Chicago's Inside Pitch

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Closer look at Sox' Top 10 draft picks

Posted by scotgreg on Fri, 06/07/2013 - 20:17

Here are the White Sox' first 10 picks in the amateur draft:
1. Tim Anderson, SS
Comment: East Central Community College (Miss.) product batted .495 with 10 home runs, 11 triples, 18 doubles, 62 runs scored and 41 stolen bases. Getting a lot of negative feedback on the 19-year-old, who was better known for basketball in high school.
2. Tyler Danish, RHP
Comment: Can't argue with the results. The Durant High School (Brandon, Fla.) product didn't allow an earned run in 94 innings this season while going 15-1. But with his funky sidearm delivery, Danish projects out as a major-league reliever. Sox scouting chief Doug Laumann sees Danish as a starter.

Draft continues; Sveum weighs in on Bryant

Posted by Bruce on Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:32

The Major League Baseball amateur draft continues today with the third round. By now, you know the Cubs selected third baseman Kris Bryant out of San Diego with the first pick and Missouri lefty Rob Zastryzny with the second round. I felt that after the Astros chose pitcher Mark Appel with the No. 1 pick overall that the Cubs would take Bryant ahead of pitcher Jonathan Gray, who went No. 3 to Colorado. Cubs manager Dale Sveum seemed excited about the Bryant pick.

Peavy (fractured rib) out 4-6 weeks

Posted by scotgreg on Wed, 06/05/2013 - 17:07

Another day, another round of bad news for the White Sox.
During Wednesday’s game at Seattle, the Sox announced 32-year-old starting pitcher Jake Peavy is headed for the disabled list and will miss 4-6 weeks with a non-displaced rib fracture on his left side.
Peavy had an MRI in Seattle earlier Wednesday, a day after he had to make an early exit against the Mariners.
Peavy lasted just 2.1 innings at Safeco Field Tuesday night. Pitching in obvious discomfort, the right-hander gave up 6 runs on 7 hits.
In his last two starts, Peavy lacked the usual zip on his fastball while allowing 12 runs on 15 hits in 6.1 innings.
Look for Hector Santiago to come back out of the bullpen and replace Peavy in the bullpen.

On Edwin Jackson's 'luck' and some minor matters

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 06/04/2013 - 10:23

Cubs manager Dale Sveum might have raised a few eyebrows Sunday when he said part of pitcher Edwin Jackson’s problem in Sunday’s 8-4 loss to the Diamondbacks was bad luck.

It’s a tough sell, to be sure and one that Cubs TV man Len Kasper also discussed on this morning Mully and Hanley show on the Score (670-AM in Chicago). Jackson has had his obvious problems, as his 1-8 record and 6.29 ERA attest. But Sveum isn’t entirely wrong, and one stat backs him up to a degree. Jackson has a batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .358. Most of you who read this blog are familiar with BABIP. It essentially takes home runs, strikeouts and walks out of the equation, because those outcomes do not put the ball into play.

Sunday brunch blog: Castro, draft, the minors

Posted by Bruce on Sun, 06/02/2013 - 13:02

After a Saturday “evening” game that ended just as Sunday morning was starting, it’s a quick turnaround here at Wrigley. The tarp has been on the field all morning, a light mist has been falling and it feels more like April than June. Our Sunday brunch blog is always filled with good stuff, and today, we’ll talk a little Starlin Castro and a little amateur draft, which comes up Thursday.

The Cubs have played 54 games, which means they’re exactly one-third of the way through the season. Edwin Jackson starts this afternoon against lefty Patrick Corbin, who is 8-0 with a 1.71 ERA. Jackson is 1-7 with a 6.11 ERA, and he had last week’s start at the Cell washed out by rain in the third inning.

Moving pitchers: Cubs keep juggling

Posted by Bruce on Sat, 06/01/2013 - 17:24

It’s a rare Saturday evening game (6:15 p.m.) tonight as the Cubs again play the Diamondbacks. With the Blackhawks playing a 4 p.m. game on the West Side, it will be interesting to see the crowd tonight. Yesterday’s 24, 645 was the smallest of the season. We’ve had a couple of spates of pregame rain.

The Cubs continue moving the pieces of their pitching staff. They’ve placed right-handed reliever Rafael Dolis on the 15-day DL with what they describe as a mild strain of the right forearm. They selected the contract of reliever Blake Parker from Iowa and designated Alex Burnett for assignment.

Dale Sveum, meet Pythagoras

Posted by Bruce on Fri, 05/31/2013 - 12:40

I’m not sure how far Cubs manager Dale Sveum got in mathematics with the Pythagorean Theorem. As most of you know, you can calculate a team’s “Pythagorean” or “expected” won-loss record based on its run differential. I’ll spare you the details here.

Despite their actual won-loss record of 22-30, the Cubs go into this afternoon’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a run differential of plus-6, having outscored their opponents 214-208. Their Pythagorean, or expected, won-loss record with that run differential should be 27-25.

Cubs talk a little hockey, make another roster move

Posted by Bruce on Thu, 05/30/2013 - 12:38

Back at it today, and there was a lot of hockey talk here at Wrigley after the Blackhawks thrilling 2-1 (or was it 3-1?) overtime victory last night over the Red Wings in Game 7. Many of the Cubs were at the United Center.

“It was fun," said manager Dale Sveum. "To go to a game like that, Game 7, to go to overtime. To have that goal taken away was a little bit upsetting. Thank God they ended up winning. It all worked out. It was a lot of fun.”

Pitcher Jeff Samardzija got to take part in the shoot-the-puck contest between periods along with White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko. Samardzija wore a Bob Probert jersey in honor of the late forward who played for both the Hawks and Red Wings.

Calling all Sox fans ... stay patient or start from scratch?

Posted by scotgreg on Thu, 05/30/2013 - 12:22

Chicago sports fans seem to be either: 1. Gaga over the Blackhawks or: 2. Fed up with the White Sox.
The first one is understandable, and the Hawks’ Game 7 OT win over the Red Wings Wednesday night was one for the ages.
As for the Sox, there are times when I really feel sorry for Chris Rongey, who hosts the postgame radio show on AM-670 in addition to writing a weekly column for the Daily Herald.
After Wednesday’s ugly 9-3 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley, it sounds like Rongey was hammered with calls from White Sox fans screaming for massive changes, especially on the offensive side.
Manager Robin Ventura said “anything at this point is on the table,” but today’s lineup (with batting averages) has a familiar look:
De Aza, .239 – CF
Ramirez, .283 – 2B
Rios, .284 – 9

Game on! (For White Sox and Cubs)

Posted by scotgreg on Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:32

Not much has changed for the White Sox since last night, when their interleague game against the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field was postponed in the bottom of the third inning when the skies opened up on the South Side.
The Sox are over at Wrigley Field today, and the weather is great (for now). More rain is in the forecast, but not until later this afternoon or tonight.
Couple of pregame notes:
-This is a National League interleague game and there is no designated hitter, so Adam Dunn gets the start over Paul Konerko at first base.
This is a matchup move against Cubs starter Scott Feldman, a right-hander, but the numbers actually favor Konerko playing.