Chicago's Inside Pitch

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Numbers not adding up for Sox' offense

Posted by scotgreg on Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:07

Ever since I can remember, the White Sox’ offense was stacked with power guys that were able to take advantage of the hitter-friendly conditions at U.S. Cellular Field.
I got here after Greg Luzinski, Ron Kittle and even Carlton Fisk, but have been around long enough to see sluggers like Frank Thomas, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Lee, Paul Konerko, Jim Thome and Adam Dunn.
Through the past two decades, the Sox had hitters throughout the order that were patient enough to take a walk.
Thomas, Thome and Dunn - in particular - set a good tone for the rest of the lineup by forcing opposing pitchers to throw strikes.
This season, the White Sox rank last in the American League with 121 walks. They also rank last in runs scored (177) and last in on-base percentage (.293).

Going long with Hoyer on walks and OBP

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:08

We’ve got off-and-on rain here at U.S. Cellular Field as the Cubs get set to take on the White Sox. We should get some word today on the status of reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, who is scheduled to have an MRI on his right forearm today. The Cubs are calling it a “muscular strain,” but repeated forearm injuries raise red flags about more serious possibilities.

While we’re waiting, let’s do this today. Yesterday, GM Jed Hoyer talked a lot about the Cubs’ lack of walks and the importance of on-base percentage in the OPS equation. We couldn’t get to all of it in the paper, so let’s get to some of it here on the blog.

Fujikawa to DL; Cubs claim Alex Burnett

Posted by Bruce on Mon, 05/27/2013 - 17:15

A lot going on here before Game 1 of the Cubs-White Sox series at the Cell. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said reliever Kyuji Fujikawa will undergo an MRI tomorrow. Fujikawa suffered an injury to his right forearm during Sunday’s game at Cincinnati. He spent on a month on the DL from mid-April to mid-May with a forearm strain. Hoyer said the Cubs are “cautiously optimistic,” but it looks like Fujikawa will be out for some time.

The Cubs officially placed him on the DL today with what they term a “muscular strain of the right forearm. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that whenever you hear “forearm” or “triceps” repeatedly with a pitcher, it’s never out of line to think there might be an elbow issue.

White Sox no longer 'terrible'

Posted by scotgreg on Mon, 05/27/2013 - 16:54

Both baseball teams in this city have been taking a beating all season, and most of it is deserved.
You can keep checking in with Bruce Miles' work here to get the latest on the Cubs.
As far as the White Sox are concerned, they enter tonight's interleague game vs. their North Side rivals having won 9 of 12.
The Sox (24-24) are playing their best baseball of the season, no question about it, and almost to a man, they say they can do better.
"We've had a lot of injuries," Adam Dunn said. "Offensively, we've been pretty much terrible all year. For the first month, defensively we were terrible. For us to sit here and be .500, that's pretty remarkable for the way that we've played.

Should latest rant cost Hawk another fine?

Posted by scotgreg on Sat, 05/25/2013 - 17:14

In case you missed it, first-base umpire Angel Hernandez made an atrocious call in Friday night's White Sox-Marlins game at U.S. Cellular Field.
In a 3-3 game, the Sox had runners on first and third with one out in the 10th inning. Alex Rios grounded to shortstop, but he beat the relay throw and was safe at first base.
The winning run should have scored, but Hernandez called Rios out.
The White Sox went on to win in 11 innings, but that doesn’t completely erase what happened.
And, not surprisingly, Sox TV announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson teed off on Hernandez after screaming “NO!” four times.
Last season, MLB commissioner Bud Selig fined (and lectured) Harrelson after he went off on umpire Mark Wegner during a game at Tampa.

Sore Beckham taking time off

Posted by scotgreg on Fri, 05/24/2013 - 18:55

Two weeks ago, injured second baseman Gordon Beckham confidently predicted he’d return from a fractured left hamate bone tonight against the Miami Marlins at U.S. Cellular Field.
It looked like a realistic target date, but after playing his fifth rehab game for Class AAA Charlotte Thursday night, Beckham had to call White Sox general manager Rick Hahn.

Cubs put Camp on DL; brass visits pitcher Gray

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 05/22/2013 - 16:29

There might have been good reason for Cubs reliever Shawn Camp’s continued ineffectiveness this season. The Cubs today placed Camp on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right big toe. They recalled right-handed reliever Rafael Dolis from Class AAA Iowa. The Cubs also said their top executives are meeting today with top draft prospect Jonathan Gray, a pitcher at the University of Oklahoma. More on that in a bit.

Just Monday, the Cubs designated right-handed reliever Michael Bowden for assignment. Hours later, Camp went out and suffered his third blown save of the season, as he gave up a go-ahead grand slam to Pirates pinch hitter Travis Snider in the sixth inning of a game Pittsburgh won 5-4.

Sale scratched from Wednesday's start with shoulder issue

Posted by scotgreg on Tue, 05/21/2013 - 19:41

We’re in the second inning here at U.S. Cellular Field, and the White Sox and Red Sox are scoreless.
But the big news of the night came a few minutes ago, when White Sox media relations director Bob Beghtol announced ace left-hander Chris Sale has been scratched from Wednesday night’s start vs. Boston with a “mild case” of tendinitis in his posterior throwing shoulder.
That doesn’t sound good, but the Sox also announced Sale will make his next scheduled start, Tuesday vs. the Cubs at the Cell.
Hector Santiago will start in place of Sale Wednesday vs. Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz (6-0, 1.78 ERA).
Sale is scheduled to talk to reporters after tonight’s game.

Cubs activate Garza, DFA Bowden

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 05/21/2013 - 18:00

One could argue that pitcher Michael Bowden got a raw deal and that the Cubs should have cut loose reliever Shawn Camp, but that’s not what happened today. The Cubs activated pitcher Matt Garza to start tonight’s game in Pittsburgh. To make room they designated Bowden for assignment.

The Cubs also claimed right-handed reliever Eduardo Sanchez off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bowden, a resident of Oswego and a graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School, was 1-2 with a 3.78 ERA and a WHIP of 1.14. He had 1 blown save. Camp is 1-1 with a 7.31 ERA and a WHIP of 1.75 and 2 blown saves.

Sanchez, 24, will be assigned to Class AAA Iowa. He was 0-0 with 1 save and a 3.72 ERA (4 ER/9.2 IP) in 9 relief appearances for Class AAA Memphis this season.

Hahn: Still too early to start selling

Posted by scotgreg on Mon, 05/20/2013 - 17:57

New White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has taken a page out of predecessor Kenny Williams’ book.
Before the first game of every homestand, Hahn has made his way to the dugout after manager Robin Ventura finished talking to reporters and fielded questions.
It’s a good policy that helps keep fans in the loop. This afternoon, Hahn made it clear he’s not even remotely thinking about breaking up a Sox team that’s off to a wobbly 19-23 start.