Tag: Chicago White Sox

David Robertson Getty

New White Sox closer David Robertson is not worried about forearm soreness


While all involved are convinced it’s nothing serious, White Sox closer David Robertson told Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com this afternoon that he has been dealing with some soreness in his forearm.

Robertson, who signed a four-year, $46 million deal with Chicago over the winter, hasn’t appeared in a game since Saturday and has allowed four runs on six hits, four walks, and a hit-by-pitch over just 4 2/3 innings this spring. However, he was able to make it through a bullpen session on Thursday.

“I felt pretty good,” Robertson said. “I just don’t want to push anything. That’s the big thing. I have a little soreness. It’s not bad. I don’t foresee a problem. I just don’t want to injure myself worse when I’ve got a week or two to get it right.

The hope is that Robertson will be able to pitch in back-to-back games before the end of spring training. It will be something to worry about if he’s still feeling sore a week from now, but he still has some time to get right.

Robertson took over the Yankees closer role from Mariano Rivera last season and posted a 3.08 ERA with 39 saves and a 96/23 K/BB ratio over 64 1/3 innings.

White Sox tab Jeff Samardzija for Opening Day start

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White Sox manager Robin Ventura told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday that right-hander Jeff Samardzija will get the club’s Opening Day start on April 6 in Kansas City.

Samardzija will face off against 23-year-old Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura, who was also given the official Opening Day nod on Wednesday.

Chris Sale would have been Chicago’s Opening Day starter, but he’s expected to miss the first week of the season due to an avulsion fracture in his right foot.

Samardzija was acquired from the Athletics in December as part of a six-player trade.

He posted a 2.99 ERA and 1.065 WHIP in 219 2/3 innings last year between the Cubs and A’s.

Video: Jose Abreu cranks first spring homer

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Jose Abreu “put it on the board” with this solo shot Tuesday off Rockies reliever Jairo Diaz …

That was Abreu’s first home run of the spring, but he’s batting .459 with a 1.124 OPS in 39 total Cactus League plate appearances. Abreu won 2014 American League Rookie of the Year honors and finished fourth in the 2014 American League MVP vote after hitting .317/.383/.581 with 36 homers and 107 RBI in 145 games.

Dodgers sign Cuban star Hector Olivera for $62.5 million

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After months of speculation and rumors about where Cuban star Hector Olivera would sign and for how much, the end result was pretty predictable: He’s going to the richest team in baseball for a whole bunch of money, signing with the Dodgers for six years and $62.5 million.

Olivera has struggled with injuries recently, but the 30-year-old infielder is projected as an impact bat and if healthy should be able to step into the Dodgers’ lineup very soon. He played mostly second base in Cuba, but there are some worries about the state of his elbow and Olivera would be a big middle infielder at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds.

He’s been a high-average right-handed hitter with good on-base skills and significant power in Cuba, although not on the same level as the raw power possessed by Jose Abreu or Yoenis Cespedes. Third baseman Juan Uribe’s job would seemingly be in the most jeopardy once Olivera is deemed ready and in terms of his 2016 position both Uribe and second baseman Howie Kendrick are impending free agents.

The rich get richer and the Dodgers’ new front office shows they’re just as willing as the old front office to make a big splash signing Cuban players.

Brandon Phillips doesn’t value on-base percentage, Joey Votto does. Does this matter?

Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips

Interesting piece from Bob Nightengale of USA Today about Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto, who don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on the importance of on-base percentage. While Votto has taken criticism for valuing his on-base skills, he continues to defend his approach at the plate. Meanwhile, Phillips is doing the same thing, except from the opposite end of the spectrum. Check it out:

“I don’t do that MLB Network on-base percentage (stuff),” Phillips told USA TODAY Sports. “I think that’s messing up baseball. I think people now are just worried about getting paid, and worrying about on-base percentage, instead of just winning the game.

“That’s the new thing now. I feel like all of these stats and all of these geeks upstairs, they’re messing up baseball, they’re just changing the game. It’s all about on-base percentage. If you don’t get on base, then you suck. That’s basically what they’re saying. People don’t care about RBI or scoring runs, it’s all about getting on base.

“Why we changing the game after all of this time? If we all just took our walks, nobody would be scoring runs. Nobody would be driving anybody in or getting anybody over. How you going to play the game like that. People don’t look at doing the things the right way, and doing things to help your team win.

“I remember back in the day you hit .230, you suck. Nowadays, you hit .230, with a .400 on-base percentage, you’re one of the best players in the game. That’s amazing. I’ve never seen (stuff) like that. Times have changed. It’s totally different now.

Does this sound a little crazy? Of course. I got a little chuckle out of the line about MLB Network inventing on-base percentage. That was the first I’ve heard of it. Anyway, we don’t need to point out the obvious about on-base percentage and what it means for run production. Players don’t just reach first base on a walk and disappear into oblivion. If Phillips drives in 100 runs this season, Votto will be a big reason for it. It’s easy to gang up on what Phillips is saying here, as we have seen on Twitter throughout the evening. However, as our own Craig Calcaterra wrote about Jeff Samardzija exactly one month ago, does it really matter if a player understands or values sabermetrics?

Votto has embraced sabermetrics and that can have its advantages, but it’s not essential for a player to do so. There are analytics departments for that and coaching staffs to communicate information to players in an accessible way. We would have a problem here if Phillips said he purposely makes outs rather than draw a walk. He’s not saying that. However, he feels that he gets paid to swing the bat and drive in runs. That’s his approach and how he justifies his place in the lineup. It’s worked for him in the past, but his deficiencies are standing out a bit more now that he’s seemingly past his peak and moving into his mid-30s. And now he looks stubborn as he tries to defend something that has worked for him in the past. It’s probably frustrating. And from that prism, you can understand him getting extra defensive when he gets asked about on-base percentage, even if he’s wrong. It would be more alarming to hear this kind of talk from a general manager or front office executive as opposed to a player. Fortunately, Phillips is not in that position. He’s just a player with an opinion.