White Sox

Finally, rotation's turn to take hit in value survey

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Finally, rotation's turn to take hit in value survey

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011Posted: 9:35 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com White Sox InsiderFollow @CSNChi_Beatnik
With thousands of measurements in baseball, from wins and batting average to FIP and OPS, but none of those measures take into account the actual value a player brings to a team. Isn't someone who hits 20 home runs but makes just 500,000 a better value than someone who also clocks 20 but makes 10 million? Every 10 games this season, CSNChicago will run a value survey that details just what the Chicago White Sox are getting for their money a report more essential than ever, given the team-record payroll. At game 150, this is the last in-season survey of 2011, and the results wont be pretty. Going 2-8 over the past 10 and in the process getting eliminated from playoff contention is one thing, but how the White Sox lost eight of 10 is the issue. The starting rotation has been the strongest aspect of the ballclub, but with rare exception has completely collapsed in the stretch.
What follows is a survey that you won't find anywhere else in the baseball world, a snapshot that attempts to marry actual costs of players against the value they provide the team on the field. Arguably, this player value trumps any you'd find on the back of a baseball card. Using raw WAR (Wins Above Replacement) data from FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference and prorated salary tells us which side of the ledger player or management is benefiting more from each players performance. A plus figure means the player has provided more value than hes been paid, a negative one means hes provided less. White Sox Bargains Players who are providing value on top of what they are costing the team in salary. (Last survey standing in parenthesis, a negative number indicates the player was on the "busts" list and a plain - meaning the player did not appear in the last survey.)

1. Alexei Ramirez, ss, 11,820,935 (1)
2. Phil Humber, sp, 11,319,084 (2)
3. Carlos Quentin, of, 7,139,908 (3)
4. Alejandro De Aza, of, 6,969,972 (9)
5. Brent Lillibridge, of-if, 5,957,508 (4)
6. Chris Sale, rp, 5,595,350 (5)
7. Gavin Floyd, sp, 5,234,070 (7)
8. Sergio Santos, rp, 5,077,229 (6)
9. Edwin Jackson, sp, 4,044,609 (11)
10. Gordon Beckham, 2b, 3,937,210 (14)
11. Jesse Crain, rp, 2,911,190 (12)
12. Paul Konerko, 1b, 2,449,784 (8)
13. John Danks, sp, 2,429,200 (10)
14. A.J. Pierzynski, c, 2,400,045 (13)
15. Zach Stewart, p, 1,944,085 (15)
16. Brent Morel, 3b, 1,765,037 (-16)
17. Tyler Flowers, c, 748,559 (16)
18. Dayan Viciedo, of-if, 677,593 (18)
19. Dylan Axelrod, p, 529,892 (-)
20. Jeff Gray, rp, 376,631 (20)
21. Addison Reed, rp, 334,176 (-18)
22. Ramon Castro, c, 276,309 (19)
23. Hector Santiago, rp, 227,204 (22)
24. Eduardo Escobar, if, 32,425 (-14)

In a development that bodes well for the 2012 White Sox, several callups have worked their way into the black, bringing the total tally to 24 of 42 players posting a profit for the White Sox. And De Aza continues a mercurial move toward the top of the value list, jumping from ninth to fourth overall and threatening to bypass seasonlong No. 2 batter Quentin before September expires.

White Sox Busts Players who value cannot offset what they are costing the team in salary. (Last survey standing in parenthesis, a "" means the player was on the "bargains" list and a plain - meaning the player did not appear in the last survey.)

1. Adam Dunn, dh, -21,540,699 (1)
2. Alex Rios, of, -18,318,097 (2)
3. Jake Peavy, sp, -7,926,808 (3)
4. Mark Teahen, if-of, -4,856,093 (4)
5. Omar Vizquel, if, -4,261,243 (5)
6. Mark Buehrle, sp, -2,043,065 (17)
7. Juan Pierre, of, -1,944,498 (6)
8. Tony Pena, rp, -1,716,459 (7)
9. Matt Thornton, rp, -1,564,563 (12)
10. Lastings Milledge, of, -1,492,442 (9)
11. Brian Bruney, rp, -1,409,542 (8)
12. Dallas McPherson, 1b-3b, -1,044,859 (10)
13. Will Ohman, rp, -645,280 (15)
14. Jason Frasor, rp, -564,524 (11)
15. Shane Lindsay, rp, -482,789 (13)
16. Lucas Harrell, rp, -261,543 (17)
17. Donny Lucy, c, -155,868 (19)
18. Josh Kinney, rp, -66,515 (21)

Approaching 40 million in combined lost value, Dunn and Rios remain 1-2 at the top of bum values, well outpacing the other 16 poor White Sox values combined. In an alarming development given his need for a new contract, Buehrles September swoon has thrust him from a good value (17th on the team in the last survey) to the sixth-worst value on the club.

White Sox Added Value Over the past 10 games, here are the White Sox who have increased their value to the team (players who were not active with the team over the past 10 games are not included in this list).

1. Alejandro De Aza, of, 2,747,522 (1)
2. Brent Morel, 3b, 2,032,277 (-9)
3. Gordon Beckham, 2b, 1,733,013 (-10)
4. Juan Pierre, of, 1,425,709 (-6)
5. Phil Humber, sp, 967,684 (2)
6. Alexei Ramirez, ss, 583,242 (6)
7. Dylan Axelrod, p, 529,892 (-)
8. Addison Reed, rp, 504,065 (-12)
9. Gavin Floyd, sp, 453,512 (8)
10. Eduardo Escobar, if, 378,025 (-11)
11. Jason Frasor, rp, 320,631 (16)
12. Shane Lindsay, rp, 300,704 (-5)
13. Zach Stewart, p, 199,821 (4)
14. Sergio Santos, rp, 144,218 (-4)
15. Chris Sale, rp, 12,948 (11)
16. A.J. Pierzynski, c, 12,277 (-3)

De Aza has completed a near-unprecedented three straight weeks atop the increasing value list, continuing to provide profit for the Pale Hose and stake his claim on a starting outfielder job in 2012. He could be joined on the 2012 roster by Reed, whos been golden since a rough, nerve-wracked first outing earlier this month in Detroit.
White Sox Lost Value Over the past 10 games, here are the White Sox who have decreased their value to the team. (players who were not active with the team over the past 10 games are not included in this list).

1. Alex Rios, of, -2,929,765 (2)
2. Mark Buehrle, sp, -2,925,662 (7)
3. Paul Konerko, 1b, -1,881,386 (14)
4. Jake Peavy, sp, -1,734,886 (9)
5. John Danks, sp, -1,587,086 (7)
6. Adam Dunn, dh, -1,041,579 (1)
7. Carlos Quentin, of, -844,195 (-)
8. Matt Thornton, rp, -743,127 (3)
9. Tyler Flowers, c, -624,513 (14)
10. Omar Vizquel, if, -487,658 (8)
11. Will Ohman, rp, -310,018 (13)
12. Dayan Viciedo, of-if, -141,992 (10)
13. Josh Kinney, rp, -116,794 (13)
14. Jesse Crain, rp, -68,156 (12)
15. Donny Lucy, c, -27,769 (15)

Rios is making a late run at Dunn for the very worst value on the White Sox, a task made more difficult by him continuing to play (and falter) while Dunn is largely inactive. Peavy ended his season on a sour note, and will only continue to lose value while inactive, meaning hell drop another 1.5 million by seasons end.

Overall, players made a modest gain of 905,681 in value and stand at 9,438,514 in the hole for the entire season. At this point, there is no way for the Chicago offense to break even in 2011. Pitchers took a hit in this last survey, dropping 3,881,314 in value but retaining 23,341,631 in overall value on the season.

The White Sox remain in the black on the year, at 13,903,117, a drop of 3,881,313 from the 140-game mark.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins on hitting, catching and a Dylan Cease story you have to hear

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins on hitting, catching and a Dylan Cease story you have to hear

Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey speak with Charlotte Knights catcher Zack Collins about

-His hot start to the season at the plate (5:30)

-How James McCann helped him with his catching during spring training (7:20)

-How he's changed his approach at the plate this season (13:10)

-What he orders at Chick-fil-A (15:40)

-Why he's not thinking or worrying about getting called up to the majors (17:50)

-An incredible story about Dylan Cease (20:30)

-His thoughts on Tim Anderson's bat flip (28:20) and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

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White Sox Talk Podcast

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A Jose Abreu awakening could make an already productive White Sox offense even more fearsome

A Jose Abreu awakening could make an already productive White Sox offense even more fearsome

Hitting has not been the biggest problem for the White Sox. But even after a win to kick off this week's series against the Baltimore Orioles, they're still under .500 and in fourth place in the aggressively weak AL Central.

There's a ton of baseball left, and their spot in the standings on April 22 indicates nothing about where they'll be at the end of September. But the issues that have cropped up in the early going — many of them having to do with what's gone on on the pitcher's mound — have signaled that another losing season in the thick of the ongoing rebuilding process wouldn't come as a great shock.

That point being established, there's still been more to smile about in the early going this season than there was perhaps in the entirety of the 2018 campaign, what Rick Hahn described from the beginning as "the toughest part of the rebuild." That turned out to be prescient, with the White Sox losing 100 games. This year, the early season emergence of Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada and, to a lesser extent, Eloy Jimenez have made it so there are exciting reasons to pay attention to what's going on on the South Side, all the while making for a lineup that can push across a good deal of runs.

Now imagine if Jose Abreu wasn't hitting below the Mendoza Line.

He's not anymore after a big night Monday, but the guy who's arguably still the team's best hitter when everything's right hasn't been right very often so far in 2019. That could be starting to change, though, and if it does, a lineup that's already a heck of a lot more threatening to opposing pitchers than it was at any point in 2018 could become even more fearsome, even more productive. And that leads to more wins, important not just for fans hoping for a surprise run at relevancy given the weak state of the division, but for a team building a lineup for the future that it hopes is scoring a whole bunch of runs in meaningful games in seasons to come.

Abreu went 3-for-5 in Monday night's 12-2 laugher in Baltimore, the White Sox bats looking even better with an opportunity to feast on Orioles pitching, which entered as the worst staff in the majors with a 6.21 ERA and owned a 6.37 ERA after Monday's blowout. But it's a three-game hitting streak for a guy whose average was down to .174 after Thursday's series-opener in Detroit. Since, he's 6-for-15 with a homer and seven RBIs.

Maybe it's just a nice three-game stretch, boosted by a chance to swing against the big leagues' worst pitching staff. But it allows the White Sox to dream about a lineup made ever more dangerous by the regular production of a two-time All Star and one of the AL's reigning Silver Sluggers.

Again, offense has not been the main reason the White Sox are still underwater, from a win-loss perspective, at this point. They aren't exactly blowing the doors off the league when it comes to their offensive prowess, middle of the pack in baseball with 106 runs scored this season. But they entered Monday's game with a 5.44 team ERA, one of the four worst marks in the bigs. The bullpen's ERAs are still on their way down after short outings from the starting staff in the season's first couple of weeks forced them into unenviable situations. One run allowed in Monday's bullpen day should help with that. The team ERA shot down to 5.27 after Monday's game, still not enough to vault them out of the bottom six teams in the league.

But reliable versions of Anderson (who's still hitting over .400), Moncada and Jimenez are pieces this lineup didn't have last year, and they've been three of the best parts of it so far in 2019. Leury Garcia has been quietly productive if not flashy while doing it. James McCann, who hit a three-run homer to start the scoring in Monday night's rout, has put up good numbers in limited time while splitting catching duties with Welington Castillo. Even Ryan Cordell, only the team's starting right fielder for a few days, has shown promise with a couple homers already. There have been holes, of course, chiefly Yolmer Sanchez — who was still hitting under .100 on April 13 but is now batting .231 after a three-hit night Monday — and the sent-down Daniel Palka. Abreu and Yonder Alonso, in the middle of the White Sox order, have been unproductive, as well, while the younger guys have flourished around them.

But an Abreu turnaround — or, really, an awakening, considering how early it still is — would boost the numbers and make the lineup capable of even more on a regular basis.

It could also be another factor in the ongoing conversation about a potential Abreu contract extension. While Hahn has suggested it's unlikely that such a deal would be struck during the season, it wouldn't be surprising to see it come before Abreu is set to hit free agency once the 2019-20 offseason begins. The White Sox are such big fans of what Abreu does in the clubhouse and as a mentor for younger players that production might not play as big a role as it normally would. But obviously the consistency of that production in Abreu's first five big league seasons certainly helps. To keep that production going with a late-April awakening would be all the more reason to keep Abreu around for the transition from rebuilding to contending.

The White Sox lineup has been promising to this point. It could become downright potent if Abreu starts knocking the ball around as we all know he can.

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