White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

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 1, 2010

Playing with the Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis tool – Part 1

Fangraphs carries 4 different projections for the 2010 season: Bill James, CHONE, Marcel, Fans.

What do we get if we put Merkin’s projected lineup (link) with the various Fangraphs projections on the Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis tool?

Merkin’s lineup, Bill James projections
Player OBP SLG
Juan Pierre .342 .355
Alex Rios .332 .445
Carlos Quentin .356 .511
Paul Konerko .354 .477
Marc Teahen .336 .422
Gordon Beckham .360 .477
A.J. Pierzynski .323 .419
Alexei Ramirez .339 .431
Mark Kotsay .326 .378

Runs per game for above lineup: 5.043. Runs for 162 games: 816.966.
Runs per game for best lineup: 5.138. Runs for 162 games: 832.356.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.872. Runs for 162 games: 789.264.

Merkin’s lineup, CHONE projections
Player OBP SLG
Juan Pierre .325 .361
Alex Rios .327 .439
Carlos Quentin .358 .494
Paul Konerko .345 .468
Marc Teahen .324 .424
Gordon Beckham .348 .457
A.J. Pierzynski .309 .411
Alexei Ramirez .327 .427
Mark Kotsay .307 .363

Runs per game for above lineup: 4.768. Runs for 162 games: 772.416.
Runs per game for best lineup: 4.858. Runs for 162 games: 786.996.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.605. Runs for 162 games: 746.010.

Merkin’s lineup, Marcel projections
Player OBP SLG
Juan Pierre .336 .361
Alex Rios .327 .444
Carlos Quentin .349 .481
Paul Konerko .342 .457
Marc Teahen .330 .410
Gordon Beckham .353 .458
A.J. Pierzynski .317 .409
Alexei Ramirez .328 .425
Mark Kotsay .318 .386

Runs per game for above lineup: 4.810. Runs for 162 games: 779.220.
Runs per game for best lineup: 4.891. Runs for 162 games: 792.342.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.671. Runs for 162 games: 756.702.

Merkin’s lineup, Fans projections
Player OBP SLG
Juan Pierre (108) .337 .356
Alex Rios (71) .329 .462
Carlos Quentin (51) .365 .501
Paul Konerko (52) .347 .462
Marc Teahen (41) .322 .421
Gordon Beckham (67) .361 .458
A.J. Pierzynski (39) .317 .405
Alexei Ramirez (57) .337 .437
Mark Kotsay (15) .316 .371

Runs per game for above lineup: 4.912. Runs for 162 games: 795.744.
Runs per game for best lineup: 5.031. Runs for 162 games: 815.022.
Runs per game for worst lineup: 4.738. Runs for 162 games: 767.556.

Different lineups will be tested in other posts. The best and worst lineup combinations are inside. (more…)

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)

January 15, 2010

What are the chances Jim Thome comes back to the Sox?

Scott Merkin answers:

There’s some sort of chance, even if it’s small, especially with the strong bond between the prodigious slugger and the White Sox. The South Siders also could benefit from a big left-handed bat in the middle of the order.

As mentioned above, though, Guillen seems set on using the rotating DH for now. And it’s Guillen who runs the team on a day-to-day basis, so there’s no reason to force anyone who isn’t part of his present plan. Thome still has some good years ahead of him, and whatever team eventually adds Thome will get 25-to-30 home run potential, great on-base potential and a tremendous clubhouse presence.

Merkin also predicts the Opening Day lineup and batting order:

Let’s go with the Opening Day lineup since it’s hard to predict who will be around in May with general manager Ken Williams at the helm, let alone at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Cleveland stands as the White Sox opponent, meaning right-handers Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona or Justin Masterson will get the start.

So, it would be Juan Pierre in left field, Alex Rios in center field and Quentin in right field. The infield, from third to first, would be Mark Teahen, Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham and Konerko, and I’m guessing the left-handed-hitting Kotsay at DH. Mark Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski will make up the battery. As for a batting order, let’s try Pierre, Rios, Quentin, Konerko, Teahen, Beckham, Pierzynski, Ramirez and Kotsay. Of course, write that lineup in pencil for now.

BTW, Matt Thornton will be answering next week’s mailbag so submit your questions for next week’s mailbag at the form in the middle of the page.

UPDATE: More Thome from Merkin’s ‘Sox continue support of Thome charity’ article:

A strong possibility presently exists that Jim Thome has taken his last swings as part of the White Sox organization.

That possible departure for the popular and prolific designated hitter doesn’t mean a permanent separation will take place between Thome and the South Side of Chicago. In fact, the White Sox once again will serve as presenting sponsors for Saturday’s Joyce Thome Benefit for Children’s Hospital of Illinois in the Peoria Civic Center Ballroom. …

December 7, 2009

Ozzie Guillen on Carlos Quentin and the rest of his outfield

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 7, 2009 8:12 pm
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The White Sox have done a lot of moving around to improve the defense already this offseason. They’ve said goodbye to Jermaine Dye and will likely be moving Carlos Quentin to right field.

“That’s his natural position,” he said of using Quentin in right. “That’s what I think. He grew up playing right field. He couldn’t play right field for the White Sox because of (Dye). But we’ve got right field and left field. He can play whatever he wants, wherever he feels more comfortable. And we’re waiting to see.”

Guillen was very adamant that Alex Rios will be their everyday center-fielder and said Andruw Jones has no choice but to learn to play left field if he wants to get in the lineup with any sort of frequency. Mark Kotsay — of whom Guillen spoke incredibly highly — is also in the left field mix.

December 6, 2009

Kenny on going to the Winter Meetings

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2009 2:38 pm
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“I think we go in remaining open-minded, as we normally do,” Williams said. “If there is something of substance to talk about or another club feels strongly that we sit down (with them), then we will.” But … “I think it will be busier after the meetings than it will be during.”

… “One thing we have focused on is our infield and outfield defense because we believe our pitching is going to be so good, really be the anchor to this club,” Williams said. “We have to back that up with some guys that can really go out and catch the ball.”

… “We’ve got an interesting dynamic because we’ve got Alex Rios who could play center field or right field, so we have the option to go with another corner guy or a center fielder or a guy who can go over and play left, because we’ve got some interchangeable parts,” Williams said. “Andruw was brought in here as support to what we think is going to be a strong asset for us – our bench. If we have to go with a younger player out there then we can back that up with a guy like Andruw or Kotsay.”

… “I think there will be some interesting pieces out there that you can take a look at and see if they fit for your club,” he said. “We’re prepared to go in with what we have. We’re not stressed at any position. We’ve got five solid starters and we’ve got bullpen pieces that have already proven themselves in the major leagues. Would we like to add to that? Yes, we absolutely would.”

November 25, 2009

Scott Merkin on the Sox plans

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 25, 2009 7:06 pm
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Merkin on how things shape up:

… Jayson Nix, who is out of options, certainly has not been knocked out of the Major League picture, especially with his ability to play the outfield and three infield positions — not to mention adding his own burst of power off the bench. He could also be part of the rotating designated-hitter spot.

While the White Sox figure to make one more major position player addition, probably to fill the leadoff spot through an outfielder, the return of Scott Podsednik still ranges from remote to inconclusive. Podsednik and his camp continue to look for a multi-year deal, an area where the White Sox are not willing to go.

“It is still early in the process and we have had several teams express interest in Scott,” said Ryan Gleichowski, Podsednik’s agent, in an e-mail. “Our goal is to keep the lines of communication open with the White Sox. We will continue to see how things develop.”

There also figures to be at least one White Sox bullpen upgrade, although the team has five veterans currently set and holding down relief spots. There also is a group of four or five young hurlers who the South Siders can turn to in support of one of the American League’s top starting rotations.

Cowley has more on the Pods situation:

The signing of Jones still doesn’t solve the hole at the leadoff spot, as talks with Scott Podsednik have once again stalled with the two sides still in a staring contest.

The Sox have spoken to representation for Coco Crisp, but a source close to the situation said that Crisp would still be Plan B if things don’t change with Podsednik very soon.

November 10, 2009

Kenny’s off-season plans

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 10, 2009 9:59 pm
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What are you planning Kenny?

1. Take it easy:

“We’ll have to let some of these dates [Winter Meetings] come and go to determine what the free agent class is and see if there is an overflow of supply.”

2. Don’t trade pitchers Danks or Floyd:

“You can never say never, but you can say unlikely.”

3. Give Paulie more starts at DH now that Kotsay is signed.

November 5, 2009

BTB looks at the Teahen deal

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 5, 2009 5:21 pm
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A Bill Madden report has Teahen pegged to replace Jermaine Dye in right field next year. Throughout his career he’s logged nearly 2,500 innings in the outfield – mostly the corners – and has a -1 UZR to show for it. That’s not horrible, especially not when contrasted to Jermaine Dye’s dead-horse act the past few seasons. His bat is what it is. Over the last three years his wRAA have ranged from -8.5 to 1.4, with a -3.9 year thrown in for good measure. Given the move to a more hitter friendly park, Teahen’s raw offensive numbers should improve. He is 28-years-old and Cot’s accredits him with service time of 3.155 (years.days). Add a year and Teahen will become a free agent for the first time following the 2011 season. …

The Transaction Oracle looks at the Teahen and Kotsay deals

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 5, 2009 4:56 pm
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2010 ZiPS Projections
Player        AB   R    H  2B 3B  HR RBI  BB  SO  SB    BA   OBP   SLG  OPS+
Fields       411  48  100  20  2  12  49  41 120   7  .243  .314  .389   85
Getz         413  52  117  21  3   3  34  32  51  18  .283  .338  .370   88
Kotsay       290  30   79  16  1   4  35  22  33   3  .272  .321  .376   85
Teahen       526  72  136  26  4  18  57  48 136   8  .259  .324  .426   96

Sox re-sign Mark Kotsay

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 5, 2009 12:07 pm


The White Sox agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with veteran Mark Kotsay on Thursday. Kotsay combined to hit .278 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 67 games with the Red Sox and White Sox in 2009. The 33-year-old lefty hitter was acquired by Chicago on July 28 for outfielder Brian Anderson and hit .292 with three homers and 18 RBIs in 40 games for the White Sox. …

Mrs. Kotsay will remain on the South Side!

July 28, 2009

Sox trade Brian Anderson to Boston for Mark Kotsay

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ July 28, 2009 2:28 pm
Tags: ,

Scott Merkin:

Brian Anderson got his wish to be traded, and in the process, the White Sox apparently have added a valuable veteran piece to their bench for the playoff push over the next two months. Anderson, 27, was traded to Boston in exchange for Mark Kotsay and cash considerations on Tuesday. Kotsay, 33, is a .281 hitter with 110 home runs and 614 RBIs over 13 Major League seasons. He batted .257 with one homer and five RBIs in 27 games for the Red Sox in 2009 before being designated for assignment on July 24.

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