Friedell: Report card for the 2009 White Sox
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The above link shows ESPN’s take on the 2009 White Sox. I want to do my own, instead focusing on each player, and if I felt they earned their paycheck. I don’t care how much they make and if they were a value or not. I only want to play GM and say how much I would add or reduce their current paycheck based on performance as I perceived it. Here goes:
Ozzie Guillen.....Success or Failure?
Manager: Ozzie Guillen 70%
Ozzie had a horrible season making pitching moves. Every move seemed like the wrong one and his timing was horrendous. This is one of the main jobs a manager has in managing a game. His timing on calling for steals was also off many times. leading to unneeded double plays. But overall, the team seems to respond to his leadership abilities. He has tremendous rapport with the latin players, and may coerce Alexei Ramirez into becoming a star yet with his method of tough love. The veterans on the team all appreciate his support when they stunk, which helped team harmony, and he has assembled a pretty competent coaching staff, especially Don Cooper, who keeps the starting pitchers healthy and a strength of the team. Overall, if he is not fired, as I think he deserved at times, he is better than average at team leadership, which I hope will mean a better future. If next year turns into a repeat of this year, he should be gone. But for now……lower his salary.
Don Cooper 110% Greg Walker 50% The rest 100%
As I said, Don Cooper is one of the best pitching coaches around, and his starting pitchers are always prepared and remarkably healthy. Most of the pen is the same, although some of the players are not up to major league ability, but that is not his fault. He does his job, they sometimes don’t do theirs. Greg Walker did not do the job. Hitters cost the Sox many games with incompetent bunts, swinging at pitches out of the zone and lack of preparation to hit the first pitch when it is down the center of the plate. This is a part of his job to fix and it continued from start to finish this season. Dump him…or cut his salary. The rest of the coaches did their jobs well, although I do think Harold Baines could have been a little more forceful in advising hitters.
Mark Buerhle 85% with a 20% bonus for a perfect game and leadership
Perfect game? Enough said. The rest was a little less exciting. He was competent in that he kept the Sox in the games he pitched almost every game, but he failed as number one starter to be the stopper and big game guy he was paid to be. Competent but average earns a little less in my bottom line.
Gavin Floyd 95 %
If not for the awful start, he deserved his pay this season, making more progress toward being a number two starter. If not for Jake Peavy being on the team, I would say he could earn number one status in the future. Very positive future.
John Danks 100%
At times looked like a number one starter and at times was just average. But over all, he made strides and could turn into one of the best left handed starters in the game if he keeps improving. I see losing him in the future because we won’t be able to afford him, but for now, he certainly earned his pay.
Jake Peavey 100%
Season grades for Jake Peavey are incomplete due to his injury, but he is a former Cy Young pitcher for a reason, He has all the pitches and knows how to use them. I am really excited about his future, now that he seems to embrace the team and Chicago. A real professional in dealing with the media means he will make a great team leader. Pay him whatever it takes, but no raise due to incomplete performance.
Freddie Garcia 100%
Although no longer a number one starter, he certainly earned his salary this year. Hope for the future if he can just do what he did for the short time he pitched this year. Bring him back! (I never thought I would say that when they signed him)
Bobby Jenks 100%
Although he had a couple bad games under the spotlight at the end of the season, the rest of his season was very good. It started out spectacular, so good I thought he deserved an all star spot. The rest of the year was fine and he is probably up for a raise. Even though I would not give him a giant raise, I would pay his arbitrated salary rather than trade him. He is not done by any means.
Matt Thornton 150%
Not only did he have a great year, hev was consistently good and may have even earned the closer job. Another guy we are gonna have to pay and pay big to keep. Give him a raise!
Octavio Dotel 80%
Great at times, but way too inconsistent. Probably not worth keeping at present salary.
Scott Linebrink 60%
Even more inconsistent than Dotel. Not worth his salary, whatever it is. Keep only if he takes a cut in pay, to be used in washup duty.
Tony Pena 50%
Did not earn his pay. Cost us a good prospect. Kenny Williams’ worst move. “nuff said
D.J. Carrasco 125%
Give the man a raise. consistent in long relief. Good in short relief. OK as a starter. A keeper.
Carlos Torres 100%
Inconsistent as a starter, but looked good at times. May be a diamond in the rough. Bring him back. May be good in the bullpen.
A.J. Pierzynsky 100%
Although a defensive liability at throwing stealers out, I had to gulp hard and say he well deserved his pay. With a .300 average, 13 homers and 49 RBI, he was one of our few consistent hitters. And he is absolutely great calling the game and getting the most out of the pitchers. They never shake off his signs. They have confidence in him and he seems to be the team leader, if not a love/hate character in the locker room.
Ramon Castro 100%
Did not play enough to judge his true value. Caught the perfect game, so must know how to call a game. Looks like a competent backup catcher.
Tyler Flower 100%
Did not see enough to know his worth. He is certainly big and strong, but looks too big to be a catcher. The ump can’t see around him. May have a big future at a different position, but for now, pay him and keep him.
Paul Konerko 88%
Still a liability on the bases, he caused more than his share of base clogging this year because he drew so many walks and got plenty of hits. He had a much better offensive year with 28 homers and 88 RBI. Should have had more RBI considering his place in the lineup, but he is a specialist at the solo home run, my least favorite statistic. He was very consistent and at times well above average in the field, making a shaky defensive infield passable. My favorite candidate to trade but it doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen so pay the man, albeit not a full salary that should command at least 100 RBI. At least he was more consistent than last year.
Mark Kotsay 150%
Whatever we pay him, give him a raise. Good in the field, both at first and in the outfield. Hit .278 in limited appearances, but was very consistent, professional, and positive in every thing he did in the field and at bat. You can never have enough of this type player.
Chris Getz 150%
Might have been rookie of the year if Gordon Beckham stayed in the minors. Very good in the field. Had injuries that affected his hitting averages as they came just when he started to hit consistently. Still ended up with .261 and many key hits anchoring a surprisingly good bottom of the batting order. Looks like a keeper. Give him a raise!
Jayson Nix 100%
Had he not been injured in spring training, probably would have been the starter. Is smooth in the field at all three infield spots. Hits well, although striles out too much trying for the long ball. Hit 12 homers and 32 RBI in limited appearances, so probably has a good upside. His fielding makes him a better alternative to Juan Uribe and he is young and has time to grow. A keeper.
Alexei Ramirez 100%
I am really tempted to say cut his pay due to inconsistency, but when you look around the league and think back on our recent shortstops, Alexei stacks up. He is still young and learning a new country and job. He hit .277 with 15 homers and 68 RBIs.(another reason Konerko’s 88 looks shabby) Ramirez’s biggest problem is that he is still erratic defensively. He made 20 errors this season. He has a knack for the big hit, which we sorely lacked this year. Overall. you have to say he earned his pay.
Gordon Beckham 200% plus a bonus for rookie of the year and team’s best player
As you can tell, I love Gordon Beckham. I loved him in the College World Series. I loved him in spring training. I thought the Sox were nuts to send him to the minors at all. He got thrown into a new position with no training, made a few errors, but became a very good fielder by the end of the season. You could see improvement from game to game. At bat, he started out lousy, got hot and ended with .270 with 14 home runs and 63 RBIs in just four months of action. He has actually been referred to as a doubles machine. I like to think of him as the next Arod, The Sox better start investing in gold in order to pay him when he reaches arbitration and better never let him near free agency. Can’t pay him enough.
Josh Fields 50%
What do you pay a bust? He fooled the management with his hard work over the winter becoming competent in the field (an upgrade from awful), then went into the tank hitting. Strikes out way too much. Doesn’t know the strike zone. Has good power, but pitchers never have to throw him strikes to get him out. He was so bad he forced management to see the error of their ways and caused them to bring up Gordon Beckham. For that Josh Fields at least deserves part of his salary.
Carlos Quentin 85%
My favorite outfielder had a very inconsistent season due to injury. They best I can say he looked like the best hitter on the team the last week of the season. The rest of the year was like watching rehab in the minors. He did manage to get in 99 games and had 21 home runs and 56 RBI, but never really was playing injury free. I still have big hopes for the future, but his future was supposed to be this year. One of the main reasons the team dropped from contention was a missing Carlos Quentin of 2008. Can he stay healthy? The answer to that may be the key to the White Sox future. If he fails next year we will have to start over with youngsters.
Jermaine Dye 60%
Another big favorite of mine but I’m afraid he’s done. His defense slipped all year. His offense went totally in the tank in the second half. As bad as he was he still had 27 homers and 81 RBI, again emphasizing how bad Konerko’s RBI total was. His bad second half and Quentin’s missing numbers cost the Sox the season. Not much can be said when you see a favorite lose his skills. My heart says bring him back. My head says goodbye and thanks for the memories.
Scott Posednick 130%
Another player I was totally wrong on. I cried when we signed him. (Of course we could have had Bobby Abreu), but it turned out he was not only just what we needed (a leadoff man to get on base), but he became one of the few consistent hitters we had. He stole some bases but was always being thrown out somewhere, negating some of his speed, but was fun to watch. He is a liability in the outfield, making his return problematic, but he surely earned his pay and then some.
Alex Rios 90%
I know. You think I’m nuts to even suggest we pay this guy at all. But I see a big future. My most favorable impression was his fielding ability. He is fast. He can catch. He is not afraid of the wall like Posednick. The other team NEVER runs on his arm. And he looks like he can play any position. Hiting wise, he is a puzzle. He did almost nothing in the White Sox offense, but his overall numbers show 17 homers, 71 RBI, a .296 OBP (amazing since it seemed like 0 on the Sox) and a slugging percentage of .395 overall. He must have done a few things right on Toronto. I think he just had a bad slump at the same time as all the other Sox, which made him look worthless. I am hopeful for a big season and future. So for now, just a slight pay cut for a lousy few games with the White Sox.