White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

May 25, 2011

Carlos Quentin puts his foot down

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 25, 2011 11:55 pm
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Padilla @ ESPN:

“Obviously [Tuesday] night he was awesome and he’s had days like that this year where he’s been unbelievable,” hitting coach Greg Walker said. “To me, the only issue so far this year is Carlos being late with the foot down, and we kind of corrected that a week, 10 days ago. Other than having a sore knee one day, he’s really been good ever since.”

Essentially, Walker has worked with Quentin to refine the timing of his swing. If Quentin can stride and get his foot down before the ball arrives, he is in a better position to cover the strike zone. His most impressive home run Tuesday came when he reached out across the plate and slugged a 400-foot-plus shot just inside the foul pole in right field.

“Going the other way is always a good sign for any hitter, especially being able to hit the ball in the gap and drive the ball,” Quentin said. “My push is to always stay up the middle and to the right side and to accomplish that, that’s something good.”

Other White Sox links: J.J. wants the Sox to trade Juan Pierre, move Carlos Quentin to LF, and call up Dayan Viciedo, Brett Ballantini updates his six-man rotation and his most and least valuable Sox players calculations, Satchel Price says Alexei Ramirez is the best shortstop in the AL, and John Sickels’ Prospect of the Day is ex-Sox prospect Fautino de los Santos.


May 23, 2011

The worst player in baseball

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 23, 2011 11:30 pm

Satchel Price @ BTB compiles the worst players in baseball list and a familiar name is atop the list:

LF Juan Pierre – .273 wOBA, -7.4 UZR, -1.1 WAR

Top alternatives: Alejandro De Aza, Dayan Viciedo, Jordan Danks

The weirdest part of this season for Pierre is how little he’s changed as a hitter from last season, and yet his overall performance has totally polarized. His walk rate, strikeout rate, BABIP, and isolated power are all similar… but slightly worse. Toss in a nearly 20-run shift in his defensive work (+12.4 in 2010, -7.4 in 2010) and a 43% success rate on 14 stolen base attempts, and you have the worst player in baseball so far. If you ever wondered what Juan Pierre would look like without the elite range or base-stealing skills, well, now you have it. And it’s very, very ugly. It’s going to be hard to ignore Danks (.262/.349/.546) and Viciedo (.309/.356/.488) all season.

May 18, 2011

Do the Sox have a chance?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 18, 2011 3:30 pm
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BTB takes a look. Crist St. John:

Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully likes to repeat a quote from a well-known former Major League manager, “Give me 50 games and I’ll know what kind of team I have.” I don’t remember who said it, or what the exact quote is, but that’s the gist of it. Just for reference, 50 games into the MLB season usually lands around the end of May. … I wanted to test this out and see how quickly we know how good a team actually is, so I did what any regular baseball fan would do: I went to coolstandings.com and grabbed the record at the end of each month for every team since 1998, when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks were added to the major leagues. Then, I looked at the end of month winning percentage and compared it to the end of season win total, using a linear regression. I also split each month up into bins of team winning percentage, where each bin contains about 65 teams.

and a followup. Crist St. John:

Last week, I looked at when we can tell whether or not a team is actually good or bad. I’d like to take that one step further by asking the question: “how far back can a team be and still have a shot at winning their division?” Again, all data were collected from coolstandings.com. … I looked at how many games ahead of the division a team was at the end of each month and plotted that versus end of season team wins. A negative games ahead number is equal to how many games behind the division leader the team is. For instance, the top two teams in a division are 20-10 and 19-11, respectively. The 20-10 team will be one game ahead and the 19-11 team will be negative one game ahead. I won’t be focusing on the wild card teams here, since the amount of games back they are is more closely related to how good the first place team is.

Other White Sox links: FutureSox looks at the Sox relieving pitching prospects that could help the big club, Mike says Brent Morel is the wrong fall guy, James wants more Morel, and J.J. doesn’t like what he saw from Juan Pierre yesterday.

May 13, 2011

BTB: AL Central Hitters wOBA

Only 3 White Sox players are above the AL Central average. The Indians and Royals have 6 players that are above the AL Central average. The Tigers have five. Minnesota is worse than the Sox; only one.

Other White Sox links: J.J. comes up with an awesome nickname for Adam Dunn: Canonyero and looks on ex-Sox Brandon McCarthy’s success in Oakland, James looks at Jake Peavy’s return, the Sox search for a #2 hitter and replacing some of the Sox problematic players, and Jim looks at the sophomore struggles of Chris Sale.

May 3, 2011

Fangraphs on Adam Dunn’s and J.J. on Juan Pierre’s struggles

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 3, 2011 10:36 pm
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Wolfersberger @ FG:

There are three reasons why Dunn is struggling so far: a) he has been a victim of the luck dragon; b) he has not found his power stroke; c) his strikeouts are up. …

J.J. Stankevitz @ BL:

But back to the real issue: Pierre’s offense. Let’s start with his string of being caught stealing, because that’s maybe the most concerning issue surrounding the White Sox left fielder.

Speaking of struggling, Brett Ballantini explains how to save the Sox, and Lindsey Willhite looks back on the White Sox’ 2001 season.

April 22, 2011

Carlos Quentin: now OPSing 1.121 (video) [UPDATE]

Video: HR #1 (0:54), HR #2 (0:52). Dr. Fishbein is doing an awesome job!

BTW, here are some BABIPs from statcorner:

Gordon Beckham: .237
Adam Dunn: .250
Brent Morel: .250
A.J. Pierzynski: .250
Alexei Ramirez: .241
Alex Rios: .213

Edwin Jackson: .342
Jesse Crain: .200
Will Ohman: .348
Chris Sale: .346
Sergio Santos: .250
Matt Thornton: .400


April 17, 2011

About Friday’s bunt

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 17, 2011 10:24 pm
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8th inning, nobody out, Juan Pierre at first, Gordon Beckham at the plate, Adam Dunn on deck. And Ozzie calls for a bunt. Why? Let Beckham swing. Don’t give free outs to the other team. According to Tango’s Run Expectancy Matrix (1993-2010) the run expectancy with a man on 1st and no outs is 0.941 runs. If the bunt is successful and the runner moves to 2nd the run expectancy DROPS to 0.721. Why bother with the bunt? Why take the bat out of Beckham’s hands?

I see Mike shares my frustration. I wish I could do what James says and try to forget the whole thing!

April 6, 2011

Have a quick recovery Adam!

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 6, 2011 12:47 pm
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UPDATE: Dunn says put me in coach:

Adam Dunn, who underwent a laparoscopic emergency appendectomy Tuesday night, woke up Wednesday morning and quickly tried to lobby for White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen to get him back in the lineup for Thursday’s home opener against Tampa Bay.”I talked to him this morning and he wants to play [Thursday],” Guillen said. “But I don’t want to take the risk.”

The good news for the White Sox is that Dunn, who began to feel discomfort in the abdominal area on Tuesday, won’t be sidelined for long. He is expected to miss up to five days. …

And hurry back because I don’t know how many days of Juan Pierre at DH can the team handle:

April 2, 2011

Adam Dunn would like base-runners stay put when he’s batting

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 2, 2011 8:25 pm
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Schouwen @ CST:

The White Sox slugger can’t stop his penchant for shutting down when a baserunner attempts a steal.”One hundred percent of the time I won’t swing because my eyes go straight to the runner,” Dunn said Saturday. “It’s just a bad habit I got into.”

If Dunn knows the runner is going, he said he’s not affected. Gordon Beckham was running when Dunn homered on a 3-2 pitch on Opening Day. Dunn knew he was going, so he wasn’t distracted. Juan Pierre, who stole 68 bases last season, has a green light to go on his own.

“I’ve played with some pretty good base stealers and all I asked them was just don’t run with two strikes – please – because I probably won’t swing,” said Dunn, who has hit 355 career home runs. …

February 28, 2011

About the failed double steal in the 1st inning of today’s game

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 28, 2011 8:30 pm
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JJ explains his concerns with the strategy behind today’s failed double steal in the 1st inning:

The White Sox’s first spring training game of the year started off perfectly. After Juan Pierre walked, Gordon Beckham laced a single to put runners on first and second with nobody out and Adam Dunn coming up.

And then Pierre and Beckham took off running. Pierre was thrown out at third, and Clayton Kershaw struck out both Dunn and Konerko to end the inning.

The result isn’t what I’m concerned about. The execution isn’t what I’m concerned about. It’s the idea. …

I totally agree with JJ here. Ozzie’s reaction gives me hope that such a steal won’t be attempted again:

Guillen did say that he would prefer to avoid a repeat of the Sox first inning when Juan Pierre was thrown out at third with no outs and Adam Dunn at the plate.  Guillen admitted he told guys he wanted to be aggressive in spring training, but maybe not that aggressive.

“I hope he doesn’t do this during the season,” Guillen offered.  “I hope it’s a spring training thing.”

January 22, 2011

Kenny Williams says outfield is set; Brent Morel/Mark Teahen platoon at 3B?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 22, 2011 3:30 pm
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Padilla @ ESPN:

Jordan Danks will get a chance to show his stuff in big-league camp this spring, but he doesn’t have much of a chance of making the big-league roster. Williams said Danks, the younger brother of John Danks, still needs to play every day and the current OF spots are set with [Juan] Pierre, Alexis Rios and Carlos Quentin. As for [Brent] Morel, Williams thinks he could still be useful playing four times a week with the big-league team, which seems to suggest a Morel/Teahen 3B platoon, at least at the start of the season.

As for Quentin, Guillen boldly predicted that the high-intensity run producer will have a season like he did in 2008 when he was an MVP candidate before a late-season hand injury. Perhaps it was Guillen’s way of saying that Quentin will be expected to deliver up to his potential, something he will only be able to do by staying healthy.

January 13, 2011

Camp Cora video

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/white-sox/post/_/id/3090/video-live-from-camp-cora (1:11)

Camp (Joey) Cora: Gordon Beckham, Ramon Castro, Brent Morel, Alexei Ramirez, Alex Rios and Dayan Viciedo, Juan Pierre, A.J. Pierzynski and hitting coach Greg Walker.

January 10, 2011

Juan Pierre, Baserunner

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 10, 2011 12:31 pm

Justin Bopp takes a look at BTB and Juan clocks in at no. 2 for 2010.

November 9, 2010

Most Important Sox, 2011 and beyond edition (#11-20)

Ballantini @ CSN:

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? …

12.    Juan Pierre, LF

Another player who is easy to take for granted is Pierre, but the left-fielder was a miraculous find for the White Sox in 2010. Pierre almost completely offset his arm in the field by getting to every ball hit his way, compiling a UZR of 13.4, ninth-best in baseball, sixth among outfielders and third among left fielders. Pierre was also one of the best pressure hitters in baseball, with a 1.15 Clutch rating that was tied for eighth among all players. Pierre brought $9 million in value to the White Sox, who paid him just $3 million for the season. Williams and Guillen so gush over what Pierre brings to the field that it would not surprise if the soft-spoken speedster ascends to the role of team captain if both Konerko and Pierzynski fail to return.

October 11, 2010

Differences between expected and actual BABIP for the 2010 White Sox

Gross @ THT:

A couple of years ago, Chris Dutton and Peter Bendix did some research on batted-ball data and created a metric called xBABIP (“expected BABIP”). xBABIP dispelled the myth that BABIP was primarily a function of “LD%+ .120.” Rather, as Dutton and Bendix found, BABIP was better explained as a function all batted-ball types and ratios with speed/power/strikeout considerations.

Last year, Derek Carty and Chris Dutton debuted the simple xBABIP calculator on THT. This tool has empowered users to determine a player’s xBABIP and compare it to their actual BABIP. Therefrom, one could forecast a hitter’s expected batting line, assuming all the input ratios were to remain constant. Over the course of 500+ PA, these ratios tend to be significant, though conclusions can still be drawn at the 300 PA threshold (we’d really only be waiting on IFFB% stabilization).

For all 270 hitters who accrued 300 or more plate appearances this season, I applied the xBABIP formula (by park) to determine each hitter’s expected batting lines. In short, what I have created is a spreadsheet of “what you can expect as a baseline for production in 2011, assuming all else remains constant.” In other words, this is how these hitters should have hit in 2010. …

Numbers for the White Sox players from the full spreadsheet:

Player PA xBABIP BABIP Difference
Andruw Jones 328 .310 .239 .071
Juan Pierre 734 .351 .294 .057
Mark Kotsay 359 .298 .247 .051
Carlos Quentin 527 .282 .241 .041
A.J. Pierzynski 503 .299 .278 .021
Alex Rios 617 .322 .306 .016
Alexei Ramirez 626 .311 .300 .011
Gordon Beckham 498 .304 .297 .007
Omar Vizquel 391 .309 .309 0
Paul Konerko 631 .297 .326 -.029

For players that played part of the year with the White Sox I got their BABIP numbers from statcorner. All the numbers are for the time they played for the White Sox:

Player PA xBABIP BABIP Difference
Jayson Nix 57 .262 .189 .073
Manny Ramirez 88 .313 .388 -.075

Mark Teahen had only 262 PAs.

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