White Sox

White Sox morning roundup

610094.png

White Sox morning roundup

From the weekend:

Robin Ventura set his first lineup, complete with A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Rios batting in the second and third spots in the order, respectively. There's a good chance the lineup the Sox trot out against the Dodgers today is the one they'll go with against Texas on Opening Day -- which Hardball Talk's Matthew Pouliot sees as a disaster. White Sox Observer's James Fegan also looked at a few roster and lineup prognostications.

Chuck Garfien spoke to Brent Lillibridge, who thinks the Sox have a good chance to get off to a fast start. Hopefully he's right, since it seems like the Sox haven't had a really good start to a season in years.

Moe Berg might be the most awesome player in White Sox history. Via Chris Kamka's fantastic writeup: "He was a voracious reader of newspapers; upwards of ten a day. He considered each newspaper 'live' until he read it. If anyone touched his newspapers before they were read, they were pronounced 'dead' and he would have to buy it again."

The Sox had an intrasquad game Saturday and Dayan Viciedo hit a grand slam off Gavin Floyd, moving the team's spring record to .500. Oh, and Chris Sale looked good, and Brent Morel's feeling good.

A little clerical item: The Sox agreed to contracts with 24 players, meaning the team's payroll will be 102.5 million this season. And here are photos of some of those players.

Gavin Floyd trade rumors: Will. Not. Die. In similarly frustratingdisappointing news, Alexei Ramirez wants his gold medal from the 2004 Summer Olympics back.

If MLB's new playoff system was in place dating back to 1995, which teams would've benefited the most? Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. But the White Sox would've made the postseason in 2006 and would've been part of a hilarious play-in-game mess in 1996.

Around the division: Recaps, box scores and notes from Sunday's spring training games played by Detroit, Minnesota, Kansas City and Cleveland -- and Joel Zumaya's going to have Tommy John surgery after all.

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.