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.

Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey takes advantage of showcase as White Sox down Indians

Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey takes advantage of showcase as White Sox down Indians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — If Carlos Rodon starts on the disabled list as expected, the White Sox won't turn to any of their vaunted top prospects in the interim.

The news on Rodon has been encouraging so far as no structural damage has been discovered. Still, the White Sox won't clear Rodon until after he receives a second opinion on Monday. While the length of Rodon's absence won't be determined for several days, the White Sox are certain of one route they won't take — they don't want to disrupt the development of their young starting pitchers. Were a DL trip for Rodon necessary, the White Sox would likely select either Saturday's starter, Dylan Covey, or minor leaguer David Holmberg over their top prospects. Covey made a strong impression on Saturday afternoon with 3 2/3 scoreless innings pitched and the White Sox rallied for a 10-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark.

"When you have an opportunity to stabilize action or movement for players it serves them better," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "They get a little more comfortable where they're at. They get comfortable with the staffs they're working with and the information they're gathering, being in a routine. It is a little disruptive going from team to team to team. It happens, but it's not the most conducive (to learning)."

The White Sox are all about development this season. Therefore, they have no plans to call upon Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer or Michael Kopech unless they're A) ready and B) throwing every fifth day in Chicago. Renteria's comments Saturday reiterated Rick Hahn's earlier message, saying the club doesn't want to disrupt the development path.

That puts Covey, a Rule 5 draft pick in December, with a decent opportunity to make the club out of camp. Covey commanded the strike zone on Saturday only hours after Renteria said he hoped to see the young right-hander replicate an Arizona Fall League performance that initially warmed the White Sox up to him.

Aside from a two-out walk in his final inning, Covey was sharp the whole way. He allowed three hits and struck out three.

"My last couple of outings I was definitely feeling the stress," Covey said. "I was kind of pitching a little passive, pitching to not make a mistake instead of just going right after guys. So today and yesterday I just thought I'm just going to throw every pitch with conviction and see what happens. I got a lot of weak contact today and some swings and misses, so I felt good."

Covey threw 44 pitches, 27 for strikes. He potentially could stay in Arizona on Thursday and make an additional minor league start to build arm strength, which would get him to roughly 60 pitches before the regular seasons started.

The White Sox don't officially need a fifth starter until April 9 and they're off the following day. That break could allow the White Sox to start Covey as part of a bullpen day. Covey said he recently changed his mindset after lackluster results in relief this spring. The right-hander has a 6.94 ERA this spring in 11 2/3 innings.

"Obviously my last two outings out of the pen I wasn't getting crushed, but I just wasn't commanding the ball or commanding the count as much as I would like to be," Covey said. "The mistakes get hit a little harder when you're falling behind in the count. Today I wanted to have the mindset of attacking hitters, throwing everything down in the zone and going right after them, and it worked out."

The White Sox blasted six home runs in the contest, including a majestic, go-ahead grand slam by first baseman Danny Hayes in the top of the ninth inning. Hayes is hitting .351/.400/.595 with two homers and is tied for the team lead with 13 RBIs this spring. Jose Abreu, Nick Delmonico, Cody Asche, Everth Cabrera and Jacob May also homered for the White Sox. 

White Sox: Carlos Rodon feels reassured after clean MRI

White Sox: Carlos Rodon feels reassured after clean MRI

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- While he still has a second opinion ahead and is likely to start 2017 on the disabled list, a clean MRI has Carlos Rodon feeling relieved after a bizarre Thursday.

The White Sox pitcher described Saturday the strange experience he’s had the past few days dealing with soreness in his left bicep.

In the span of 48 hours, Rodon -- who will receive a second opinion on Monday -- went from feeling good enough after a midweek bullpen session to request that his first start be moved up to likely landing on the DL. As he prepares to navigate the rehab process, Rodon is more at ease after an MRI on Friday showed no structural damage.

“(Thursday) was a weird day for me,” Rodon said. “I wasn’t very happy with it. I got that checked out, trying to figure it out.

“I feel better. It’s reassuring.”

“(Your arm is) your tool. It’s concerning. But that’s why you go get those things checked out and make sure everything is ok. That’s what we did.”

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Rodon, who went 9-10 with a 4.04 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 165 innings in 2016, has one more checkup before he’s all clear. He travels to Los Angeles on Monday for an appointment with Dr. Neal ElAttrache. General manager Rick Hahn said Friday that a second opinion is “protocol.”

Though he has already been reassured -- the club’s diagnosis was he had no structural issues after a physical exam and then the clean MRI -- Rodon wouldn’t mind more confirmation. The left-hander said he hadn’t experienced the kind of tightness he suddenly felt in his biceps tendon before Thursday. He could lift his arm above his head, but Rodon said his stuff wasn’t the same. After he informed them, the White Sox determined to be cautious.

“It’s pretty tight up there,” Rodon said. “I’ve never really been that tight. I couldn’t really step on some balls I wanted to throw to get that arm going. So, I had to get it checked out. It didn’t feel too good.”

The White Sox already had Rodon on a delayed schedule where he needed to hit every mark to be ready for the regular season. They did so in hopes of helping him avoid the fatigue he experienced last summer and also reaching the 200-inning mark this season. Now it appears Rodon will begin the season on the DL, according to Hahn.

Though he’d like to start the season on schedule, Rodon wants to make sure he’s physically good to go.

“Just trying to be healthy man,” Rodon said. “You don’t want to go the start of the season and be behind the best guys. You are a tick down from the best guys in the world. It’s not fun pitching when you are not feeling too good. I want to be 100 percent when I’m out there. That gives our team the best chance of winning.”