White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

February 21, 2010

Don Cooper is fired up

Here’s Coop:

”I can’t wait for that first side day. Once I see that side day, I can’t wait to see batting practice. Once I see that, I want the spring games to start, then I want camp to end and get on that plane … I’m looking forward to the start of the season more than anything because it’s time for us to get back into the playoffs. Believe me, 2005 was all good, but the one thing is, you realize if you don’t win a championship, well, you come up short. I want another championship. I want the White Sox to have another championship. … As I sit here on, what, the third week of February — I’m sitting here believing we will win this division until someone steps up and proves me wrong.”


February 19, 2010

BP’s AL Central division preview


Why They Might Win: They’ve scrupulously followed the formula that worked in 2005 in assembling their 2010 team: a rotation so good that a former ace ranks as the fifth starter. That was Orlando Hernandez then, and it’s Freddy Garcia now. A bullpen stocked with multiple closers? With the addition of J.J. Putz and the emergence of Matt Thornton to support Bobby Jenks, check. Power up the middle? With Alex Rios in center and Gordon Beckham moving to second to join shortstop Alexei Ramirez and catcher A.J. Pierzynski, that’s looking good, too.

Why They Might Not Win: If Jake Peavy breaks down, the rotation starts to look a lot less impressive. If Rios continues to sleep-walk his way through the South Side portion of his career, he’ll be the most expensive mistake ever made involving revocable waivers. And the thing about that 2005 plan… did they really have to follow the part about getting a leadoff hitter who doesn’t get on base? I see your Podzilla and raise you a Juan Pierre. The hitting portion of being a DH is non-optional, yet that’s what the Sox are probably stuck with if they settle for Andruw Jones and Mark Kotsay. …

February 15, 2010

Pitching and defense


The 2010 White Sox seem to want to be the next team in this lineage, who improve by focusing on pitching and defense. They’ve got the pitching part down pat. Jake Peavy, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Mark Buehrle, and Daniel Hudson (or Freddy Garcia, whoever wins the fifth spot) form the top rotation in the division and one of the best in the AL.

They improved their defense, too, I don’t think that’s too much to assert, but did they improve it enough? …

February 5, 2010

February 5 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 5, 2010 6:02 pm
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– Andrew’s Spring Training Preview preview

– 2010 MLB Rookie Career Development Program: Chicago White Sox prospect Dan Hudson on pitching in the majors (2:12 video)

– BDD’s Top Prospects Compilation: Update #14:

Spreadsheet: 2009-2010-Top-Prospect-Lists.xls [198 KB]

– MLB Notebook takes a look at new Sox Daniel Cabrera.

– Freddy Garcia is the key. He also doesn’t like the Cubs.

73 stolen bases in 121 games? Ozzie is furious Kenny didn’t pick him up!

February 3, 2010

And then there were five

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 3, 2010 9:44 pm
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That small total represents the remaining players from the 2005 World Series championship team on the current White Sox roster. With Paul Konerko, Freddy Garcia and A.J. Pierzynski playing under the walk-away year of their respective contracts, and closer Bobby Jenks and ace-hurler Mark Buehrle facing free agency in 2012, this 2010 season could represent the last hurrah together for this special group.

… “It’s time we put on one more big show,” said Jenks with a smile.

January 15, 2010

What are the chances Jim Thome comes back to the Sox?

Scott Merkin answers:

There’s some sort of chance, even if it’s small, especially with the strong bond between the prodigious slugger and the White Sox. The South Siders also could benefit from a big left-handed bat in the middle of the order.

As mentioned above, though, Guillen seems set on using the rotating DH for now. And it’s Guillen who runs the team on a day-to-day basis, so there’s no reason to force anyone who isn’t part of his present plan. Thome still has some good years ahead of him, and whatever team eventually adds Thome will get 25-to-30 home run potential, great on-base potential and a tremendous clubhouse presence.

Merkin also predicts the Opening Day lineup and batting order:

Let’s go with the Opening Day lineup since it’s hard to predict who will be around in May with general manager Ken Williams at the helm, let alone at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Cleveland stands as the White Sox opponent, meaning right-handers Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona or Justin Masterson will get the start.

So, it would be Juan Pierre in left field, Alex Rios in center field and Quentin in right field. The infield, from third to first, would be Mark Teahen, Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham and Konerko, and I’m guessing the left-handed-hitting Kotsay at DH. Mark Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski will make up the battery. As for a batting order, let’s try Pierre, Rios, Quentin, Konerko, Teahen, Beckham, Pierzynski, Ramirez and Kotsay. Of course, write that lineup in pencil for now.

BTW, Matt Thornton will be answering next week’s mailbag so submit your questions for next week’s mailbag at the form in the middle of the page.

UPDATE: More Thome from Merkin’s ‘Sox continue support of Thome charity’ article:

A strong possibility presently exists that Jim Thome has taken his last swings as part of the White Sox organization.

That possible departure for the popular and prolific designated hitter doesn’t mean a permanent separation will take place between Thome and the South Side of Chicago. In fact, the White Sox once again will serve as presenting sponsors for Saturday’s Joyce Thome Benefit for Children’s Hospital of Illinois in the Peoria Civic Center Ballroom. …

January 9, 2010

A look on some Sox prospects in Winter Leagues

Looking on the stats of White Sox players in Winter Leagues page we find a couple interesting players, all pitchers (AFL excluded):

Clevelan Santeliz: 2.92 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 27 Ks and 10 BBs in 24.2 IP. Has allowed 1 HR.

Miguel Socolovich: 2.87 ERA and 0.96 WHIP with 17 Ks and 4 BBs in 15.2 IP. Has allowed 1 HR.

Johnny Nunez: 4.82 ERA and 1.29 WHIP with 11 Ks and 4 BBs in 9.1 IP. Has allowed 0 HRs.

Randy Williams: 0.00 ERA and 0.95 WHIP with 7 Ks and 2 BBs in 6.1 IP. Has allowed 0 HRs.

Santo Luis: 3.46 ERA and 1.15 WHIP with 6 Ks and 8 BBs in 13.0 IP. Has allowed 1 HR.

Freddy Dolsi isn’t doing so well: 9.82 ERA and 3.82 WHIP with 2 Ks and 7 BBs in 3.2 IP. Has allowed 0 HRs.

Freddy Garcia made a brief appearance too (December 3): 2.70 ERA and 0.90 WHIP with 3 Ks and 0 BBs in 3.1 IP. Allowed 0 HRs.

Socolovich came from Boston in the David Aardsma trade. Dolsi was claimed from the Tigers last month. Luis was a AAA Rule 5 selection from Houston.

January 7, 2010

Merkin predicts the Sox rotation

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 7, 2010 6:23 pm
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from Merkin’s latest mailbag:

In deciding the original layout of the rotation, manager Ozzie Guillen and pitching coach Don Cooper will take a number of factors into consideration. They will look at the opponents over the first few weeks, which features home games against Cleveland and Minnesota and road games in Toronto and Cleveland, and they probably won’t put left-handers Buehrle and Danks back-to-back in the rotation.

Neither Buehrle nor Peavy are the type of pitcher to make a big deal over who gets that first start or campaign for the nod, but it would serve as an important milestone for Buehrle. With an Opening Day start on April 5 at home against Cleveland, assuming there isn’t 10 inches of snow still on the ground in Chicago, the lefty will break Billy Pierce’s franchise record for most Opening Day starts at eight.

With that deciding factor in mind, I look for a starting rotation of Buehrle, Peavy, Danks, Gavin Floyd and Freddy Garcia. It’s a solid unit, regardless of the way you stack it at the top.

Merkin also says that Carlos Torres is behind Daniel Hudson on the Sox pitching rotation depth chart but Torres has a better shot than Hudson on filling the long reliever spot. Hudson will go to Spring Training as a starter but may end up starting  in Charlotte so he gets regular work. Merkin also says, Greg Walker went to California a few months ago and had “rave reviews” after seeing Carlos Quentin and Quentin should be closer to the 2008 Quentin in 2010.

December 8, 2009

Beckham, Buehrle, Konerko, Jones, Guillen to attend SoxFest 2010


Chicago White Sox players Gordon Beckham, Mark Buehrle, Paul Konerko, Andruw Jones, along with manager Ozzie Guillen, are now scheduled to attend SoxFest 2010, presented by Miller Lite, Pepsi and the Palmer House Hilton. They join Freddy Garcia, Jayson Nix, Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Alexei Ramirez and Matt Thornton who also are scheduled to be at the annual event. …

December 1, 2009

Soxfest 2010

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 1, 2009 1:18 pm
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Chicago White Sox players Freddy Garcia, Jayson Nix, Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Alexei Ramirez and Matt Thornton are just some of the current White Sox players scheduled to attend SoxFest 2010, presented by Miller Lite, Pepsi and the Palmer House Hilton. Additional players from the current White Sox roster, as well as coaches and former White Sox greats attending SoxFest will be announced once their schedules are finalized. …

October 8, 2009

Desnudo: Freddy Garcia (video)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 8, 2009 1:15 pm

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=6957757 (4:26)

October 6, 2009

Sox exercise Matt Thornton’s 2010 option

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 6, 2009 12:54 pm
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The White Sox exercised their 2010 club options on right-hander Freddy Garcia and lefty Matt Thornton on Tuesday. Garcia will earn a base salary of $1 million next season and Thornton will get $2.25 million.

Here’s the press release.

Sox exercise Freddy Garcia’s 2010 option

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 6, 2009 3:12 am


The White Sox exercised the option for next year on veteran right-handed pitcher Freddy Garcia. Garcia, 34, will make a $1 million base salary, plus a possible $2 million in incentives.

The $2 million in incentives is based on the amount of innings pitched.

September 23, 2009

Daniel Hudson to make his 2nd start on Sunday

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 23, 2009 10:15 pm
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Daniel Hudson will make his second major-league start Sunday against American League Central leader Detroit. John Danks still will get a chance to reach the 200-inning mark for the first time in his career. Danks, who has 186 1/3 innings, is scheduled to start Monday at Cleveland and on Oct. 4 in the regular season finale at Detroit. The Sox also clarified their previous schedule and announced that Jake Peavy will open the Detroit series Friday night, followed by Freddy Garcia and Hudson.

Also, Buehrle won’t be shut down:

[Ozzie] Guillen said that Wednesday’s start for Buehrle would not be his last of the season.

September 16, 2009

THT Fantasy on Freddy Garcia

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 16, 2009 3:08 am

Mike Silver:

When assessing the health of a starter, there are a few key indicators to watch for. One, of course, is velocity. When a player is hiding an injury or has lingering effects from surgery or a previous DL stint, they often see a reduction in velocity. Fortunately for Garcia, his velocity is right where he left it in 2006, his last full season in the majors. While this is a good sign that he has recovered well from his latest shoulder escapade, this does not mean that he is back to form from his days in Seattle. In the early 2000s, when Garcia was at the best of his career, he was sitting in the 91 mph range (with a season at 93 mph in 2002). His arm has not been the same since 2006, when dropped 2 mph on his fastball from 91.4 in ’05 to 89.3 mph in ’06. The Garcia of 2009 sits at 88.5 mph. While not the Garcia of old, a 0.8 mph drop in velocity is not much to be concerned about, considering all his arm has been through.

The second, and often, more important, indicator is his command ratios. Even if a pitcher has a decrease in velocity, hitters will not be able to slug his stuff until he starts leaving it over the plate or getting into lots of hitter’s counts… and then there’s the walks. Even with diminished velocity, should Garcia be able to control the strike zone and keep his walk totals down, he should be a relatively effective pitcher. Luckily for him, he has been able to do so, as his 2.83 BB/9 and 56.3 first-strike percentage are right in line with his career averages. …

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