White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

June 10, 2011

Seems Kenny Williams is mad at the Yankees for claiming Jeff Marquez

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 10, 2011 4:00 am
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Ballantini @ CSN:

Williams felt it was a formality, designating pitcher Jeff Marquez for assignment upon the return from the DL of Mark Teahenon Sunday and settling him back into the rotation at AAA Charlotte, where he had compiled a sub-4.00 ERA for the Knights. Then New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman stepped in to muck up that plan.

“No I didn’t,” Williams said when asked whether he thought there would be any problem with holding on to Marquez. “Ask Brian Cashman. Ask Brian Cashman. He got a message [from me]. But that’s the risk you take.” … “The truth of the matter is we would have tried to re-sign [Marquez] and put him back in uniform today with Jake’s injury, Williams said, before adding with a smile, “but the Yankees have a greater need right now.”

You should be mad for trading Nick Swisher to the Yankees for peanuts Kenny.

Other White Sox links: J.J. looks at the number of top prospects in the White Sox team, FutureSox examines the Sox strategy in the 2011 draft, speaking of which this press release recaps all the Sox picks, Brett Ballantini continues his series on the 1977 South Side Hitmen with a look back through the eyes of Steve Stone and compiles a timeline of the 70s, and Chuck Garfien looks back at Disco Demolition night.

May 8, 2011

Kenny Williams on Nick Swisher

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 8, 2011 9:00 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

Yet when asked directly about whether certain moves over the past few years didn’t make this team better, Williams again wouldn’t grade on a pass-fail sort of system. It’s not as simple as judging on statistics alone.

Take the 2008 trade of Nick Swisher — who has found a home roaming the outfield at Yankee Stadium — which brought the White Sox two Minor League pitchers in return. Plain and simple, Swisher didn’t fit with the White Sox.

“A lot of times, people don’t necessarily understand it’s not always about the talent you get back,” Williams said. “Sometimes it’s about the monetary relief you get, so that it will allow you to go out and get somebody else that is a better fit. It’s not always about the production of a player or the talent of a player.

Monetary relief? Swisher was 2 years into his contract after 2008 and was due the following: 2009: $5.3M, 2010: $6.75M, 2011:$9M, 2012: $10.25M club option ($1M buyout). That’s dirty cheap!

May 29, 2010

Nick Swisher engaged to Joanna Garcia

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 29, 2010 12:33 pm
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White Sox New York Yankees (see Williams, Kenny, dumb moves) player Nick Swisher is currently engaged to TV actress girlfriend, Joanna Garcia, according to a report released by the People magazine.

Nick Swisher’s engagement is not the first time an athlete is linked and engaged to an actress.

Joanna Garcia will star in “Better Together” a brand new comedy which will be aired in ABC this fall. She also appeared in “Reba”, “Privileged”, and “How I Met Your Mother”.

Swisher confirmed their relationship in September calling Garcia his lady. Nick Swisher is 29 years old while Joanna Garcia is 30 years old.

Garcia was previously engaged to Trace Ayala in 2008, Justin Timberlake’s business partner, but the marriage was not pushed through.

Mrs. Garcia [Google Images]

TV Guide reports the same thing. Sun-Times too.

May 12, 2010

Fautino returns

BA’s Wednesday Dish:

Fautino Back On The Hill

Righthander Fautino de los Santos has rarely been heard from since blowing through two Class A stops in the White Sox system in 2007, going a combined 10-5, 2.65 and earning a trip to the Futures Game. Traded to the A’s in the Nick Swisher deal after that season, de los Santos logged just 35 innings over the last two years after needing Tommy John surgery in 2008. After a prolonged rehab period, de los Santos finally got back on the mound for high Class A Stockton last night, making his 2010 debut by coming out of the bullpen in the seventh inning of the Ports’ game against Modesto. He didn’t take long to knock off any rust, retiring all six hitters he faced and striking out two of them.


Smith, M (W, 3-2) 6.0 5 2 1 0 4 0 5.63
De Los Santos (H, 1) 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
Smyth (S, 4) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.21

Stats: B-R, FI

Meanwhile, Nick Swisher has an 165 OPS+ for the Yankees, Gio Gonzales has a 114 ERA+ and Ryan Sweeney has an 105 OPS+ for the A’s, and Kanekoa Texeira has a 114 ERA+ for the Mariners.

How about the players on the Sox end? Wilson Betemit was released, Jeff Marquez is struggling in the minors, and Jhonny Nunez is kinda struggling in the minors.

April 9, 2010

April 9 links

– Aaron Gleeman says Ozzie Guillen is very worked up about the White Sox’s strikeouts.

– SoxMachine: Charlotte Knights and Birmingham Barons and Winston-Salem Dash and Kannapolis Intimidators previews.

– FutureSox: Charlotte Knights and Birmingham Barons previews.

– Sergio Santos was willing to learn.

– Roland Hemond: “We just traded for a jockey.”

– John Sickels: Prospect Retro: Nick Swisher.

February 16, 2010

The two types of pitchers (and hitters)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 16, 2010 12:20 pm
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A principle component analysis depends greatly on the variables fed into it. For hitters, I used the singles, doubles, triples, homers, walks, and strikeouts per plate appearance as the input variables. While I could do that here, I thought I would use variables over which the pitcher had more direct control. Using Fangraphs pitch data, I used the following: % of Fastballs Thrown (including cutters), % of Sliders, % of Changeups, Velocity of Fastball, Ground Ball%, Walks per PA, and Strikeouts per PA. I thought about using Hits per PA, and HR per PA, but since those are largely a function of luck and I didn’t want to measure that, I decided to leave them out. Like before, each variable was normalized before putting it into the model.

For hitters I was uncertain of what to expect, however for pitchers I had a fairly good idea. I expected that the two groupings of pitchers would be between power pitchers and control pitchers. However, I wasn’t exactly sure how it would break it down. Running the analysis, the factor loadings for the first principle component were as follows: …

and here’s the two types of hitters post:

For those unfamiliar with the type analysis, the point of it is to reduce a large number of potentially correlated variables down to a few key underlying factors that explain the variables. The researcher feeds the computer a bunch of records (in the this case, players) and several key variables (in this case, their statistics), The computer, blind to what those variables actually mean, spits out a set of underlying factors which explain the “true” underlying causes for the variables in question. It does this by maximizing the variability between the players. It’s then up to the researcher to interpret what each factor represents. In this case, I’m looking for the one underlying factor that best describes a player.

In the baseball world, I wondered what one underlying factor best determined a player’s statistics. Normally, this type of analysis would be done on many more variables, but I wanted to see what it would pick out from players’ basic, non-team influenced statistics: 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, BB, K.

February 2, 2010

February 2 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 2, 2010 1:32 pm
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– A sample of Carl’s work for Jim’s book.

– Jim looks back on Jose’s Sox years.

– Jermaine Dye rejected a $3.3 million contract offer from the Cubs. Xavier Nady grabbed that $3.3 million offer afterwards

– Sox’ improved PECOTA projection: 80-82. One more win!

– Another 2010 projection. Sox: 87.9-74.1.

– A.J. Pierzynski is projected to throw out 21.7% of attempted steals in 2010.

– WAR for the MLB draft.

– There are two types of players

November 19, 2009

Nick Swisher available?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 19, 2009 4:17 pm

Nightengale (via MLBTR):

The Yankees, ever so quietly, are letting teams know that RF Nick Swisher is available.

I’m pretty sure Wilson ‘FA’ Betemit and Jeff ‘DL’ Marquez will be enough!

November 3, 2009

Mark Gonzales talks Sox

Liptak (11/1/09):

Mark Liptak: What does Kenny look at when he figures out what to do this off season?

Mark Gonzales: “As I figured it out the Sox have 10 players going to make 71.5 million next season and that includes Dayan Viciedo who I think will be with the team at some point next year. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this off season Kenny moved some guys to give him more dollars to work with.”

“Kenny remember, and this is important, is a man of action, not reaction. It’ll be interesting to see how patient Kenny will be especially if the free agent market again tilts in favor of the buyer. I look for Kenny to aggressively improve the team through trades but he’ll also keep in mind some possible free agent bargains that could be out there.” …

A lot more at the link: Swisher, Walker, BA, Ozzie, Kenny, Vazquez, Betemit, Reinsdorf, Byddy Bell and much more.

BTW, I clicked Joe Cowley’s interview (4/12/09) and Cowley says that Reinsdorf’s son “doesn’t want to run the White Sox.” Interesting…

October 9, 2009

Swisher’s Resurgence

Filed under: Chicago White Sox,MLB — The Wizard @ October 9, 2009 2:18 pm


Swisher’s rate of HR’s, K’s SB’s, line drives, fly balls, pop ups and grounders suggested that his BABIP should have been closer to the .300 range in 2008. That would obviously change his line dramatically. Even if those extra hits were all singles, Swisher’s triple-slash would rise from a mild .219/.332/.410 to .268/.381/.459. With the Bronx Bombers in 2009, Swisher mashed to the tune of .249/.371/.498 in 607 PA, good for a career-best .375 wOBA. His BABIP did not return to the .300 range (he finished at .277), but that BABIP rebound and a boost in power (.249 ISO) made Swisher one of the best off-season pickups. His patience and pop, coupled with average D, produced a 3.7 WAR season. Swisher is never going to have a shiny batting average, but his stout secondary skills (walks and power) make him an underrated contributor. …

October 2, 2009

Scowley time

Joe Cowley hands out his 2nd annual Sox player awards:


”I don’t need Carlos to have [expletive] fun. I need Carlos to produce.” — general manager Williams, on Quentin.

September 25, 2009

SoxNet on Nick Swisher

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 25, 2009 1:52 am

SoxNet responds to Phil Rogers’ column:

He isn’t very good. Ignore the numbers and his ability to play a few positions, and what you have is a player that likes to swing for the fences and look for walks. The result is a lot of ugly swings at bad pitches and a lot of looks at good ones.

Well, give me a .251/.368/.495/.863 batting line with a 89/120 BB/K ratio at $5.3M and you can swing from your ass and I couldn’t care less.

September 12, 2009

How Nick Swisher got his groove back

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 12, 2009 9:27 pm


A year ago, Swisher was one of the unluckiest players in baseball. His line drive rate in 2008 was a career-high 20.9 percent. Based on that figure, his expected batting average for balls in play was .329, which would have been a just reward for hitting the ball hard. But instead, even though he pounded the baseball, Swisher’s BABIP was a criminally low .251, a number that can be attributed to lots of terrible luck. So, despite the fact that his walk rates and strikeout rates were roughly the same in 2008 as they were compared to the rest of his career, Swisher’s productivity went into the tank, thus earning himself a one-way ticket out of the Windy City. Flash forward to Tuesday night. After swatting a pair of homers against the Rays, Swisher is hitting .254/.378/.506, defying even the most optimistic projections. His 26 homers are the second highest total of his career. … In 2008, Swisher had a career-low .325 weighted on-base average, a statistic that attempts to measure a player’s overall offensive production. So far in 2009, Swisher’s wOBA is .374, a career high.

h/t Chiburb

August 28, 2009

Paulie not among the Top-10 scoopers

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 28, 2009 12:43 am
Tags: , ,

John Dewan:

Here are the top 10 in Scoops Above Average for 2008-09 (data through August 24):

Player Saved Throws Missed Throws Scoop Percentage Scoops
Above Average
Casey Kotchman 69 5 93% 9
Todd Helton 79 9 90% 7
Carlos Pena 66 8 89% 6
Albert Pujols 82 12 87% 6
Ross Gload 34 2 94% 5
Ryan Garko 30 2 94% 4
Carlos Delgado 42 5 89% 4
Derrek Lee 61 9 87% 4
Nick Swisher 21 1 95% 3
Jason Giambi 37 5 88% 3

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