2018 Chicago Black Sox Instructions

 

2018 Instructions                                                                    

Welcome back to Black Sox Baseball, home of the 2017 Paradise Canyon League Champions! Still a solid squad there is more finesse in this group than just the power mashers from years’ past. They steal and run a little, yet still capable of putting the ball out of the park. You have to work them a bit instead of just rolling dice. The starting pitching is average and we will lean heavily on the bullpen when we get a lead…

 

2018 Active Roster

Hitters                                         Pitchers


Lucroy, Jonathan

Catcher

 

Arrieta, Jake

Starting Pitcher

Hundley, Nick

Catcher

 

Hellickson, Jeremy

Starting Pitcher

Bour, Justin

First Base

 

Gonzalez, Gio

Starting Pitcher

Myers, Wil

First Base

 

Nelson, Jimmy

Starting Pitcher

Gennett, Scooter

Second Base

 

Bridwell, Parker

Starting Pitcher

Flores, Wilmer

Infield

 

 

 

Rivera, T.J.

2B and Infield

 

Rosenthal, Trevor

Closer

Bryant, Kris

Third Base / Outfield

 

Swarzak, Anthony

Set-up

Valaika, Pat

Utility Infield

 

Gearrin, Cory

Reliever

Turner, Trea

Shortstop

 

Pagan, Emilio

Reliever

Herrera, Odubel

Centerfield

 

Chen, Wei-Yin

Reliever

Bruce, Jay

Outfield

 

Hughes, Jared

Reliever

Taylor, Chris

Outfield / reserve inf

 

 

 

Williams, Nick

Outfield

 

 

 

Minors


Melancon, Mark

 

 

Harvey, Matt

 

Barrett, Jake

 

 

Lively, Ben

 

Grichuk, Randal

 

 

 

 

 

Overview

This year the team is about putting pressure on the pitcher with some good on-base, speed on the bases and a little bit of defense. The Sox have some power in their lineups but they do not sit back and look for the 3-run homer. That team apparently moved and relocated to Hawaii.

The offense will need to push the running game by stealing and taking the extra base. That does not mean changing the percentages, they will already be there for you. You can steal in front of anyone that is batting as there is enough balance in the line-up where I am not concerned about an intentional walk. The other fundamentals – well not so much – are not present. We do not hit and run and we do not sacrifice, but some of the guys can get on base and then run like crazy.

We will be moving guys around when you change pitchers so please take note of the early exits and even the later inning pitching changes when we are on offense. How quickly changes are made going to depend on your ballpark dimensions. The team is capable of scoring runs in bunches – be patient with the offense, it usually comes around if starting slowly.

Please take note of the starting pitcher instructions. I will have to trust your judgment but there no “Rule of 4” and conversely you do not need to wait until “tired” to yank the starter. Try to stay in touch (within 3-4 runs) if trailing early.

 

                                                                     Starting Line-ups


Lineup 1, vs. L

Lineup 2, vs. L

Lineup 3, vs. R

Lineup 4, vs. R

Lineup 5, vs. R

7

Taylor

7

Taylor

6

Turner

6

Turner

6

Turner

8

Herrera

9

Bryant

7

Williams

7

Taylor

7

Taylor

5

Bryant

3

Myers

3

Bour

3

Bour

9

Bryant

3

Bour

2

Hundley

4

Gennett

4

Gennett

3

Myers

2

Hundley

4

Flores

5

Bryant

5

Bryant

5

Flores

9

Williams

5

Valaika

9

Bruce

9

Bruce/Williams (b)

4

Rivera

6

Valaika

8

Herrera

8

Herrera

8

Herrera

8

Herrera

4

Gennett/Flores (a)

6

Turner

2

Lucroy

2

Lucroy

2

Lucroy

Versus:
Kershaw, Paxton, Montgomery

Versus:
Bumgarner, Happ, Ray, Hamels, Lester, Quintana, Wood

Versus:
Despaigne, Lamet, Roark, Williams, Darvish, E.Ramirez, Martinez, Nova, Stratton, Kuhl, Hernandez, Taillon, J.Ramirez, Scherzer
 

Versus:
All Right Handed Pitchers not listed in Lineups 3 or 5

Versus:
Delgado, Gray, Davies, Weaver, Norris  

Additional Notes on Lineups

 

Guidelines on Positions

 

WHEN YOUR LEFTY STARTER EXITS THE GAME BEFORE THE 6TH
Immediately adjust lineups so that Gennett and Turner are in at 2B and SS respectively. In Lineup 2 move Flores to 3B and he stays in. Hundley stays in until his next at bat and gets replaced by Lucroy. No other changes until the 7th.

WHEN YOUR RIGHTY STARTER EXITS THE GAME BEFORE THE 6TH
If trailing by 2 runs or less, Bruce should not face a tough lefty in a larger park. In those cases bring in Flores or Valaika at that at bat and they will play 3B moving Bryant to RF. No other changes until the 7th.

IN THE 7th (or even the 6th)
IF TIED OR TRAILING: Bour stays in but use COMPARE to see if Myers is a better option in those circumstances with runners on, otherwise Myers will only replace him once we get a lead or as a double switch when we hit the field. Flores should not face the tough right-handed reliever (Bryant to 3B) nor Bruce face the tough lefty per the above. After the 7th TIED OR LEADING then go to Best Defense.

When switching out players find the best pinch hitter for the situation first – do not just use the guy you are going to replace the position player with.

Double-Switching
Only makes sense in a couple of circumstances and you will need to look down your next 5-6 batters scheduled to hit. I want to use it only if I will face a bunch of righties (Gearrin or Pagan coming in) or where we want to give Swarzak two “plus” innings of work. Maybe the other time is when your starter exits and we will be making one of the changes in the Starter Exit instructions, above. If unsure then I am fine if you elect not to use it and just pinch hit.

Defense Matrix – Best Defense in Bold – Look to use in the 8th inning with a lead


C

1B

2B

SS

3B

LF

CF

RF

Lucroy

Myers

Gennett

Turner

Bryant

Taylor

Herrera

Bruce

Hundley

Flores

Rivera

Taylor

Valaika

Williams

Taylor

Bryant

 

Rivera

Taylor

Valaika

Flores

Bryant

Bryant

Williams

MISCELLANEOUS

Pitcher hitting / Pinch hitting / Pinch running

Pitching Rotation

 

YOUR GAMES (to play at your park)

 

 

My Games (played in The Black Diamond)

 

Opp.

Game #1

Game #2

Game #3

 

 

Game #1

Game #2

Game #3

 

BAG

Nelson

Gonzalez

Arrieta

 

 

Arrieta

Gonzalez

Bridwell

 

LVB

Nelson

Gonzalez

Hellickson

 

 

Arrieta

Gonzalez

Bridwell

 

SBM

Nelson

Gonzalez

Hellickson

 

 

Bridwell

Gonzalez

Hellickson

 

SCT

Nelson

Arrieta

Bridwell

 

 

Arrieta

Nelson

Bridwell

 

AZL

Nelson

Gonzalez

Bridwell

 

 

Arrieta

Gonzalez

Bridwell

 

AUG

Bridwell

Arrieta

Hellickson

 

 

Arrieta

Nelson

Bridwell

 

LAN

Nelson

Gonzalez

Arrieta

 

 

Arrieta

Gonzalez

Bridwell

 

HAW

Bridwell

Gonzalez

Hellickson

 

 

Bridwell

Gonzalez

Hellickson

 

CHI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PBC

Nelson

Gonzalez

Arrieta

 

 

Nelson

Gonzalez

Arrieta

 

STL

Nelson

Gonzalez

Hellickson

 

 

Nelson

Gonzalez

Bridwell

 

VBS

Nelson

Arrieta

Hellickson

 

 

Arrieta

Nelson

Bridwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divisional Games – AWAY GAMES

 

Divisional Games – Home Games

Opp.

Game #1

Game #2

Game #3

Game #4

 

Game #1

Game #2

Game #3

Game #4

PBC

Arrieta

Gonzalez

Nelson

Bridwell

 

Arrieta

Gonzalez

Nelson

Bridwell

STL

Arrieta

Gonzalez

Nelson

Hellickson

 

Arrieta

Gonzalez

Nelson

Bridwell

VBS

Arrieta

Bridwell

Nelson

Hellickson

 

Arrieta

Bridwell

Nelson

Hellickson

# Starts:  Arrieta (20); Nelson (20); Gonzalez (20); Bridwell (19); Hellickson (11)

 

Managing the Starters

The goal with any of the starters is to get us deep enough into the game and be able to turn it over to the bullpen while it is still close. We may get a good outing once in a while where the starter goes deep, but it likely will not happen too often. These guys can be pulled at any time – not just when they hit “dots”. Once a starter gives up 3-4 runs they should be watched closely. You can stay with them early but once they start giving up base runners you need a quick hook – especially with the bottom three starters (Arrieta, Bridwell and Hellickson). If the starter is able to get us through 6 – then every one of them becomes a “batter-by-batter” pitcher. Go to the pen at the first sign of trouble. The last thing I want to see is staying too long with a starter where he gives up a three-run homer to put it out of reach.

 

Starting Pitcher Overview


Gio Gonzalez
201 IP
(some patience)

He is our #1 starter but as he is a lefty we will treat him as though he is our #3. He can go deep in games if cruising with a big lead but with all the right-handed beef we realistically look to get him through the 6th and into the 7th. He becomes a “less patience” guy when we get into the 7th and does not pitch in the 8th or 9th with leads of 2 runs or less.

Jimmy Nelson
175 IP
(some patience)

A solid year and a solid card for Nelson. A bit tougher on lefties and generally keeps the ball in the park. Similar to Gio we hope to get him through the 6th and into the 7th for most of his starts. Same instruction for the 8th and 9th innings as well.

Jake Arrieta
168 IP
(less patience)

Not the solid year we were hoping for. Still very tough on the righty but he gives up on base and beef against the lefty. We will try to spot him accordingly but typically 5-6 innings is as much as we can reasonably hope for. If there are a lot of righties in your lineup he can go deeper in games, but once we hit the 6th it is batter-by-batter with any lead and should not pitch after the 7th unless we have a lead of 5 runs or more. If you have 4 or more lefties in your lineup then a quick hook will be the rule of the day.

Parker Bridwell
121 IP
(less patience)

Same instruction as Arrieta as he has all the same issues, but slightly more balanced. If we can get 5-6 innings out of him it would be a good outing. Like Arrieta, because of the home run issues you do not need to wait until he is tired to pull him. He does not pitch past the 7th.

Jeremy Hellickson
164 IP
(less patience)

The best of the righty starters we have when it comes to hits and on base, but when the third pitch is always over the heart of the plate you will have the issues that Hellickson has. He will give up a tater or two (or three) and that is okay if they are solo shots. Key to his use is once we get into the 5th inning he just cannot face guys with multiple runners on or a single runner on in a close game. Once he gives up 4-5 runs he should get pulled. He only starts in the last spot of the rotation in road series so you can be aggressive with the hook – do not wait until he gets “tired” to make the pull.

Specific innings limitations

Bridwell (7 innings max).

 

Managing the Bullpen

 

As with most of the PCL the strength of this staff is the bullpen. I do not expect any of our starters to go very deep in games so the bullpen management is a key component to Black Sox success.

As soon as the starter is out use any combination of relievers to get us to Rosenthal to close it out. I expect us to use anywhere from 3-4 relievers in most of our games. There are not a lot of guys that “turn you around” so the goal is to stop the rally then start in again at the next bottom half-inning with the best match-up against your lineup. The overview, below, outlines the individual usage instruction of the bullpen.

Relief Pitcher Overview

Closer

Trevor Rosenthal (48 IP) is the “closer”. He comes in at any time in the 8th or starts the 9th in all save situations. No 2-inning saves so he does not start the 8th.

Set-up and Middle Relief Also for use against the predominant “Lefty” lineup

Anthony Swarzak (77 IP) is the workhorse in the pen. He is equally tough on righties and lefties but as I do not have a defined right get left guy, he will fill that role as well. Prefer he be used to bridge us to Rosenthal when we have a lead, or where he will be pitching an inning “plus”. He can pitch anywhere in innings 6 through 8 and serves as the alternate closer if Rosenthal is not available. He is a use and abuse guy – the best card of the bunch.

Set-up and Situational versus the Lefty

Wei-Yin Chen (33 IP). He is the only lefty I have in the pen but no restrictions on him facing a right-handed hitter or two – just try to avoid big mashers and of course the diamond issue in smaller parks. He can be used anywhere – to be a “stopper” in an inning, face a tough lefty or even be the alternate 8th-inning guy if Swarzak is not available. Usage guideline is to try to limit him to 1.2 innings per series, situation depending.

Set-up, Middle Relief and Situational versus the Righty lineup

Cory Gearrin (68 IP) and Emilio Pagan (50 IP). These are the middle inning workhorses and both are more effective against the predominant right-handed lineup. Either can face a lefty or two and stretch their work to an inning “plus” as necessary. If they are going to face some lefties Pagan should do so in “large parks” for the lefty hitter, Gearrin the smaller parks. If not used early in a series they can also be used in later innings as that “tough on righty” guy to help get to the closer.
 

Long or Early Relief (mop-up)

Jared Hughes (60 IP) a solid righty and a sort of decent card but way too many extra base hits keep him pitching in the earlier parts of the game. He generally is the first guy to start an inning after the rally is stopped – general use is in innings 4-6, and later if it is a mop up situation. Hopefully we do not have too many of those so when we do – extended work is fine. Can also be used as a situational righty against the tough righty if we blew through, or needed to save use for Gearrin and/or Pagan.

 

”If you come to play ball in The Black Diamond, you better bring your sticks”

 


2017 PCL Awards:

2017 Champs:Chicago Black Sox

2017 MVP Voting:

MVP: Mike Trout, BAG

Cy Young: Tie. Noah Syndergaard, AZL and Kyle Hendricks, AGN

2017 ALL STARS:

C: Yadier Molina, HAW

1b: Miguel Cabrera, STL

2b: Robinson Cano, LVB

SS: Cory Seager, LAN

3b: Nolan Arenado, LAN

OF: Mike Trout, BAG

OF: Trea Turner, CHI

OF: Ryan Braun, AGN

Manager: Bob

GM: Jim

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