Found June 04, 2012 on
Fantasy Baseball 365:
Last night Chris Sale was awesome. He has been all year actually, but last night was like some type of punctuation mark. Probably an exclamation point. He went the distance giving up only two runs on only 5 hits and 2 walks, to go along with 8 K's. Sure, Miguel Olivo tagged him for a two run shot, but Sale is easily surpassing expectations this year, despite the White Sox bouncing him around from role to role. On the season Sale is now 7-2 with a 2.30 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. How is he doing it?
For starters, he has toned down the velocity of his pitches, which makes sense considering he needs to pitch more than one inning at a clip now. This drop in velocity has allowed him to have more control over his pitches, as illustrated by his drop in BB/9 (almost 1 full walk lower from last year). All of his pitches are grading out as plus, and he is getting swinging strikes at a rate that is top 20 among qualified starters.
I have some concerns that he may tire at the end of the season just because he hasn't thrown a full starting pitcher amount of innings in a season before (71 was his high list year, ZIPs projects him to finish in the 170 range, which could mark him as an injury risk heading into next year. That isn't now though. Now he is awesome.
- John Niese made it through 6 innings and 96 pitches last night, striking out a career high 10 batters before being forced to leave with an elevated heart beat. He had the same problem last year and avoided the DL, just having to wear a heart monitor for the remainder of the season. Keep an eye on him as he has been pegged as a sleeper this year by a lot of people, and he hasn't pitched badly.
- Adam Jones' right wrist (not the one he was hit on Wednesday) has been sore for weeks according to him, and it was the reason he was pulled from the game in the 9th last night. He had an MRI this morning and tweeted after that he was "all good." Expect him to play tomorrow in Boston.
- Jason Bay is coming off the DL Tuesday and will be immediately re-inserted as the starting left fielder for the Mets. As bad a rap as Bay has over the last couple of years, but in his last 10 games before getting hurt he was batting .265 with 3 HR's. With shorter fences at Citi, he might be worth a speculative add just to see if he can recapture something from his past if he is available in your league.
- A lot has been said about Dexter Fowler and his home road splits this year (1.169 OPS at home, .571 away). Currently the Rockies are just starting a 3 games series in Arizona, then bounce back to Colorado for 6 more games. Last week I picked him up just to platoon his home/away games for now. At 69% owned the window to get him on the wire is rapidly closing, but maybe you can get him from a not so savy owner if he goes cold in the desert, just in time for that 6 game home stand. Over the last week, he lead baseball in WAR with a 1.0, putting up a .556/.636/.963 line with 13 runs, 2 homers, 8 RBI's and 3 steals. His BABIP over that stretch was .722!
Pitching Match Ups
Lohse @ Gee
Samardzija @ Vogelsong
Kershaw @ Worley
De Vries @ Smith - I'm not recommending that anyone start Smith. That being said, I'm playing him in Blog Wars. It's a weekly lineup format and he has two starts this week. I'll take the chance with him squaring off against the Twins, then Pirates.
Friedrich @ Saunders
Vargas @ Santana
Feldman @ Parker - Feldman is my other gamble pick today. He is pitching in Oakland, so that helps. Parker has been great, then not so great, then was good again. This isn't an optimal matchup, but I can't fault you for playing him here.
BEST OF MAXIM
In four games from last Tuesday through last Saturday, the Mariners scored 45 runs, which was roughly the same number of runs that they'd scored in the previous two seasons combined. Yesterday, the universe acted to restore order, using Chris Sale as its agent. Sale pitched a complete game against the M's in Chicago, limiting them to two runs on two walks and five hits...
Chicago White Sox left-hander Chris Sale continued to be the model of drafting a young pitcher, developing him in the system, and then watching him dominate, as Sale improved to 7-2 with a 2.30 ERA after throwing a complete game against Seattle. Sale allowed just two runs on five hits in the 4-2 win over the Mariners. He struck out eight and walked two, again cementing his place...
Chris Sale pitched a five-hitter for his first major league complete game and the Chicago White Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 Sunday for their 10th win in 11 tries.
Sale (7-2) struck out eight and walked two. It was his 10th start this year after pitching in relief for Chicago during the last two seasons.
In Sale's previous start, he struck out 15 in 7 1-3 innings at Tampa...
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Courtney Hawkins realized a lifelong dream when he was drafted in the first round by the White Sox on Monday. How did the youngster get to savor the moment? By being pressured into doing a back flip by an MLB Network reporter despite wearing a dress shirt, tie, and dress shoes. Luckily he cooperated and completed the back flip despite the less...
HANG IN THERE
Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez had an embarrassing moment during the 11th inning of Saturday night's game against the Seattle Mariners when he ducked a curveball that ended up a called strike. Your browser does not support iframes. The pitch from Mariners pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen started up and in, causing Ramirez to duck. However, the pitch came back down and caught...
The Chicago White Sox took two out of three from the Seattle Mariners this weekend, winning yet another series but seeing their long winning streak snapped in extra innings. The club has now won 14 out of 16 games, sits 2.5 games up in the AL Central, and is one of only three teams in baseball with a run differential of +40 or better.
Last night, I talked with UGod from South Side...
Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale and Washington Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez were named the American League and the National League pitchers of the month for May, Major League Baseball announced Sunday. Sale won his first monthly honor by pitching a 4-1 record with a 1.71 ERA in five starts. He struck out 35 batters in 31 2/3 innings. His honor marked the first time a team...
The 2012 season for the Chicago White Sox to this point has been full of surprises.
Whether it be the performances of Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, AJ Pierzynski, Chris Sale, Jake Peavy or the entire bullpen, many players on the Sox roster are exceeding expectations.
However, the man who has been the most surprising and impressive thus far for the White Sox may not even be the one playing...
The Chicago White Sox drafted high school outfielder Courtney Hawkins with their first pick in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft because of his build and pure athleticism. Hawkins checks in at 6’3″, 210 pounds out of Carroll High School in Texas. Hawkins showed off that athleticism on MLB Network minutes after being taken by the Chi Sox.
After barely being prodded by sideline...
Alex Rios, OF, Chicago White Sox
Rios has been one of the most frustrating fantasy players in recent memory. Throughout his career he has both tantalized and tormented us with up-and-down seasons, and 2012 is no different. Rios batted .311 in April, but he contributed just one homer, one steal, six runs and eight RBI. Given how he stumbled through 2011 to a .227 average, at least...
Chicago White Sox star first baseman Paul Konerko was scratched from Tuesday night's lineup against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Konerko was rested Sunday before the team had an off-day Monday. He was in the original lineup Tuesday and no reason was immediately given for his removal.
Konerko is batting .366 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs, but was just 1 for 16 in his previous four games...
One of my favorite announcer in Major League Baseball is Chicago White Sox play-by-play man Ken "Hawk" Harrelson.
Back on Saturday, Hawk had a little bit of risque wordplay when describing a bases-loaded situation for the Seattle Mariners by saying that the sacks were packed with seamen:
(Courtesy of Awful Announcing)
2009 first round draft pick Jared Mitchell (#23 overall) has a future in the Chicago White Sox outfield. The question is just when.
Right now there really isn’t room with Alejandro de Aza, Dayan Viciedo and Alex Rios roaming the outer grass at the MLB right now. But when the chance arrives, Mitchell has all the tools to make it in the show.
The 6-foot, 200-pounder was ranked by...
Selected in the 2002 amateur draft, Tom Wilhelmsen made his Major League debut last season for the Seattle Mariners. Among the things that impressed the organization were his fastball and curveball. The latter was on full display yesterday against the Chicago White Sox. Wilhelmsen picked up the win in Seattle’s 10-8 victory [...]
The Chicago White Sox have taken a player from the collegiate ranks in the first round in each of the last nine drafts. 2009′s 23rd overall pick Jared Mitchell joins starting pitcher Chris Sale (2010, 13th overall), outfielder Keenyn Walker (2011, 47th overall), infielder Gordon Beckham (2008, eighth overall) Aaron Poreda (2007, 25th), Kyle McCulloch (2006, 30th) and Lance Broadway...