by Humber has been enhanced by the development of a cutter. Cooper discussed with Humber adding the pitch during the offseason, and Humber seems most satisfied by the consistency of the pitch as opposed to being able to find success on one or two offerings.

“It has definitely been huge for me, being able to put more movement on my fastball,” Humber said. “I’ve gotten a lot of easy outs on it. When you get in tough counts, it’s nice to have something to throw in there that stays off the fat part of the bat. That’s what it has been for me.”

March 21, 2011

Ozzie Guillen thinks Jake Peavy will miss 3-4 regular-season starts

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 21, 2011 10:00 pm
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Jake Peavy says the White Sox are making the decisions. Merkin @ CWS:

But while Peavy realizes the final call involves his input, it ultimately comes from White Sox general manager Ken Williams, manager Ozzie Guillen, pitching coach Don Cooper, head athletic trainer Herm Schneider and the team’s medical staff. So reports of Peavy convincing Guillen or even begging the manager to let him pitch through shoulder discomfort on Saturday against the A’s, after Peavy had been crushed all week by the flu and missed work between starts, were a bit overblown, in the hurler’s opinion.

“Ozzie and the staff have had complete control from the start,” Peavy said. “I didn’t beg, I didn’t ask. I let those guys make the decision — Coop, Herm and Ozzie.

“They obviously know I wanted to pitch and stay on schedule. They’ve known that from Day 1. I certainly didn’t, as it was portrayed in certain situations, try to beg to get out there. I told them I’d do whatever they wanted me to do as a staff and I pitched.”


Basically, Peavy will be out of action for 48 hours and will be replaced by Philip Humber for Thursday afternoon’s start against the Cubs at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, Ariz. There’s no timetable for Peavy’s return, although Guillen guessed Peavy would miss three or four regular-season starts and return some time in the second half of April.

Chris Jaffe’s Five White Sox questions

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 21, 2011 3:45 pm
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Jaffe @ THT asks and answers five questions about the 2011 White Sox. From the 4th question:

Is Don Cooper the most underrated man in major league baseball?

… The Sox have a secret weapon, perhaps the most underrated man in major league baseball: Don Cooper, their pitching coach. Since Cooper took over in mid-2002 as the Sox’s hurler handler, the team has had an impressive record with its pitchers.

… Perhaps what’s most impressive about the Sox under Cooper is the health of their starters. From 2002-10, the Sox have coaxed 30 starts in a season from one of their pitchers 32 times. For perspective, here’s how the Sox compare to the other leading MLB teams in this category in the Cooper Era.

Team		30+ GS
CWS		32
OAK		26
ANA		25
BOS		24
LAD		24
SFG		24
STL		24
ATL		23
PHI		23
7 teams		22

Damn. That ain’t even close. The Sox are a standard deviation unto themselves.

It takes more than just a pitching coach to produce results like that. It tells you the front office prioritizes dependability in picking starters. It tells you their farm system takes care of guys. It tells you the pitchers are durable. No, you can’t give Cooper all the credit, but you sure as hell can’t ignore his contribution. As the pitching coach for the MLB team, he’s point man in ensuring the starters remain healthy and effective. He’s done an excellent job of that.

Cooper doesn’t wave a magic wand and suddenly make people better. (Buehrle may very well be a back-of-the-rotation guy if his strikeouts keep sinking, and that drop could easily happen this year.) But Cooper is mighty nice pitcher insurance to have on the team.

Cooper has never gotten the attention of say, Dave Duncan or Leo Mazzone, at least not yet anyway. If Cooper isn’t the most underrated man in MLB, it may be his counterpart in Minnesota, Rick Anderson. Both men are part of the reason why their teams often seem to exceed their projections.

Phil Humber replaces Jake Peavy

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 21, 2011 12:30 pm
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Schouwen @ CST:

Phil Humber, who after signing a minor-league free agent deal in December found a good pitching groove this spring, will fill the void left by Jake Peavy and likely be one of 12 pitchers on the White Sox’ opening-day roster. Humber will get Thursday’s start against the Cubs, pitching coach Don Cooper said Sunday night, and is the likely fifth starter penciled in for April 6 in Kansas City.

“We’re going to have him ready to start if necessary during the season until Jake is ready,” Cooper said on 670-AM’s “Mully and Hanley Show” Monday morning. “Because of that we’ll probably look into taking 12 [pitchers]. Sounds like a good idea to me because we’re going to need that 12th guy.”

March 17, 2011

Don Cooper diagnoses Chris Sale with location problems

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 17, 2011 10:45 pm
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Singer @ CWS:

And as Sale said afterwards, “Any time you go out there and get three outs and don’t give up any runs, you’ve got to be happy.”

Not so fast, Cooper countered a few minutes later.

“He’s still having location problems. Not throwing the fastball away from left-handers and getting it in to right-handers, and the breaking ball is not getting in enough,” Cooper said. “He’s leaving a few too many pitches out over the plate.

“But he’s got the day off, then we’ll work on it.”

Sale will lay low on Friday, then throw the “educational” bullpen session on Saturday.

“There’s still some things we need to work on,” Sale acknowledged, adding, “It will be an exciting week, but I hope this was the start of getting out of the funk I’ve been in.

“A couple of those balls were hit pretty good, on first-pitch fastballs. I could’ve done without getting the bases loaded, but I think we took another step forward, something to build on the next time.”

March 9, 2011

Shane Lindsay is working on a cutter

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 9, 2011 12:30 pm
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Schouwen @ CST:

[Shane] Lindsay, meanwhile, has impres­sed coaches and teammates with good stuff and good command. He throws a fastball, curve and changeup and is adapting well to the “slider-cutter’’ Cooper has him working on.

March 8, 2011

Don Cooper on Jake Peavy: “now it’s a matter of building up strength”

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 8, 2011 10:30 pm
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Don Cooper on Jake Peavy:

“[He’s] throwing the ball well, probably throwing the ball as well now as he did last spring training. The bottom line is he’s feeling better. He used the word normal as a description. And he is, in every sense of the word, at least where everybody else is, and probably higher than a lot of people to tell you the truth. I’m mean he knows how to pitch, he has movement, he has location. And now it’s a matter of building up strength and innings and pitches, just like everybody else. So it’s a great spot we’re in, dot dot dot, there’s more to go and I’m very optimistic that it could happen”

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