White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

February 25, 2010

First episode of the Sox TV show to be on the Thome decision

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 25, 2010 9:39 pm
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The White Sox first reality show episode will feature an inside look at the team’s front office as they discussed the pros and cons of offering designed hitter Jim Thome a 2010 contract. Featured in the episode are general manager Kenny Williams, and assistant general manager Rick Hahn. …

The 2nd episode will be on Jerry Reinsdorf having lunch with Bud Selig.


February 18, 2010

Jim Thome just wanted to play

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 18, 2010 12:32 am
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”I loved my time in Chicago,” Thome said. ”My home was there. My kids are in school there. They never offered me contract. I’m a Twin now.

”Cleveland was my [first baseball] home. If their organization had pursued me, great. It didn’t happen. No hard feelings.”

”Money to me was not an issue,” Thome said. ”I wanted to play. The bottom line is, at a certain point, you’re not going to make the money you’ve made.” …

Damn you Ozzie…

February 16, 2010

The two types of pitchers (and hitters)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 16, 2010 12:20 pm
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A principle component analysis depends greatly on the variables fed into it. For hitters, I used the singles, doubles, triples, homers, walks, and strikeouts per plate appearance as the input variables. While I could do that here, I thought I would use variables over which the pitcher had more direct control. Using Fangraphs pitch data, I used the following: % of Fastballs Thrown (including cutters), % of Sliders, % of Changeups, Velocity of Fastball, Ground Ball%, Walks per PA, and Strikeouts per PA. I thought about using Hits per PA, and HR per PA, but since those are largely a function of luck and I didn’t want to measure that, I decided to leave them out. Like before, each variable was normalized before putting it into the model.

For hitters I was uncertain of what to expect, however for pitchers I had a fairly good idea. I expected that the two groupings of pitchers would be between power pitchers and control pitchers. However, I wasn’t exactly sure how it would break it down. Running the analysis, the factor loadings for the first principle component were as follows: …

and here’s the two types of hitters post:

For those unfamiliar with the type analysis, the point of it is to reduce a large number of potentially correlated variables down to a few key underlying factors that explain the variables. The researcher feeds the computer a bunch of records (in the this case, players) and several key variables (in this case, their statistics), The computer, blind to what those variables actually mean, spits out a set of underlying factors which explain the “true” underlying causes for the variables in question. It does this by maximizing the variability between the players. It’s then up to the researcher to interpret what each factor represents. In this case, I’m looking for the one underlying factor that best describes a player.

In the baseball world, I wondered what one underlying factor best determined a player’s statistics. Normally, this type of analysis would be done on many more variables, but I wanted to see what it would pick out from players’ basic, non-team influenced statistics: 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, BB, K.

February 14, 2010

Ozzie wants a new identity

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 14, 2010 6:57 pm
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From Cowley’s ‘What Ozzie wants: A new identity for Sox‘ column:

The 2010 model is about pitching and defense, getting on base and creating pressure, scoring runs by any means necessary. There is still power, but it’s more spread out.

The 2010 model is about getting on base? is any 2010 acquisition on base threat? Juan Pierre? .339 OBP for the last 3 years. Mark Teahen? .330. Andruw Jones? .304. Omar Vizquel? .301. A ‘during the 2009 season’ acquisition like Alex Rios? .330. Mark Kotsay? .315. And we lost a starter with a .380 OBP. I don’t see any ‘getting on base’ player. I hope the pitching will be strong. Otherwise 2010 will suck. Big Time.

And as soon as I finish I see this.

February 5, 2010

Fangraphs on Ozzie’s ‘rotating DH’ idea

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 5, 2010 6:35 pm
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Seriously, a Jones/Kotsay platoon is the first option? Keep in mind that a league-average hitter is a replacement level DH. While Jones might still have his uses as a bench/platoon player, CHONE projects him as a below average hitter (.324 wOBA, -7/150 in context-neutral linear weights). If you think that’s bad, Kotsay projects at .297 wOBA, -16/150 context-neutral. That’s not useful at any of the positions Kotsay backs up at this point, much less DH. Even if efficiently platooned, that’s ugly. Heck, Mike Jacobs (-6) would be an upgrade, and would also keep the Chicago/Kansas City pipeline active.

They really didn’t have room for Thome? He probably adds just a few runs for the Twins, but he would be at least a one, maybe two win improvement over Jones/Kotsay. …

February 2, 2010

February 2 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 2, 2010 1:32 pm
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– A sample of Carl’s work for Jim’s book.

– Jim looks back on Jose’s Sox years.

– Jermaine Dye rejected a $3.3 million contract offer from the Cubs. Xavier Nady grabbed that $3.3 million offer afterwards

– Sox’ improved PECOTA projection: 80-82. One more win!

– Another 2010 projection. Sox: 87.9-74.1.

– A.J. Pierzynski is projected to throw out 21.7% of attempted steals in 2010.

– WAR for the MLB draft.

– There are two types of players

January 29, 2010

Sox stop looking for a left-handed DH


A week after the Jim Thome drama concluded, the White Sox have decided to table their search for a left-handed-hitting RBI bat until it’s determined if the rotating designated hitter that manager Ozzie Guillen envisions will be a functioning tool for the 2010 season.

The White Sox looked at the viability of former New York Met and Toronto Blue Jay Carlos Delgado, who missed the majority of the 2009 season because of injuries. The White Sox had a scout watch Delgado during his stint playing winter ball in Puerto Rico. The consenus opinion is that Delgado did not have the legs and athleticism to play first base even in a part-time role.

That opinion moved the White Sox away from making a bid. …

January 28, 2010

January 28 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 28, 2010 7:44 pm
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– PECOTA projects the Sox with a 79-83 record in 2010.

– J.J. Putz chose his entrance song: AC/DC’s ‘The Razor’s Edge’.

– Bill O’Rally says Chicago’s South Side is the same as Haiti. Another clueless moron.

– Jim looks on Ozzie’s and Gardenhire’s approaches on Jim Thome.

– John Sickels reviews his 2005 ‘Top 50 pitching prospects’ list.

– Timo goes west!

January 26, 2010

Jim Thome signs 1-year deal with East Dakota

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 26, 2010 5:36 pm
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Charley Walters and Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press are reporting that the Twins and Jim Thome have agreed to a one-year contract.  LaVelle Neal of the Star Tribune (via Twitter) says the deal is worth $1.5MM, with an additional $700K available to be earned in incentives.  It’s a big step back salary-wise for Thome, who earned $13MM in 2009, but a bigger salary didn’t appear to be available elsewhere. …

Big Jim’s message:

“Throughout my career, I have been blessed to have amazing fans supporting me the whole way. This past week, it’s been no different. Thanks to the people of Chicago for making my playing time here so special.

“And to those who continue to follow my career, … I hope to be able to give you a lot more to cheer about in the future.”

You’re a fuckin’ moron Ozzie

January 25, 2010

Ozzie’s underpants theory of baseball

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 25, 2010 10:42 pm
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1. Replace your DH that gives  you a .900 OPS and with a combination of 3 guys with .700, .700, and .600 OPS (stats are for last 3 years)

2. ?

3. Win your division

(South Park’s Underpants Gnomes video)

Adding a bat in the middle of the batting order during Spring Training?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 25, 2010 9:02 pm
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While Guillen mentioned Sunday how Thome was the only left-handed hitter he really wanted, he admitted Monday night that this bat in the middle of the order could be explored again in the future. That future date could come as soon as March, if the White Sox realize something is missing during Spring Training.

“It’s weird because for as long as I’ve been here, we always played in the past with the big boys in the middle,” Guillen said. “We changed our philosophy and what we want to do is have more speed and other stuff.

“Maybe it will take us a little while to see what we have, but I’m very optimistic. I’m very excited. I don’t want to say I’ll put my job on the line, but I love what I have. Everything should be set right now, but believe me, I talk to [GM Kenny Williams] every day about the ballclub.”


Although Guillen did say that if Thome were to be out there still come spring training and the current plan of DH-by-committee wasn’t working, well, bringing him back would be revisited.

“We might see in spring training that we’re missing a piece and go get him,” Guillen said. “But hopefully Jim is not waiting that long. Hopefully Jim has found a job.”


Ken Williams, on making another move before spring training: “Unless it translates into a championship, it’s a wasted effort. I’m a bottom-line guy and for me the bottom line is winning championships.”

No Thome – Official

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 25, 2010 7:23 pm


Ozzie Guillen told reporters tonight that free agent DH Jim Thome would not be returning to the #WhiteSox. The two spoke yesterday.


Oz makes it official – see ya big guy. Thome will not be brought back this year.


… Guillen said the Sox haven’t ruled out bringing back Thome if they have a need for a left-hander power hitter later this season if he’s available.


In a conference call with beat writers Monday night, manager Ozzie Guillen confirmed the decision. He talked to the 39-year-old Thome on Sunday. “I don’t think Jimmy could play once a week, twice a week, and produce,” Ozzie said.

Ozzie is a giant moron.

No Thome?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 25, 2010 6:57 pm


Source with the Twins just told me that Minny has already spoken to Thome’s reps this afternoon, so it’s official – Jim ain’t coming back.


Tampa Bay has interest, and the Tigers are now sniffing around. Minny could be the front-runner, however.

Damn you Ozzie.

Thome updates

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 25, 2010 4:37 pm


No announcement on Thome, but Oz will talk to us later on. Not normal procedure, so it might be a no on Big Jim.


This is Ozzie’s call, and he’s currently flying back home to Miami. He’s expected to talk to the four beat writers covering the Sox early this evening in regards to Thome.

As I’ve been reporting the past week, Ozzie has a lot of respect for Thome, and vice versa. But he made a decision to go with a rotating group of designated hitters this season and all indications remain he’s going to stick with that plan.

January 25 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox,MLB — The Wizard @ January 25, 2010 2:58 pm
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– BDD’s Top Prospects Compilation: Update #13:

Spreadsheet: 2009-2010-Top-Prospect-Lists3.xls [184 KB]

– MLB Fanhouse’s top 100 prospects: #32 Dan Hudson, #67 Tyler Flowers, #91 Jared Mitchell

– Jim Thome chats with the Twinkies

– Is Albert Pujols any good?

– John Sickels reviews his 2005 ‘Top 50 hitting prospects’ list

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