But Jackson’s slider saw the most improvement. He threw it about one in every four pitches with Arizona at an average of 85.4 miles per hour, and it was a few ticks above average at 0.56 w/RC. With the White Sox, Jackson threw his slider 36.1 percent of the time at an average of 87.6 miles per hour—and, not surprisingly, the pitch was worth 2.28 runs above average per 100 pitches.
March 29, 2011
February 7, 2011
When this rotation is healthy, few teams west of Philly can boast a stronger group from top to bottom. Buehrle might average 86 MPH with his fastball, but he’s essentially a lock for 200+ innings and 3+ WAR. Danks, Floyd and Jackson have shown continued improvement over the past couple years; each posted 3.8 WAR or higher last season and they all have the potential to exceed that mark again in 2011. The No. 5 spot in the rotation is murky, but the upside is massive between Peavy and Sale. And even if Peavy doesn’t return until June and Sale is the club’s closer, this is still an obvious strength given how good the front four guys are. When you look at this group of guys and where some of them started, it’s hard not credit Don Cooper for everything he’s done in Chicago. People love what Dave Duncan does for the Cardinals in St. Louis, but there’s no doubt that the AL has a similar equivalent in Mr. Cooper.
January 31, 2011
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.
January 18, 2011
The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on one-year contracts with left-handed pitcher John Danks, outfielder Carlos Quentin and right-handed pitcher Tony Pena, avoiding arbitration with all three players.
Under terms of the agreements, Danks will receive $6 million in 2011, Quentin $5.05 million and Pena $1.6 million.
Danks, 25, went 15-11 with a 3.72 ERA (88 ER/213.0 IP) and 162 strikeouts in 32 starts with the White Sox in 2010, recording his second straight season with at least 10 wins, 30 starts and 200.0 IP. He established career highs in victories, strikeouts and IP and limited opponents to a career-low .237 (189-799) average. Since 2008, Danks ranks third among American League left-handers in IP (608.1) and strikeouts (470) and fifth in victories (40).
Quentin, 28, hit .243 (110-453) with 25 doubles, 26 home runs and 87 RBI in a career-high 131 games with the White Sox last season. He finished fifth in AL Most Valuable Player voting in 2008, batting .288 (138-480) with 36 home runs and 100 RBI in his first season with the Sox.
Pena, 29, was 5-3 with a 5.10 ERA (57 ER/100.2 IP) in 52 games (three starts) with the White Sox in 2010. He established a career high with 100.2 IP and led all AL relievers with 81.2 IP.
The White Sox have no remaining arbitration-eligible players.
January 17, 2011
White Sox left-hander John Danks turned down a multiyear contract two years ago, and that move could pay off soon.
Danks could be assured close to $6 million for 2011, as the Sox and Danks’ representatives will exchange salary arbitration numbers Tuesday if an agreement isn’t reached.
Danks, 25, is expected to receive a healthy raise from his $3.45 million salary in 2010 on the basis of his career highs in wins (15) and innings pitched (213), as well as limiting opponents to a .237 batting average. …
January 3, 2011
The White Sox already are on the hook for at least $120 million in roster commitments, and could be close to matching the highest payroll ever for a season ($121 million in 2008). Adding Soriano would definitely take them into new financial world. The 31-year-old Rafael Soriano made $7.25 million last season and will get a healthy raise on that for 2011.
Furthermore, as Buford mentioned, Soriano is over 30 and a Boras guy.
Kenny, if you need pitching look elsewhere.
December 2, 2010
UPDATE: The Sox can still re-sign Jenks. He’s a free-agent now.
UPDATE #2: Kenny won’t close the door:
As far as Jenks, Williams wouldn’t close the door on him completely, but not at the price Jenks would have received in arbitration.
“Bobby Jenks brought a World Series to Chicago and I will never forget that,” Williams said. “And I haven’t closed the door on that. All it says today is with the dollars it will bring in an arbitration hearing we cannot go there. The message I have to Sox fans and to Bobby Jenks is he gave us everything he had. I’m proud of his growth as a person, a player and as a dad. I wish the best for him if indeed he does end up somewhere else.”
November 30, 2010
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: 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.
November 14, 2010
For pitchers that threw 500 or more qualified pitches (pitches that meet the requirements for tracking pitch times) in 2010, here are the 20 major league leaders and major league trailers for time between pitches. Measurements are in seconds:
1. Mark Buehrle, 16.0
11. John Danks, 17.5
Also, Dan Hudson is at #4 and Clayton Richard is at #19. As a team the White Sox are second with a 19.1 average.
1. Mark Buerhle, 16.0
2. John Danks, 17.5
Clayton Richard is at #5. For complete charts and in graphic form, hit the link!
November 10, 2010
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? …
… 1. Chris Sale, P
Sale is not the best White Sox player — yet. But in just 21 games last season, he established himself as a potential superstar. He’s the most important White Sox player in 2011 because of his flexibility — he’s a potential starter, setup man, or closer. Talk about a “Sale” — the 21-year-old lefty will fill a crucial slot on the team for peanuts, and for a guy who provided $2.6 million in value (estimated salary values all via FanGraphs) in just his short stint with the club last season, the value of this Sale is immeasurable.
November 4, 2010
The Chicago White Sox have pushed John Danks near the top of their offseason priorities.
According to a source, the team is trying to work a multiyear contract for the left-handed starter into their budget. So while negotiating with free agent Paul Konerko lies ahead, as well as deciding whether or not to bring back A.J. Pierzynski, not to mention retooling the bullpen, it will all be done with an eye toward Danks.
The 24-year-old still has two more years of arbitration-eligible status, but the desire is to lock him in at least through his first free-agent year in 2013. That would require a minimum three-year deal, but a four-year pact is more desirable, according to the source.
Padilla speculates that something in the $20 million range might be enough for a 4 year contract. Aaron Gleeman thinks a 4 year deal would require something around $30 million.
Padilla also says the Sox are discussing to keep their young core of John Danks, Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham together. Other young players who could join that core are Sergio Santos, Dayan Viciedo, and Chris Sale.
1. Chris Sale / SP/RP / Sale is a tenacious competitor who belongs in the rotation long term. He displays great movement and strong command of an impressive three-pitch mix. He is far and away Chicago’s best prospect.
The rest at the link. It also lists the Top 10 White Sox players under the age of 26.
October 3, 2010
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?
September 29, 2010
It hasn’t been a great season for Quentin, who’s only partially bounced back from his thoroughly disappointing 2009 performance. His .236/.333/.477 line isn’t bad, particularly when you see a .233 BABIP, but he’s managed to offset nearly all of that value with defensive numbers that border on Dunn-like. He’s put up a -32.1 UZR in his past 219 games, and one has to wonder now if the team is better off using him at designated hitter. I still think that he’s worth tendering; the offensive upside is easy to see, and he’s been an above-average hitter even during these disappointing years. But it looked like the White Sox had themselves a star when he batted .288/.394/.571 in 2008, and that’s looking an awful lot like his career-year right now.
September 4, 2010
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: