White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

June 8, 2012

Chris Sale is still working on his changeup

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 8, 2012 11:30 pm
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Scott Merkin:

A continuously refined changeup clearly improves Chris Sale’s standing as a starting pitcher, although it’s already a fairly lofty perch for the American League ERA leader and the owner of the third-lowest opponents’ average against entering Saturday’s start.

But the notion that the changeup is a new pitch to Sale is inaccurate. It just was temporarily shelved when he worked in relief during the past two years.

“That was his best pitch when we saw him as an amateur,” said White Sox director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann of the changeup for Sale, who was the 13th pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. “His changeup got better each time. It was his second-best pitch.”

“I didn’t even have a slider in college,” said Sale with a laugh. “So that changeup is something we’ve been working on more than any other pitch in my repertoire.”

Sale’s work takes place with pitching coach Don Cooper and bullpen coach Juan Nieves between starts, and he employed that changeup on 23 pitches during his complete-game effort against the Mariners on Sunday. He recorded one out with the changeup, but just one changeup was put in play safely.

A well-located fastball and a sharp-breaking slider are still Sale’s top two pitches. But the 23-year-old understands the importance of the changeup to his overall well-being as a rotation member.

“Having a third pitch is so big now,” said Sale, who still touches 94 or 95 mph with his fastball but doesn’t get to 97 or 98 as he would as a reliever. “You can’t go out there as a starter and just have two pitches.

“It’s something I’ve been trying to build on and get better. I want to have a third pitch to throw to help me get deeper in games.”

Imagine Sale getting more strikes (called and swinging) on his changeup. It would be awesome!

Other White Sox links:


March 25, 2012

Did Alexei Ramirez bulk up?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 25, 2012 11:30 pm
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BTW, Scott Merkin has a cool article about how much grateful Alexei is for Jose Contreras’ influence on him on and off the diamond.

Other White Sox links:

And BTB’s Lewie Pollis updates the ‘The Simple WAR calculator’ to version 2.0.

May 16, 2010

Jose Contreras earns his 1st career save (video)

Filed under: MLB — The Wizard @ May 16, 2010 7:36 pm

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=8047177 (0:58)

Contreras: 12.15 K/9, 1.35 BB/9, 0.68 HR/9, .234 BABIP, 1.83 FIP, 1.87 xFIP, 0.68 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 1.81 tRA

UPDATE: Bloomberg Sports takes a look at Jose’s new role.

February 25, 2010

‘If Viciedo can get $10 million, then what am I worth’ ask Cuban ballplayers

Campbell @ Toronto Star:

Neither Morales nor Escobar was a full-time starter in Cuba, but each has excelled in the majors. And Krieger says eyes across the island opened wide when Viciedo signed with the White Sox.

Touted as Cuba’s next great shortstop, Viciedo entered the National Series as a 15-year-old in 2005, and hit 14 home runs the next year. From there, Krieger says, his production declined, yet after defecting in 2008 he still signed a four-year, $10-million (all figures U.S.) deal with Chicago.

“Viciedo had a very significant impact on the thinking of Cuban players,” he said. “They thought, `If he can get $10 million, then what am I worth?” …

January 22, 2010

The Bronze Titan will sign with the Phillies

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 22, 2010 6:13 pm


The Phillies have reached an agreement with Jose Contreras to a one-year deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN.  The deal is pending a physical.

Craig Calcaterra says if Jose replaces Moyer the signing is a ‘youth movement.” I love Jose but I’m not so sure he is younger than Moyer Craig.

September 5, 2009

Kenny Williams on the Jose Contreras and Jim Thome trades

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 5, 2009 1:40 am
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Kenny Williams on the Jose Contreras trade:

”Here was a guy who pitched us to a championship [in 2005] and he was being relegated to the bullpen [with the Sox]. I don’t think that was a way to pay him back in a free-agent year.”

and on the Jim Thome trade:

”I didn’t think there was any way in hell Jim would accept a deal to the National League, so I didn’t even bother him before the game. After speaking with him after the game, I was surprised he actually wanted the opportunity — not that I’m surprised because the man has always expressed to me that personal accolades are not as important as ultimately getting a ring.”

Ozzie Guillen reveals Jose Contreras age

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 5, 2009 1:29 am
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Guillen suggested with a smile that Contreras and Thome were older than advertised. He estimated that Contreras was 49 and Thome 47.

“We traded 96 years,” Guillen said. “We’re getting younger now.”

September 3, 2009

Kenny on the Jim Thome and Jose Contreras trades

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 3, 2009 6:07 pm
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ESPN’s Peter Gammons has a long-awaited interview with White Sox GM Ken Williams about the trades that sent Jim Thome and Jose Contreras packing. Williams argues that the trades did not amount to “a raising of the white flag” and says he was trying “to do right by players who certainly did right by us.” …

Kenny has been evaluating minor-league players the past few days. We should have more tomorrow since Kenny will talk about the Thome and Contrers trades before tomorrow night’s game.

September 1, 2009

Baseball Analysts on the Thome and Contreras trades

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 1, 2009 9:16 pm
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The aforementioned Rockies also needed some pitching help, and got some from the White Sox, with 37-year old Jose Contreras packing his bags for Denver. By traditional metrics, Contreras has had a dismal year, posting a 5.27 ERA and a 5-13 record for Chicago. His tRA and FIP are pretty good however, at 4.37 and 4.12 respectively, indicating that perhaps he has been the victim of some bad luck, bad defense, or both. …

BTW, here’s Dave Cameron:

Finally, the Rockies got into the trade fun by acquiring Jose Contreras to help patch their pitching staff. Contreras is a tough guy to get a read on, because his stuff is still good, his peripherals are strong, but he remains awful when men are on base, so his absurdly low strand rates lead to less value than his FIP would suggest. Usually, we chalk stuff like that up to random variation, but Contreras has been underachieving in LOB% for so long that its getting hard to ignore. If the Rockies can figure out how to fix his problems with leaving runners on, they could have a nice addition, but that seems like a tough task to pull off in four weeks time.

That’s the business we are in

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 1, 2009 8:40 pm
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Paul Konerko on Jim Thome going away:

“I mean definitely tough to see [Thome] go. Great teammate, great guy. He was everything he was cracked up to be before he got here. It was great. As far as me with him, it’s going to fall short by this month and hopefully next year. That’s a pretty good amount of time as well. We did some good thing. I could always say I played with him, like everyone else in here. You play with a legend like that, it was definitely a privilege. That’s the business we are in.

Cowley has a lot more quotes from the Sox on the Jim Thome and Jose Contreras trades.

THT on the latest Sox moves (Thome, Contreras, Peavy)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 1, 2009 2:36 pm
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Dave Studeman:

Rockies acquired RHP Jose Contreras from the White Sox for RHP Brandon Hynick and cash considerations. Contreras has allowed 30 runs in his last six starts and carried a 7.66 ERA through August. He’ll be unfamiliar to most of their opponents down the stretch, but this seems like a misguided move by Colorado. Hynick, 24, isn’t just a throw-away chip. He had a 3.83 ERA and 92/48 K/BB ratio in 26 starts (155 innings) this season on the Triple-A level and could eventually turn into a fine long reliever or No. 5 starter.

Dodgers acquired first baseman Jim Thome and cash considerations from the White Sox for shortstop Justin Fuller. Thome will serve as an excellent late-innings weapon for the playoff-bound Dodgers. Until October, though, he’s unlikely to provide much value. James Loney is an excellent first baseman and has enjoyed a solid offensive season. For him to lose at-bats would be a real tragedy.

According to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin, an MRI on Jake Peavy‘s sore right elbow Monday revealed no structural damage. Peavy is still unable to throw without discomfort and he probably won’t pick up a ball for another few days, but there’s still hope that the right-hander will make his White Sox debut this season. He’ll be reevaluated by team doctors after several days of rest.

August 31, 2009

Sox trade Jim Thome, Jose Contreras (UPDATE)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 31, 2009 11:34 pm
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Gonzales: “Thome and cash to LA Dodgers for infielder Justin Fuller” Fuller is a 26-year old that hasn’t reach AA yet.

Gonzales: “Contreras and cash to colorado for RHP Brandon Hynick” Hynick is a 24-year old in AAA. I can’t believe we got someone with those numbers for Jose Contreras.

BTW, did the Sox send cash on one two trades?

Thanks to both Jim and Jose for the memories. The Taters and the World Series streak won’t be forgotten. I hope Thome knows that there is no DH in the league he approved a trade to though.

UPDATE: SoxNet takes a more in-depth look at the new Sox players.

And here’s a quote on Justin Fuller: “He’s just a player,” a Dodgers source said.

August 29, 2009

Kenny Williams seeks playoff riches

this team better make the playoffs says Kenny:

“This would be the most disappointing season for me if we don’t get in the playoffs. I like this team. This team is better than a lot of teams we’ve ever had here. If you want to stay here, take the AL Central title. If not, it leaves it to my imagination to make this team better. And I’ve got a big imagination.”

what did Jerry Reinsdorf think of taking on the Peavy contract?

Williams waited until the morning of July 31 to seek permission to acquire Peavy, who has $55.9 million remaining on a contract that runs through 2012. The answer was, “No.” “I know I had said, ‘Yes,’ back in May,” Reinsdorf says, “but Kenny got me in a weak moment. … I didn’t think we could afford him. But even though I said, ‘No,’ I told Kenny I was willing to talk about it.” Williams, assistant GM Rick Hahn and Reinsdorf talked about the 2010 budget. … “I had to be convinced I could handle the money,” Reinsdorf says. “They convinced me.”

how about the Rios contract?

When the Blue Jays put Rios, 28, on waivers the first week of August, the White Sox claimed him. Williams didn’t bother to clear the move with Reinsdorf, figuring there was no need. The claim was designed to work out a trade or block another contender from obtaining him. Never did Williams envision the Blue Jays would let Rios go for nothing. “I really believed there would be a deal,” Williams says, “but they wanted the financial relief instead.”

risky moves kenny?

“Where’s the gamble? Where’s the risk? I’m not going into this with my head down and wondering if it will work. This is what we needed to do to win a championship. There’s no guarantee, but I don’t think there’s a risk, either.”

no risk at all?

“Well, if I am wrong. I may be looking for a second job.”

August 28, 2009

Tomorrow’s starter: Jose ‘removed from the starting rotation’ Contreras

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 28, 2009 10:04 pm
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Here’s Ozzie Guillen:

“[Saturday’s] starter is going to be Jose Contreras. I don’t have many choices. Our choices in the minor leagues weren’t very good. He’s going to start [Saturday]. We made sure we changed his routine, so we hope he pitches well.”

Jose ‘removed from the starting rotation’ Contreras to start tomorrow?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 28, 2009 5:35 pm
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Three days after saying he didn’t want to get a heart attack, manager Ozzie Guillen said the White Sox are considering Jose Contreas as well as D.J. Carrasco to start Saturday against the New York Yankees. Guillen said the Sox didn’t want to use a pitcher from Triple-A Charlotte. …

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