By Paul M. Banks
This just Doesn’t Add Up
The Sox owned a home record of 43-38 in 2009, compared to 36-45 on the road … however, Chicago posted a better batting average (.264 to .252) and owned a lower ERA (4.07 to 4.22) in its road contests … the Sox also outscored their opponents, 357-349, away from U.S. Cellular Field, but were outscored by the opposition, 383-367 at home.
Remember how dried up the farm system was a couple years ago? Well, it’s looking better now. Granted W-L record in the minor leagues is not always the best indicator of talent, but hey at least they’re not on the floor anymore.
The White Sox minor-league clubs combined to go 425-346 (.551) in 2009, the third-best winning percentage among all organizations … only San Francisco (.603, 463-305) and the Yankees (.554, 459-369) rank ahead of the Sox … Class AA Birmingham, Class Winston-Salem, Class A Kannapolis and Advanced Rookie Great Falls all qualified for the playoffs, however each was eliminated in the first-round.
Nine of the 56 players invited to spring training are products of the White Sox farm system, including three players chosen in the first round of the draft … first-round picks in camp include Gordon Beckham (2008), Jared Mitchell (2009) and Josh Phegley (2009) … the Sox obtained former first-rounders Paul Konerko (1994), Mark Kotsay (1996), Matt Thornton (1998), Alex Rios (1999), Gavin Floyd (2001), Jayson Nix (2001), Sergio Santos (2002), Mark Teahen (2002), Carlos Quentin (2003), John Danks (2003) and Jeff Marquez (2004) via trades and free-agent signings.
Andruw Jones, Juan Pierre and Omar Vizquel,who all were acquired prior to the 2010 season, have combined to hit .274 (6,143-22,353) with 988 doubles, 188 triples, 479 home runs, 2,467 RBI and 991 stolen bases in 6,093 career major-league games … the trio also boast eight All-Star selections and 21 Gold Glove Awards.
Mark Buehrle is in position to make his eighth career Opening Day start on 4/5 vs. Cleveland … the eight career OD nods would establish a club record, breaking a tie with Billy Pierce (1951-52, ‘54, ‘56-59)… Paul Konerko is expected to make his 10th consecutive OD start at first base, extending his franchise record over Earl Sheely and Frank Thomas(seven each) … Konerko’s nine straight OD starts at fi rst base (2001-) is the second-longest active streak in baseball, trailing only Colorado’s Todd Helton (13, 1997-).
If you don’t have your health…
The White Sox have used the disabled list the fewest number of days in the major leagues over the last eight seasons (2002-09), missing just 2,849 days during that span (356.1 average). The 2,849 total days missed by Sox players from 2002-09 is 4,028 less than the major-league average.
The Bedrock of Mark Buerhle
Mark Buehrle recorded 10 wins, 30 starts and 200.0 IP for the ninth consecutive season in 2009, the longest active streak in the major leagues … Buehrle became the second pitcher in Sox history to record 10 or more victories in at least nine consecutive seasons, joining Doc White (1903-13) … he and CC Sabathia are the only active pitchers with at least 10 wins each season since 2001 … made 30-plus starts for the ninth straight season, extending his franchise record.
Not like any of these stats or numbers actually matter, but
2009 Spring Recap — The White Sox went 16-20-1 in spring training … the Sox went 10-8 in their first 18 games and 6-12-1 in their last 19 … the Sox were 6-10 in their first season at Camelback Ranch (5-9 as home team) …the Sox batted .283 (365-1,291) with 407 home runs and 176 runs scored (4.8 per game) … they ranked eighth in American League in average and ninth in runs scored … Chicago posted a 5.04 ERA (182 ER/325.0 IP), ninth-best in the AL and its lowest spring mark since 2003 (4.27).Follow paulmbanks