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With Kenny Rogers and Mike Mussina out of baseball and Johan Santana in the National League, the next pitcher to take home the American League Gold Glove would be a first-time winner.
Mark Buehrle benefited from this set of circumstances, achieving a goal he mentioned in September. He happened to deserve it, as the Fielding Bible Awards explained:
Pitcher – Mark Buehrle, Chicago
In The Fielding Bible—Volume II, we put some extra time into analyzing pitcher defense. It’s not only pitchers’ ability to field their position that counts defensively. It’s their ability to hold runners that matters in an important way as well. In Buehrle’s case, he has it all. His plus/minus figure of +9 was tops among pitchers in 2009, but his ability to hold runners is legendary. In the last four years he’s allowed a total of 15 stolen bases. His catchers have managed to catch five potential thieves in that time period. But even more importantly, when Mark throws over to first, the results are devastating for baserunners. Sixteen times in those same four years, he’s thrown over to first and the runner broke for second and was thrown out. That’s a Pitcher Caught Stealing (PCS) in our scorebook. Not only that, 14 more times Buehrle nabbed a baserunner at the base as he tried to get back. That’s a Pitcher Pickoff (PPO), for those of you scoring at home. In total, 15 stolen bases against him (an average of just under four per year) and 35 guys thrown out (an average of almost nine per year). Not too shabby.
Buehrle is the first White Sox winner of that particular piece of hardware since Robin Ventura. Aaron Rowand was probably the last to deserve one, back in 2005.
We’ll see if Gordon Beckham joins him, although the field for (the real) Rookie of the Year is plenty more crowded.
Jermaine Dye spoke for the first time after receiving a buyout, and he doesn’t seem to think the White Sox are in his future. This is a key quote:
“There are a number of teams I’ve heard already that would love to have me,” Dye said. “I know one thing, I will not be DHing. You can put that down. If a team wants to try me out at first base on an every day basis I’ll do that. That’s something I feel will be easy to learn. But as far as DHing that’s not for me. Teams shouldn’t call if that’s their plan.”
It’s an easy one to rip, but I get where he’s coming from. Once a guy gets the scarlet DH tacked to his chest, it’s pretty damn hard to shake. A one-year deal doesn’t seem all that unlikely if teams are frightened by his dismal second half, and being a DH would hurt him after 2010.
Reading that blog entry, he had nothing but respectful words for Kenny Williams, which could mean that he’s less likely to become the offseason scapegoat.
*Chris De Luca says talks between Scott Podsednik and the White Sox are back on, which scares me… and I probably enjoyed Podsednik’s resurgence more than anybody outside the Podsednik family.
*Kenny Williams explained how he came to move Beckham to second:
”Because Alexei’s better than Gordon at short,” Williams said Tuesday, during Day 2 of the general managers meetings at the Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport. ”Not that Gordon can’t play the position, but Alexei is a special guy.
”What we do have to get Alexei a little bit better on is his focus. That’s not unusual for a young player. Gordon would also have some of those defensive lapses if he were in the middle of the field. People really don’t understand how fast the major-league game is until you’re out there. Believe me, it’s not an indictment on Gordon’s abilities; it’s more praise of what Alexei can do.”
Williams let much-publicized errors get to him before, and it resulted in Royce Clayton. So this is the wiser path, as long as Ramirez and Beckham are on the roster at the same time.
Arizona Fall League:
- Saturday: Rising Stars game
- Jordan Danks went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
- Monday: Peoria 4, Phoenix 3
- Brent Morel went 2-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Tuesday: Peoria Javelinas 9, Peoria Saguaros 5
- Morel went 3-for-3 with an RBI.
- Danks went 0-for-3 with two walks and two strikeouts.
Including the Rising Stars game, Danks is in a 3-for-20 slump with nine strikeouts, which will hopefully cool the premature promotion talk.