White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

November 14, 2011

Kenny Williams back to 50 cents

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 14, 2011 10:00 pm
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Daryl Van Schouwen:

[Kenny] Williams said it is not out of the question that the payroll stays near the $127 million mark. He’ll know more by the time the winter meetings take place in Dallas during the first week of December.

“Who’s to say we’re going to lose money and who’s to say we’re not going to win? We still have the talent in place to win. Now, when I say that, that means we have to have some bounce-back years from some guys. Can I give you some logical, sensible reasons why I would expect that? No more so that I would have thought that some of the guys that had tough years would bounce back in the second half of last year. So that would just be blowing smoke up your [butt] and I won’t do that. I don’t know.”

If Kenny keeps this up, he’ll announce a payroll increase next week.


Ex-catcher and A’s bench coach Joel Skinner will manage AAA-Charlotte

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 14, 2011 7:30 pm
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Corey Brock:

Joel Skinner, who spent last season as the bench coach for the A’s, has been named as the manager of the White Sox Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte, N.C. Skinner spent nine seasons on the Indians’ Major League staff, with stints as the third-base coach, interim manager and bench coach. Skinner appeared in 564 games as a catcher with the White Sox (1983-86), Yankees (1986-88) and Indians (1989-91).

Other moves are Tim Laker will be the Minor League roving hitting instructor, Andy Tomberlin will be the hitting coach at AAA-Charlotte, Brandon Moore will be the hitting coach at AA Birmingham, and Bobby Thigpen will be the pitching coach at AA-Birmingham. Van Schouwen has a rundown of the Sox developmental instructors.

Other White Sox links:

November 10, 2011

Kenny Williams has entered negative territory

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 10, 2011 8:00 pm
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Chuck Garfien:

What Williams does know is that the payroll will certainly take a hit. How much?” It’s a little bit less than what we had last year,” Williams said Thursday to a handful of reporters. So maybe not as much as fans feared. However, the changes could be significant. …


Kenny has  -25 cents.

UPDATE: Kenny says he’s not ready to deal, yet:

“I’m not ready right now,” said Williams with a wry smile, discussing the White Sox situation after five local high school baseball players, who also took part in the White Sox Amateur City Elite program, signed their collegiate letters of intent during a Thursday ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field. “There’s some fact-finding that has to go on. This is going to take a while.

“We have some players that have garnered some interest from a number of clubs. We’ve got to exhaust ourselves to make sure that if we end up making a deal or we stay the course and try to add to it, that we know exactly what we are getting ourselves into.”

Sox sign 22-year old LHP Jose Quintana [UPDATE #2]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 10, 2011 3:45 pm
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Cash Kruth:

The White Sox announced the signing of two left-handers on Thursday, agreeing to one-year deals with Donnie Veal and Jose Quintana. …

Daryl Van Scouwen’s scouting report:

“Quintana’s fastball is in the 89-91 mph range. He also throws a curveball and changep, and according to one scouting report, “throws with some deception.”

Quintana’s stats:

2006 17 Mets VESL FRk NYM 0 1 .000 8.44 3 0 0 0 0 0 5.1 6 7 5 0 8 0 5 2 0 0 30 2.625 10.1 0.0 13.5 8.4 0.63
2008 19 Yankees 2 DOSL FRk NYY 3 2 .600 1.96 15 12 0 0 0 0 55.0 36 17 12 0 24 0 76 5 0 5 223 1.091 5.9 0.0 3.9 12.4 3.17
2009 20 Yankees 2 DOSL FRk NYY 2 1 .667 2.32 14 14 0 0 0 0 50.1 25 17 13 0 37 0 80 3 1 6 211 1.232 4.5 0.0 6.6 14.3 2.16
2010 21 2 Teams 2 Lgs Rk-A NYY 3 2 .600 3.26 20 3 10 0 0 1 38.2 25 21 14 1 18 0 44 4 0 1 165 1.112 5.8 0.2 4.2 10.2 2.44
2010 21 Yankees GULF Rk NYY 3 1 .750 2.31 15 0 10 0 0 1 23.1 14 11 6 0 8 0 32 3 0 1 97 0.943 5.4 0.0 3.1 12.3 4.00
2010 21 Charleston SALL A NYY 0 1 .000 4.70 5 3 0 0 0 0 15.1 11 10 8 1 10 0 12 1 0 0 68 1.370 6.5 0.6 5.9 7.0 1.20
2011 22 Tampa FLOR A+ NYY 10 2 .833 2.91 30 12 3 0 0 1 102.0 86 35 33 5 28 0 88 1 0 7 402 1.118 7.6 0.4 2.5 7.8 3.14
5 Seasons 18 8 .692 2.76 82 41 13 0 0 2 251.1 178 97 77 6 115 0 293 15 1 19 1031 1.166 6.4 0.2 4.1 10.5 2.55
FRk (3 seasons) FRk 5 4 .556 2.44 32 26 0 0 0 0 110.2 67 41 30 0 69 0 161 10 1 11 464 1.229 5.4 0.0 5.6 13.1 2.33
A (1 season) A 0 1 .000 4.70 5 3 0 0 0 0 15.1 11 10 8 1 10 0 12 1 0 0 68 1.370 6.5 0.6 5.9 7.0 1.20
Rk (1 season) Rk 3 1 .750 2.31 15 0 10 0 0 1 23.1 14 11 6 0 8 0 32 3 0 1 97 0.943 5.4 0.0 3.1 12.3 4.00
A+ (1 season) A+ 10 2 .833 2.91 30 12 3 0 0 1 102.0 86 35 33 5 28 0 88 1 0 7 402 1.118 7.6 0.4 2.5 7.8 3.14
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/10/2011.

UPDATE: Kenny Williams talked about Quintana:

“He’s a strike thrower,” Williams said. “He can spin the breaking ball. He’s got velocity to both sides of the plate. He can grow up and be a starter. We’re very happy to have both.”

UPDATE #2: Phil Rogers reports (end of #2) Quintana will be assigned to AA-Birmingham.

October 29, 2011

Buddy Bell sure likes Terry Doyle; Terry Doyle sure likes teaching

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 29, 2011 10:00 pm
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Buddy Bell talks about Terry Doyle in Mark Gonzales’ article:

“It’s amazing what you can do in this game with a heart and a brain,” Bell wrote in an email. “This guy epitomizes that. We have liked him from the beginning, and I don’t think there is anyone who can figure out why he was such a late-rounder. He knew how to pitch when he got here. It’s probably because he just doesn’t profile as a major leaguer.”

Doyle on school and teaching:

If Doyle had not been selected to pitch for the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL, he likely would have returned to his hometown of Warwick, R.I., to teach.

“My whole life I’ve been a good student,” said Doyle, who graduated from Boston College. “I’ve always enjoyed school. I had a lot of respect for my coaches, who are teachers.

“It’s just a sport instead of a subject. I’ve always had lot of respect for my coaches and teachers because they do a lot of work, and it’s almost selfless work. Having all these people help is unbelievable.”

It sure is a lot of work and selfless work. And some people think the problem with today’s schools is with the teachers. No, the problem is the ever-increasing child poverty rates.

As a student-teacher, Doyle instructed algebra, algebra II and pre-calculus classes. As a substitute teacher, Doyle rotates through Warwick’s three high schools and four junior highs.

“If I go to regular teaching, I would like to have those more advanced calculus classes just because they’re more entertaining for me than regular algebra,” Doyle said.

A numbers guy! Cool! Very Cool!

Other White Sox links:

October 23, 2011

Kenny Williams not in shopping mode

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 23, 2011 2:30 am
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Daryl Van Schouwen reports Kenny is not in a shopping mode:

“Everyone I’ve heard speak on it is right. we have talented people, and we did not achieve what we wanted to based on some of those talented people not performing. But we’re in a position where we have to look at the future. So I will not be in shopping mode — I’ll be listening to see what the interest is in some of our players. Quite frankly, I don’t expect people to try to blow our doors down for some of our guys who had down years. Their value is going to be down a little bit.

And Kenny will only trade for major league ready players:

So what we have to do is weigh whatever they’re offering up against our chances are for the next season. Because if we’re going to move our valuable pieces it’s going to be for major league ready talent so they can grow with this nice nucleus in place with [Dayan] Viciedo, [Tyler] Flowers, [Alejandro] De Aza, [Brent] Morel. And have to get [Gordon] Beckham back. We have a nice young, kind of youthful movement. Those players [coming in trades] would have to fit into that. Not A-ball players, AA type. They would have to be major-league ready and potential impact players. Will that happen? I don’t know, that’s why you go to the winter meetings [in early December] and you see what other teams would like to offer you. But I think shopping our guys is something we’re not going to be doing.”

So, Kenny says he will stay away from “grizzled veterans”? It would be nice if he does so.

Doug Padilla has more Kenny:

“Believe me, as long as I am sitting in the chair we will continue to be as aggressive as we can possibly be,” Williams said. “If it turns out that we can’t reasonably expect the talent we have to compete for a championship them I might have dial it back and move today’s talent for tomorrow’s talent that will extend a run longer for us in the future. But none of that has been determined and won’t be determined until we get a gauge on what other teams feel about our players.”

Padilla also has audio of Kenny’s interview (17:53).

Other White Sox links:

October 13, 2011

Kenny Williams is going to Latin America

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 13, 2011 10:30 pm

Mark Gonzales:

The White Sox have taken a hit for not producing a steady flow of players from Latin America, but general manager Ken Williams is taking a hands-on approach now. Williams recently left on a scouting mission, according to two sources, and will make a stop in the Dominican Republic.

The next Alexei is coming to the South Side!

October 12, 2011

Kenny Williams says the Sox “got to take a step back”

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 12, 2011 11:00 pm
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Chuck Garfien:

“We do have some payroll limitations. It didn’t work out last year. That was the gamble by going out on a limb payroll-wise and it backfired. We lost money, bottom line,” Williams said. “Are we going to now take the same gamble? The answer to the question is no.  We’ve got to take a step back, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try to win just the same.”

Hopefully not…

Robin Ventura’s managerial style

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 12, 2011 3:05 am
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From Doug Padilla’s chat:

Q: Why didnt anybody in the Press Conference ask robin questions about his managerial philosphy, is he a stat guy when looking at matchups etc…. Do we have any info besides what was asked in the PC?

A: The beat guys asked that in a separate interview session. He didn’t commit to one exactly, but he said he had to see how the roster develops. Sounded like he has the traditional leadoff man, move runners over approach, but has no issues playing big ball if that’s what the roster dictates.

Other White Sox links:

October 11, 2011

Robin Ventura, Harold Baines, and Paul Konerko get stuff

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 11, 2011 11:00 pm
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Robin Ventura got a 3-year deal:

While Guillen moved on to a four-year deal running the Miami Marlins, Ventura took over the White Sox under a three-year deal with no options. The hiring of Guillen and Ventura by Williams were somewhat similar, in that they were previous organization staples as players and, although neither one had prior managerial experience, Williams and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf knew what to expect with their personalities and commitment to the organization.

Harold Baines got some hitting coach responsibilities,

“[The staff] will fit together such that Harold will be putting more time into the mental side of some of our hitters’ approaches,” Williams said. “He was pretty good at it, and remains a valuable asset in that area. But he will take a greater role along those lines … as will Robin. That’s what I meant by a coaching staff that will work together. It’s all intertwined, not just on one guy to solve the problems of our hitters.

“Robin will be very involved in every aspect — whether it be player development and offseason conversations with the players, the coaches, the scouts, everything. That’s just baseball and the way we like to do things. It’s an all-inclusive style of management.”

and Paul Konerko got coach consideration,

Perhaps the most stunning news to emerge from the White Sox’ press conference introducing Robin Ventura as manager was general manager’s Ken Williams’ revelation that he considered Paul Konerko as a player-manager candidate. It never got to a point where Williams asked Konerko about the possibility.

“Well, it was considered long enough for me to realize that Paul is a very cerebral person and he would probably drive himself nuts right now playing and managing at the same time,” Williams said Tuesday. “But that’s the kind of respect I have for him that yeah, I did consider it. Then I thought I think I would rather him be focused more on hitting third or fourth in the lineup and driving in 100 runs rather than trying to worry about 25 other guys in addition to it. We are trying to win.”

Kenny is pulling Hawk’s leg.

October 7, 2011

Sox ask and are granted permission to talk with Phillies minor-league manager Mark Parent

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 7, 2011 10:05 pm
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Jim Salisbury:

The Chicago White Sox have asked for and been granted permission to speak with Phillies minor-league manager Mark Parent about a job on their major league coaching staff, according to a baseball source.

Parent is the manager of the AA-Reading. Is Parent being considered for the bench coach job? Kenny said he’ll likely stay in-house for the hitting coach, but he’d ask for permission to speak to the bench coach guy Ventura wants.

BTW, Brett Ballantini has Buddy Bell on top of the list:

While minor league director Buddy Bell has been adamant about never wanting to manage again, Williams initially misspoke and implied Bell would be on Ventura’s staff, then caught himself and said the executive staff would be supportive. That doesn’t lock in Bell as the guy the White Sox are seeking permission from (the Kansas City Royals) to become bench coach, but it does shoot him to the top of the list.

Other White Sox links:

Kenny Williams, Robin Ventura, and sabermetrics

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 7, 2011 2:05 am
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Mark Gonzales:

Williams, meanwhile, spent more than six minutes stressing why Ventura was the right guy for the job and wasn’t hired because he was a fan favorite as a player.Williams said he sought a candidate who possessed a passion for the city and the organization, the ability to lead veterans as well as youngsters, enforce discipline as well as display a sense of humor and show a familiarity with the minor league instruction.

In addition, Williams said he wanted a manager who wasn’t afraid to express his beliefs even if they didn’t conform to those of the staff, as well as to bring an old-school attitude with an open-mindedness toward sabermetrics in evaluations.

Not Tom Tango but better than:

Guillen also didn’t care for sabermetrics, and many of the Sox’s number crunchers avoided the dugout during pregame batting practice, which used to be their hangout in previous years.

October 6, 2011

White Sox next coach: Paul Konerko

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 6, 2011 11:01 pm
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Chuck Garfien:

In case Ventura doesn’t succeed as manager, believe it or not, his replacement might already be lurking inside the White Sox clubhouse. Just like Ventura had no clue he was on Williams’ radar in the 1990’s, this player probably doesn’t realize it either.

“As I’d freely admit right now, Paul Konerko can be a major league manager just because I’ve had 10 years worth of conversations with Paul Konerko,” Williams said. “And as a result, I’ve come to the conclusion that this guy certainly has the necessary stuff. He’s a little busy right now, you know, becoming an MVP. But one day he too will hopefully be considered if he wants to do it along the same line. This might be out of left field or a surprise, but to people who are within the organization, not so much.”

Can’t say I’m surprised. After the Ventura announcement, very little will.

And Kenny Williams said the Sox next hitting coach will likely come from within the organization:

“I have talked about that with Robin and because we’ve had so much growth within our system and we got so many young players as well as guys trying to rebound, we are probably going to stay within the organization,” White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said. “We’ve still got to have some conversations on it and whether or not Frank is spoken to about or not, that’ll be Robin’s choice at the time.

“But I’m thinking initially, because we have history with some of our young players that have now come through and have performed well, we’ll probably stick with that,” Williams continued. “But Frank will undoubtedly be welcomed to add any advice he has and he’ll be part of the family because he is who he is and he’s got a lot to offer.”

Mark Gonzales says two candidates are minor league hitting coordinator Jeff Manto and Charlotte hitting coach Tim Laker.

Other White Sox links:

White Sox name Robin Ventura manager [UPDATE ]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 6, 2011 6:40 pm
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Surprise candidate indeed! The 2012 budget must be down to 2 cents. Tom Singer reports:

Robin Ventura on Thursday was named manager of the Chicago White Sox, agreeing to a multiyear deal to lead the team for which he starred for a decade.

Ventura, 44, becomes the 17th former White Sox player to manage the club. …

“Robin is one of the most popular and highly regarded players in this franchise’s history,” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. “From the very first day he put on a White Sox uniform, it was apparent that Robin was a born leader. Those leadership skills were obvious to staff, players, media who covered him and certainly to the fans of Chicago. We saw those skills again this summer as he visited and worked with our Minor League players.

“You will not find a better teammate, leader and friend. His ability to motivate and lead others will be a terrific attribute as manager. I loved him as a player, from his baseball knowledge, to his professionalism, to how he went about his business in the clubhouse and on the diamond. Robin exudes class in everything he does.

“Since making the announcement this afternoon, I’ve heard nothing but great feedback from our players, staff, friends and White Sox fans.”

Ventura has no prior managerial experience and will return to uniform after rejoining the club on June 6, 2011 as a special advisor to director of player development Buddy Bell.

Here’s Ken Rosenthal.

UPDATE: Here’s J.J.’s take on the Ventura hire.

BTW, I’m ambivalent with the hire. I’d have liked to see Dave Martinez named manager. The Sox won’t be going anywhere in the near future so the ‘no managerial experience’ doesn’t seem so bad, but, still, this is a Major League team you’re putting in the hands of someone with ‘no managerial experience.’

UPDATE #3: And here’s James’ take.

UPDATE #2: Keith Olbermann has some very good words for the hire:

Congratulations to Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf and all others with the Chicago White Sox who managed to pull not just a complete surprise, but what is likely to be a long-term brilliant maneuver, in hiring Robin Ventura as the team’s new manager.

If anybody in baseball history has ever been better prepared psychologically for the roller-coaster of managing, I can’t think of his name. Ventura was probably the most unflappable, even-keeled player I’ve ever met – completely immune to the impact of wins and losses, interviews and ignorance, the media and the fans. He focused on exactly one thing: playing the game, and helping his teammates play it nearly as well as he did. …

… I’m not saying it’s likely, I’m just saying he doesn’t need this managing crap, and that’s one of the reasons he figures to be great at it.

October 3, 2011

Kenny Williams’ 2012 plan: Let the kids play

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 3, 2011 8:30 pm
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Does that imply Carlos Quentin is gone? Will Kenny try to get A.J. Pierzynski to waive his 10-and-5 rights, so he can trade him?

Other White Sox links:

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