White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

January 31, 2011

Fangraphs introduces pitcher heat maps

Appelman @ FG:

At FanGraphs we’re big fans of the heat map. And now customizable heat maps are now available in the pitchf/x sections for all pitchers. Much thanks to Dave Allen for helping me out!

Here are the heat maps for Mark Buehrle, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Edwin Jackson, Chris Sale, and Jake Peavy. Also, Jesse Crain, Gregory Infante, Will Ohman, Tony Pena, Sergio Santos, and Matt Thornton.


November 30, 2010

Levine: Adam Dunn wants to play Left Field [UPDATE]

Levine @ ESPN chat:

Q: Bruce, the Sox need a left handed bat to help balance out the line-up. With [Adam] Dunn being the biggest bat out there, do you see them signing him or looking elsewhere for a bat? If so, who do you see being a fit for the Sox?

A: The White Sox want Dunn and have been trying to make that happen. However Dunn is telling people close to him that he’d like to play left field. The White Sox would rather have him be a DH/1B and maybe a part-time outfielder. But Dunn is below average at almost every position on the field. The Sox have some interest in Hideki Matsui, who at 35 still has some pop. That would also be a short-term deal.


Q: Gavin Floyd, John Danks, Edwin Jackson…which is more likely to be traded?

A: Most likely Jackson with one year and $8 million left. I just don’t see them trading starting pitching unless they get it back. That’s the strength of their team.


Q: Will Rick Hahn ever take over for Kenny or is he going to end up elsewhere?

A: Dear Mrs. Hahn, Rick will be a GM somewhere in the next couple of years and possibly with the White Sox if Reinsdorf decides to make Kenny the president of the team.

UPDATE: Dunn is looking for a 4 year, $60 million contract.

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 3, 2010

Don Cooper will give Edwin Jackson the “John Danks” treatment

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 3, 2010 4:05 pm
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Cooper will apply “Danks treatment” 2 EJ [Edwin Jackson] in spring. Recall Danks would run up 2 triple-fig pitch counts in 5th when he came 2 White Sox, too

So, will Cooper teach Jackson to throw a cutter?

October 1, 2010

BTB: Can Edwin Jackson Be An Ace?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 1, 2010 11:11 am
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BTB asks might the fifth time be the charm?

I think it’s a question worth asking, as surprising as that may sound. Most people view Jackson as an enigmatic pitcher with great stuff that never seems to push out great results, and that’s been an accurate perception for the most part. I mean, he threw a no-hitter and followed it up by going 1-4 with a 7.24 ERA, 19 strikeouts and 15 walks in 27 innings over his next five starts, so it’s easy to see how he got label.

But then he got traded to Chicago, the employers of Don Cooper: The Most Underrated Coach in Baseball. …

September 25, 2010

Kenny Williams talkin’ baseball on ‘Talkin’ baseball’ (audio)

Play audio/podcast: http://espn.go.com/espnradio/player?rd=1#/podcenter/?autoplay=1&callsign=ESPNRADIO&id=5614227 (first 21 minutes).

Download the MP3 (7.64 MB).

UPDATE: Kenny:

“It’s been an eventful year,” Williams said. “A little like a pinata hanging from the ceiling; a long, disappointing year.”

September 4, 2010

Chronicling Don Cooper’s successes

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 4, 2010 7:41 pm
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Ballantini @ CSN:

Most markedly, Cooper’s suggestion to Jackson that he apply the “Jose Contreras Treatment”—i.e., a more erect posture in his delivery—has worked wonders. (It’s neither a surprise that Cooper spotted the flaw immediately upon viewing tape of Jackson nor that he was hopping exciting to get the flamethrower in trade.)

Jackson brought a 5.16 ERA with him from the Arizona Diamondbacks and has offered up a clean 1.47 ERA so far with the White Sox, along with reducing his H/9 a full two, from 9.4 in Arizona to 7.4. He’s also cut his walks in half (4.0 BB/9 to 2.0 BB/9) while increasing his strikeouts by four (11.0 K/9 in Chicago vs. just 7.0 K/9 in Arizona). Those factors have combined to have increased Jackson’s K/BB by 200%, from 1.73 with the Diamondbacks to 5.63 with the White Sox.

… Let’s take a look at some other famous Cooper turnaround efforts, beginning with the two players the pitching coach himself was quickest to cite:

August 6, 2010

THT Fantasy on Edwin Jackson

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 6, 2010 8:35 pm


Edwin Jackson | Chicago (AL) | SP | 52 percent Yahoo ownership
YTD: 4.97 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 7.00 K/9, 3.88 BB/9
Oliver ROS: 4.59 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, 3.7 BB/9

Despite a relatively successful 2009 campaign, I was quite bearish on Edwin Jackson the fantasy (and real life) pitcher this offseason. At best, I pegged Jackson’s upside at a 4.06 ERA mark with a 7.36 K/9 and horrible WHIP (in the 1.50 range). For the most part, he hasn’t disproved my prediction. Over 141.1 innings pitched this season, Jackson has accrued a K/9 of 7.00 with a WHIP of 1.49. Of course the 4.97 ERA is well above my 4.06 projection, but that preseason ERA projection was Jackson’s ceiling in my estimation. However, he has not been nearly as bad as his numbers might indicate.

Jackson’s poor luck has not come on the fly ball. His HR/FB mark of 10.5 percenty is not particularly unlucky, especially at Chase Field, which inflates the average HR/FB rate of its pitchers to 11.64 percent. Where Jackson has been unlucky has been on his percentage of runners scored. …

August 5, 2010

Don Cooper on Edwin Jackson [UPDATE #2]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 5, 2010 2:07 pm
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“He got in bad habits,” said Cooper. “He was collapsing more than he should. When you collapse, you get under pitches, around pitches. [Stuff] can get flat. Some parts of the plate can be much harder to attain.

“Another thing he did really well is he’s bought into, ‘Let’s see how good I can be throwing first-pitch strikes and getting them to hit the first, second or third pitch, and if not, get ahead in the count.’ His strike-to-ball ratio was excellent. The credit goes all to him, because he’s the guy throwing every pitch. But it’s awfully nice when it works out.”

UPDATE: Gonzales:

Jackson threw 69 of 95 pitches for strikes over seven-plus innings in winning his White Sox debut Wednesday night against the Tigers. He credited Cooper with getting him to stand taller in his delivery, which in turn helped with his control.

UPDATE #2: JJ Stankevitz goes back to the video and logs all the off-speed pitches Jackson threw on Wednesday.

August 1, 2010

John Sickels on the Dan Hudson-Edwin Jackson trade

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 1, 2010 6:17 pm
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The White Sox picked up Edwin Jackson from the Diamondbacks for Dan Hudson and David Holmberg. Jackson has a great arm but is a mediocre pitcher at this point. I like Dan Hudson a lot, and frankly his chance to pitch well down the stretch is just as good as Jackson’s, if not better. Holmberg is a decent Grade C+ pitching prospect. I don’t like this trade from the White Sox perspective at all. There are rumors that Jackson was supposed to be flipped to another team but it didn’t happen, so as it stands I think this is a bad trade for Chicago.

BTW, Hudson got the win in his first game as a D-back today.

July 31, 2010

JJ examines the Dan Hudson-Edwin Jackson trade

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 31, 2010 9:22 pm
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JJ Stankevitz:

Honestly, I feel the same way about this trade as I felt when the Sox dealt Brandon McCarthy to the Rangers in the John Danks trade. I liked Danks, but wasn’t infatuated with him.

And the fact that I remember hearing McCarthy’s name thrown around in rumors for Carl Crawford made that trade hard to swallow at first.

Obviously, the Danks-for-McCarthy trade has turned out to probably be the best deal Kenny Williams has ever made. This Hudson/Holmberg-for-Jackson trade doesn’t have the potential to be the second-best given that Jackson is only under contract through 2011 and is a Boras client, so he probably won’t come back to the Sox after next year anyway. …

Excellent-excellent stuff from JJ.

White Sox are done dealing

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 31, 2010 3:13 pm
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Nightengale (USAT):

White Sox say there are done at deadline. No more deals at least not until players clear waivers

So, Kenny’s move was trading 5 years and 2 months 6 years of Dan Hudson for 1 year and 2 months of Edwin Jackson. Ugh…

White Sox out of the Adam Dunn sweepstakes? – UPDATE #2

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 31, 2010 12:07 pm
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Rosenthal (12 minutes ago):

White Sox saying, again, that they are out on Dunn. If that’s true, Dunn could stay with Nationals. Rays only in at right price

UPDATE: Jim Bowden (MLB/FOX):

Confirmed….3 Teams are still “in” on Adam Dunn: Detroit, Chicago WS and Tampa Bay….50/50 he’s moved….Confirmed

UPDATE #2: Heyman (SI):

jackson for dunn is still a possibility. but nationals want chisox to add another player or 2

July 30, 2010

Was Kenny Williams duped by Washington GM Mike Rizzo? [UPDATE #2]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 30, 2010 8:45 pm
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Gregor @ DH:

But KW also sounded like he’s been duped _ likely by Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo _ in talks for Adam Dunn. While he didn’t mention any specific names, Kenny said it’s been “frustrating” dealing with newer GMs, of which Rizzo is one. He also mentioned “playing games” and “being above board,” so you pretty much get the picture. I’m hearing that Rizzo has taken Dunn off the market, but who really knows? These have been the most unusual days leading up to the trade deadline I ever can remember, by far. But I’m thinking the original plan was for the Sox to acquire Jackson and send him to the Nats for Dunn.

I don’t know if Kenny was duped, I know that Kenny made a crappy trade.

UPDATE: HardballTalk:

According to Olney, the Nationals had told teams interested in Adam Dunn that a “key piece” to get a deal done was Edwin Jackson. This forced teams to try to pry Jackson away from the Diamondbacks. Of course, just before 1pm EST today, the White Sox acquired Jackson from the D-Backs in exchange for right-hander Daniel Hudson and left-hander David Holmberg. Now, according to Olney, the Nationals are indicating that they don’t want Jackson.

If this what Kenny complained about, the fault is his. You don’t trust anyone, especially one you haven’t done business with before, Kenny.

UPDATE #2: From Peter Gammons’ WEEI appearance:

Q: Where does all this [trade rumors] come from?

A: A lot of times people like to guess. I think agents like to throw it out there. For instance, one of the things I found curious of this whole notion if the White Sox can get Edwin Jackson from Arizona, then they can get Adam Dunn from Washington. It never made any sense to me. I think that is very agent-driven, in that the same people I see writing about this get it from the same place. I know that I talked to [Nationals GM] Mike Rizzo, and he said, I don’t want Edwin Jackson, he makes $8 million next season and he has a 5.00 ERA. He said, “I have four pitchers I know are going to be in my rotation next year, why would I spend $8 million on a fifth starter and trade Adam Dunn, who I might be able to sign. It just doesn’t make sense, but it gets thrown out there a lot. Colorado has clearly made certain guys available: Aaron Cook, [Joe] Beimel, who’s been OK at times. Some of it makes a lot of sense, but the fact is we have so many media outlets. I find it a lot of fun, but it can also drive you crazy trying to chase them all down.

“if Adam Dunn’s going anywhere, it would probably be to the Yankees.”

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 30, 2010 3:24 pm
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Peter Gammons via WEEI:

As for the Yankees, Gammons said a fear existed in the AL East that New York could make the biggest splash on Saturday.

“The Tampa Bay people are absolutely convinced that one way or another there’s going to be a huge deal with the Yankees and they’re going to end up with Adam Dunn. I don’t know if it will or not, but I would say if Adam Dunn’s going anywhere, it would probably be to the Yankees.

Not good.

UPDATE: Jim Bowden (MLB/FOX):

Tim Kurkjian of ESPN reporting that the Nationals told him directly they are NOT trading Dunn to the White Sox for Edwin Jackson

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