Chicago White Sox

Poetry in Pros: Offensively, Sox remain lost

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Poetry in Pros: Offensively, Sox remain lost

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011
Posted: 8:50 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com White SoxInsiderFollow@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, Poetry in Pros will run a value survey that details just what the Chicago White Sox are getting for their moneya report more essential than ever, given the team-record payroll.

While the White Sox have dropped out of the AL Central race courtesy of a three-game sweep at the hands of the Detroit Tigers last weekend, the team went 6-1 otherwise and now sits two games over .500 at 71-69. Correspondingly, the teams overall value has risenand in fact, when you see how the trio of young position players called up to the White Sox have added value to the team, youre going to be angry at how long it took them to get a chance to make their mark.

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 ledgerplayer or managementis 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

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, 11,237,693 (1)
2. Phil Humber, sp, 10,351,400 (2)
3. Carlos Quentin, of, 7,984,103 (3)
4. Brent Lillibridge, of-if, 5,869,974 (9)
5. Chris Sale, rp, 5,582,402 (7)
6. Sergio Santos, rp, 4,933,011 (4)
7. Gavin Floyd, sp, 4,780,558 (12)
8. Paul Konerko, 1b, 4,331,170 (5)
9. Alejandro De Aza, of, 4,222,450 (15)
10. John Danks, sp, 4,016,286 (6)
11. Edwin Jackson, sp, 3,706,325 (8)
12. Jesse Crain, rp, 2,979,346 (11)
13. A.J. Pierzynski, c, 2,387,768 (10)
14. Gordon Beckham, 2b, 2,204,197 (13)
15. Zach Stewart, sp, 1,744,264 (18)
16. Tyler Flowers, c, 1,373,072 (16)
17. Mark Buehrle, sp, 882,597 (14)
18. Dayan Viciedo, of-if, 819,585 (-)
19. Ramon Castro, c, 365,275 (17)
20. Jeff Gray, rp, 362,477 (19)
21. Josh Kinney, rp, 350,279 (22)
22. Hector Santiago, rp, 207,388 (21)

The White Sox continue to boast more players in the black than the red, with 23 of the 41 players who have seen action for the White Sox this year posting a value profit for the team. Ramirez, Humber and Quentin remain 1-2-3 as the club's best values, but look at three names on the list in particular. De Aza is the teams ninth-best value despite having played just 34 games with the team, while Flowers and Viciedo are 16th an 18th respectively in spite of just 33 games played between them. While there was no room for Flowers on the roster until Castros injury, De Aza and Viciedo both have done much to prove that they were wasting away down in Triple-A Charlotte.

White Sox Busts

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, -20,499,120 (1)
2. Alex Rios, of, -15,388,332 (2)
3. Jake Peavy, sp, -6,191,922 (4)
4. Mark Teahen, if-of, -4,875,357 (3)
5. Omar Vizquel, if, -3,773,411 (5)
6. Juan Pierre, of, -3,370,207 (6)
7. Tony Pena, rp, -1,698,205 (8)
8. Brian Bruney, rp, -1,527,898 (7)
9. Lastings Milledge, of, -1,472,249 (9)
10. Dallas McPherson, 1b-3b, -1,019,967 (10)
11. Jason Frasor, rp, -885,155 (12)
12. Matt Thornton, rp, -821,436 (11)
13. Shane Lindsay, rp, -783,493 (-)
14. Eduardo Escobar, if, -345,600 (-)
15. Will Ohman, rp, -335,262 (23)
16. Brent Morel, 3b, -267,240 (20)
17. Lucas Harrell, rp, -260,128 (14)
18. Addison Reed, rp, -169,647 (-)
19. Donny Lucy, c, -128,099 (13)

Everything wrong is right again, as Dunn and Rios remain 1-2 at the top here and well outpacing the other 17 poor White Sox values combined. More than half of the players listed above are either no longer with the White Sox or have been with the club only briefly.
White Sox Added Value

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, 2,159,063 (1)
2. Phil Humber, sp, 1,758,352 (8)
3. Matt Thornton, rp, 1,648,915 (6)
4. Zach Stewart, sp, 1,321,715 (-3)
5. Brent Lillibridge, of-if, 1,195,493 (-12)
6. Alexei Ramirez, ss, 1,145,807 (5)
7. Mark Buehrle, sp, 1,009,157 (-13)
8. Gavin Floyd, sp, 850,206 (-11)
9. Jake Peavy, sp, 844,750 (-2)
10. Dayan Viciedo, of-if, 819,585 (-)
11. Chris Sale, rp, 654,772 (10)
12. Jesse Crain, rp, 354,386 (4)
13. Josh Kinney, rp, 340,411 (13)
14. Paul Konerko, 1b, 277,465 (12)
15. Donny Lucy, c, 200,721 (-9)
16. Jason Frasor, rp, 36,866 (11)

In territory that was customarily occupied by Ramirez, De Aza has gone back-to-back as the top value in Chicago over now the past 20 gamesvirtually his entire stay with the White Sox (hes played 34 games total and came up to the majors at the end of July).

No shock that after their brilliant outings, both Humber and Stewart have surged near the top of the added value list, Stewart jumping from high on the lost value list to high in added value.
White Sox Lost Value

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. Adam Dunn, dh, -1,672,995 (1)
2. Alex Rios, of, -1,372,409 (6)
3. A.J. Pierzynski, c, -943,917 (-)
4. Sergio Santos, rp, -852,135 (7)
5. Shane Lindsay, rp, -783,493 (-)
6. Juan Pierre, of, -782,354 (10)
7. John Danks, sp, -542,082 (2)
8. Omar Vizquel, if, -487,658 (7)
9. Brent Morel, 3b, -478,974 (9)
10. Gordon Beckham, 2b, -460,266 (4)
11. Eduardo Escobar, if, -345,600 (-)
12. Addison Reed, rp, -169,647 (-)
13. Will Ohman, rp, -148,326 (8)
14. Tyler Flowers, c, -146,553 (3)

Again in a case of wrongs righting themselves, Rios has rejoined partner in crime Dunn atop the lost value list, with the two players costing the White Sox more than 3 million over just the past 10 games. That puts Rios recent hot streak (six-game hitting streak) in perspective, as even such a run couldnt offset how poorly he performed on the front end of this last set of 10 games.

Overall, players collectively dropped -737,520 in value and stand at 10,344,296 in the hole for the entire season, making it a virtual lock that the Chicago offense, vaunted before the season began, will not break even in 2011.

On the plus side, the pitching continues to surge, adding 6,871,892 in value in the past 10 games and standing at 27,222,943 in total value for the season.

Thus the White Sox are in the black on the year, at 16,878,647, a surge of 6,134,372 from the 130-game mark.

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

Chris Volstad earns first MLB victory in five seasons as White Sox top Astros

Chris Volstad earns first MLB victory in five seasons as White Sox top Astros

HOUSTON -- Two weeks ago Chris Volstad was focused on Hurricane Irma prep when the White Sox called to invite him to the majors. On Thursday night, he earned his first major league victory in more than five years as the White Sox defeated the Houston Astros 3-1 at Minute Maid Park.

Volstad, who had only made 10 big league appearances the previous four-plus seasons and spent all of 2017 at Triple-A Charlotte, allowed a run in 4 1/3 innings to pick up his first win since Sept. 10, 2012.

He hadn’t just shut it down after the Triple-A season ended, Volstad was actually shuttering his Jupiter, Fla. home and business the day the short-handed White Sox called.

“I was probably a little mentally shut down,” Volstad said. “But yeah, it’s kind of crazy how things can change. I guess it’s been about two weeks now. At home getting ready for a hurricane and then getting called back up to the big leagues.”

Volstad received word he might pitch early in Thursday’s game when a blister on Carson Fulmer’s right index finger worsened. Fulmer felt some discomfort after his Friday start at Detroit.

The White Sox let Fulmer try to go but yanked him after 20 pitches, including two walks. That brought out Volstad, who along with Al Alburquerque was promoted Sept. 10 after the White Sox lost several pitchers to injury.

The White Sox actually had to track Volstad down two weeks ago as he’d already been home for a week. He spent part of the time prepping for Irma, including boarding up his brewery.

He escaped a first-inning jam with a double play ball of the bat of Carlos Correa and ended a threat in the second with a pickoff at second base of Alex Bregman. After he surrendered a solo homer to Brian McCann in the third, Volstad retired the final eight men he faced.

[MORE: Why the White Sox are optimistic about their middle infielders' potential

He was awarded his first victory since he defeated Thursday’s Astros starter Dallas Keuchel 1,836 days ago here. Volstad remembered the win because Houston was still in the National League and he had a base hit in the five-inning start for the Cubs. He went 3-12 for the Cubs that season.

“You’re able to lock it in pretty quickly and get focused at the big-league level, you have to,” Volstad said. “But being home in Triple-A for the last few years, just getting called up about 10 days ago, I’ve got people following it, but it’s kind of unknown I guess. It’s a little surprising, but I’m glad to be a part of a team for sure.”

Fulmer, Volstad, Jace Fry, Mike Pelfrey, Gregory Infante, Aaron Bummer, Danny Farquhar and Juan Minaya combined on a three-hitter for the White Sox. Tim Anderson extended his hit streak to 12 games with a ninth-inning solo homer, his 17th.

White Sox add two cross checkers to amateur scouting department

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White Sox add two cross checkers to amateur scouting department

The White Sox hired two new national amateur scouting cross checkers, Tim Bittner and Juan Alvarez.

Bittner was a one-time White Sox farmhand who was included in a package for Scott Schoeneweis in 2003 while Alvarez was an undrafted pitcher who pitched in 80 major league games for the Angels, Rangers and Marlins from 1999-2003.

Bittner previously worked as a Houston Astros area scout while Alvarez held the same role for the Cleveland Indians. They replace Joe Siers, who moved over to the team’s pro scouting staff, and Mike Ledna, who took a job with the New York Mets.

“Both are very smart guys with playing experience,” amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. “And they’re also coming from two clubs with a lot of recent success.

“I want to add as many smart, passionate, high-energy scouts to what I feel is a department already filled with scouts that check those boxes.”

The White Sox expect to have at least a top-four selection in the 2018 amateur draft. They headed into Thursday’s game with the second-worst record in the majors. Hostetler praised the 2018 draft class for its depth earlier this week.