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VAfan

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About VAfan

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  1. I agree that teams will not want to line up lefties against us. But when they do, it is still foolish to go with a player with such significant splits when you have a better defensive player on the bench who has shown he hits lefties better. The idea that he can hit his way out of it just means you are giving MORE ABs to someone who is hurting you at the plate, so the more he struggles, the worse off you are. Plus, even if he improves upon his horrible record so far, what will those numbers be? They are unlikely to be better than the alternative. If Engel is on the roster, there is no harm in using him when he's a better choice. He's always going to be a better defensive choice.
  2. VAfan

    Is EE toast?

    The good news is that if EE doesn't pan out like he has for the last 8 YEARS and hit 30+ HRs, the Sox have several options. 1. Yermin. I would make him the 26th man because he can cover for EE on days he needs rest, while I'd want Collins and Vaughn to be getting regular AAA ABs. 2. Grandal/McCann. With Yermin as the 26th man, Ricky might be more willing to DH one of his catchers if EE has to sit. 3. Vaughn. He looks major league ready right now. I'd only use him if EE went out for an extended period and Yermin turned out to be fool's gold. Otherwise, I want to extend his service time window. 4. Collins. If he's raking in AAA and looks as good or better than Vaughn, he's another option.
  3. VAfan

    The Ringer loves the White Sox: Two Articles

    For the guys who think we whiffed on Madrigal, who should the Sox have taken? I personally don't know, but for anyone criticizing the Madrigal pick, I think you have to make the case that there was someone sitting there who was clearly better, or with higher upside. The dreamer in me thinks if we hadn't made the disastrous Tatis Jr trade, that we would never have even considered Madrigal, as Tim Anderson would now be playing 2B.
  4. Here's an article from today. https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/white-sox/looks-nomar-mazara-will-avoid-platoon-start-can-he-do-it-all-2020 Here are Mazara's splits from the article. Against righties, he owns a career .271/.337/.462 slash line. Against lefties, it’s .231/.272/.361. Meanwhile, Adam Engel last year did this against lefties: .313/.360/.482, albeit in 89 ABs. He's also a better defender than Mazara. Why would the Sox even consider not platooning Mazara and Engel? Leury Garcia is .311/.344/.443 in 196 ABs. Since he's likely to be our everyday 2b until Madrigal cracks the big league club, he's better there than platooning in the outfield. There is NO REASON to give up offense trying to get Mazara to hit lefties better.
  5. I found my 17-page opus, 12 pages of which were almost a play-by-play of the playoffs. I could go into a lot, but I'll only add a few things I had forgotten. 1. The Sox had the lead in their first 37 games. 2. Jon Garland started the season 8-0. El Duque started 8-1. 3. Scott Podsednik gets voted to the All-Star team as the last guy by the fans. Mark Buehle starts and gets the win, securing home field for the WS. 4. Our 15-game lead over Cleveland got down to 1-1/2 games near the end of the year (after Cleveland went 24-4 in one stretch), but the Sox were saved by a clutch Joe Crede HR, and a Cleveland loss to KC when their outfielder lost a ball in the sun. 5. Freddie Garcia - Mr. Day Game and Mr. Road Win - wins the AL Central clinching game in Detroit, the ALDS clinching game in Boston, and the WS clinching win in Houston. 6. The Sox have 5-run rallies in game two against Boston and game 3 against Houston to take 5-4 leads, both times in the 5th inning. 7. Paul Konerko hit the biggest HR in Sox history - a grand slam in the 7th inning of the second game of the WS to take a 6-4 lead. But it was eclipsed 2 innings later when Scotty Pods hit a walk-off HR (he hit no HR in the regular season, but a 3-run bomb in the first game against Boston) off Brad Lidge, the Houston closer, after Houston had tied the game at 6. 8. In game 3 against Houston - both the longest in WS history by time, and tied for the longest by innings - Jason Lane got a hit for the Astros in the 8th to tie the game. It would be the last hit by an Astro even though 29 more Astros would come to the plate in that game! 9. Geoff Blum, who had 1 HR for the Sox in 95 bats after being acquired at the trade deadline - one of the Group 4 scrubs - hit the winning HR for the Sox in that game. The Sox also got an insurance run on a bases loaded walk by Chris Widger that inning, another Group 4 scrub. Pablo Ozuna stole second and scored the winning run against the Angels in game 2 of the ALCS. And Willie Harris pinch hit and later scored the only run in the 1-0 WS clincher. Now, let the 2020 White Sox create some new memories!!
  6. SOX HAIKUS from the middle of the 2005 season Ya gotta believe In this torrid White Sox team To go all the way! Great Ozzie man say Pitching and defense the way To World Series play Lee for Podsednik? Add AJ and El Duque Play Ozzie ball. Win! Little Boat afloat Sailing on to yonder shore Where White Sox are Champs Kenny man, he say Power ball is not the way Go-go Sox are best Garland, Buehrle pitch Fifteen and one and counting Sox duo kick a$$! Big Frank coming back Adds thunder to Sox attack Best team gets better Nineteen seventeen? White Sox fans can't wait to see Champs at Comiskey Thirty-fifth and Shields U.S. Cellular team fields Baseball's supreme team U.S. Cellular, Not Wrigley Field, is home to Chicago's best team McCarthy's the man Filling in for El Duque To mow the Cubs down All the way this year Eighty-eight year jinx over White Sox are World Champs Bosox won last year Now it's time for the ChiSox To wear Series crown
  7. I haven't pulled up my 17-page opus, but here's one that came back to me for Haikus. Great Ozzie man say Pitching and defense the way To World Series play! This was written early in the season, mind you. I wrote at least a dozen more. They were super fun to write. Another tidbit about 2005. Wire to wire. In first place from the first game to the last.
  8. Here's another little tidbit from that 2005 season. 1st game of the season won 1-0 by the Sox. 1st game after the All-Star break won 1-0 by the Sox. Last game of the World Series won 1-0 by the Sox. After the season was over, I typed out 17 single-spaced pages of all the amazing things I remembered from that year to preserve. If this thread goes on long enough, I'll pull out a few more tidbits, including some of the Haikus that we wrote on this site that year.
  9. The Sox finished the season and playoffs 16-1. Two 8-game winning streaks separated by the 3-2 loss to the Angels in the opener of the ALCS.
  10. With the Athletic articles about Frank Thomas making #74 on their 100 greatest list, and another article by James Fegan on Paul Konerko, it got me taking a trip down memory lane to that magical 2005 season. Frank started only 28 games, but hit 12 HRs and drove in 26 for a nice little burst early in that season. Paulie hit 5 HRs that postseason, including first inning homers against the Angels, and the grand slam that won game 2 of the World Series. But the record that will never be matched or broken from that postseason at any point - regular or postseason - was the 4 complete game wins in a row by the Sox' starters in the ALCS against the Angels. Mark Buehrle started it off with a 9-inning gem against the Angels, holding them to 1 run on 5 hits. The Sox won it in the bottom of the ninth on the infamous dropped third strike to AJ, who was then pinch run for by Pablo Ozuna, who stole second, and scored on a Joe Crede double into the left field corner. Buehrle was set to come out for the 10th, but it wasn't needed. Jon Garland was next up in Anaheim, because he hadn't been needed in the Boston series. He beat Jon Lackey 5-2, helped by a 2-run Konerko HR in the first. The Sox were up 5-0 when Garland gave up 2 in the 6th, but he finished out the game with a 4-hitter. Freddie Garcia was next up in Anaheim. Once again, Konerko came through with a HR in the first, this time a 3-run job, launching the Sox to an 8-2 win. The Angels managed 6 hits in this one. Jose Contreras, who had lost the opener 3-2 when he tried to start a double play instead of getting Kennedy at home plate, was not to be outdone. He actually fell behind 3-2 in the 5th, but the Sox rallied with 4 runs over the last 3 innings for a 6-3 win. The Angels managed 5 hits. Total - 4 consecutive complete game wins. Gave up 1, 2, 2, and 3 runs. 5, 4, 6, and 5 hits. Here was the Angels' hitting for the series (including game 1) - .177/.200/.266/.466. That's ridiculous!! It's quite clear that there will never again be 4 complete games in a row at any point in a season in baseball, much less the postseason against a team that won 95 games. Did the 2019 postseason have even a single complete game? Oh, and how about these innings totals for 2005 out of the Sox' starters. Buehle - 236.2 Garcia - 228 Garland - 221 Contreras - 204 The 2019 Sox didn't have anyone reach 200 innings. Nova 187, Lopez 184, Giolito 176. My memory of this is that Ozzie liked his starters to go 100 pitches each game that season, win or lose. It paid off well in the end.
  11. VAfan

    Frank Thomas; Baseball's 74th greatest player (The Athletic)

    Agreed that Frank is too low. But if you look at his stats, he wasn't the same player after he turned 30. While his OPS was INSANE from his rookie season through his age 29 season, he cracked 1.000 in OPS only once after that, in his 32nd year. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/thomafr04.shtml If you only looked at that 7-year run, Frank was a top 5 hitter of ALL TIME. But injuries diminished his greatness in the latter half of his career. It was a little ironic the Sox would win the World Series in a year where he started only 28 games. But he still chipped in 12 HRs and 26 RBI. Clearly the best player the White Sox have ever had.
  12. How much more control of Rodon do the Sox have? Has their control been extended by his long stints on the DL?
  13. With the extension for Luis Robert, we now know all but the last bench players for the 2020 White Sox, and it's an impressive group. The young studs: Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson, Nomar Mazara, and Nick Madrigal The elder statesmen: Yasmani Grandal, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Abreu, James McCann, and Leury Garcia The subs: Adam Engel, Danny Mendick This team is going to score a lot of runs. The real question is the pitching. Lucas Giolito can't be the only dominant starter if the team wants to win the division and compete in the playoffs. Dallas Keuchel will eat innings and keep the team in games, but isn't a dominant post-season starter any longer. Gio Gonzalez is meant to just stabilize the end of the rotation. The Sox need something out of Reynaldo Lopez, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech, and Carlos Rodon. At least one of those guys - most likely Kopech - needs to join Giolito at the front of the rotation. And the rest of the guys need to shave their ERAs by more than a run per game. As for the bullpen, this is now the most fluid part of the team. With winning will come much higher expectations and pressure. Will they be up to it, or will they implode like the Nationals bullpen did? More arms are needed before the season begins, and reinforcements will be needed before it ends. If the Sox want to win the AL Central, their offense looks good enough. Just stay healthy. The pitching is the biggest variable.
  14. VAfan

    Lead-off Man

    Tim Anderson hit lead off 4 games last year, hit .474 (6 for 19) with 2 doubles and a HR. OPS of 1.211. His second best slot was 6th, where in 12 games he hit .426 with OPS of 1.161. He mostly hit 2nd (65 games) or 7th (35 games), where he basically hit his seasonal averages. Here's one little tidbit. As the first batter of an inning, with 119 PAs, his slash line was .455/.470/.714/1.184. Based on those numbers, I would hit him lead off to begin the season. He also led the team with 17 SBs, so there's that. Even though he only walked 15 times, you have to see what he can do at the top of the lineup. If he fails, the Sox have options. Luis Robert would tend to be my pick to lead off once he's established. He didn't walk much either in the minors. 11 walks in 202 ABs in AAA. But the OBP was .341. And he can steal bases. But the key is that he's got power to drive in the bottom of the order guys, and he'll eventually be one of your best hitters, so give him the extra ABs. Nick Madrigal doesn't strike out, but that doesn't make him a great lead off batter. It makes him a great batter behind someone with speed who is on base, because you can hit and run, and he can get deep into counts without fear of striking out. This allows more pitches to steal a base. Madrigal posted a .398 OBP in AAA over 28 games. That's certainly excellent. But his OPS is .792 compared to Robert's .974. Who do you want having more ABs? Robert or Madrigal? It's no contest. Given this, here's my initial lineup to start the season, but only until Robert shows he's ready to hit better than Anderson. 1. R - Anderson 2, SW - Moncada 3. R - Abreu (whether he deserves to be here or not, this is where Renteria is going to keep him) 4. R - Jimenez (or could be Encarnacion). This is based off his ridiculous September when he mashed .340/.383/.710/1.093 5. SW - Grandal - he might hit 4th, but I keep him here for better R/L balance 6. R - Encarnacion (he hit better than Abreu last year - could be 3rd, 4th, or 6th) 7. L - Mazara (against lefties, I put Robert here, with Mazara's platoon partner 8th) 8. R - Robert - only until he shows he's ready to hit major league pitching, then he trades places with Tim Anderson 9. R - Madrigal - even though he should have a good OBP, his OPS will likely be the lowest in this lineup. This allows him to hit behind a speed guy where his bat control should have extra value. And if he gets on, he's poised to be driven in by the top of the lineup. The reason I put 8, 9 and 1 together is those are the 3 fastest players in the lineup, so you can play speed games with them. You can also play the hit-and-run game at the bottom of the lineup with Madrigal, and with either Anderson or Robert in the 8 hole, you can steal and have them score with a single by Madrigal.
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