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January 5, 2010

January 5 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 5, 2010 1:04 pm
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Jim: A lot of mediocrity or not?

– SoxNet reviews the Sox off-season so far and tries to project the Sox opening day lineup. Please sign Big Jim Kenny!

– Jake Peavy, Matt Thornton and J. J. Putz will attend Cooper’s pitcher mini-camp. There won’t be any pitching. Just playing catch and and talking about pitching.

– John Danks isn’t sweating over the arbitration process.

– What was the only occasion after 1954 that a team used 4 pitchers who appeared in a game for 1 batter or less, the pitchers pitched consecutively, and those pitchers didn’t end the game?

– Alexei Ramirez: Not a lot of XBHs in 2009.

– How long did they go? 2009 edition.

– Pitcher wanted. Must be good.

– Baseball America’s All-Bust teams.


December 12, 2009

Fangraphs on J.J. Putz

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 12, 2009 11:16 am


Vertical movement on Putz’s fastball and splitter, 2007-2009
Difference in vertical movement: 4.5 inches

2008 …
Difference in vertical movement: 5.8 inches

2009 …
Difference in vertical movement: 7.1 inches

There’s now a pronounced difference in vertical movement between Putz’s fastball and splitter. Perhaps there’s a point of diminishing returns with the separation between those two pitches: if there’s too much of a difference, hitters will be able to distinguish between the fastball and splitter and simply lay off those tumbling off-speed pitches they once flailed at. …

December 11, 2009

He knows if you’ve been naughty, he knows if you’ve been nice

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 11, 2009 3:12 pm
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It’s Santa Kenny!

“We’ve been on this for quite some time,” White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said. “We’ve been monitoring him [J.J. Putz] ever since the season ended. His daily workouts we’re very familiar with. We’ve had weekly progress reports. When our doctors finally got their hands on him he passed his physical with flying colors. We couldn’t be happier with what was communicated to us by our doctors.

“We feel now from the top of the rotation to the bottom of the bullpen we’re as strong as we’ve ever been.”

Kenny on the Sox bullpen

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 11, 2009 2:44 pm
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Kenny Williams is confident about the Sox bullpen:

“Obviously, Bobby (Jenks) is the closer. (Matt) Thornton can do a little bit of both, and now you have J.J. who also can do that. And everyone fills in behind them.”

on J.J. Putz’ status:

“No restrictions whatsoever.”

on the possibility of tendering D.J. Carrasco:

“You’ll just have to wait for those things to come down the pipeline, and everything will reveal itself in time.”

Sox sign J.J. Putz

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 11, 2009 1:01 pm


The White Sox agreed to terms on a one-year, $3 million contract with J.J. Putz on Friday.

The 32-year-old right-hander went 1-4 with a 5.22 ERA in 29 games for the Mets in 2009. Putz then underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow on June 9 and missed the remainder of the season.

In seven seasons in the big leagues — six of which came with the Mariners — Putz is 23-19 with a 3.24 ERA and 103 saves. His best season came in ’07, when the Michigan product made the All-Star team and posted a 1.38 ERA with 40 saves in 42 chances.

His addition can give the White Sox a nice setup option, along with lefty Matt Thornton, or perhaps even make closer Bobby Jenks expendable.

Press Release. Stats.

BTB on J.J. J.J. on J.J.

December 10, 2009

Sox to decide on J.J. Putz by next week; Hideki Matsui by January?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 10, 2009 12:20 pm
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Williams’ urgency wasn’t quite reciprocated during the four days spent in Indianapolis, as agreeing to a three-year, $14 million extension with Mark Teahen was the only move made by the team. But the White Sox have laid the groundwork for other potential additions — some could happen fast, while others might take a while to play out.

J.J. Putz, the one-time Seattle closer who is recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs from his pitching elbow, stood as a prime target for a White Sox bullpen upgrade. Although Putz has numerous teams interested, the White Sox could have a decision by the beginning of next week or move on to another pitcher.

Hideki Matsui remains a designated hitter of interest, as a left-handed power bat who would support the middle of the White Sox lineup. But Matsui’s side continues to have talks with the Yankees, and with the White Sox basically at budget, it might take until January before they can decide on how to fill this void. Finding a leadoff hitter as the third outfielder might stand as more of a priority, with Scott Podsednik and Coco Crisp still possible fits. …

Ken Davidoff has a different take on Matsui:

Increasing expectation around MLB is that the Yankees will eventually re-sign Hideki Matsui. Could take until January.

Bruce Levine says the Sox made a contract offer to J.J. Putz:

The Cubs and White Sox appear to be the lead teams on signing former closer J.J. Putz to a contract. Putz worked out for the cubs on Wednesday and will do so again on Friday. Upwards of six or seven other teams have also watched Putz work out. The former Seattle and Mets relief pitcher will most likely get an incentive-laden contract that could start at around $2.5 million and can realize another $6 or $7 million with incentives. The White Sox have been the most aggressive team on Putz and have already made an offer to his agent Craig Landis.

December 9, 2009

Kenny’s Hideki Matsui secret plan

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 9, 2009 7:07 pm
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… So, the White Sox plan for Matsui is to stay under the radar as much as possible, trying to figure out where he fits on the roster and financially, with Williams again stressing how the club is pretty much at budget. But when Williams gets completely “serious” on a player, expect a decision shortly thereafter.

“Things move quickly one way or the other when I’m serious about something,” Williams said. “We are in or we are out. You can’t read into anything, whether we contact him or not contact him or whether we talk to an agent or not talk to an agent. All that means is we are not ready, one way or the other.”

Sox close to signing J.J. Putz?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 9, 2009 6:08 pm
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Kenny may have said the Sox are not close to signing J.J. Putz but:

Sources have indicated that’s not the case, however.

Yes, the Sox might have to up the ante a bit, but Putz wants to pitch on the South Side and there is still a deal close to happening.


9:20pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that other teams are involved with Putz.

Kenny Williams on the Hideki Matsui and J.J. Putz rumors

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 9, 2009 2:32 pm
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“We haven’t had enough substantial conversation with his representatives or himself to even think there’s a real possibility right now,” Williams said. “More has been written about him right now than is probably comfortable with the way we like to do business. We like to do business quietly and efficiently.” …

“We don’t have any money,” Williams said. “We’re close to our budget right now, and that really inhibits right now what we can do in terms of the free agent market. So we have to get creative, and we’ve done that before.”

Kenny doesn’t like all the scrutiny around his moves to add bullpen pieces, probably J.J. Putz:

“We thought we had something going on,” Williams said. “But as I’ve told you guys many times before. When things become public, to a large degree, the entire game changes and more times than not, you’re not going to get a deal.

“Something we thought we were going to be closer on becomes public, and now it’s not so close.”

Kenny also said he hasn’t asked for Hideki Matsui’s medical records and was also asked about Milton Bradley.

UPDATE: Levine says the Sox will check Matsui’s records if they offer him a “a solid one-time bid.”

SoxNet on the J.J. Putz, Coco Crisp, and Hideki Matsui rumors

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 9, 2009 2:05 pm
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… Would I be excited about Crisp leading off for the Sox, No, but with the rotation the club possesses, the addition of a legitimate DH (see Matsui), and a quality reliever (see Putz), the Sox would emerge from the winter-meetings as the run-away favorite in the AL Central.

December 8, 2009

Matt Thornton is recruiting J.J. Putz

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 8, 2009 6:49 pm
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“There’s no doubt that Kenny has interest in him,” Thornton said on Tuesday. “[Putz] has been asking me what I think about it, what I think about the Sox. I told him we expect to win. I tell that to anyone that asks me, we expect to win. We prepare to win and if we don’t win, well, we’re pissed. I told [Putz] that if you’re a free agent you want to go to a winner.”

Thornton and Putz have been good buddies since early on in their Seattle days.

“We’ve known each other for over a decade,” Thornton said laughing. “It’s a bromance.”

Thornon also has some comments on the Jenks situation.

Sox interested in J.J. Putz

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 8, 2009 3:23 am


J.J. Putz is drawing interest from several clubs, according to Jon Paul Morosi. The Cubs, White Sox, D’Backs, Rangers, Nationals, and Tigers have all shown varying levels of interest. …

Putz is recovering from surgery (bone spur) on his throwing elbow (right).

Stats: B-R, FG.

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