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  1. Sorry, but this is a fantasy. Here are the games played by the Sox players in your lineup over the last 2 years, with 2022 first and 2021 second. Moncada - 104, 144 Anderson - 79, 123 Jimenez - 84, 55 Vaughn - 134, 127 Robert - 98, 68 Grandal - 99, 93 You just can't expect these guys to be full-time major league players. Vaughn is the only one in this group to not face a significant injury the last two years, and he wore down both seasons. Not to mention that Moncada and Grandal were far below replacement level players last year. It's not just the position players. Of the pitchers, Lynn and Kopech both missed a lot of time to injuries, as did Bummer and Kelly. Bummer is completely unreliable on a day to day basis because you never know if he can control his slider. Kelly was just bad in addition to being hurt. Diekman was a dumpster fire.
  2. My politics have not changed. What changed for me for the White Sox was 2 years in a row of the same. 2021 was a wild card year, coming off the shortened season. So you could project health and optimism for the core. And in 2021, even though Grandal was hurt, he had the best OPS+ on the team. But in 2022 the team became unwatchable. Always hurt. Chasing pitches. Terrible defense. Pathetic play from guys with big contracts. Luis Robert no longer being a player to be excited about, but one waiting for the next injury to hit. And Tim Anderson going from being an exciting leader, to an always hurt bad fielding SS who can't run because his legs won't stay healthy. There is not a single position player on the Sox I really like anymore. Jose Abreu was the ONLY guy who showed up every day and hit above average. And he's gone. People blamed LaRussa, who I also made a big mistake in backing. And he was bad. But the players are the ones who lost me. Most of the pitchers too. What happened to Lucas Giolito? Michael Kopech has awesome stuff. How can he lose most of his starts? Aaron Bummer can't stay healthy and can't control his pitches, so the manager has no idea whether he's getting the good or bad Bummer on any given night. Lance Lynn went from workhorse to injured horse. Only Dylan Cease was awesome. The team believed their own hype, and then stunk up the field. I don't know how they won 81 games. And then you have Cleveland, with half the resources, just crushing the Sox with a young team that's going to get better.
  3. I posted this over at the Athletic. Just want to chime in again to say the Sox cannot be fixed with this group of players. ************* Fixing these Sox is a fools errand. Here is the core of the offense: Jimenez, 140 OPS+, 84 games. Vaughn, 111 OPS+, 134 games Robert, 109 OPS+, 98 games Anderson, 108 OPS+, 79 games Moncada, 76 OPS+ 104 games Grandal, 64 OPS+, 99 games Meanwhile, here's who is gone: Abreu, 133 OPS+, 157 games Andrus, 116 OPS+, 43 games Harrison, 94 OPS+, 119 games Pollock, 91 OPS+, 138 games When you realize only one of your core offensive players exceeded 500 ABs, and your two lefties both performed far below replacement level, there isn't much hope of building around these guys. It's based on fantasy projections. These guys weren't just injured one season. All of the top 6 guys have missed time or faded miserably in the last 2 years. Moreover, the 2 worst hitters in your top 6 are your TWO HIGHEST PAID POSITION PLAYERS. So you really need to move both, as both were outhit in a major way by Jake Burger and Seby Zavala. But who would take their albatross contracts? If you move Jimenez to DH, as you should, and you don't want 1Bs playing in the outfield, as you should, then what do you do with the ONLY LEFTY ON THE TEAM who actually played and hit major league average, Gavin Sheets? 124 games, 98 OPS+ (108 OPS+ against righties). What do you do with these guys? Burger, 112 OPS+, 51 games. Mendick, 121 OPS+, 31 games Zavala, 107 OPS+, 61 games Engel, 64 OPS+, 119 games Garcia, 42 OPS+, 97 games!! The Sox have hired the right manager this time. But they do not have a team of players who can stay healthy, field the ball, hit right handers, and be above average. Meanwhile, look at Cleveland. (Or maybe not, ,unless you want to be depressed.) They have 6 regulars above 100 OPS+, all but Ramirez in their mid-20s, 4 of whom played more than 140 games. And hitting is supposed to be their weakness.
  4. This sounds nice, but it is a fantasy. The Sox had 1 hitter -- ONE -- Jose Abreu -- who was above average and showed up the whole year. And he's gone. Most of the key players are injury prone, can't field, and can't hit right handed pitching. Coaching cannot fix that. Of the offensive core -- Robert, Anderson, Moncada, Jimenez, Grandal, Vaughn -- only Andrew Vaughn made it to 500 ABs. Grandal hit the same as Adam Engel and worse than Adam Hasely. Moncada had a .273 OBP and a .353 slugging percentage. They are the second and third highest paid players on the team (behind Lynn), costing more than $35 million between then, and Moncada is due to earn almost $25M himself in 2024. The only good hitter on the team is Jimenez (with Abreu gone). He played 55 games last year, and 84 this year. Luis Robert, the superstar, has played 68 and 98 games the last 2 years. He barely exceeded league average as a hitter this year. You are looking at what these players were in the short season of 2020 and thinking they can magically return there. They cannot. The Sox would be better off dumping the lot of them and starting over, while they still have trade value.
  5. I'll just post this here. It's from my post "The White Sox Cannot Be Fixed By Next Season" ****** Let me jump back in my own topic to break it down a bit further. CAN'T STAY HEALTHY Batters C - Grandal SS - Anderson 3B - Moncada CF - Robert LF/DH - Jimenez Burger (AAA/Majors) Mendick Pitchers SP - Kopech SP - Lynn RP - Bummer RP - Foster RP - Velasquez RP - Kelly APPEARED ON IL IN 2022 LF/CF - Pollock LF/RF/1B/DH Vaughn CF - Engel RP - Hendriks CAN'T HIT LEFT HANDED (or hit RIGHT HANDERS) Moncada Grandal Pollock Most of the rest of the right handers CAN'T FIELD Vaughn (OF) Sheets (OF) Jimenez (Anywhere) Anderson (SS) Grandal (C) -- can't hold baserunners Zavala (C) -- is he better this year? He was bad last year. HAS AN ALBATROSS CONTRACT 3B - Moncada C - Grandal (for 2023) LF - Pollock (player option) Util - Garcia IS BELOW LEAGUE AVERAGE SP - Giolito SP/RP - Velasquez RP - Ruiz RP - Kelly RP - Diekman 2B - Harrison LF - Pollock 3B - Moncada C - Grandal CF - Engel 2B - Gonzalez Util - Garcia The ONLY players who are above league average and who play every time they are called on are: Jose Abreu, who is a free agent Dylan Cease Johnny Cueto, who is also a free agent Davis Martin (barely above with 106 ERA+) Kendall Graveman Reynaldo Lopez Jimmy Lambert Not sure you can build your team around 7 guys, 2 of whom are free agents.
  6. The thing about a "retool" is that if you trade the guys on my list above, you aren't likely going to get MORE productive major league players back. Teams want to IMPROVE by trade. So they aren't going to trade you a Tim Anderson who plays 145 games for one who played 80 this year, and never more than 120. Same for Jimenez and Robert, Moncada and Grandal, and Kopech. They will trade you prospects, however. The question is how far away will those prospects be? I could see dumping all the top guys for players a year away, then playing our backups to give them experience and see if any turned out. Bring up Colas and Cespedes for the outfield. We would be bad, but maybe not KC bad.
  7. Hahn made some good deals in his time. The trade of Quintana for Jimenez and Cease was a total steal. As was what he got from Washington for Adam Eaton, even if Giolito has been up and down. The Sale trade has paid lesser dividends, but then Sale has mostly been hurt for Boston. Even the fiasco with Fernando Tatis Jr is looking less atrocious because Tatis is even less healthy than Tim Anderson, is on a PED suspension, and has a $340M contract. (Can they void it over the PEDs?) So I'm not sure I fault Hahn on the prospects trades as much as I do on his free agent signings (or lack thereof). He made a good effort to build a roster, and if they could stay healthy, they would have competed this year. It's been the deals for Keuchel after they lost out on the pitcher who went to Philly, the unwillingness to tag Rodon, the signing of Joe Kelly, the trade for Kimbrel/Pollock (though it's not as if Madrigal has amounted to anything, and he's hurt again), the failure to pay attention to defense and left handedness, that have undermined the team.
  8. The White Sox need to start over. They have NO hitters, other than Abreu, that are able to play every day and are above average. What could be the return if they traded: 1. Luis Robert 2. Tim Anderson 3. Eloy Jimenez 4. Yoan Moncada 5. Yasmani Grandal 6. Michael Kopech 7. Lucas Giolito Can you trade for healthy major leaguers who can play defense and hit right handed pitching? Or do you have to start over with a haul of prospects and wait 2 years for them to mature? The team would have lost next to nothing this year without these players. Sure, Anderson was an All-Star, and Jimenez is hot now, but neither one is going to play in even half of the games. Robert has been hurt significant parts of the last 2 years. Moncada has an albatross contract, as does Grandal, but maybe they could be offloaded as part of a package. Kopech has some promise, but why not trade in on it? It doesn't seem like it's going to bear fruit soon. Giolito will be a free agent after next year. You could field a team with the leftovers. Vaughn, Sheets, Burger, bring back Andrus, Gonzalez, Zavala, Engel, Pollock. Only Vaughn has any trade value out of this group. I'm sure they won't do it. But it's time to dump the underperforming, always hurt, overconfident guys who show no plate discipline or pitching consistency. If it is was JUST HEALTH that was the problem, you might HOPE for better health while trying to shore up depth. But it's not JUST HEALTH. It's the lefty-righty imbalance, poor fielding, and terrible plate discipline that give me NO hope the core of this team can turn it around, even with a new manager and new coaches.
  9. Let me jump back in my own topic to break it down a bit further. CAN'T STAY HEALTHY Batters C - Grandal SS - Anderson 3B - Moncada CF - Robert LF/DH - Jimenez Burger (AAA/Majors) Mendick Pitchers SP - Kopech SP - Lynn RP - Bummer RP - Foster RP - Velasquez RP - Kelly APPEARED ON IL IN 2022 LF/CF - Pollock LF/RF/1B/DH Vaughn CF - Engel RP - Hendriks CAN'T HIT LEFT HANDED (or hit RIGHT HANDERS) Moncada Grandal Pollock Most of the rest of the right handers CAN'T FIELD Vaughn (OF) Sheets (OF) Jimenez (Anywhere) Anderson (SS) Grandal (C) -- can't hold baserunners Zavala (C) -- is he better this year? He was bad last year. HAS AN ALBATROSS CONTRACT 3B - Moncada C - Grandal (for 2023) LF - Pollock (player option) IS BELOW LEAGUE AVERAGE SP - Giolito SP/RP - Velasquez RP - Ruiz RP - Kelly RP - Diekman 2B - Harrison LF - Pollock 3B - Moncada C - Grandal CF - Engel 2B - Gonzalez Util - Garcia The ONLY players who are above league average and who play every time they are called on are: Jose Abreu, who is a free agent Dylan Cease Johnny Cueto, who is also a free agent Davis Martin (barely above with 106 ERA+) Kendall Graveman Reynaldo Lopez Jimmy Lambert Not sure you can build your team around 7 guys, 2 of whom are free agents.
  10. Regardless of how the end of this season goes -- fangraphs still gives us a 15% chance of making the playoffs -- many of us have started thinking about next year. I know it's a bit premature, but it's on my mind, so here goes. The White Sox cannot be fixed by next year. Let's look at the challenge player by player. I'll start by going around the diamond. This is written after 146 games. 1. Yasmani Grandal. C, 1B, DH. 2022. 88 games, only 55 as a starting catcher. 67 OPS+, -1 WAR. Only a .505 OPS as a lefty, .818 as a righty. 2021. 90 games, 78 as a catcher. 155 OPS+. 3.7 WAR. .909 OPS as a lefty, 1.031 OPS as a righty. Contract -- 1 year left at $18,250,000. Evaluation: Grandal went from being the best hitter on the team to nearly the worst. But he was still injured for a significant stretch of the season and caught fewer than half of the games. His contract makes him untradeable, but he's also completely unreliable. Plus, he hits worse as a lefty when the Sox are desperate for lefties. 2. Yoan Moncada. 3B. 2022. 90 games. 78 OPS+. .569 OPS as a lefty. .856 OPS as a righty. 2021. 144 games. 116 OPS+. .817 OPS as lefty. .700 OPS as a righty. Contract -- 2 more years at $17.8M, $24.8M. Club option in 3rd year for $25M. Evaluation -- his OPS+ has been under 100 in 2 of the last 3 years. He seems to be hurt a lot, and he has been atrocious this year against right handed pitching. Like with Grandal, when the Sox are desperate for lefty power, Moncada comes up short. Can you trade him? Off this year, no. Off last year, probably. But the Sox paid for 2019 breakout year and he hasn't come close since. Like Grandal, he's not a reliable player. 3. Tim Anderson. SS. 2022. 79 games. 108 OPS+. All-Star. 2021. 123 games. 118 OPS+ Contract -- Club options for $12.5M next year and and $14M in 2 years. Evaluation -- One of the main leaders of the team, he's never healthy for a full season. Since 2019 he's played in 123, 49 (of 60), 123, and 79 games. He made the All-Star team this year, but it was his worst OPS+ since 2018. He has great speed, but with regular leg injuries, you can't afford to run him. Given his shaky health, it's hard to see the Sox giving him a big contract after his next 2 seasons run their course. And you need a backup SS to cover at least 40 games. 4. Second base. The Sox have trotted out a lot of 2B over the last 2 years. 2022. Harrison 81 games, Garcia 46 games, Gonzalez 18 games, Mendick 6 games. 2021. Hernandez 53 games, Madrigal 53 games, Garcia 36 games, Mendick 28 games. Hernandez and Madrigal are gone, Sox have a $5.5M option on Harrison next year, is a free agent, Garcia has 2 more years at $5.5M each, Mendick has 4 years of arbitration, and Gonzalez is under 5 more years of control. Evaluation -- Garcia has an albatross of a contract. Sox cannot trade him, so they need to eat $11M to be rid of him and his 42 OPS+. Harrison, Gonzalez and Mendick could cover 2B, but they are all right handed and don't begin to address the lefty power shortage the Sox have. Kolten Wong looks like the best lefty free agent 2B, but he's 32 and declining. Adam Frazier has been subpar for San Diego and Seattle and is not an answer. 5. Jose Abreu. 1B. 2022. 144 games. 137 OPS+ 2021. 152 games. 124 OPS+ Contract. Was just under $20M, but he's a free agent next year at 36. Evaluation -- The ONLY Sox player who comes to work every day. He's the oldest regular, but has played 20 more games than AJ Pollock, 23 more than Andrew Vaughn, 48 more than Luis Robert, 54 more than Moncada, 65 more than Tim Anderson, and 73 more then Eloy Jimenez. This is the biggest problem with the White Sox -- they have only ONE position player who they can count on to play every day, and he's the oldest regular on the team and is a free agent. I'm going to end my analysis right here because Abreu tells the whole story. 1. Most Sox regulars cannot be relied on to stay A) healthy, and B) hit according to their expected hitting norms. 2. The Sox are built around Grandal, Moncada, Anderson, Robert, Jimenez, Abreu, and Vaughn. The best and most reliable of those players is a 1B/DH and a free agent. The first 5 guys are regularly injured and otherwise unable to match their hitting norms. If you bring back Abreu, you are still left with Jimenez, Vaughn, and Sheets, who should all be DH or 1B guys, but 2 of them have to play the field and weaken the defense. Plus, only one of them is a lefty. 3. It's not just the offense. On the pitching side, Lucas Giolito has regressed to being a sub-par starter. Johnny Cueto had a great bounce back year, but is a free agent, and can he be counted on next year? Dylan Cease is the ACE. Lance Lynn seems to be back to normal, but is older and has health issues. And Kopech seems okay, but his record was terrible and he's not fully stretched out or reliable to pitch an entire season. So that's 2 sold starters and a lot of question marks. 4. The bullpen looks like the best part of the team, especially if Crochet returns to form. Hendrix and Graveman are solid, Lopez has found his groove, Lambert has done quite well. Add back Crochet as a lefty and this is a strength. The bottom line is that the Sox can't really trade anyone for some reliable lefty starters who play good defense. They have Oscar Colas in the minors, but he's not ready for MLB. They could try some patchwork things, but it's not going to make Grandal, Moncada, Anderson, Robert and Jimenez into reliable everyday players. Of those 5, only Robert and Moncada play good defense. So, of course the Sox can let go of TLR (he should retire) and fire the hitting coach, but even if they had money they can't reliably win with this core. It's pretty sad as a Sox fan. But I think that's reality.
  11. I'm a fan of 2 main sports teams, the White Sox being one of them. I've been a fan since I switched off of the Cubs in 1970. I grew up in the Chicago area but haven't lived there since the mid 1970s. Thankfully the White Sox have won the World Series in my lifetime. (They didn't in my father's lifetime.) That 2005 season was magical in all respects. I wrote a 17-page tribute to that season mostly from memory. But I've found myself this season to have a very hard time watching the White Sox. This little run they've made once Tony LaRussa left for medical tests has been nice, but so much of the season was just painful. Whenever I start to watch a game, I find myself falling into griping and moaning about the Sox' many failings. Poor lineups, poor pitching, really bad hitting, swinging at bad pitches, defensive lapses, etc. The negative seemed to usually outweigh the positives, even in Sox wins, which have often been tight affairs. My other team is in football. It's not the Bears. They were once very good, but have been through an exceedingly long championship dry spell. Like the Sox, they had a poor offseason and it's coming home to roost. Which leads me to pen this post. Is it really worth being a team sports fan? I'd have to say the only real positive I can think of is that it's been part of how I've bonded with my son. But I wonder if that part could have happened if we didn't get so caught up in any particular team. Otherwise, I'm mostly in a place of negativity and stress about my teams, without a whole lot of joy. Should I just abandon the whole affair? I used to have a basketball team I followed and rooted for, and I gave that up, and the NBA in general, a couple decades ago. Should I do the same for baseball and the NFL? What is your fandom experience?
  12. The Sox have to clear out the underperformers, especially the highest priced ones. It has to start with Moncada and Grandal. Moncada was a 4 WAR player in 2021, and Grandal was a 3.7 WAR player. But is that possible again? I don't see it. Just have to get another team to take as much of the contracts as possible and move on.
  13. Gavin Sheets still has less than a full year's worth of ABs. For the season, he's the ONLY lefty on the Sox who has hit. Grandal and Moncada are at 68 and 66 wRC+, respectively. Sheets is at 111. In the last month, Sheets' OPS is above 1.000. His wRC+ in August is 187. He's still not a full time player, as his splits against lefties is very bad. And he's not a right fielder. But what are the Sox going to do? Sheets is a cheap, under control, power hitting lefty who is starting to figure it out after a slow start to the year. His upside is still pretty strong. Ideally, he'd be part of a DH or 1B platoon. But the Sox also have Abreu, Vaughn, and Eloy, who are best as DH/1B players, and none of them are good platoon candidates. So, good luck figuring it out. Just know that Sheets should be part of the solution because the Sox have NO other lefties hitting even league average. ********* Another thread should be -- what do to with Moncada and Grandal? If I were the Sox, I'd seek salary dump trades for both, getting as much salary relief as possible to get them off the team. Both might be able to bounce back, so there might be takers.
  14. Gavin Sheets is the only Sox hitter who is hitting right now. He has a .946 OPS over the last month. He still has less than a year of ABs. If you dump him, he's going to rake for some other team. I'd say he's our best left handed hitter, BY FAR. He's really our ONLY left handed hitter, with Grandal and Moncada less than worthless.
  15. Hendriks has blown too many saves, including the 0-2 HR pitch he served up in Baltimore after Engels dropped the foul pop fly. That was really the death knell game. They haven't won since. Kopech has won 4 games. He usually pitches just well enough to lose. Ironically, the day I posted this, Graveman lost to the Dbacks.
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