2005-02-08T00:23:13.320-08:00Welcome to the Sabermetric White Sox 1st Annual State of the White Sox Address. As Spring Training quickly approaches, it is time to look to the past, present, and future of the Chicago White Sox organization. What will follow is an examination of the past season, the current roster, and the White Sox farm system. So, without further ado:2004 RECAP:2004 will go down in the annals of Sox history as another lost season. The White Sox were off to a quick start with new manager Ozzie Guillen at the helm, going 13-8 in April, and 16-12 in May, thanks in part to a hot start by Juan Uribe and the surprisingly steady play of Aaron Rowand. They were in 1st place in the AL Central in June, but had not been able to put the Twins away. Kenny Williams' surprising acquistion of Freddy Garcia seemingly sealed the deal for the Sox, but a collision between Magglio Ordonez and Willie Harris sent Ordonez to the DL with a knee injury, that would require multiple surgeries. Despite a brief comeback, Ordonez was more or less lost for the season. Soon after, Frank Thomas went down with an ankle injury, and he was out for the season. The Sox continued to play hard, though, and despite the losses of their 3 and 4 hitters, were able to put together a 5 game winning streak before the All-Star break, and limp to a 12-13 June record. The Sox ran out of gas, though, in July. A contreversial collision at the plate between Torii Hunter and Sox catcher Jaime Burke turned the tide for the Twins, and left Sox fans scratching their heads as to why Ozzie didn't order a retaliation. It was the start of a 7 game losing streak and a tailspin from which the Sox would not recover. Carl Everett and Robbie Alomar were once again acquired, and Esteban Loaiza was traded for Jose Contreras in a vain attempt to save the season. The Sox would go 11-16 in July, 12-17 in August, and only a brief spark in September and October, 17-12, and 2-1 respectively, prevented the Sox from finishing behind Cleveland for the 2nd spot in the AL Central.LOOK AT 2005:The White Sox were busy in the 2005 offseason. In: Jermaine Dye, Dustin Hermanson, Scott Podsednik, Luis Vizcaino, A.J. Pierzynski, Orlando Hernandez, Tadahito Iguchi. Out: Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Lee, Jose Valentin, Robbie Alomar, Mike Jackson.Let's go position by position and see what the Sox have going for them. I'm going to use Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections, TangoTiger's Marcel's, and BaseballThinkFactory's ZiPS for this discussion. These are all 2005 projections, by the way.Corner Infield Paul Konerko1B PROJECTIONAVGOBPSLG PECOTA.276.353.494 Marcel's.274.345.485 ZiPS.276.352.497 AVERAGE.275.350.492 Joe Crede3B PROJECTIONAVGOBPSLG PECOTA.266.321.459 Marcel's.261.315.444 ZiPS.258.313.462 AVERAGE.262.316.455 Ross Gload1B/OF PROJECTIONAVGOBPSLG PECOTA.270.318.435 Marcel's.295.355.454 ZiPS.298.339.468 AVERAGE.288.337.452 **Before you scream at me, I'm going to put Frank Thomas in with the DH's.**Paul Konerko is obviously the new leader and face of the Chicago White Sox. That's what happens when you finally put together a full season of great stats, especially when guys like Thomas and Ordonez go down and you pick up the slack. While the Sox may have been trying to move Konerko for Randy Johnson, now that they have moved Lee instead, Konerko appears to be the man on the South Side. He's in a contract year, and will demand big bucks, but look for the White Sox to get a deal done with him sometime during the season. If anyone benefitted from the renovation at the Cell, Konerko was it. He hit 41 HR in 2004, 29 of which came at the Cell. Those 29 home park HR led the league, by the way. Though it's unfair to expect similar production from Konerko next season, he should probably only suffer a slight drop-off in all categories, especially if he doesn't improve on his road stats. But, with balls flying left and right out of the cell, Paulie will once again be looked to as the main power source in 2005.Joe Crede is still a black hole at 3rd. This guy has l[...]
2005-01-26T13:10:22.400-08:00"Kenny, we're reading bogeys on your six. Looks like Sabean and Epstein.""I can't shake 'em! I can't shake 'em!"If the 2004-2005 offseason will be known for anything, it will be for Kenny Williams' "Flying Under the Radar." If you will remember, the Sox began the off-season making it publicly known that Omar Vizquel was their #1 priority. A deal was seemingly done for 2 years at $10 mil. Then, out of nowhere, Brian Sabean and the San Fransisco Giants swoop in and give Vizquel $12.25 mil and a guaranteed 3rd year. All of this for a 38 year old shortstop... AMAZING!!! Of course, if you've ever visited The Hardball Times, you know how much Sabean loves the older players.After that incident, Kenny told the media he was going to be "Flying Under the Radar" for the rest of the off-season, and that's pretty much what he did, making surprise deals here and there. The Sox signed Dustin Hermanson and Jermaine Dye a few days after they declined to offer arbitration to Magglio Ordonez (who as of yet has not signed with another team.) Then, and probably in the most surprising and shocking move of the White Sox off-season, the White Sox sent Carlos Lee to Milwaukee for Scott Podsednik, Luis Vizcaino, and a player to be named later, who turned out to be Travis Hinton, a 24-year old minor leaguer who led the Single A California League in nearly every offensive category. That's not all, either. Kenny then tried to use the money to sign Cubs pitcher Matt Clement, but was outbid by Theo Epstien and the Boston Red Sox. So Kenny went to Plan B, Orlando Hernandez, and signed him on the cheap, 2 years at $8mil. That may end up being the best signing of the off-season, but Kenny STILL wasn't done. He then goes out and signs A.J. Pierzynski for 1 year at $2.25mil. STILL not done, Kenny then goes out and signs Japanese import Tadahito Iguchi for 2 years at $4.9mil, with a club option for a third year. Phew, let me catch my breath. Overall, the Lee deal ended up netting Podsednik, Vizcaino, Hernandez, Pierzynski, and Iguchi. The move filled four holes (leadoff hitter, 5th starter, catcher and 2nd base) and shored up the bullpen.I decided to wait until the end of the off-season to analyze how the Sox did, as it makes more sense to analyze the moves in an aggregate rather than position by position anyway. Although there is a rumor of the Sox shopping for a backup shortstop, they appear finished. So, let's pull out the nifty table function of w.bloggar... (Note: Below are 2004 stats) IN PLAYERAVGOBPSLG Dye, Jermaine.265.329.464 Podsednik, Scott.244.313.364 Pierzynski, A.J..272.319.410 Iguchi, Tadahito.340.438.573 AVERAGE.280.350.453 OUT PLAYERAVGOBPSLG Ordonez, Magglio.292.351.485 Valentin, Jose.216.287.473 Lee, Carlos.305.366.525 Alomar/Burke.287.342.358 AVERAGE.275.337.460 You may be asking yourself, "Where's Willie on that chart?" Well, he's still on the team (for now), so I didn't include him. The other point I need to make before I start analyzing is that Iguchi's stats are from Japan. Aaron Gleeman over at The Hardball Times has already written the article I was about to write, about Japanese players making the transition to the US, and he went ahead and projected Iguchi's stats. So instead of me repeating the same stuff, you can read his article here. On average (remember this is a very small sample size we're dealing with, so these numbers aren't extremely accurate), there's about a 10% dropoff in batting average, 12.7% dropoff in on-base percentage, and a 24.4% dropoff in slugging percentage, which for Iguchi project to be about .300/345/.425. If you throw those numbers into the table, the new White Sox "IN" average is .270/.327/.416.The White Sox obviously lost a lot of power. Using the new Iguchi numbers, they're down 44 points in slugging, about 9.5%. But the White Sox obviously are believing players like Podsednik and Dye will have some sort of a rebound. I see Podsednik's batting average climbing back up to the .260-.270 range, and his OBP climbing back[...]
2005-01-25T23:06:54.463-08:00Well, almost... I was looking at my blog the other day and I realized how poor it probably looked on 800x600 screens, so now we're user-friendly. I'll probably tweak here and there, but it's about done. And now I can focus on what's important... baseball writing. Now that the Sox are finally done (or are they?) I'll review their off-season. Thanks for bearing with the changes.
2005-01-23T17:52:41.420-08:00Hey, I'm working on a re-design of this site. Hopefully it'll be up soon. Check back.
2005-01-03T11:27:17.540-08:00Hey, I'm still around. It's been busy, with the holidays and all. The Sox have been busy too. Let's see, since I last posted they traded Carlos Lee for Scott Podsednik, Luis Vizcaino, and the ever popular player to be named later. They also signed P Orlando Hernandez. I'll be doing a full write up about that trade soon. Sit tight.
2005-01-25T23:03:35.613-08:00The White Sox signed Jermaine Dye to a two year, $10.15 million dollar contract, which pays Jermaine $4mil in 2005, $5mil in 2006, and has a team option for $6mil in 2007 (or a buyout of $1.15mil.) Dye took this contract despite higher offers from other teams after he verbally agreed to terms with the White Sox. Way to go! I like the guy already. Let's see if I still like him after I look at his 2004 stats...
2005-01-25T23:03:05.500-08:00I'm a little late here with this, but anyway...
2005-01-25T23:02:41.496-08:00It's sad to see one of the great players in your organization leave like Magglio Ordonez did, but it's really sad when he goes and says, "Why not the Cubs?... I think it would be a good place for me. They have great fans. They're sold out every day. They have great pitching and they have a good chance to win it all. All I want to do is win. Winning is my No. 1 priority."
2004-12-07T18:21:32.700-08:00I was going to wait until tomorrow to post this, but since I’m at work today, and my apartment building (with my computer in it) is being fumigated, I’ll post now. It’s inevitable anyway. If you’re reading this, then the Sox chose not to offer Magglio Ordonez arbitration, and thus forfeited their right to compensatory draft picks in the next MLB draft. While many Sox fans will blame Magglio and his agent Scott Boras for the “loss,” the White Sox are actually making the smart business decision by not offering arbitration. Bruce Levine on ESPN radio 1000AM is reporting that the reason Magglio had surgery in Vienna, Austria is because he is suffering from a condition called osteonecrosis, and Vienna has a facility there devoted to the treatment of that condition. I did a little research on osteonecrosis. It occurs when a segment of the bone loses its blood supply and begins to die. The word osteonecrosis literally means "Bone-Death." While the exact cause of the disease is still unknown, there are a couple of theories. The first is a stress fracture combined with a specific activity or trauma, like running into Willie Harris at full speed. The second is that there is a build-up of fluid in the bone that puts pressure on blood vessels and diminishes circulation to the bone. The third is that it is steroid induced. I'd say Maggs falls under circumstance one, but, well, I'll throw out circumstance three anyway. The following are signs and symptoms of osteonecrosis: Sudden pain on the inside of the knee, perhaps triggered by a specific activity or minor injury Increased pain at night and with activity Swelling over the front and inside of the knee Heightened sensitivity to touch in the area Limited motion due to pain Osteonecrosis of the knee develops through four stages, which can be identified by symptoms and X-rays. Stage I: Symptoms are most intense in the earliest stage. Symptoms may continue for 6 to 8 weeks and then subside. Because X-rays are normal, a positive bone scan is needed to make the diagnosis. Treatment at this point is nonoperative and conservative, focusing on pain relief and protected weight-bearing. Stage II: It may take several months for the disease to progress to Stage II. At this point, X-rays will show that the rounded edge of the bone is starting to flatten out. An MRI or bone scan can be used to diagnose the disease. A CT scan may also be used to measure the affected area of bone area. Stage III: By the time the disease reaches stage III (3 to 6 months after onset), it is clearly visible on X-rays and no other diagnostic tests are needed. The articular cartilage covering the bone begins to loosen as the bone itself begins to die. Operative treatments may be considered at this point. Stage IV: At this point, the bone begins to collapse. The articular cartilage is destroyed, the joint space narrows, and bone spurs may form. Severe osteoarthritis results and joint replacement surgery may be necessary. In terms of treatment, in the early stages of the disease, treatment is nonoperative. If the affected area is small, this treatment may be all that is needed. Options include: Medications to reduce the pain A brace to relieve pressure on the joint surface A conditioning program with exercises to increase the strengthen of the muscles in your thighs Activity modifications to reduce knee pain If more than half of the bone surface is affected, surgical treatment may be required. Several different procedures may be used to treat osteonecrosis of the knee. Among the surgical options are: Arthroscopic cleansing (debridement) of the joint Drilling to reduce pressure on the bone surface Procedures to shift weight-bearing away from the affected area Replacement of one or both joint surfaces Basically, what a[...]
2005-01-25T23:02:15.666-08:00Well, the Hot-Stove Season is burnin', with rampant rumors of Randy Johnson and Nomar Garciaparra floating around all over the place. I'm of the opinion that they'll be just that. I'm more interested in numbers anyway, and Studes over at the Hardball Times wrote a interesting article comparing teams and their 2004 batting averages with runners in scoring position, and the numbers of runners a team had in scoring position that year. The good news, the White Sox were second best in baseball last season in batting average with runners in scoring position. The bad news, they had the second fewest number of runners in scoring position in all of baseball. He even goes in depth to show Sox players' averages with RISP. Real interesting stuff. Read the article here.
2005-01-25T23:01:37.100-08:00I was reading an old Bill James article on the use of One-Run game records as a basis of managerial evaluation and, of course, wondered how it applied to the White Sox. The 2004 White Sox, under manager Ozzie Guillen, finished with a record of 28-18 in one-run games last season, which gave them a winning percentage of .609. What's interesting about the James article is that he comes up with a formula to determine a team's expected winning percentage based on the Pythagorem formula for winning percentage based on runs scored and runs allowed. Of course, there is some modification, and you can read the details in the article.So, the White Sox, who scored 865 runs and allowed 831, should have finished with a record of 84-78. They ended up 83-79, a game under their expected record. Using James' equation, their expected winning percentage in one-run games was .509, so their .609 winning percentage in one-run games well exceeded expectations. In terms of games, the 2004 White Sox, based on the Pythagorem formula, and the 46 one-run games they played in, should have won 23.4 games. They won 28, so the exceeded expectations by 4.6 games.Let's look back at 2003, Jerry Manuel's last season. The White Sox were 86-76. They were expected to finish 88-74. In one-run games, they were 18-22, a winning percentage of .450. Based on the Pythagorem formula, their expected winning percentage was .522. In 40 games, they should have won 20.9 games, so they underachieved by 2.9 games. At first glance, it seems as if there was a distinct improvement between the two managers. But not so fast. James concludes that, statistically, winning a lot of one-run games has a persistance of zero, which basically means it's luck. For his career, Manuel was 123-124 in one-run games, a winning percentage of .498. Based on the Pythagorem formula, he should have had a winning percentage of .505. In terms of games, that means Manuel lost 1.7 more games than he was expected to. All things considered, it's a pretty slight deviation, and certainly nothing out of the norm.James also tries to find what identifiable characteristics can be found in teams they win more one-run games vs. teams that lose more one-run games. He uses the top 50 and worst 50 teams in one-run games since 1950 for his study. Here are the results:The 50 teams which did well in one-run games had more stolen bases (96-92 on average), more sacrifice bunts (71-67), more complete games (35-31), more saves (34-30), issued fewer walks (513-531), drew more walks (526-520) and had a better ERA (3.77 to 3.91). The 50 teams which did poorly in one-run games hit more home runs (127-117), scored more runs (674-658), had a higher slugging percentage (.386-.380), a lower on-base percentage (.325-.323), used more relief pitchers (278-257), threw more wild pitches (47-44) and had more balks (8-7). They were more likely to play in hitter's parks (park factors 100.3 vs. 98.5). Looking at that, it becomes obvious to see why Ozzie and Kenny want guys who gan get on base, move runners over, steal bases, and of course, a better pitching staff. But, although there are some tendancies in teams that win one-run games, it's to a very small degree. More or less, winning one-run games all comes down to luck.But how much of losing one-run games is based on luck? You'd think the same as winning them, but that's not entirely accurate. James has also found that losing a lot of one-run games is not completely meaningless. There are enough teams that perform well under expectations one season, and then do the same next season to show that it's possible a team, or a manager, can be attributed to how many one-run games they lose.There's also something else to look at. James also has come up with an equation to[...]
2005-01-25T23:00:59.403-08:00Today the White Sox signed Kevin Walker to a one year, $525,000 incentive laden contract, of which only $100,000 is guaranteed. He was once a Padres prospect, had arm troubles, and has bounced around since. That's all there really is to say about the guy. Is he the next Damaso Marte? I hope so, but I doubt it. Servicable at best. But with the White Sox bullpen, that is NOT a bad thing.
2005-01-25T23:00:19.190-08:00If you've been a Sox fan, especially one who visits the message boards over at White Sox Interactive often, you've heard the endless grousing of fans complaining that the current ownership won't spend the money that big-market teams should. The White Sox ownership claims that they aren't a big-market team, despite playing in one of the largest markets in the country. Because they play second fiddle to the Chicago Cubs, they see themselves as a small to mid-market club. So, Sox fans complain every year that the team won't go out and spend the money to bring in the big free agents.For the past few years, the White Sox have had an annual payroll that has fallen somewhere in the $55-70mil range. What I've been wondering is how good the contracts the White Sox signed have been for them. Luckily, Studes over at the Harball Times has created a useful tool to measure a player's worth by taking into account a player's salary, contract status (free agent, arbitration eligible, etc.), win shares, and replacement levels. The result is called the Net Win Shares Value. A value of $0 means a player played exactly what his contract was worth. A positive value means the player played above the worth of his contract, and therefore was a bargain for his team. A negative value means the player played below his value, and the team "lost" money on his contract.So, what I've done is put the majority of White Sox players this season into the Net Win Shares Value calculator. I used Dugout Dollars as my salary reference point. In the case of traded players, such as Garcia, Everett, Contreras, Loiaza, etc., I tried to figure out how much the Sox paid them in 2004 by calculating how much they had already been paid by their old team. If there were cash considerations as part of the deal, I subtracted those from whatever was left of the player's salary. It won't be exact, and if my numbers are wrong, please e-mail me with corrections. The idea is to see who the Sox signed to good contracts, who they signed to bad contracts, and how they did overall. On this table, black is positive value, red is negative value. PLAYERSALARYNET WIN SHARES VALUE Adkins, Jon$301,000($1,000) Alomar Jr., Sandy$750,000($1,124,732) Buerhle, Mark$3,500,000$3,713,667 Contreras, Jose$1,800,000($936,690) Cotts, Neal$301,000($1,000) Crede, Joe$340,000($1,938,381) Davis, Ben$750,000($913,801) Everett, Carl$700,000$1,226,735 Garcia, Freddy$3,680,000($1,363) Garland, Jon$2,300,000($473,797) Gload, Ross$302,000$2,318,244 Harris, Willie$318,500$825,225 Jackson, Mike$500,000($335,823) Konerko, Paul$8,000,000$1,941,457 Lee, Carlos$6,500,000$5,620,253 Loaiza, Esteban$3,370,000($1,073,368) Marte, Damaso$500,000$3,596,763 Olivo, Miguel$160,000$983,725 Ordonez, Magglio$14,000,000($4,969,273) Perez, Timo$850,000($343,453) Politte, Cliff$800,000$320,564 Rowand, Aaron$340,000$8,819,113 Schoenweis, Scott$1,725,000($1,311,718) Takatsu, Shingo$750,000$5,835,999 Thomas, Frank$6,000,000$2,768,515 Uribe, Juan$350,000$6,277,938 Valentin, Jose$5,000,000$650,000 Wright, Dan$340,000($672,794) Wunsch, Kelly$800,000($312,230)TOTAL$65,027,500$30,488,775Conclusions...With a total payroll of $65mil, and a Net Win Shares Value of approx. $30.5mil, the White Sox were a $65mil team that played like a $95mil team. While that may sound impressive, I haven't done this test yet on any other teams, so I don't know exactly what the impact of this data is. Suffice to say, the Sox are finding more value in their contracts than they are losing value. Still, they aren't winning any division championships either...Out of the 29 contracts listed, the White Sox "lost" money on 15 of them, or aprrox. 52% of the contracts.The best contract was Aaron Rowand, w[...]
2005-01-25T22:59:35.240-08:00The White Sox signed pitcher Jon Garland to a one year, $3.4mil contract today to avoid arbitration. Read the Chicago Tribune article here.
|YEAR||CONTRACT VALUE||NET WIN SHARES VALUE|
2005-01-25T22:59:06.133-08:00Welcome to Sabermetric White Sox, home of statistical analysis of the White Sox. I've just started this thing up, and I'm looking at adding a message board somewhere. Please check back for more updates.