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.

Todd Frazier's late single lifts White Sox over Mariners

Todd Frazier's late single lifts White Sox over Mariners

The White Sox offense showed a bunch of late life on Thursday night.

Todd Frazier had two hits with runners in scoring position, including the game-winner, as the White Sox topped the Seattle Mariners 7-6 at U.S. Cellular Field. Frazier’s one-out single in the ninth inning off Nick Vincent scored Adam Eaton as the White Sox won for the fourth time in five games. Frazier’s game-winning hit was his first since June 2015 and the fifth of his career. It and a game-tying, two-out, two-run single in the seventh helped Frazier shake off a game in which he struck out three times in his first three at-bats.

“You learn something,” Frazier said. “You take the last at-bat and throw it away and just keep on going. Unfortunately, it took me three times to do that. To come up clutch today felt pretty good.”

Frazier leads the club in home runs and RBIs.

Similar to his teammates, however, Frazier has lefty plenty of chances for more damage on the table. He entered Thursday hitting .159 with runners in scoring position for a team that ranks 18th with runners in scoring position (.255).

While Frazier struck out with runners on the corners in the first inning, he succeeded in his next two tries. He picked up Jose Abreu in the seventh after the slugger struck out against Steve Cishek. Frazier sat on a slider and ripped a 2-0 pitch into left field to drive in Eaton and Tim Anderson, whose one-out RBI double made it a 6-4 game.

Then in the ninth, Frazier came through again. Eaton’s bloop single to center got things going before Anderson bunted him over. Vincent walked Abreu to get to Frazier, who singled to left again.

Frazier was previously 17-for-17 with five doubles, four homers and 42 RBIs with runners in scoring position.

“These are the best ones,” manager Robin Ventura said. “You can't rely just on the homer. There's more to his game than that. You have to be able to knock in runs when you're not hitting them over the fence. He can use the other side of the field. I think he can level it out somewhat and get some hits. Just put it in play more because you don't know know what's going to happen.”

[MORE: Rick Hahn denies rift in White Sox front office, holds off on plans for 2017]

David Robertson found that out in the top of the ninth inning when his outing was delayed for several minutes by a trio of fans who ran onto the field. Robertson worked around the delay and a one-out walk to keep the score tied at 6.

Down 2-0, the White Sox scored three times in the first inning to briefly take the lead.

Abreu and Avisail Garcia both singled in runs and Dioner Navarro had a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.

White Sox starter Anthony Ranaudo pitched well after a slow start and then ran into bad luck in the sixth inning. What looked to be a surefire double play ball kicked off Ranaudo’s glove and combined with an Anderson throwing error led to a three-run inning that put Seattle ahead 6-3.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Ranaudo allowed six earned runs in 5.1 innings.

The White Sox were 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

“That’s just part of it,” Robertson said. “I guess that happens some times.

“Everybody played hard. They didn’t give up at all tonight. We pitched well enough to win and had timely hitting. A few things went our way, a couple errors that really ended up giving us a few runs. A few things went our way and it was great to pick up a win.”

Rick Hahn denies rift in White Sox front office, holds off on plans for 2017

Rick Hahn denies rift in White Sox front office, holds off on plans for 2017

Rick Hahn said Thursday he won’t divulge which direction the White Sox would head this offseason out of respect to his current players and staff.

But once the offseason begins, Hahn said it would quickly become evident what the White Sox front office has in mind. Roughly a month after his comments about being “mired in mediocrity,” the White Sox general manager said that he, executive vice president Kenny Williams and club chairman Jerry Reinsdorf are still mulling their options and open to all. Hahn also strongly denied recent reports that a divided front office prevented the start of a rebuild at the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, describing them as “tired.”

“The frustrating thing is it seems every few months we need to have this same conversation,” Hahn said. “The fact of the matter is I have no idea where an unnamed random report of any discord at the deadline came from. It’s simply untrue. There was no trade or direction of whatever it was described as vetoed, so to speak, at the deadline.

“We are of a similar mindset as to how best to proceed. We’ve had a number of conversations, both Kenny and I, as well as Kenny, Jerry and I, about the best way to approach the offseason and what we want to accomplish. And once the offseason rolls around we will start executing that plan.”

“It’s just, frankly, tired news and repetitive and there’s nothing there. None of us would be here doing what we do if we didn’t feel we were set up to have the potential for success.”

As for the most successful route to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2008, Hahn wouldn’t yet commit to a plan. Hahn said the club would also address all questions about its roster and coaching staff after the season, which ends on Oct. 2.

With 36 games remaining after Thursday, the White Sox appear on pace for a fourth straight losing season.

[MORE: White Sox rule Austin Jackson, Matt Davidson out for season]

While the team has many of the top-tier pieces necessary to compete, its lack of depth continues to be a critical issue holding back the franchise. Injuries in the bullpen and outfield and the unexpected retirement of Adam LaRoche forced many part-time players or inexperienced pitchers into key roles. With a farm system still short on talent, the White Sox would likely need a serious cash infusion to fill in some of those holes in order to compete in 2017. Or, they could begin a rebuilding process and replenish their farm system by unloading some of their talented, affordable players.

Either way, Hahn isn’t ready to talk shop.

“We have a sense of what we want to do,” Hahn said. “Frankly, regardless of which direction it is — full rebuild or add on — we’re still in the middle of the season.

“If I were to say we’re going to do a full rebuild that’s disrespectful to what they’re trying to accomplish. To the other extreme, if I were to say we’re going to fight and go for it and plug the holes it begs the question, ‘Where are the holes?’ and that’s disrespectful to the guys in the clubhouse. It’s just not the time to be laying out offseason plans. We’re working on it, exploring a lot of angles internally trying to come up with priorities so we can hit the ground running when the time is appropriate.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

When he spoke about the team’s trade deadline plans July 21, Hahn said the White Sox had only ruled out short-term acquisitions, but remained open to all options. He said the idea of trading away Chris Sale or Jose Quintana seemed “extreme,” in part because competing teams wouldn’t deal players helping them in their playoff chases; that they’d have a better market in the offseason.

Hahn said Thursday the White Sox remain open-minded. When reminded that the White Sox have operated in an aggressive manner under Reinsdorf, Hahn agreed. But he also noted that the White Sox haven’t been happy with their recent performances and left the door open for a rebuild.

“OK, but there also comes a point where there is a level of frustration with the way things have played out over the last couple of years,” Hahn said. “There are different approaches and again, I’m not saying (a rebuild) is the route we’re going to go. But I assure you there is absolute openness from Jerry, Kenny, myself. Everyone in that front office is looking for the best path to get us on an extended period of success, even if that involves a short-term step-back.”

White Sox rule Austin Jackson, Matt Davidson out for season

White Sox rule Austin Jackson, Matt Davidson out for season

Austin Jackson and Matt Davidson are officially done for the season.

Meanwhile, the White Sox still remain hopeful that Brett Lawrie is on the mend after a second MRI.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Thursday that Jackson, who had surgery June 10 to repair a medial meniscus tear in left knee, and Davidson, who had surgery after he fractured his right foot, won’t return this season.

“Austin is progressing, but it unfortunately it’s been a slow pace,” Hahn said. “He has not taken baseball activities. I wouldn’t expect him back this season.”

Jackson hit .254/.318/.343 with 18 RBIs in 203 plate appearances before he suffered the injury.

At the time of Jackson’s injury, Hahn didn’t think it would end his season. But, Hahn did say it would take at least six weeks before they could re-evaluate Jackson’s knee post-surgery and get a better determination of when he might return. Jackson’s re-evaluation was pushed back a few days from the six-week mark and the White Sox made it clear they weren’t optimistic about him returning.

Davidson went 1-for-2 with an RBI before he broke his foot running the bases in his first game of the season.

“(I) would not expect (Davidson) either. It was a pretty bad fracture. It’s progressing and he’s hitting the early milestones. There just isn’t enough time for either of those two.”

Lawrie, who has been on the disabled list since July 22, had a second MRI earlier this week and is being treated, Hahn said.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Manager Robin Ventura has been adamant all along that Lawrie’s injury was tricky to diagnose. What began as a strained hamstring and later was thought to be a quad injury has been reclassified as a knee and calf issue. Hahn said the MRI showed the area is structurally sound.

“He received some medicine in the joint there,” Hahn said. “We’re let that work for a couple of days and we’ll ramp up the activity and see how it goes. No specific time frame.”

Miguel Gonzalez will participate in one more bullpen — possibly a simulated game — before he starts a rehab assignment, Ventura said. Gonzalez is on the DL with a strained right groin.