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About VAfan

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  1. Here's a story on how the Sox made a higher offer than the Phillies did for Zack Wheeler. This story is dated December 4, 2019. Plan B for the Sox turned into the Dallas Keuchel deal. This story is dated December 21, 2019. Here are Zack Wheeler's stats with Philly. 2020 30 PHI NL 4 2 .667 2.92 11 11 0 0 0 0 71.0 67 26 23 3 16 2 53 7 0 0 288 154 3.22 1.169 8.5 0.4 2.0 6.7 3.31 CYA-12 2021 31 PHI NL 14 10 .583 2.78 32 32 0 3 2 0 213.1 169 72 66 16 46 1 247 8 0 6 849 150 2.59 1.008 7.1 0.7 1.9 10.4 5.37 AS,CYA-2,MVP-19 2022 32 PHI NL 0 2 .000 9.39 2 2 0 0 0 0 7.2 10 8 8 1 4 0 6 3 0 0 40 43 5.94 1.826 11.7 1.2 4.7 7.0 1.5 Here are Dallas Keuchel's stats with the Sox. 2020 32 CHW AL 6 2 .750 1.99 11 11 0 0 0 0 63.1 52 15 14 2 17 0 42 0 0 0 257 224 3.08 1.089 7.4 0.3 2.4 6.0 2.47 CYA-5,MVP-17 2021 33 CHW AL 9 9 .500 5.28 32 30 0 0 0 0 162.0 189 105 95 25 59 1 95 7 0 5 720 81 5.23 1.531 10.5 1.4 3.3 5.3 1.61 GG 2022 34 CHW AL 1 1 .500 16.50 2 2 0 0 0 0 6.0 16 13 11 2 1 0 5 0 0 1 38 24 6.24 2.833 24.0 3.0 1.5 7.5 5.00 Wheeler was lights out in both 2020 and 2021 for Philly, but has struggled so far this year. Dallas Keuchel did even better than Wheeler in 2020, finishing 5th in Cy Young voting, but dropped off significantly last year when Wheeler was leading the NL in innings pitched and strikeouts. Just think of how this could have worked out differently. 1. 2020 playoffs. Keuchel started and lost game 2, giving up 5 runs in 3-1/3. Wheeler would have gotten the start. Sox might have won that series in 2 games. 2. 2021 playoffs. Wheeler probably would have gotten the game 1 start. Didn't have a better ERA than Lynn, but he's younger, stronger, healthier. Could that series have flipped with Wheeler? 3. 2022. All my fretting about re-signing Carlos Rodon would likely be moot. Sox still might have added Velasquez for depth, but their front 5 would have been Wheeler, Lynn, Giolito, Cease, and Kopech. (So what if they are all right handers? They're still all TOR pitchers.) Even without Lynn and Giolito, they would still have Wheeler, Cease, and Kopech to manage until Giolito and Lynn returned. Velasquez could serve the same role as he does now. 4. With Wheeler, the Sox still would have brought back Rodon in 2021. But at the end of the year, they also might have tendered him and gotten the draft pick. Even if he took it, the Sox would then have by far the best 6-man rotation in baseball. 5. Wheeler might have also been happier playing on a winning team and making the playoffs in back-to-back years, rather than leading a Philly team that missed the playoffs both years. So, instead of pining for Carlos Rodon, I've decided on replacing that with wondering "what if" for Zack Wheeler. This also would been a better allocation of money, since Wheeler is worth his contract, while Keuchel never really has been. And we'd still have Wheeler locked up for this year and 2 more years. So even if Giolito were to leave in 2024, we'd still have Lynn, Wheeler, Cease and Kopech to top the rotation. Zack Wheeler is the one who got away, all because his wife wanted to stay on the East Coast. Bummer.
  2. VAfan

    2022 offseason

    Garcia is worth more than his hitting stats indicate. He's always smiling. Looks like a very upbeat guy. Helps team cohesion. He's able to play all positions except pitcher and catcher, and 1B. In a tight roster, that has value. His batting is streaky. In July he put up a .792 OPS, and in Sept/Oct, it was .861, That was better than quite a few guys. He had a horrid start last year, just like this year. I'm firmly in the camp that he's overused. But I don't think we have anyone in the minors right now who could replace him.
  3. VAfan

    Vaughn the platoon hitter?

    If Vaughn wants everyday ABs against right handers, he has to continue earning them by hitting them better than the alternatives, including Eloy and Abreu, Sheets, Moncada (if you play him at 3B on occasion) and Pollock He's a DH, 1B, RF, LF most often, but can also play 3B in a pinch, and maybe even 2B for a game. Who is in those roles against right handers? For DH, it could be Grandal, Sheets, Eloy, and Abreu. For 1B, it could be Abreu, Grandal, and Sheets. For LF, it could be Eloy, Sheets, Pollock, or Engel. For RF, it could be Pollock, Engel, or Sheets. For 3B, it's Moncada, Burger, Harrison, or Garcia. How many of those hitters did Vaughn hit better against right handers last season? None of them. And it wasn't close. i'm excited to see him have a new approach and hit them solidly over a few ABs so far this year. But a few ABs don't make a season. TLR knows he needs to work Vaughn in, and he will. But the Sox need every one of the other guys to produce this year. So it's no solution to just "bench" someone else for Vaughn. The good news for Vaughn is that he's capable enough to play a lot of positions. This is going to get him more ABs than he would if he was just a DH/1B
  4. VAfan

    Opening Day Roster

    Let's compare the 2021 and 2022 opening day rosters. Position 2021 Player 2022 Player SP Giolito Giolito Lynn IL Rodon SF Cease Cease Keuchel Keuchel Kopech (BP) Kopech Phillies Velasquez Giants Cueto (Minors) BP Hendriks Hendriks Bummer Bummer Mariners Graveman Dodgers (IL now) Kelly Crochet IL Marshall ?? Heuer Cubs Foster Foster Ruiz Ruiz ?? Crick ?? Tanner ?? Sousa AAA Lopez C Grandal Grandal Collins Blue Jays Mercedes IL Blue Jays McGuire 1B Abreu Abreu AAA Sheets 2B Madrigal Cubs Pirates Harrison 3B Moncada IL AAA Burger SS Anderson Suspension 2 games Mendick Util Garcia Garcia OF Robert Robert Vaughn Vaughn Eaton ?? Lamb Giants? Hamilton Mariners? Dodgers Pollock IL Jimenez IL Engel Starting pitching. Much worse. What's better or worse? Worse: No Rodon, Lynn on IL for 2 months. Who knows what you have in Velasquez, Keuchel, Kopech as a starter, or Cueto if/when he gets called up? Potentially better: Giolito could start better than last year, and Cease could take another leap forward. Kopech might be great when he's stretched out. Bullpen. Better. Better: Graveman, Kelly (when he arrives), Lopez (if he brings what he added at the end of last year), possibly Bummer. Worse: Crochet out for year, Kopech in rotation. Unknown: how well will Tanner, Sousa, Foster and Crick pitch? Catcher. Slightly better. Grandal is hopefully just as good, and will stay healthier. McGuire is a major defensive upgrade as the backup. DH. Much better. Gavin Sheets is a huge upgrade from rookie Andrew Vaughn against right handers. Vaughn will also be better this year. And there are lots of other guys who can be rotated in here. Infield. Slightly worse. Abreu should be about the same. Anderson could be better. But Madrigal is likely better than Harrison, and how well will Burger hit while Moncada is on the IL, and how well will Moncada hit when he returns? Outfield. Vast improvement. Robert is much better than he was to start last year. Pollock is a huge upgrade over Eaton. Engel is healthy. And Jimenez is back. They can also use Vaughn, Sheets, Garcia, and Harrison out here in a pinch if needed. ************ Pitching. Weaker starters, stronger bullpen. The pitchers need to hold the fort until Lynn returns and Kopech gets acclimated to starting. Kelly will help the bullpen a lot when he's ready. Offense. Major improvement. Luis Robert, Jimenez, Pollock, Gavin Sheets (against righties), 2nd year Vaughn. These are huge additions. Defense. Better. Pollock in RF, Engel being healthy, Jimenez over Vaughn in LF, McGuire at backup C, probably Harrison over Madrigal. Burger should be okay at 3B while Moncada is out.
  5. VAfan

    TLR 2022 Thread

    Not sure why it's a "dumb strategy" to hire the winningest manager in major league history, who has led 3 teams to World Series wins. It would be "dumb strategy" to hire Ricky Renteria to manage this team.
  6. VAfan

    Moncada IL, Burger up; Burr IL, Foster up

    I acknowledge them. But I'm just using the numbers we have. Sure, Burger might not sustain that. But it's possible he could improve as well. I kind of see him as similar to Andrew Vaughn. Both 1st round picks selected for their offensive potential. Whether they realize it is an open question.
  7. VAfan

    Moncada IL, Burger up; Burr IL, Foster up

    The injury to Moncada is very unfortunate. For the Sox to really excel, they need 2019 Moncada back. But it's not the worst thing to have Burger in the wings, having already had a bit of ML seasoning. He got 15 games last year. Maybe he can build on that. I like seeing him playing 2B as well. This why you don't trade away all your useable depth.
  8. VAfan

    AL Central 1st to Last Prediction

    I gave the offseason a B, mostly because I wanted them to re-sign Rodon. But the offense should rake and help cover for a thin pitching staff. I'm copying this post because it's also the finishing order I would guess. The middle 3 will be close.
  9. VAfan

    TLR 2022 Thread

    For the record, I defended the hiring of TLR when most were rabidly against him. He's not a perfect manager by any means, and I'm sure I'll question many of his decisions this year, but he is a HOF'er for a reason, and has won more games than anyone in the integrated era of MLB. I don't think the game has passed him by.
  10. VAfan

    Micker Adolfo DFA'd

    In hindsight, what if the Sox had given the ABs last year that they gave to Goodwin, Lamb, and even Eaton. There were a bunch of underperforming guys we put into RF. All were lefties. Could Adolfo have done better? Also, next year, if Pollock decides to leave, there will be a RF opening. Would Adolfo be further along than Cespedes or Colas? If he ever figures out the Ks and stays healthy, he's going to help some team a lot.
  11. VAfan

    Moncada IL, Burger up; Burr IL, Foster up

    I would have slotted Moncada 8th in my lineup based off last year's numbers. There may not be much offensive falloff to Burger. Indeed, Burger posted a 118+ OPS in limited action last year. Moncada was 117 OPS+. Burger had much higher slugging and higher OPS, much lower OBP. Batting average the same.
  12. VAfan

    2022 White Sox wins prediction thread

    94-96 wins. Offense is going to carry them. Pitching is thin, but could be bolstered in the second half with trades.
  13. Sheets should get most starts at DH when facing right handers. The difference between him and Vaughn was massive last year. Maybe Vaughn closes that gap, but to start him over Sheets against a RH would be like starting Leury Garcia over Luis Robert in CF. The wRC+ gap between Sheets and Vaughn was around 80, with Vaughn being the second worst hitter on the team, better than only Zavala. Just look at the numbers in the original post above.
  14. I'm not an apologist for the front office, which I'm often made out to be. I pulled for Rodon being re-signed more than just about anyone on this site, and think it was a big mistake that the Sox didn't do it, for example. I think the Sox now have serious pitching concerns, and if the pitching really implodes, it's very hard to hit your way out of it. But we'll find out soon enough.
  15. VAfan

    Cueto to Sox (Official)

    Reasons I wanted the Sox to keep Rodon. 1. Best starter on the Sox first half. 2. Best pitcher in AL first half. 3. Built up to 132 innings last year after 2 years of next to nothing. Suggests fatigue was his arm problem at the end of last year, not some structural issue. 4. Would have given the Sox 6 legit starters, plus Lopez. 5. Could have used a 6-man rotation to lighten everyone's load, keep Keuchel from reaching the innings needed to vest him another year, and keep Kopech from being gassed before the playoffs. 6. If someone went down, could just shift to normal 5-man rotation to cover gaps. 7. Left handed 8. Only required 2-year commitment, with opt out after 1 year, if the Sox matched the Giants' offer. Had a QO been attached to Rodon, would he have gotten even this much? At this point, it's water under the bridge. The Sox are short on quality starters, and without Kelly for now and Crochet for the year, short in the bullpen as well. They are going to have to hit their way to a title, it appears.