White Sox

Reinsdorf to Sox fans: 'Dont write us off'

685258.png

Reinsdorf to Sox fans: 'Dont write us off'

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- While the sun might be shining at the White Sox spring training facility, the forecast for what lies ahead in 2012 has been quite different.

Ask most fans or media about this White Sox team and they see storm clouds pushing in, with a third or fourth place finish in the division.

But on the day that Paul Konerko made news by saying 2012 could be a very successful year without making the playoffs, leave it to the Chairman to send a message to White Sox fans to not count them out.

Dont write us off, Jerry Reinsdorf said in an interview Tuesday with Comcast SportsNet. Nobody thought wed win the World Series in 2005, but we did. There are years when we think were great and were bad. I mean the funny thing about this game is that you cant figure it out.

How else do you explain Adam Dunn, for instance, seeing his home run total drop in one season from 38 to 11? His RBIs go from 103 to 42? Or his batting average drop more than 100 points from .260 to .159?

All you have is the games history, in which Reinsdorf is an expert.

If you take a look at what used to be the Baseball Encyclopedia, and you look at the stats of the players who have played eight, 10, 12 years, if they have a really great year they almost always come back to what they were. If they have a bad year, they almost always come back to what they were. Aberrational years are just that. Babe Ruth had a year here or there where he had just awful years, and then he would bounce back and be Babe Ruth the next year.

I checked it out. Reinsdorf is right.

In 1922 and 1925, Ruth had two of the worst seasons of his career, mainly due to injuries. But even while healthy, he wasnt the same player in those bad seasons. Take 1925. In 98 games, Ruth had 25 homers, 66 RBIs, and batted .290. Not exactly Ruthian numbers. The next season, however, Ruth played in 152 games, finished with 47 homers, 146 RBIs and raised his batting average 87 points to .372.

If Dunn can get close to his lifetime average of 3895.243, through simple inertia, a lot more runs will cross the plate.

Tuesday, Reinsdorf was in the clubhouse as new manager Robin Ventura addressed the entire team for the very first time. When I asked the Chairman about Venturas speech, he joked, it wasnt anything terribly inspiring, then added, Im convinced that Robin is just going to be a wonderful manager, and just a leader of men.

Did Reinsdorf have any words for the team?

All the staff people introduced themselves and said what they did, so I introduced myself, and just said, I sign the checks.

So does the man who signs the checks think the White Sox will surprise people this season?

Yes, he said. We would have won the division in my opinion last year if everybody just had normal average year. That goes the same this year. If people have their normal average year, we should be able to contend.

James McCann leads charge for White Sox in running for starting spots in MLB All-Star Game

James McCann leads charge for White Sox in running for starting spots in MLB All-Star Game

Major League Baseball released a second voting update for All-Star Game starters and three White Sox players are still in the mix.

The top three spots at each position (and top nine in the outfield) are all that matter for now, with those players advancing to MLB’s new Starters Election. James McCann is the only member of the White Sox to sit in one of those spots for now.

McCann is second at catcher behind Gary Sanchez of the Yankees. He is nearly 800,000 votes behind the Yankees backstop.

Jose Abreu was in third in the last update at first base, but has fallen behind Carlos Santana of the Indians. Luke Volt, another Yankee, leads with C.J. Cron of the Twins in second. Santana is just under 43,000 votes ahead of Abreu.

Tim Anderson is still in fourth at shortstop. Jorge Polanco of the Twins and Carlos Correa of the Astros are comfortably in the top two spots. Gleyber Torres, yet another Yankee, is just over 45,000 votes ahead of Anderson for third.

There aren’t any other White Sox within striking distance of the top three. Yoan Moncada remains in eighth among third basemen.

Polls close Friday at 3 p.m. CT.

 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

Breaking down Eloy Jimenez's improvement

eloy-617.jpg
USA TODAY

Breaking down Eloy Jimenez's improvement

When Eloy Jiménez returned from the Injured List in late May and rejoined the White Sox lineup, he went on the road to Houston and Minnesota and he struggled to the tune of a .148 batting average and .148 on-base percentage, with four hits (three went over the fence), 11 strikeouts and no walks.

For the season, his slashline was .217/.259/.406 with five walks and 36 strikeouts. He was swinging at 49.8 percent of all the pitches he saw (a bit above the 46.7 percent league average); he was swinging at 38.8 percent of pitches outside the zone (quite a bit above the 30.9 percent league average).

He returned to the comfort of Guaranteed Rate Field on May 27 and took a pair of walks. From that point forward, things started to look a lot better… and the results were in line with that observation.

Eloy Jiménez this season:

  PA AVG OBP SLG BB K Swing % Outside zone swing %
Through May 26 112 ,217 .259 .406 5 36 49.8 38.8
Since May 27 71 .297 .366 .594 7 18 45.9 30.8

Not only has he improved quite a bit, but that 30.8 outside the zone swing percentage is second only to Yonder Alonso’s 29.9 percent mark among White Sox with at least 40 plate appearances since May 27. Jiménez hasn’t been chasing nearly as many bad pitches lately.

Those pitches he has been laying off of have for the most part been the low and away stuff, as indicated by his swing charts below. First, his swing rates before getting hurt and then since he came back from injury.

These charts are from the catcher’s perspective, and from what you can see, he has done a much better job of laying off the low and away pitches. Look at the three zones furthest low and away. There’s a big difference.

Start of the year through May 26:

Since May 27:

Through May 26 he swung at 33.8 percent of pitches (51 of 151)  low and away and out of the zone. Since May 27 he has swung at 14.5 percent of those pitches (10 of 69).

It’s only an 18-game sample, so there will certainly be more adjustments made to combat Jiménez, but I believe we’re watching Eloy begin to mature into the middle of the order force as he was advertised.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.