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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hahn waiting to see bigger sample size | whitesox.com: News

Losing is a disease. Do the White Sox have a head cold or something more serious?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2013 at 08:51 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: white sox

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   1. BurlyBuehrle Posted: April 21, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4421058)
The White Sox are miserable. The article doesn't say with specificity any particular player or players that Hahn is waiting on...but there are a few guys who I think no additional sample size is required, and some where there is more needed.

Adam Dunn has been awful for 1.5 of the last 2 seasons, and all of 2013 thus far. Maybe he'll provide some value the rest of 2013, but I wouldn't count on it. I don't need any more sample size.

Dayan Viciedo is hurt, but how many more times do we need to see him flailing helplessly at down and out breaking stuff to conclude that he simply can't hit right-handed pitching? He's a platoon player at best.

Tyler Flowers looks absolutely lost, but I'm willing to give him a bit more time.

Paul Konerko appears as if he may finally have gone over the production cliff that some have been predicting for ~5 years. However, given his strong performance in 2012 and the possibility that he still is recovering from an injury, I think more time is warranted.
   2. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 21, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4421066)
Paul Konerko appears as if he may finally have gone over the production cliff that some have been predicting for ~5 years. However, given his strong performance in 2012 and the possibility that he still is recovering from an injury, I think more time is warranted


Because there's no track record at all of stars in their 30's appearing washed up for half a season (or more) and then all of a sudden "finding it" again. Didn't happen to Giambi, Ortiz, Thome, Jeter. Nope.

The hardest part of preaching sample size is remembering it when it applies to your guys.
   3. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 21, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4421180)
Konerko looks OK to me, and his hitting hasn't really been terrible. The raw numbers have dropped off, but the offensive context is down too -- 259/318/466 gets you a 109 OPS+ in the current environment. He's never going to have another "squint a lot and he's maybe a fringe MVP candidate" season, but he'll probably be an averageish hitter for a 1B. The problem is that the Sox had depended on him being good, as there isn't any depth in the offense. So a merely average Konerko is a disaster.

The White Sox have 12 guys with double digit PAs, and 4 of them have a negative OPS+. This includes two starters.

Adam Dunn has been awful for 1.5 of the last 2 seasons, and all of 2013 thus far. Maybe he'll provide some value the rest of 2013, but I wouldn't count on it. I don't need any more sample size.


Yes. Dunn is now at 179/307/374 (82 OPS+) for his White Sox career, and this includes the 65 game blip at the beginning of the 2012 season. This year he's not even walking -- he's on a pace for ~29 walks on the year. He really should be released. He looks terrible at the plate, his results have been terrible, and he brings no defense or base running to the table. Grab someone marginal off of the waiver wire, or call up Seth Logan or Bryan Anderson or some other overage non-prospect and see if he can fluke his way to a 750 OPS.
   4. madvillain Posted: April 21, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4421239)
Yes. Dunn is now at 179/307/374 (82 OPS+) for his White Sox career, and this includes the 65 game blip at the beginning of the 2012 season. This year he's not even walking -- he's on a pace for ~29 walks on the year. He really should be released. He looks terrible at the plate, his results have been terrible, and he brings no defense or base running to the table. Grab someone marginal off of the waiver wire, or call up Seth Logan or Bryan Anderson or some other overage non-prospect and see if he can fluke his way to a 750 OPS.


As I've been arguing over at South Side Sox, the is not a small sample size for Adam Dunn. In over 1000 PA for the Sox, he has an OPS+ of 82. He sucks at the plate and he's a bad defensive 1B. While I wouldn't DFA the guy quite yet, if it's onto June and he's this bad there is no other option. DFA him and hope you find someone desperate willing to work out a salary eating trade.

So a merely average Konerko is a disaster.


Konerko will be fine, and put up an OPS+ around 115-130. The real problem is gaping holes everywhere else. Keppinger I will give you SSS on, but now he's playing out of position with the Beckham injury and even if he hits 280/340/430 the rest of the way, he's giving back those runs with his poor turns and range at 2B.

Viciedo was showing signs of life just as he pulled an oblique, so now they have yet another hole for the next couple weeks.

Their pitching is good. The defense and lineup suck right now. They can turn it around, but they need everyone healthy, ASAP. Beckham isn't due back until June, ditto Danks. Could be a long, long season on the South Side at this rate.
   5. Shalimar Posted: April 21, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4421258)
From the headline, I was wondering why we were talking about Jessica Hahn's boob job 25 years later. And also the connection to the White Sox, though I assumed that sordidly involved Hawk Harrelson.
   6. Up2Drew Posted: April 21, 2013 at 05:17 PM (#4421482)
Some years ago, I was at an NCAA regional tournament basketball game. The older gentleman sitting next to me was well turned-out and wearing a University of Cincinnati sweater. He had the look of a Friend of the Program. The Cincinnati basketball team had fired Bob Huggins two years before and subsequently fallen on hard times, as they say. I started a conversation with this fellow, and he had very little good to say about his favorite college team.

"So you think they made a mistake in firing Huggins?" I asked. The gentleman paused. "No, not at all. I absolutely understand the university's position," he said. "Huggins is a contemptable human being."

"But," he paused. "My problem is, if they knew they were going to fire Huggins, they didn't have a Plan B."

And that's my problem with the White Sox. No Plan B. They let the only major league catcher in their organization walk. They count on a lumbering 37-year-old first baseman for much of their offensive production. The starting second baseman - in fact, the unchallenged starting second baseman - was a guy with a 84+ OPS+ in over 2000 plate appearances. The back-end of the rotation consists of Gavin Floyd, Jose Quintana, and the injured John Danks ... and they consider the rotation a team strength. Dunn, Rios, Keppinger, Ramirez, and Konerko are all on the wrong side of thirty. The players summoned from the minors to fill in are guys like Dewayne Wise and Tyler Greene - not a prospect to be found. The Sox are counting heavily on a fistful of long shots cashing in. What did management think this team was going to do?

No Plan B. Shoot, I'm not even sure they have a Plan A.

   7. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4421488)
They're 7-10 with a run differential of -4, it's not like they're the Cubs yet.
   8. JJ1986 Posted: April 21, 2013 at 05:30 PM (#4421492)
The back-end of the rotation consists of Gavin Floyd, Jose Quintana, and the injured John Danks ... and they consider the rotation a team strength.


Quintana and Floyd are perfectly good 3/4 starters and great 4/5 starters.
   9. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 21, 2013 at 06:06 PM (#4421509)
And that's my problem with the White Sox. No Plan B. They let the only major league catcher in their organization walk. They count on a lumbering 37-year-old first baseman for much of their offensive production. The starting second baseman - in fact, the unchallenged starting second baseman - was a guy with a 84+ OPS+ in over 2000 plate appearances. The back-end of the rotation consists of Gavin Floyd, Jose Quintana, and the injured John Danks ... and they consider the rotation a team strength. Dunn, Rios, Keppinger, Ramirez, and Konerko are all on the wrong side of thirty. The players summoned from the minors to fill in are guys like Dewayne Wise and Tyler Greene - not a prospect to be found. The Sox are counting heavily on a fistful of long shots cashing in. What did management think this team was going to do?

No Plan B. Shoot, I'm not even sure they have a Plan A.


This is a bit unfair to the Sox. You could make an argument to bring AJ back but Flowers has a solid minor league track record & I think he'll become an above-average ML catcher with the ability to hit 20+ homers in a season. When you consider Beckham's defense he's a decent player. Plus I'm not sure who Hahn should've brought in to "challenge" Beckham for the position. A lot of teams would love to have the Sox starting pitching "problem."

My point is that most teams don't have a Plan B, filling their AAA & AA teams with capable ML veterans and prospects. It'd be nice if the Sox had a replacement-level backup at each position, but very few teams, if any, have this luxury.

The Sox do have a bunch of problems though- their veterans aren't very good and neither is the farm system. They're in a cycle of mediocrity. Since 2000, they've had one 90-loss season, three 90+ win seasons, and a whole bunch of uninspiring 79-89 win seasons. They're like Newcastle United- just there.

Oh, and the Sox top two prospects are currently hitting .192/.317/.212 (Carlos Sanchez) & .167/.226/.479 with 31 K's in 14 games (Courtney Hawkins). They're both younger than than their leagues but it's disheartening.
   10. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 21, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4421520)
I'll add that Hahn did address the lack of depth issue by bringing in
- Jeff Keppinger: though I don't think anyone thought he'd start the season hitting .159/.157/.174
- Conor Gillaspie: he's been a positive surprise with a .324/.342/.432 line and solid defense
- Blake Tekotte: not much of a prospect but solid minor league numbers & will probably be an OK forth or fifth OF
   11. Long Time Listener, First Time Caller Posted: April 21, 2013 at 06:57 PM (#4421543)
And that's my problem with the White Sox. No Plan B. They let the only major league catcher in their organization walk. They count on a lumbering 37-year-old first baseman for much of their offensive production. The starting second baseman - in fact, the unchallenged starting second baseman - was a guy with a 84+ OPS+ in over 2000 plate appearances. The back-end of the rotation consists of Gavin Floyd, Jose Quintana, and the injured John Danks ... and they consider the rotation a team strength. Dunn, Rios, Keppinger, Ramirez, and Konerko are all on the wrong side of thirty. The players summoned from the minors to fill in are guys like Dewayne Wise and Tyler Greene - not a prospect to be found. The Sox are counting heavily on a fistful of long shots cashing in. What did management think this team was going to do?

No Plan B. Shoot, I'm not even sure they have a Plan A.


What on earth would you have had the White Sox do? You list about 5-10 major holes at the major league level (most of which are faulty claims on your part, given that AJ Pierzynski doesn't provide much MLB value, and Gordon Beckham is far from a problem on a competent team since a weak hitting, excellent fielding 2Bman is not exactly a weakness of quality teams...though I admit that Beckham's defensive numbers seem to change quite a bit as BBR has him as a mediocre to bad 2B right now).

Let's assume, however, that your logic about all the terrible things on the White Sox is unassailable and that they do in fact have huge issues in that Dunn, Rios, Keppinger, Ramirez, Konerko, Quintana, Floyd, Danks, and a terrible farm system produced by Kenny Williams weak drafting 4-5 years ago are all pressing needs.

What the hell kind of 2012-2013 offseason "Plan A" do you think Rick Hahn was capable of? Having a seance and asking guidance of Frank Lane?
   12. Greg K Posted: April 21, 2013 at 07:02 PM (#4421545)
He sucks at the plate and he's a bad defensive 1B.

I cannot emphasize enough how hilarious Dunn looked on tracking a pop up about 20 feet behind 1B against the Indians last week.

Why is that dude ever playing the in the field?
   13. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 21, 2013 at 08:18 PM (#4421607)
As I've been arguing over at South Side Sox, the is not a small sample size for Adam Dunn. In over 1000 PA for the Sox, he has an OPS+ of 82. He sucks at the plate and he's a bad defensive 1B. While I wouldn't DFA the guy quite yet,...


Any word on how complete any medical exam of Dunn has been? As a Met fan, nothing would surprise me, including the possibility that Dunn hasn't had his eyes checked by a top-notch opthamologist.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 21, 2013 at 08:32 PM (#4421622)
Let's assume, however, that your logic about all the terrible things on the White Sox is unassailable and that they do in fact have huge issues in that Dunn, Rios, Keppinger, Ramirez, Konerko, Quintana, Floyd, Danks, and a terrible farm system produced by Kenny Williams weak drafting 4-5 years ago are all pressing needs.

Wait, how is Rios a problem?

He's got a 328/394/625 178 wRC+ line right now, after a 125 wRC+, 4 WAR season last year.
   15. Up2Drew Posted: April 21, 2013 at 08:52 PM (#4421657)
Um actually ... I didn't make any "faulty" claims that the team has 5-10 holes at the major league level, or that Rios or Ramirez are huge issues. You did. I said, or tried to say, that the White Sox are old, and they're counting heavily on guys with inconsistent track records. This team doesn't have much of a future, they're not good enough to make the playoffs, and their direction is not addressing any of the above. I guess you could take the Flowers-for-AJ move as a positive, if you have faith in Flowers' ability to play everyday.

I'm not blaming Hahn ... in fact, I haven't seen enough of the White Sox under Hahn to draw any conclusion whatsoever. But the Beckham situation is exactly my point - a starting position etched in stone for a replacement-level guy because the Sox don't have anyone remotely capable of challenging for the job.
   16. Long Time Listener, First Time Caller Posted: April 21, 2013 at 09:07 PM (#4421672)
So what are you doing? You're ripping the White Sox, and in particular Rick Hahn, suggesting he's running around with no plan b nor plan a. You are pretty specifically ripping their offseason moves or lack thereof or both. That suggests you at least have a generic strategy for what a team like the White Sox going into 2013 would have done differently. Well let's hear it.

However if "re-sign AJ Pierzynski" has any part of your "Plan A" (and it seems to) I think I'll go with Rick Hahn on this one.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 21, 2013 at 09:31 PM (#4421712)
Adam Dunn was an All-Star last year.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 21, 2013 at 09:34 PM (#4421717)
Adam Dunn was an All-Star last year.

And finished the year with a 112 OPS+ and massively negative defensive value.
   19. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 21, 2013 at 09:59 PM (#4421752)
To elaborate on snapper's comment, Dunn was hitting 230/374/580 on June 16, and then hit 185/302/387 the rest of the way. Outside of the first 2.5 months of 2012 he has been absolutely atrocious for the White Sox.
   20. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 21, 2013 at 11:41 PM (#4421844)
I'm not saying he should have been an All-Star. I'm just marveling at the fact that, as horrible as he's been for the White Sox, he still managed to crawl onto the All Star team last year. I had totally forgotten that.
   21. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:11 AM (#4421859)
The back-end of the rotation consists of Gavin Floyd, Jose Quintana, and the injured John Danks ... and they consider the rotation a team strength.

Oh, this approach. Actually, what you describe IS an above average back end of the rotation. People seem to think that most teams are the 1971 Orioles. Nope. Most teams have garbage at the end. Heck, given that reliever have an overall better ERA than starters, an average starter has an ERA+ of 96. Actually, I did some research on this years ago here at BTF, and figured the following:

Average #1 slot in the rotation: 118
Average #2 slot in the rotation: 106
Average #3 slot in the rotation: 96
Average #4 slot in the rotation: 89
Average #5 slot in the rotation: 78

Or thereabouts. With Peavy and Sale, the Sox are well ahead of the game at the top of the rotation. And Danks, Floyd, & Quantana (and spare parts) can put the team ahead of the norm in the bottom of the rotation, too. So yeah, rotation is a big strength for the Sox.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:57 AM (#4421905)
Ooh, that was a well put-together study Dag, that's the only time I've seen someone bother to define a #1 slot as best they could.

But we still have the issue that the #1 slot is a mix of mostly aces and their subs who are #6s or worse. So while an average "#3" has a 96, you want your "intended #3" to be better than that since you can't guarantee he'll make every start but you're pretty sure your #6/7/8 are crap.

None of which has much to do with Floyd or Quintana as Floyd is established as a 100 ERA+ pitcher and Quintana has pitched much better than that so far and I assume must project to something above 89.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:47 AM (#4421954)
Actually, I did some research on this years ago here at BTF, and figured the following:


Dangit..no wonder I couldn't find it, I was searching for it on Hardball Times website.
   24. madvillain Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4422316)
Complaining about the back-end of the rotation is like complaining about a shingle falling off your roof when your basement is flooding.

The problem isn't the perfectly cromulent Floyd/Quintana/Axelrod, it's the replacement level (and worse in the case of Dunn and Keppinger so far) drivel being trotted out there in the lineup.

The Sox were relying on a bounce back year from Ramirez, an improvement from Viciedo, and for 3B and DH to once again not be flaming piles of suck. On that count, they are 1 for 4. Ramirez has bounced back but Dunn is back to historical levels of hitting incompetence, keppinger has been awful (and had some awful BABIB luck) and Viciedo, just as he was heating up and showing some progress as a hitter, injured his oblique.

So now they have yet another replacement level type (Danks or Wise) in the lineup.

Also, Beckham's injury forced Keppinger out of position, so now the defense is weakened significantly.

Things aren't going well for Chicago; it has nothing to do with the pitching, back end of the rotation or otherwise.

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