Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
VAfan

Can the White Sox right the ship without making any major moves?

Recommended Posts

The Sox have certainly underachieved this year.  For some time, they've been hovering around .500.  They've been pretty devastated by injuries, and massive underperformance from highly paid players like Yasmani Grandal and Yoan Moncada, both of whom have played hurt a lot this year.  

The question is -- what to do at this point?  

My own take is that they should not make major changes or trade off future value for present value.  

There are actually some positive things that could be built on. 

1.  The offense is finally coming around.  Here are some OPS numbers for June.

Tim Anderson - .855 (before injury it was .922 in May)
Andrew Vaughn - .940
Luis Robert - .770
Jose Abreu - .911
Jake Burger - .980
AJ Pollock - .849
Reese McGuire - .690  or Seby Zavala - .781
Josh Harrison - .822

They have just lost Adem Engel to injury, but his June OPS is .594, so replacing him with Gavin Sheets is not an offensive downgrade, even if it is a defensive one. 
They also lost Danny Mendick, who was hitting at a June OPS of .771.  Who knows what Lenyn Sosa will put up in his place?   

Who knows if they can sustain this, but this looks a lot more like what one would have expected before the season started.  

2.  The starting pitching is in better shape than it was to start the year. 

The Sox finally have 5 legitimate starters.

Michael Kopech - 2.38 ERA
Dylan Cease - 2.68 ERA
Johnny Cueto - 2.95 ERA
Lance Lynn - 5.79 ERA in his first 2 starts, but career 3.5 ERA (even if he doesn't return to last year's 2.69 ERA)
Lucas Giolito - 5.40 ERA (but last year he went from a 4.15 ERA in the first half to a 2.65 ERA in the second half).  

And they also have spot starters in Davis Martin (4.29 ERA), Vince Velasquez (4.46 ERA) and perhaps Jimmy Lambert (3.29 ERA) or Reynaldo Lopez (3.16 ERA).  

They DON'T have Dallas Keuchel and his 7.88 ERA over 8 starts.  

3.  The bullpen looks like it may be the most stretched portion of the roster, but will get reinforcements

Without Liam Hendriks and Aaron Bummer, the bullpen is thin. 

But we still have Kendall Graveman and Joe Kelly (who should get back to career norms) at the back end, and 2-inning guys in Velasquez, Lambert, and Lopez to shorten the number of pitchers needed for the back end of games.  Plus, if the offense continues to produce and Lynn and Giolito do their jobs, we should have more games with some cushion to ease the pressure on the bullpen. 

4.  The team will get reinforcements in the second half without having to make trades.

Eloy Jimenez -- who knows what he'll be when he returns.  But at the very least he should be upgrade from Gavin Sheets.  His career OPS is .813, but it was .891 in 2020.  
Yasmani Grandal -- he went on a tear after he returned from injury last year.  His second half OPS was 1.154.  
Yoan Moncada - will he be an upgrade?  It's not clear.  When Eloy is back, to play Moncada you would have to sit either Pollock or Burger.   His second half OPS last year was .780.  No need to rush him.  
Danny Mendick - playing better than Harrison or Garcia. 
Adam Engel - good defensive replacement outfielder/spot starter.

Liam Hendriks - closer
Aaron Bummer - lefty set up man
Kyle Crick - depth BP piece

5. They play in the AL Central, where Cleveland is leading with a .563 winning percentage. 

That is tied for the NL Central as the worst winning percentage among division leaders.
It puts the Sox 4.5 games back right now.
The Sox have 13 games against the Twins, with 6 at home, and 7 on the road, including 6 of their last 9 games.
They have 14 games against the Guardians, with 7 at home and 7 on the road.  (Last game is Sept 22). 

Needless to say, those head-to-head matchups with Cleveland and Minnesota will go a long way to deciding the division winner.  

6. TLR's 1983 Sox went on a second-half tear.  

That Sox team was 40-37 in the first half, and 59-26 in the second half.   They didn't add anyone significant to the roster during the season.  They just started playing better. 

(This isn't going to ever happen again, just like no team is ever going to have 4 complete game victories again in the playoffs like the 2005 Sox did in the ALCS, but the starting pitching for the 1983 Sox in the second half was lights out.  The trio of Lamarr Hoyt, Floyd Bannister, Richard Dotson went 42-4 starting July 12th to the end of the regular season.   Hoyt won 13 games in a row from July 27 to Sept 30 (with one no decision) and 15 of 16 starting July 13th.  Bannister won 9 in a row, and went 13-1 after July 12th (with 3 no decisions).  Dotson won 10 in a row, and went 14-2 from July 15th to the end of the year (with 1 no decision).  Crazy.) 

The Atlanta Braves were 44-45 in the first half last year, and 44-28 in the second half on their way to a WS win.

I'm sure there are many other examples of a team not playing well in the first half and then going on a tear in the second half.  

7. What would the point be of making deals?

The Sox don't have a lot of depth in the minors or major league pieces to trade from.  And if you trade guys like Burger or Sheets you are just weakening the roster for the next few years.  Burger is looking more like the longer term answer at 3B than Yoan Moncada is right now.  And Sheets had a rough start to the year, but otherwise had a stellar platoon role last year, and we're pretty desperate for LH power bats.  

I would consider trading Moncada, who doesn't look like he's going to earn his contract over the next few years, and Eloy Jimenez, who seems very injury prone.  But they are also at their lowest trade value.  Who would take on Moncada's contract and send anything of value in return?  And could you get anything in an Eloy trade likely to have the same upside if he gains some health consistency?  I would also trade Lucas Giolito, who seems too inconsistent to be worthy of a big money extension, but his value is also low at the moment.  He's more likely to be someone moved in the offseason with only 1 year of control left. 

Conclusion

I say ride it out with this group -- players, coaches/manager, and front office.  See if they can turn it around with only minor tweaks that don't cost significant future value.  The Ryan Tepera trade from last year, for example, not the Kimbrel trade.  If they don't make it, consider significant changes in the offseason.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest need is for that ever elusive middle of the order LH bat and there aren't really any realistic trade candidates out there. Therefore, not much point in trading away anyone, especially with the low value, which they currently have. My guess is that they will try to acquire some bullpen help. TLR loves his bullpens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The trouble with even thinking about the Sox making a major move is trusting them to make a good one.  Their track record is horrid.  With the lack of LH power hitters even available, they'll either A) drastically overpay or B) acquire someone that is not a difference maker.  I think option C) not doing anything is safer.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No.  This isn't going to magically fix itself.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No. Still missing the LH bat they magically forgot to get this offseason and need to add another arm to the rotation. Kopech won’t hold up down the stretch no matter how much we wish he will and Gio has been straight trash lately 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, VAfan said:

The Sox have certainly underachieved this year.  For some time, they've been hovering around .500.  They've been pretty devastated by injuries, and massive underperformance from highly paid players like Yasmani Grandal and Yoan Moncada, both of whom have played hurt a lot this year.  

The question is -- what to do at this point?  

My own take is that they should not make major changes or trade off future value for present value.  

There are actually some positive things that could be built on. 

1.  The offense is finally coming around.  Here are some OPS numbers for June.

Tim Anderson - .855 (before injury it was .922 in May)
Andrew Vaughn - .940
Luis Robert - .770
Jose Abreu - .911
Jake Burger - .980
AJ Pollock - .849
Reese McGuire - .690  or Seby Zavala - .781
Josh Harrison - .822

They have just lost Adem Engel to injury, but his June OPS is .594, so replacing him with Gavin Sheets is not an offensive downgrade, even if it is a defensive one. 
They also lost Danny Mendick, who was hitting at a June OPS of .771.  Who knows what Lenyn Sosa will put up in his place?   

Who knows if they can sustain this, but this looks a lot more like what one would have expected before the season started.  

2.  The starting pitching is in better shape than it was to start the year. 

The Sox finally have 5 legitimate starters.

Michael Kopech - 2.38 ERA
Dylan Cease - 2.68 ERA
Johnny Cueto - 2.95 ERA
Lance Lynn - 5.79 ERA in his first 2 starts, but career 3.5 ERA (even if he doesn't return to last year's 2.69 ERA)
Lucas Giolito - 5.40 ERA (but last year he went from a 4.15 ERA in the first half to a 2.65 ERA in the second half).  

And they also have spot starters in Davis Martin (4.29 ERA), Vince Velasquez (4.46 ERA) and perhaps Jimmy Lambert (3.29 ERA) or Reynaldo Lopez (3.16 ERA).  

They DON'T have Dallas Keuchel and his 7.88 ERA over 8 starts.  

3.  The bullpen looks like it may be the most stretched portion of the roster, but will get reinforcements

Without Liam Hendriks and Aaron Bummer, the bullpen is thin. 

But we still have Kendall Graveman and Joe Kelly (who should get back to career norms) at the back end, and 2-inning guys in Velasquez, Lambert, and Lopez to shorten the number of pitchers needed for the back end of games.  Plus, if the offense continues to produce and Lynn and Giolito do their jobs, we should have more games with some cushion to ease the pressure on the bullpen. 

4.  The team will get reinforcements in the second half without having to make trades.

Eloy Jimenez -- who knows what he'll be when he returns.  But at the very least he should be upgrade from Gavin Sheets.  His career OPS is .813, but it was .891 in 2020.  
Yasmani Grandal -- he went on a tear after he returned from injury last year.  His second half OPS was 1.154.  
Yoan Moncada - will he be an upgrade?  It's not clear.  When Eloy is back, to play Moncada you would have to sit either Pollock or Burger.   His second half OPS last year was .780.  No need to rush him.  
Danny Mendick - playing better than Harrison or Garcia. 
Adam Engel - good defensive replacement outfielder/spot starter.

Liam Hendriks - closer
Aaron Bummer - lefty set up man
Kyle Crick - depth BP piece

5. They play in the AL Central, where Cleveland is leading with a .563 winning percentage. 

That is tied for the NL Central as the worst winning percentage among division leaders.
It puts the Sox 4.5 games back right now.
The Sox have 13 games against the Twins, with 6 at home, and 7 on the road, including 6 of their last 9 games.
They have 14 games against the Guardians, with 7 at home and 7 on the road.  (Last game is Sept 22). 

Needless to say, those head-to-head matchups with Cleveland and Minnesota will go a long way to deciding the division winner.  

6. TLR's 1983 Sox went on a second-half tear.  

That Sox team was 40-37 in the first half, and 59-26 in the second half.   They didn't add anyone significant to the roster during the season.  They just started playing better. 

(This isn't going to ever happen again, just like no team is ever going to have 4 complete game victories again in the playoffs like the 2005 Sox did in the ALCS, but the starting pitching for the 1983 Sox in the second half was lights out.  The trio of Lamarr Hoyt, Floyd Bannister, Richard Dotson went 42-4 starting July 12th to the end of the regular season.   Hoyt won 13 games in a row from July 27 to Sept 30 (with one no decision) and 15 of 16 starting July 13th.  Bannister won 9 in a row, and went 13-1 after July 12th (with 3 no decisions).  Dotson won 10 in a row, and went 14-2 from July 15th to the end of the year (with 1 no decision).  Crazy.) 

The Atlanta Braves were 44-45 in the first half last year, and 44-28 in the second half on their way to a WS win.

I'm sure there are many other examples of a team not playing well in the first half and then going on a tear in the second half.  

7. What would the point be of making deals?

The Sox don't have a lot of depth in the minors or major league pieces to trade from.  And if you trade guys like Burger or Sheets you are just weakening the roster for the next few years.  Burger is looking more like the longer term answer at 3B than Yoan Moncada is right now.  And Sheets had a rough start to the year, but otherwise had a stellar platoon role last year, and we're pretty desperate for LH power bats.  

I would consider trading Moncada, who doesn't look like he's going to earn his contract over the next few years, and Eloy Jimenez, who seems very injury prone.  But they are also at their lowest trade value.  Who would take on Moncada's contract and send anything of value in return?  And could you get anything in an Eloy trade likely to have the same upside if he gains some health consistency?  I would also trade Lucas Giolito, who seems too inconsistent to be worthy of a big money extension, but his value is also low at the moment.  He's more likely to be someone moved in the offseason with only 1 year of control left. 

Conclusion

I say ride it out with this group -- players, coaches/manager, and front office.  See if they can turn it around with only minor tweaks that don't cost significant future value.  The Ryan Tepera trade from last year, for example, not the Kimbrel trade.  If they don't make it, consider significant changes in the offseason.  

 

 

I would say that the White Sox are so far an average type injury team. Teams like Minny, Detroit,  Cubs, Red Sox,Braves etc  have about 20 injuries compared to Sox w 12 on average. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, southsider2k5 said:

If they get healthy, sure.  If not, no.

tobias-funke-and-scene.gif

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Would someone tell Leury he is not Jim Edmonds playing so far in?

Edited by caulfield12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, we don't really need to worry about catching the Guardians or Twins until August/September anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fucking Joe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Planning a future around Sheets as a key aspect is foolhardy.

And nobody will take Moncada Jimenez or Grandal until they're healthy AND productive for at least six to eight weeks in a row.

Trading Giolito now is equally pointless...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No in response to thread title.

Baltimore lineup is more dangerous. 

Sox have zero power outside of when Robert is interested. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

They can't right the ship in the middle of the season even with big moves. 
They may be able to fix things in the off-season, but that's not a guarantee, due to the paucity of both minor league talent and front-office talent.
It may be that the Sox peaked in 2021 - and what you see is what you get.  
 

Edited by GreenSox

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sox are done for this season. They can't contend. More injuries this week, every week. Mendick out for season? That's just crazy. This injury thing with the White Sox has to be addressed by the FO in some way. There's no reason the injuries figure to stop, either. I would guess we're due for some more pitching injuries though the guys with hammy problems can have those return at any point as well.

Sox are not contenders. Just too many guys spending way too much time on IL.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't right a ship that is holed below the waterline. They will bumble along around the .500 mark and we will keep thinking what ifs.

  • like what if they were all healthy, they aren't and the track record suggests they won't be on a regular basis.
  • what if they go on a run like in 1983, how often does that happen and really this team doesn't look like they are capable.
  • the 'easy' schedule is only easy if they can actually beat these teams, they just lost 4-0 to the Orioles!
  • trade for a LH power bat, trade with what exactly? The only trade pieces worth anything you would want to keep and others like Eloy or Moncada have low value atm.

All this suggests that an in season one trade would not be enough to right the wrongs.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be nice for the Sox to make a move, but I don't think there is a tradeable piece that another team would want.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As other have alluded to, the Sox can’t “right the ship” when they start five major league caliber hitters and only have two quality bullpen arms available on a given night.  Getting mostly healthy is therefore critical, but the odds of everyone coming back for this amazing 1983 stretch run is not happening.  Reinforcements will be needed.  It’s really that simple.

At a bare minimum, go get someone like Tyler Naquin to factor into the RF mix and a couple of bullpen arms.  If a more impactful LH bat becomes available then great, but we can’t ignore this need altogether.  This idea we’ll have too many hitters is insane when we’re losing three players once certain nights.  Below is the appropriate level of depth we’ll need to overcome this churn.

  1. Anderson, SS
  2. Vaughn, DH
  3. Robert, CF
  4. Abreu, 1B
  5. Naquin, RF*
  6. Pollock / Eloy, LF
  7. Grandal, C*
  8. Yoan* / Burger, 3B
  9. Sosa, 2B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Chicago White Sox said:

As other have alluded to, the Sox can’t “right the ship” when they start five major league caliber hitters and only have two quality bullpen arms available on a given night.  Getting mostly healthy is therefore critical, but the odds of everyone coming back for this amazing 1983 stretch run is not happening.  Reinforcements will be needed.  It’s really that simple.

At a bare minimum, go get someone like Tyler Naquin to factor into the RF mix and a couple of bullpen arms.  If a more impactful LH bat becomes available then great, but we can’t ignore this need altogether.  This idea we’ll have too many hitters is insane when we’re losing three players once certain nights.  Below is the appropriate level of depth we’ll need to overcome this churn.

  1. Anderson, SS
  2. Vaughn, DH
  3. Robert, CF
  4. Abreu, 1B
  5. Naquin, RF*
  6. Pollock / Eloy, LF
  7. Grandal, C*
  8. Yoan* / Burger, 3B
  9. Sosa, 2B

Naquin getting more plate appearances than those four high-profile names directly below (and Burger) tells you everything you need to know about this particular season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No depth to trade from. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the optimism and share it most days. One point of clarification on the '83 team. Some would argue the spark that brought the turnaround was a 1-for-1 trade of second basemen... Tony Bernazard to Seattle for Julio Cruz after the Sox were 28-32 at the 60 game mark. Not sure a 1-for-1 is out there for us this year, but one never knows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ineptitude can’t fix ineptitude. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, buckweaver said:

I like the optimism and share it most days. One point of clarification on the '83 team. Some would argue the spark that brought the turnaround was a 1-for-1 trade of second basemen... Tony Bernazard to Seattle for Julio Cruz after the Sox were 28-32 at the 60 game mark. Not sure a 1-for-1 is out there for us this year, but one never knows.

Some forget that Hoyt, Bannister, and Dotson were unhittable the second half of the season. And these guys were able to throw complete games, especially Hoyt. If Hoyt was ahead by one in the ninth, the game was over. To top this off there was Britt Burns and the veteran Jerry Koosman. There is no comparison between 1983 and 2022. The 1983 team won 99 games. The 2022 team is not going to get near that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d be looking to trade some of our players. Lynn, Giolito, Engle, Abreu, Harrison, Sheets, Cueto. Help the farm again and reload in the off-season. This team has so many flaws right now. Probably won’t happen. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, PolishPrince34 said:

I’d be looking to trade some of our players. Lynn, Giolito, Engle, Abreu, Harrison, Sheets, Cueto. Help the farm again and reload in the off-season. This team has so many flaws right now. Probably won’t happen. 

Harrison and Sheets have no real value right now. 

Engel (sp) just reinjured the same hamstring as last year. You gotta be confident he’s actually healthy first. 

Giolito is a mess right now. You’re almost better off holding him and hoping he turns things around in the second half or next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×