Results: The most important White Sox

We asked 92 people who the most important member of the White Sox is, and we took the top 40 answers. You said Jake Peavy. The survey saaaaaaaaaaaaaays, “Indeed.”
Peavy took 58 of 92 possible first-place votes as the most important member of the 2010 White Sox, with only Carlos Quentin receiving serious consideration otherwise.
Here are the rest of the results.

Looking at the rankings, a few reactions — and I’m open to defenses and new ideas if somebody wants to put a name to a selection…
No. 1: Who was the person who slotted Peavy in the 10th spot? Who were the two to put Quentin there?
No. 2: It looks like one person thinks Dayan Viciedo will receive non-trivial at-bats.
No. 3: Andruw Jones isn’t the only one with a lot variation, as there isn’t a real leading consensus on Paul Konerko, either.
No. 4: Linebrink’s spread is the definition of “sh*t or get off the pot.”
No. 5: If Mark Teahen’s had a great spring and Andruw Jones had a so-so one, I think you could flip their votes.
No. 6: A definite majority wouldn’t place Omar Vizquel on the 25-man roster of importance. Of course, Ozzie Guillen wants to bat him leadoff in certain situations.
Speaking of Vizquel, some moron more on batting order ideas:
I wrote in White Sox Outsider 2010 (BUY IT!) that, for some reason, the essence of Mark Kotsay gives managers butterflies in their stomachs.  I’ll admit that I too got a strange feeling in my gut when I read this paragraph:

The latest revelation is manager Ozzie Guillen is considering batting Mark Kotsay in the third spot against right-handed starters to give the Sox a balance of left- and right-handed hitters at the top of the order.
That Guillen has Kotsay as an option is a tribute to Kotsay’s production because Guillen doesn’t want to bat a left-handed hitter high in the order just for the sake of balance.

I wouldn’t call it butterflies.  I’d call it a of sadness, regret and four-hour-old pasta.
There’s an exceedingly friendly, brawny and conspicuous dead horse that’s begging to get whupped on again, but you don’t have to talk about gentlemanly mashers to underline the issue.  Allow me to produce three sets of numbers from over the last two seasons:

  • Carlos Quentin vs. LHP: .232/.358/.487
  • Carlos Quentin vs. RHP: .278/.367/.535
  • Mark Kotsay vs. RHP: .289/.346/.427

Yes, Quentin has reverse splits, and it’s by design.  He stands on top of the plate to discourage pitchers from coming inside, and as a result, he can pull outer-half pitches that most right-handed hitters have to settle for taking the other way.
I could use this as a reason to launch into the idea that all this lineup “revamping” resulted in having a No. 3 hitter who’s only better at scoring from second on a single more frequently, but I’m going to take Satchel Paige’s advice here. No need to complain about the past when there’s an in-house way to kvetch right in front of our eyes.
The Cheat takes a good hard look at leading likely lineups.

Christian Marrero Reading Room:

*Mark Teahen had a nice day at the plate — 2-for-4 and a homer — and if you’re looking for reasons for optimism, there’s an interesting box at the bottom of Joe Cowley’s article on him. Over the last five seasons, four of the five White Sox hitters with the worst spring averages went on to have great starts when the season rolled around.
*Matt Thornton has had a quiet spring for all the right reasons — he’s feeling good and throwing well.  Talking about last year, however, got an interesting story out of him:

Thornton recalled a game against the Boston Red Sox last year when he was brought in to face Victor Martinez and had a baserunner on second. Martinez singled on a first-pitch inside fastball. Game tied, save blown.
”If I’m able to come in and throw a breaking ball for a strike in that situation,” Thornton said, ”something just to get him off the fastball and move forward in the at-bat that way …”
That’s what this spring has been about for Thornton — using the slider 2-0 in the count or 0-2. The results: One hit allowed in four scoreless innings pitched.

*Bobby Jenks threw another scoreless outing and had no calf problems doing so.
*Sergio Santos still looks like lucky No. 7, although credit Greg Aquino for doing his damndest to pull off the upset. He threw another scoreless inning.

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Mark Kotsay doesn’t even deserve a starting job much less batting in the freakin 3 hole under any circumstances. It seems absolutely insane for Ozzie to bring this up as Kotsay last posted a .800+ OPS in ’04 and hasn’t come remotely close since, I can’t really see this happening. To me you pencil in Quentin in the 3 hole and don’t look back as without him a minor offensive miracle is probably needed as I really don’t see where you find enough run production to win this division.
I’m still trying to forget that AJ digging in on the right side of the plate is probably going land him in the middle of the order despite being a fairly pathetic run producer. I have a feeling Ozzie’s love for a balanced righty/lefty lineup will result in a dude that hit .250 with RISP last year and rated in the bottom of the league in RBI % according to Bill James landing somewhere around the 5 hole. He belongs in the bottom of the lineup yet will probably be hitting weak dribblers to the second basemen in key offensive situations.
If I had to take a stab at it my guess at Ozzie opening day lineup would look something like the following as I can’t really see those SSS lineups as a reality.


Teahen may have had a nice day at the plate, but his day in the field was lacking. It’s not good when Augie Ojeda plays third better than Teahen does. And Teahen wearing No. 23 must be someone’s idea of a joke.


It pains me to make this correction Jim, but didnt teahan have a two hit day yesterday the homer and a chopper up the middle that got thru???
The idea of Kotsay batting third in any lineup is pretty stupid and lets hope that it only comes out once in a blue moon for some crazy sunday lineup only.
With Quentin having reverse splits at this point their is no reason he shouldnt be plugged into the 3 hole all year round and until someone is more consistent then paulie he should be hitting 4th.
Im not really thrilled with aj hitting anywhere in the top 6 either, the stats simply dont lie, HE CANT DRIVE IN RUNS, its that simple so… my order is as follows
Kotsay (Jones vs lefty)


The funny thing is, there’s actually a valid argument for putting a weaker hitter in the three spot:
“One of the problems is that teams often put their highest OBP batter in the third position, but the #3 spot is the one LEAST likely to lead off the second inning. James said it, others agreed, and The Book confirms it. In addition, The Book found that the #3 hitter has more plate appearances with two out and nobody on. So the run value of every hit (except the home run) is lower in the third position than in any other of the top five positions. That’s why they recommend putting your fifth-best hitter in the three spot.”
Most of what I’ve read suggests that lineup construction only makes a very small difference through the year. Still interesting, though.


Yea but when your three hitter walks your get your 4th hitter up with a guy on, and that is suppose to be the guy who drives in the most runs. Wouldnt you want your best obp guy in front of your best run producer? I knew the 5th hitter led off a ton, but I am surprised the 3 hitter comes up with 2 outs and noone on that often.


I haven’t read The Book, which is the basis for the argument, so I won’t try to elaborate much beyond what that article I linked to summarizes. But as the article suggests, teams build lineups as if the initial run-through would repeat every inning, when isn’t the case. The first and second hitters will get more at-bats than other players, and will often bat with men on, so they should be two of the team’s best (and not necessarily fastest/buntiest) hitters.


Wanted to chime in, since I’ve got a copy of The Book. Sparing you (and myself) all the tables and math involved, Tango basically examines the probability of every single potential batting situation (men on base, outs, etc.) and then factors in batting order, coming to this conclusion:
“Your three best hitters should bat somewhere in the #1, #2, and #4 slots. Your fourth- and fifth-best hitters should occupy the #3 and #5 slots. The #1 and #2 slots will have more walks than those in the #4 and #5 slots. From slot #6 through #9, put the players in descending order of quality.”
And, in a beautifully strange turn of events, later in the chapter they come to this favorable LaRussa conclusion:
“The second leadoff hitter theory exists. You can put your pitcher in the eighth slot and gain a couple of extra runs per year.”


Pierre’s splits the past two years:
2009: RHP: .304/.347/.389, LHP: .320/.414/.400
2008: RHP: .257/.302/.306, LHP: .346/.388/.383
This year’s DH is last year’s CF…so damn illogical…


Why the difference between Danks and Floyd? Do people think Danks has a higher ceiling or do they consider Floyd to be more a stable/known quality?


My guess would be fewer lefties in the stable. If Danks gets injured or something, we’d be looking at a four righty rotation.