White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

March 11, 2012

In which Robin Ventura has Adam Dunn’s respect

Scott Merkin:

MLB.com surveyed a handful of White Sox players over the past few days, looking for one sentence to describe Ventura’s managerial start. Most players went deeper than the required basic statement, but through the first quarter of Spring Training, there seems to be nothing but strong support for Ventura’s debut camp.

“I mean, it’s almost, I don’t want to sound corny, but he’s almost like it’s too good to be true,” said White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn. “He’s unbelievable. I’m not just saying that. I feel like he’s still a player but yet he’ll get on you, he’ll jump on you.

“He’s got that fine line down really well early. He has a lot of respect coming toward him and I think he realizes it, too. He’s in a tough position, but I respect him from, I still remember him as a player, how good of a player he was playing against him. He has all my respect.”

Other White Sox links:

January 18, 2012

The Hardball Times projects the 2012 AL Central

The Hardball Times:

American League Central
Team Wins Losses
DET 91 71
MIN 85 77
CHA 76 86
CLE 76 86
KCA 63 99

Other White Sox links:

November 4, 2011

Maybe Philadelphia is moving to the American League next year…

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 4, 2011 9:30 pm
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Todd Zolecki:

Sources said Friday evening that the Phillies and Thome have agreed on a one-year contract, pending Thome passing a physical. Terms of the deal were unknown, although it seems likely to be a low-risk signing.

… since there’s no DH in the National League.

Other White Sox links:

October 18, 2011

Perhaps not

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 18, 2011 8:00 pm
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Doug Padilla:

With nothing official expected to come from the White Sox until after the World Series, there are clues that Jeff Manto will be named the club’s hitting coach as expected.

A White Sox source indicated Tuesday that Tim Laker will move from his post as Triple-A hitting coach to minor-league hitting coordinator. That was the position Manto held the past four seasons.

That would seem to indicate that Manto would move to the open position of major-league hitting instructor to replace Greg Walker, but that has not been confirmed.

October 17, 2011

Jim Thome, White Sox hitting coach?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 17, 2011 10:00 pm
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Daryl Van Schouwen:

Sox farm-system hitting instructors Jeff Manto or Tim Laker are thought to be the top candidates to replace Greg Walker as hitting coach, but don’t rule out the Sox making a play for a bigger name such as Jim Thome.

Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf loves Thome, 41, whose playing career likely has come to an end after 21 seasons and 604 home runs. The two share the annual habit of meeting for dinner to talk about life and baseball after the season, and a major-league source said Reinsdorf was eager to move this year’s meeting up.

Jerry is bringing the band is coming together!

Other White Sox links:

August 25, 2011

White Sox awarded claim on Jason Kubel [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 25, 2011 3:30 pm
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Ken Rosenthal:

Twins designated hitter Jim Thome was claimed on waivers by the Cleveland Indians, while outfielder Jason Kubel was claimed by the Chicago White Sox, according to major-league sources.

The claims do not mean that either player will change teams. The Twins can trade Thome and/or Kubel. They also can keep one or both or allow one or both to leave on a claim.

Thome, who holds a full no-trade clause, and can reject any deal. He prefers the Phillies to the Indians, one source said, but it’s doubtful he could circumvent the waiver process to land with Philadelphia.

Kubel, meanwhile, is unlikely to be traded, sources said. The Twins likely would offer him arbitration in an attempt to re-sign him, and would want the equivalent of at least a high draft pick in return.

I give it 99.999% odds this is absolutely nothing. The Twinkies aren’t trading one of their players to us and Kenny won’t offer them anything in return. The solution is in AAA-Charlote, it won’t cost anything and goes by the name of Dayan Viciedo.

BTW, here’s J.J’s take on the situation.

UPDATE: It was the Indians and not the Sox the team that claimed Kubel tweets Ken Rosenthal.

Another shutout…

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 25, 2011 1:00 am
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Hey, maybe we will get a higher draft pick out of this tragedy…


PS. And tonight’s Pitch F/X for Zach Stewart says fastball/slider reliever and nothing more.

Other White Sox links:

August 24, 2011

Did the Sox place a waiver claim on Jim Thome? [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 24, 2011 12:05 am
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Schouwen @ CST:

A source said the Sox were one of several teams putting a claim in for Thome, whose mere presence in the clubhouse would be a plus. It wouldn’t hurt Dunn and those Sox who didn’t play with Thome in 2006-09 to watch the future Hall of Famer approach his every-day job and the designated hitter role.

What do you say Ozzie?

“I’d love to add Jim Thome back, to be honest with you,” said Guillen, who was looking for a more versatile designated hitter that also could play the field when Thome left for Minnesota in 2010. “A lot of people think I don’t want Jimmy. It was just at that time we didn’t have any place for him.”

Yeah, we had room for Mark Kotsay but not Jim Thome.

“But I have said day in and day out that Jimmy is one of my favorite guys in baseball. That’s up to [general manger] Kenny [Williams]. I don’t know if we’re going to have five DHs. I don’t expect him to be here, but if they want to bring him here, if you ask anybody wearing this uniform if they want Jim Thome back, everybody here would say yes. But that’s not our department.”

UPDATE: I forgot this last night the Sox may be blocking Cleveland from getting Thome. And we see today that they may have claimed another lefty: OF/DH Jason Kubel.

Other White Sox links:

August 20, 2011

Kenny Williams is angry

Merkin @ CWS:

“Go get the inspirational speeches from someone else. I’m [angry],” Williams told MLB.com, responding to a question concerning the White Sox chances to claim an American League Central over the final 40 games. “This team should be 10 games over .500 right now.

“That’s the bad news. The good news is we still have time to right the ship. But if you are looking for inspiration, or anyone is, or pats on the back from this recent surge, you are looking at the wrong person. I’ll give you a pat on the back if you end up in first place.”

Williams said that anything short of winning the division would be an obvious disappointment, adding that winning the division really isn’t even good enough in the White Sox championship-oriented minds. He acknowledged, as an example, being impressed by Alejandro De Aza’s play since called up to the big league club, as the outfielder is batting .310 and infusing life into the White Sox lineup.

But he added that he’ll be more impressed if De Aza keeps it up.

“Nothing is going to impress me the rest of the year unless we are in first place at the end,” Williams said. “Other than that, it’s just find a way to win today.”

Other White Sox links:

May 31, 2011

Juan Pierre, A.J. Pierzynski, and Omar Vizquel are clutch

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 31, 2011 10:20 pm
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Lombardi @ B-R:

A list for discussion purposes: It’s all active players with at least 1,000 games played between 1996 and 2011 (to date). And, it’s their “WPA Clutch” ranking in those games played since 1996.Here is the list

1 Ichiro Suzuki 5.7 1641 2001 2011 27-37 7580 7000 1074 2305 267 71 90 576 475 159 697 47 28 30 49 396 92 .329 .374 .426 .801 *98/D SEA
2 Juan Pierre 4.4 1648 2000 2011 22-33 7047 6403 923 1900 222 84 14 445 403 8 402 91 133 17 82 536 181 .297 .346 .364 .710 *87/D COL-FLA-CHC-LAD-CHW
3 Scott Podsednik 4.1 1016 2001 2010 25-34 4129 3707 544 1036 171 41 41 300 327 7 595 24 49 22 64 301 102 .279 .340 .381 .721 *78/D9 SEA-MIL-CHW-COL-TOT
4 Bill Hall 3.8 1031 2002 2011 22-31 3619 3287 442 819 208 21 124 438 278 13 956 13 15 26 62 60 39 .249 .308 .438 .746 5648/791 MIL-TOT-BOS-HOU
5 Bobby Abreu 3.0 2160 1996 2011 22-37 9326 7829 1382 2313 537 57 278 1289 1378 109 1690 33 7 79 151 380 123 .295 .400 .485 .885 *9/D78 HOU-PHI-TOT-NYY-LAA
6 Aaron Rowand 2.8 1293 2001 2011 23-33 4626 4191 600 1153 258 17 133 525 258 22 871 121 31 25 109 66 29 .275 .333 .440 .773 *87/9D CHW-PHI-SFG
7 A.J. Pierzynski 2.7 1414 1998 2011 21-34 5395 5028 586 1426 291 16 122 622 215 51 598 93 26 33 162 13 19 .284 .323 .421 .744 *2/D MIN-SFG-CHW
8 Chone Figgins 2.6 1145 2002 2011 24-33 4986 4382 675 1238 177 56 33 388 497 6 752 9 61 37 67 329 116 .283 .354 .371 .725 *548/769D ANA-LAA-SEA
9 Omar Vizquel 2.6 2009 1996 2011 29-44 8447 7398 1072 2066 350 59 67 721 761 23 768 41 179 68 152 320 116 .279 .347 .370 .717 *65/4D39 CLE-SFG-TEX-CHW

Paul Konerko, and Adam Dunn aren’t. Neither is Big Jim…

January 25, 2011

John Sickels’ Jim Thome Career Profile

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 25, 2011 12:30 pm

Sickels @ MLBall:

Jim Thome was drafted in the 13th round by the Cleveland Indians in 1989, out of Illinois Central Junior College, where he played shortstop. He began his career in the Gulf Coast League, hitting a mere .237/.314/.296 in 55 games, 186 at-bats. He showed decent strike zone judgment but little power. He split time defensively between shortstop and third base, though scouts felt he would end up at third in the long run due to lack of range. There was little to distinguish him at his point from the mass of rookie-ball players: a junior college guy drafted in the 13th round who couldn’t hit in rookie ball wouldn’t end up on many prospect lists. …

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 12, 2010

Ozzie’s latest Jim Thome rejection justification

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 12, 2010 9:21 pm
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Earlier today I wondered isn’t time for Ozzie to tell us he made the right move going without Jim Thome. Well, Scot Gregor has Ozzie’s latest justification:

“My conscience is very clear,” Ozzie said. “If people, like I say, want to blame me, blame me. We had Jim here for four years and I always say I’m the luckiest manager ever in the history of baseball because I had him. He went another way. Good for them.”

You feel you are the luckiest manager ever in the history of baseball because you managed Jim Thome and then you ran him out of town? Yeah right.

And he went another way? That’s creative! But Ozzie’s own words from January disagree:

“Right now, the only reason that holds me up with our conversation about Jimmy is I don’t know how many at-bats we can give him,” said Guillen.

I don”t see any ‘if Jimmy wants to play for the Sox.’ And what about Jimmy’s own words?

“Ultimately, if things work out, I would love to come back. It’s a great city. It’s home. It has been a great place. Jerry, Ozzie, the whole organization, they have all treated me great.”

Jimmy waited for the Sox. He didn’t went anywhere until Ozzie rejected him.

Now, let’s return to today’s Ozzie:

If it wasn’t Jim, it could have been someone else. If (Nick) Punto hit the home run, I would have been ‘God, I can’t believe it.’ If Jim hit the home run, good for them. I have no regrets.”

I have the impression Nick Punto’s home run hitting power is much smaller than Jim Thome’s. And a visit to Baseball-Reference.com confirms my impression. Jim Thome hits a HR every 10.7 AB in 2010, while Nick Punto hits a HR every 233.0 at-bats in 2010. Damn!

What will Ozzie’s next excuse be?

Will it involve aliens? What about UFOs?

Isn’t it time for Ozzie to tell us how he made the right move?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 12, 2010 7:03 pm
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Thome hit a game-winning HR yesterday. Last time we got this gem from Ozzie:

“We’re not in second place right now because of Jimmy. We’re in second place right now because Minnesota play good and we have two very bad months.”

You know Ozzie, Jimmy is a member of the Minnesota team. Jimmy does not still play for the Dodgers.

September 9, 2010

Frank Thomas: It will come down to next week’s 3-game set against Minnesota

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 9, 2010 2:48 pm
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No Frank. We’re 6 games back. Even if we sweep the 3 games against Minnesota, we’d be 3 games back. The division was lost when the Sox decided to punt on Jim Thome and let Minnesota grab him. Look at the Sox DH production and the Twinkies DH production. The Twinkies have a 131 split OPS+ and the Sox a 92. And if the Twinkies didn’t have Jim Thome to play at DH when Morneau went down, their other DH option, Kubel, has a split OPS+ of 86.

And in today’s pregame show Bill Melton said something like ‘ the Andruw Jones, Mark Kotsay and Dayan Viciedo combo has given the same numbers as Jim Thome.’ No. Not even close. Look at the DH links above.

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