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.

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

As encouraging as the reports are on many of the White Sox’s minor-league pitching prospects, Carlos Rodon’s effort against the Athletics on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field could prove just as significant to the rebuild on the South Side.

Looking much like the ace the Sox envisioned prior to Rodon’s rough 2017 season that ended with shoulder surgery, the left-hander put together his most successful effort of ’18 during a 10-3 drubbing of the Athletics before a sun-drenched crowd of 21,908.

Making his fourth start of the season, Rodon matched a career-high by going eight innings. He yielded two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Rodon earned his first win of the season to help the Sox salvage a split of the four-game series.

“I felt good today—a lot of strikes,” Rodon said. “It was good to go eight and just be ahead of guys.”

Helping matters for Rodon was an offensive explosion by the Sox, led by Yoan Moncada’s career-high six RBIs. After falling behind 2-0, the Sox plated five runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings as Moncada cleared the bases with a double off the base of the wall in the fifth and launched his 10th home run of the season to drive in three more an inning later.

“Today was a great day,” Moncada said via a team interpreter. “I just went out to play the game the way that I play. Just to have fun. It was a very good game for me.”

Daniel Palka and Yolmer Sanchez also homered as the Sox won for just the second time in their last 11 games.

Rodon was the happy recipient of the run support to win his first game since Aug. 21, 2017, against the Twins. On Sunday, he threw 99 pitches, 69 for strikes and was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball.

“I’m looking to do that every time out,” Rodon said. “Just show up and establish the strike zone with the fastball and be aggressive.”

The 25-year-old’s second-inning strikeout of Khris Davis was the 400th of Rodon’s career. It is a career that is continuing after a surgery that was a setback, but one that did not derail Rodon’s confidence that he would again pitch effectively.

“There are up-and-down days when you go through shoulder surgery or any surgery for any player,” Rodon said. “You've just got to work through it and try to make your way back. I'm here now and it’s looking up and I’m trying to get better.”

So is it reasonable to view Rodon as the future ace after all?

“You certainly can’t discount that,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He has to go out there and continue to get his feet underneath him and get through the rest of the season healthy and climbing.”

In other Sox pitching news, Renteria said starter Dylan Covey, who was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game due to a hip flexor injury, “felt better” Sunday and the team will continue to monitor the right-hander’s progress.

Meanwhile, veteran Miguel Gonzalez made a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte as he continues to recover from inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Gonzalez went three innings and allowed one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez belted his first homer for the Knights in the game.

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

No one knows better than Joakim Soria that the more successful he is as the White Sox’s closer, there is an increased likelihood that the veteran right-hander will be headed out of town at some point.

Soria has not only solidified the back end of the bullpen, the 34-year-old has emerged as perhaps the Sox’s most valuable trade asset to a contending team in need of relief help.

Over this last 14 appearances, Soria has not allowed an earned run and has converted all seven save chances with five hits allowed, two walks and 15 strikeouts.

“My body feels good and my arm feels good,” Soria said before the Sox defeated the Athletics 10-3 on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. “I come to the ballpark expecting to pitch and … I try to be out there and help this team win.”

While the Sox haven’t done a whole lot of winning of late—Sunday’s win was just their second in their last 11 games—when they are victorious it’s accompanied by a Soria save. With the Sox’s rebuild in full swing, Soria understands that general manager Rick Hahn won’t hesitate to flip him in a trade.

“Players say they don’t think about it but you have to think about it,” said Soria, who was acquired from the Royals on Jan. 4 in a three-team trade also involving the Dodgers. “When you have a family with three kids and a wife you have to be prepared for everything. But it’s not like I come to the field thinking about that. It’s just God’s plan and whatever happens it’s a business and you prepare.”

Soria has 215 career saves, including 162 in seven seasons with the Royals, but hadn’t been a full-time closer since notching a combined 24 saves with the Tigers and Pirates. With the Sox, Soria won the closing job over fellow veteran Nate Jones in spring training and has been nearly unhittable in recent weeks.

Over his last 13 2/3 innings pitched, Soria has held opponents to a .109 batting average and sports a 2.89 ERA for the season. He has issued five walks in 28 innings and is averaging 10.29 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

The two-time All-Star has settled in nicely in a Sox clubhouse featuring a mix of veterans and promising talents. Soria has to balance that with the knowledge he might not be around as the season progresses.

“It’s something I can’t control,” Soria said. “I have a really good relationship with these guys and the chemistry with this team is very good. I can’t think outside of the box because (a trade) hasn’t happened yet. You have to keep focused and be ready for today’s game.”