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VAfan

Aren't the Sox more likely to be ready in 2021 than 2020?

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I don't post much here anymore, so if I missed a thread on this, forgive me. But with the hand wringing over losing Wheeler to the Phillies, I thought I would toss this post out there.

Aren't we expecting a lot as fans to think the Sox will be contenders in 2020? 

On the hitting side, we are projecting Robert in CF and Madrigal at 2B. They might be great players, but they aren't any more likely to be stars out of the gate as rookies than Moncada was.  Moncada didn't turn into a stud until this last year, his 3rd year in the majors. Plus, if the Sox want extra control, they might hold both back at the start of the season. 

We also seem to be expecting Zack Collins to step in as the left handed DH and do something. His 76 OPS+ in 27 games last year suggests this may be a tad optimistic. 

That's 3 slots out of 9 on offense. And that assumes we sign a right fielder who is ready to do some damage in 2020. 

The pitching staff situation is probably worse. We have Lucas Giolito as the only returning pitcher with an ERA under 4.0 last year. That requires us to project in Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez, some unnamed starting pitcher or pitchers we're going to sign. Even if Kopech and Cease are great, how many innings will they be good for? Carlos Rodon is shelved till mid-season and can't seem to stay healthy. Giolito only got to 176 innings. Where are the 200+ innings pitchers? (Granted, there aren't that many in the majors any longer.)

Let's say we even added Wheeler, which we haven't. That still leaves us projecting a lot on the other starters, all of whom are unproven. 

The bullpen is also missing some pieces. This could be patched in one offseason, but will it be? 

It seems to me the Sox are still a year away from making any kind of serious run. They should be building the team accordingly, and we shouldn't expect more.

Edited by VAfan
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Yes, if the White Sox fail to acquire an additional quality players then they probably won't compete in 2020. Seems like you're halfway there OP, keep at it.

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I completely agree. I think a lot would have to go right on top of adding several very good pieces to this team to make a serious playoff run, but there are enough holes to fill on the team that some of it has to be done now, because there may be even more to fill in a year or two if some guys regress or do not pan out.

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22 minutes ago, VAfan said:

I don't post much here anymore, so if I missed a thread on this, forgive me. But with the hand wringing over losing Wheeler to the Phillies, I thought I would toss this post out there.

Aren't we expecting a lot as fans to think the Sox will be contenders in 2020? 

On the hitting side, we are projecting Robert in CF and Madrigal at 2B. They might be great players, but they aren't any more likely to be stars out of the gate as rookies than Moncada was.  Moncada didn't turn into a stud until this last year, his 3rd year in the majors. Plus, if the Sox want extra control, they might hold both back at the start of the season. 

We also seem to be expecting Zack Collins to step in as the left handed DH and do something. His 76 OPS+ in 27 games last year suggests this may be a tad optimistic. 

That's 3 slots out of 9 on offense. And that assumes we sign a right fielder who is ready to do some damage in 2020. 

The pitching staff situation is probably worse. We have Lucas Giolito as the only returning pitcher with an ERA under 4.0 last year. That requires us to project in Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez, some unnamed starting pitcher or pitchers we're going to sign. Even if Kopech and Cease are great, how many innings will they be good for? Carlos Rodon is shelved till mid-season and can't seem to stay healthy. Giolito only got to 176 innings. Where are the 200+ innings pitchers? (Granted, there aren't that many in the majors any longer.)

Let's say we even added Wheeler, which we haven't. That still leaves us projecting a lot on the other starters, all of whom are unproven. 

The bullpen is also missing some pieces. This could be patched in one offseason, but will it be? 

It seems to me the Sox are still a year away from making any kind of serious run. They should be building the team accordingly, and we shouldn't expect more.

Your point is excellent.  Robert, Madrigal, Lopez, Cease, Collins, Kopech, Rodon, as yet unnamed New RF & Pitchers are all unknown commodities.  Without a doubt they will not be at their ultimate best for 2020.  On the other hand... every one of those people will be an improvement over who they are replacing.   They will get better with time...but they will be better than who they replace immediately.  Since it's Dec. 5 and not Mar. 5...we don't know the names of 5 or 6 of these new people so it's hard to project how many wins can we expect in addition to 2019's 72 win total.  I'm very confident that this group of new players takes us to the low eighties in win totals even at very modest performance levels.  I'm hoping for better than minimum performance levels out of Madrigal, Robert and Kopech etc. but you are right it took Moncada several years so some of these new guys will probably disappoint at some level.  So...can we compete in 2020...yep but things have to break right.  I feel a low of 84-85 and high of 95 with hope that the pitcher RH can find will be at least above average.  Our division isn't so tough that the top end of predictions wouldn't get us to the Division title.  In 2021 we can contend for the whole ball of wax.

Keep posting...I like how you think.

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Of course we'll be more equipped in 2021 than 2020. "Wait til next year" is my motto for the Sox til they actually show me they are capable of finishing over .500 with this current manager and his staff and front office.

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They will be a much better team hopefully as long as the core players continue to develop positively in 2021.

But the clock on these guys being super cheap starts this year, so we do have to kind of make a push in 2020.  This is why this Wheeler thing is rough, there is not much left to pick up FA wise this year and 2020/2021 classes are really thin for pitching.  Zack Wheeler is not a #1 but he is a solid #2 with upside that could have helped anchor the rotation as Lopez/Cease/Kopech develop.

I feel like the Sox are kind of backed into a corner now because the SP needs to be addressed and there just isn't much there outside of a trade.

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Why not both? Why not try and have a winning season first?

This window for CWS couldn't come at a better time in the ALC...this team will only get better and better for the next few years

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2 hours ago, VAfan said:

I don't post much here anymore, so if I missed a thread on this, forgive me. But with the hand wringing over losing Wheeler to the Phillies, I thought I would toss this post out there.

Aren't we expecting a lot as fans to think the Sox will be contenders in 2020? 

On the hitting side, we are projecting Robert in CF and Madrigal at 2B. They might be great players, but they aren't any more likely to be stars out of the gate as rookies than Moncada was.  Moncada didn't turn into a stud until this last year, his 3rd year in the majors. Plus, if the Sox want extra control, they might hold both back at the start of the season. 

We also seem to be expecting Zack Collins to step in as the left handed DH and do something. His 76 OPS+ in 27 games last year suggests this may be a tad optimistic. 

That's 3 slots out of 9 on offense. And that assumes we sign a right fielder who is ready to do some damage in 2020. 

The pitching staff situation is probably worse. We have Lucas Giolito as the only returning pitcher with an ERA under 4.0 last year. That requires us to project in Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez, some unnamed starting pitcher or pitchers we're going to sign. Even if Kopech and Cease are great, how many innings will they be good for? Carlos Rodon is shelved till mid-season and can't seem to stay healthy. Giolito only got to 176 innings. Where are the 200+ innings pitchers? (Granted, there aren't that many in the majors any longer.)

Let's say we even added Wheeler, which we haven't. That still leaves us projecting a lot on the other starters, all of whom are unproven. 

The bullpen is also missing some pieces. This could be patched in one offseason, but will it be? 

It seems to me the Sox are still a year away from making any kind of serious run. They should be building the team accordingly, and we shouldn't expect more.

110%. and here's an even less popular, but realist opinion of mine. I think 2021 won't be any picnic either. I think this year is 78-83 wins (depends on FA signings and trades obviously) and i think 2021 is the year you may sneak in as a WC or as a Division champ, but with warts and holes. I think 2022 is the year i EXPECT a ALCS appearance. I don't much mind the sox not signing guys to long term, expensive contracts this offseason. If it makes sense do it, if not, walk away and reassess next year. 

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As others have pointed out, fixing the DH and RF positions alone with average players at least pushes this team into the mid-70s in wins.

What I would say after that is...I don't know how next season will go, but I can give you a route where next season goes well. A couple guys like Cease, Kopech, Robert, and Eloy have good years, 1 or 2 actually break out as all-stars (totally possible), or Giolito or Moncada step up even more to top of the league level players, and all of a sudden we're a mid 80s or even 90 win team. 

I cannot guarantee it will happen but I can no longer rule it out. But, if we go $100 million payroll this offseason and bring in two cheap starting pitchers, we could be sabotaging this season before things even have a chance to go right, leaving us far enough behind the Twins or Indians that we just can't catch up, even using the trade market.

So here's the real trick this season. Make ourselves good enough that if a whole lot of stuff goes right this season - we're sitting there atop the division at the end of the year. But at the same time...if stuff goes wrong this season, we need to have money available in 2021 to be able to fix those problems. 

 

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1 minute ago, Balta1701 said:

As others have pointed out, fixing the DH and RF positions alone with average players at least pushes this team into the mid-70s in wins.

What I would say after that is...I don't know how next season will go, but I can give you a route where next season goes well. A couple guys like Cease, Kopech, Robert, and Eloy have good years, 1 or 2 actually break out as all-stars (totally possible), or Giolito or Moncada step up even more to top of the league level players, and all of a sudden we're a mid 80s or even 90 win team. 

I cannot guarantee it will happen but I can no longer rule it out. But, if we go $100 million payroll this offseason and bring in two cheap starting pitchers, we could be sabotaging this season before things even have a chance to go right, leaving us far enough behind the Twins or Indians that we just can't catch up, even using the trade market.

So here's the real trick this season. Make ourselves good enough that if a whole lot of stuff goes right this season - we're sitting there atop the division at the end of the year. But at the same time...if stuff goes wrong this season, we need to have money available in 2021 to be able to fix those problems. 

 

But even if we win the division in all reality what's the chance of us winning a WS? Kopech and Cease will be on innings limitations... our rookies aren't used to a full season... I think we'd get swept or maybe win a game. No way we'd get through the ALCS or the WS. I echo we need to have money available in 2021 to fix problems

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1 minute ago, BrianAnderson said:

But even if we win the division in all reality what's the chance of us winning a WS? Kopech and Cease will be on innings limitations... our rookies aren't used to a full season... I think we'd get swept or maybe win a game. No way we'd get through the ALCS or the WS. I echo we need to have money available in 2021 to fix problems

If you win the AL Central you have as good of a chance as anyone of winning the world series, because there's a good chance you're playing better than other teams at the end of the year, you're coming from a division with strong teams, and you would have a team that has at least a couple of good starting pitchers.  One of the reasons why we need 2 starters is to manage Kopech's innings early in the season so that you can decide how to use him down the stretch. I don't care if our rookies aren't used to full seasons; if that argument was worth anything then it would predict that Rookies never contribute in the playoffs which isn't true, and which also can be managed if you're giving a guy appropriate days off. Robert played 122 games last year, is 150 going to somehow be his doom?

And honestly, if we make the playoffs next year and don't win...CONGRATULATIONS THE WHITE SOX BROKE ONE OF THE LONGEST STREAKS OF NO POSTSEASON APPEARANCES IN BASEBALL. That's an accomplishment on its own. 

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Who knows...maybe Rodon or Dunning are huge surprises next year.  We're overdue for some good fortune from the baseball gods.

It will be interesting to see if Wheeler makes it through his contract without another major injury throwing so many 97+ mph pitches.   Same concern we have with Kopech.   Severino and Thor have already started experiencing issues as well. 

Edited by caulfield12

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3 hours ago, caulfield12 said:

Who knows...maybe Rodon or Dunning are huge surprises next year.  We're overdue for some good fortune from the baseball gods.

It will be interesting to see if Wheeler makes it through his contract without another major injury throwing so many 97+ mph pitches.   Same concern we have with Kopech.   Severino and Thor have already started experiencing issues as well. 

I think Dunning has a stellar year. He really showed some flashes before the TJ. I think he becomes a number 3 starter QUICKLY. I honestly think Kopech is going to be our Jose Contreras. He is going to dominate some games and totally crap himself others...but have an absolute 1.5 season peak where he is a top 3 MLB pitcher. I don't expect him to really have a long fruitful career, but I see in 2022 or 23 him going on an unbelievable run. Cease is the biggest conundrum. He has #2 potential, but not sure if he ever is more than a #4. If you sign Strasburg or Ryu even...it doesn't matter...he will be the #4 the next several seasons anyway. Rodon is done. If he shows any type of improvement he is getting traded. 

Edited by EloyJenkins

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I think with Wheeler, the Sox would of had a solid chance of competing to win the division. And if you win the division, anything can happen in the playoffs.

While the Sox should be better in 2021 than in 2020, the division looks particularly weak and winnable right now. A year later, who knows where things will stand. The Royals and Tigers might be starting to emerge out of the dark days of their rebuilds? Or maybe not?

But if I'm the Sox, I do everything I can to put the best team together for 2020, with the future in mind and not sacrificed of course.

At this point, I don't see a free agent pitcher worth acquiring, at least one that would be a #1 or #2. I think the Sox should explore trading for a young pitcher, and spend the available dollars heavily on RF, the bullpen and maybe a spot #5 starter on a one year deal.

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yes they are more likely to win in 21 than 20; and 22 than 21.
But they need to get the show on the road.  No interest in any Hahn trades for veterans (c. 5% success rate), but it's time to amass some free agent pitching.

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Is it more likely? Yes, but I think they need to put themselves in a position to contend if everything goes right. If Robert, Madrigal, Kopech, and Cease are what we hope they are "Right out of the gate" they need to be in position to capitalize.

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15 hours ago, VAfan said:

I don't post much here anymore, so if I missed a thread on this, forgive me. But with the hand wringing over losing Wheeler to the Phillies, I thought I would toss this post out there.

Aren't we expecting a lot as fans to think the Sox will be contenders in 2020? 

On the hitting side, we are projecting Robert in CF and Madrigal at 2B. They might be great players, but they aren't any more likely to be stars out of the gate as rookies than Moncada was.  Moncada didn't turn into a stud until this last year, his 3rd year in the majors. Plus, if the Sox want extra control, they might hold both back at the start of the season. 

We also seem to be expecting Zack Collins to step in as the left handed DH and do something. His 76 OPS+ in 27 games last year suggests this may be a tad optimistic. 

That's 3 slots out of 9 on offense. And that assumes we sign a right fielder who is ready to do some damage in 2020. 

The pitching staff situation is probably worse. We have Lucas Giolito as the only returning pitcher with an ERA under 4.0 last year. That requires us to project in Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez, some unnamed starting pitcher or pitchers we're going to sign. Even if Kopech and Cease are great, how many innings will they be good for? Carlos Rodon is shelved till mid-season and can't seem to stay healthy. Giolito only got to 176 innings. Where are the 200+ innings pitchers? (Granted, there aren't that many in the majors any longer.)

Let's say we even added Wheeler, which we haven't. That still leaves us projecting a lot on the other starters, all of whom are unproven. 

The bullpen is also missing some pieces. This could be patched in one offseason, but will it be? 

It seems to me the Sox are still a year away from making any kind of serious run. They should be building the team accordingly, and we shouldn't expect more.

2021 is more realistic for contention, agreed. This offseason is key for the Sox to transition towards winning though, as we cannot leave all the acquisitions to help the club until next offseason. 

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9 hours ago, EloyJenkins said:

I think Dunning has a stellar year. He really showed some flashes before the TJ. I think he becomes a number 3 starter QUICKLY. I honestly think Kopech is going to be our Jose Contreras. He is going to dominate some games and totally crap himself others...but have an absolute 1.5 season peak where he is a top 3 MLB pitcher. I don't expect him to really have a long fruitful career, but I see in 2022 or 23 him going on an unbelievable run. Cease is the biggest conundrum. He has #2 potential, but not sure if he ever is more than a #4. If you sign Strasburg or Ryu even...it doesn't matter...he will be the #4 the next several seasons anyway. Rodon is done. If he shows any type of improvement he is getting traded. 

You mean a stellar 1/2year in the minors ? That's where he's going after he comes back after mid season.

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13 hours ago, Hatchetman said:

Many treat JRs money like its coming out of their own inheritance.

No they have realistic expectations of what JR will spend. Every single person on this board would not make these comments if they though the budget for the team would be 200 mil each year. They are basing everything on the history of what the budget for the team typically is and what restrictions that places on how the FO NEEDS to operate. Not necessarily on how they WANT to operate.

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