John Grochowski is at least trying, so I will cut him some slack.
Balls a defender doesn’t reach that an average fielder would mean extra hits charged to the pitchers. You can see that in the early numbers for Chris Sale, Jeff Samardzija and Jose Quintana. All have been inconsistent, but all have FIPs — fielding independent pitching — stronger than their ERAs when you filter out defense.
The solution to Samardzija’s problems may not be that simple. It’s easy to say that he should just go to pitches that worked for him in the past more often; but currently, those pitches—the sinker and the split—are getting hit and hit hard. He’s using his slider, but he’s missing with it badly and frequently. Those are pitches that helped lead him to his best season ever, and they don’t appear to be having the same effect as they once did.
There’s no easy fix here. Samardzija has to find his command and get his pitch usage and sequencing right. That’s certainly not out of the question—we already saw Samardzija emerge as a great starter despite every bit of evidence we had suggesting he wouldn’t. However, until that happens, the White Sox won’t be able to boast the devastating one-two punch at the top of their rotation that they expected to have when the season began.
The Ballpark Pass was a chance to watch weekday baseball during April and May this season for merely $2.64 per game.
The Sox, under an agreement with the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, the public agency that owns The Cell, are required to pay a fee on each ticket sold beyond 1,930,000 in paid attendance. But that “ticket threshold,” according to the agreement, excludes tickets that are given to sponsors or sold for less than $3.
it wasn’t until 2008 the Sox even paid an annual fee to use the stadium
Several years ago, it [ISFA] covered the costs of building the restaurant and team store for the Sox outside the stadium, ceding all profits to the team at the request of Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
Earl Weaver believed the best place to start a young pitcher is long relief. I know long relievers are out of vogue but it seems to me having a young guy start his career there, especially when you want to limit innings, still is a good idea.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has said Rodon’s 2015 innings are scarce resource. The franchise has a tried and true program for keeping pitchers healthy and therefore isn’t going to run Rodon’s inning count up to 180. But Rodon could still move into the rotation sometime in the foreseeable future. The challenge is keeping him built up enough, something pitching coach Don Cooper has a plan for just like the White Sox employed with Hector Noesi last season.
“He’s going to be pitching regularly and there are things coming up that believe me, he’s way up in the front of our minds in keeping him ready,” Cooper said. “Not only to pitch in the role he’s in, but eventually hopefully if he does make a jump in the starting rotation. But again that doesn’t worry me because we did it last year with Noesi.”
He can now retire to pursue he’s lifelong dream - hunting and killing Zack Greinke.
Carlos Quentin, who’s been playing at Triple-A for the Mariners after being released by the Braves last month, has decided to retire at age 32.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Quentin left the Tacoma team Thursday after going 3-for-17 in five games.
Atlanta acquired Quentin from San Diego as part of the Craig Kimbrel trade, but his inclusion was strictly to help balance out the money and the Braves ate his entire $8 million salary in releasing him.
Quentin retires as a career .252 hitter whose power, plate discipline, and ability to get plunked by tons of pitches helped him post a strong .831 OPS. When healthy he was a middle-of-the-order asset, posting an OPS above .800 in six of his nine seasons, but constant injuries limited him to fewer than 130 games in all but two of those years.
Far, far, FAR down on the list of priorities of what is happening in Baltimore now, but…
Monday night’s Orioles game against the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards was postponed due to escalating unrest throughout the city stemming from the death of Freddie Gray last week, and new baseball commissioner Rob Manfred suggested the series could be played elsewhere.
Manfred, who was visiting Camden Yards by coincidence while making the rounds to visit to all 30 teams, acknowledged that Nationals Park in Washington could be an option. Manfred said the decision to postpone the game was made to ensure everyone’s safety.
The following players have been disciplined for their actions leading up to and/or during the incident:
Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has received a seven-game suspension;
Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez has received a five-game suspension;
Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain has received a two-game suspension;
Royals pitcher Kelvin Herrera has received a two-game suspension;
White Sox pitcher Chris Sale has received a five-game suspension;
White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija has received a five-game suspension.
The White Sox will promote left-hander Carlos Rodon, the third overall selection in last year’s draft, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Rodon will join the team tomorrow and will initially pitch out of the bullpen, according to Rosenthal.
Getting White Sox fans to buy a package of 11 weekday home games in April and May is near impossible, except if you sell them for close to nothing. That’s exactly what the team is doing, announcing the “Ballpark Plan” that gives a fan a ticket to every home game the team plays on a Monday through Thursday in the first two months of the season—for $29 total. The cheapest ticket sold separately this season is $7.18. The White Sox are offering another package, which includes every game in April and May, for $49. That’s $2.33 a game.
Both plans don’t include Opening Day or May 23, Paul Konerko’s retirement ceremony.
The White Sox averaged 20,896 fans per game last year, the team’s ninth straight season it has seen a decline in attendance. Only the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Indians drew fewer fans to the ballpark than the Sox last season.
Micah Johnson “appears to be the guy” at second base for the White Sox to start the 2015 season, per comments made by Robin Ventura on Sunday. But the White Sox manager added that nothing is set in stone with five Cactus League games remaining.
Worst Offseason Move: None. Seriously, the Pale Hose didn’t put a foot wrong this winter. Although, when we spoke a few weeks ago, Hahn getting fired up about a minor league deal for 36-year-old Brad Penny might’ve been a bit much.
I think it would have been fair to place the David Robertson deal here.
If he’s not looking for top dollar, I’m sure he will have plenty of teams lined up not to give it to him.
“I’m not looking for top dollar,” Samardzija said. ”For me, it’s good to see those guys are compensated. But I think if you look at maybe outside of Shields, who maybe didn’t get his first choice, you look at Jon and Max and couple other guys, the big thing for them is they went somewhere they wanted to go to, and they were excited about where they were going to.
According to general manager Rick Hahn, there are focal points to be met when the White Sox think about [signing players long term].
“It’s a combination of feeling, one, that the player is a key part to what we have going here and want to make sure we are able to have him longer than the normal six-year control period,” Hahn said. “And second, probably almost as important if not more important, is the belief that the guaranteed money wouldn’t change the player’s approach to their preparation for the game.”
There is no satisfying way to compare ancient players from Deadball to the players today. For instance: There is an argument to be made, a strong one, that Eddie Collins was one of the ten best player in baseball history. If you treat the baseball of his time as equal to all other times, you almost have to rank him in that stratosphere. He ranks tenth In wins Above Replacement. He hit .333 with more than 3,000 hits, more than 700 stolen bases, more than 1,800 runs scored — only Ty Cobb has that combination…
How can you guess what Eddie Collins would be in 2015? He was a 5-foot-9, 175-pound competitor, a peerless bunter, a breathtaking base runner, a player with a brilliant baseball mind. Would that game play in 2015? Collins averaged — AVERAGED — more than 20 sacrifice hits per season over his 25-year career. Last year, no player had more than 13 sacrifice bunts. We don’t have complete information, but based on what we do know it seems Collins routinely would get thrown out 30 times a season attempting to steal. That obviously wouldn’t play these days. Collins seemed to get on base a lot with bunts … but even his admirers would say that he wasn’t breathtaking fast, he was just a great bunter. Would that work in 2015 against specialized defenses?
Then again he was just such a smart player — you have to believe he would adjust to modern times. Would have become a faster Dustin Pedroia? A Joe Morgan type? Your guess is probably as irrelevant as mine.
Crane Kenney’s statement indicates that they had considered playing an entire season—perhaps 2015?—at Miller Park, which would have given them from September 2014 to April 2016 to do significant work at Wrigley Field.
Logistically, this would have created significant issues for Cubs season-ticket holders who live, say, anywhere south of the Lake/Cook county line in Illinois. Even that line is about 70 miles from Miller Park; those season-ticket holders who live in the city of Chicago would be faced with a 90-mile drive to every game. The Bears did something like this when they played a year in Champaign while Soldier Field was being redone—but that was just eight games, once a week, mostly on Sundays. Baseball is a daily commitment. Further, since the Cubs and Brewers are in the same division and are often home at the same time, scheduling might have been difficult.
The Cell would have been, in my view, a better answer if the Cubs wanted to vacate Wrigley for a year to complete the project. At least it’s in the city of Chicago and accessible by public transit. There is a small subset of Cubs fans who refuse to go there. I know some of these people personally and I simply don’t understand that position. It’s a major-league ballpark with (mostly) good sightlines and natural grass.