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It's time to put Jose out to pasture


ron883
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26 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

The Sox’s expensive bullpen has a 4.05 ERA good for 21st in the league. The starters’ ERA is at least 15th. Both have been a problem. 

Sox are 27th in runs.

I understand @he gone. 's hope that expected outcomes have trailed actual outcomes for the Sox have reason for fans to believe this can turn around. That said, offense has been the primary problem the first six weeks.

Would say starters have exceeded expectations (Kopech and Cease) in light of Lynn not throwing a pitch, Lucas out a few IL stints, the poor defense behind the staff best illustrated in Dallas' Cleveland start.

https://www.mlb.com/stats/team

Runs: 27th, OBS: 25th; OBP: 28Th.

 

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On 5/13/2022 at 2:38 PM, ron883 said:

.616 OPS, 87 wRC+, sub .300 OBP. Jose has been a decrepit pile of garbage this season. It's no surprise since he is pretty darn old. 

How long are we going to play him EVERY single game while batting him 3rd or 4th? When Vaughn returns, he should absolutely bat ahead of Jose. Tony's veteran privilege is a fucking joke. I imagine Jose could suck all year and Tony would play him EVERY game at the 3rd or 4th spot in the lineup. An even worse concern is if Jerry signs him for a couple more years because "loyalty", just like he did with Konerko.

Ron, it’s old. 

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8 hours ago, caulfield12 said:

We will all know by the end of June/early July if he's toast or not...they're going to have to play Vaughn/Sheets at first and Eloy in left if that's still the case.

I imagine they’ll give him every opportunity to break out of it, even if it would benefit the team to do otherwise.

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Gonna be interesting when Eloy is back.  Right now only 4 guys on the team look like major leaguers — Robert, Anderson, Moncada, and Vaughn.  Early in the year, TLR was sitting Vaughn whenever possible, but he can’t afford to do that now.  If Abreu starts hitting, then the Sox will sacrifice defense for offense to get Shets in against RH pitching.  But if not, Engel and Pollock will play more at Jose’s expense.  Also, looks like the Grandal to DH experiment is not going to work out.  However it works out with Jose, this offense needs a massive rethink.

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I know certain posters get a lot of rope around here because of shared history or whatever reason.  But I think it’s genuinely unfortunate and counterproductive that so much of the commentary on the site is driven by trolls.

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Apparently I've missed the whole history with Ron and Abreu, but he's really not far off with this take.  It was pointed out on this very site that Abreu made some surprising, uncharacteristic comments this past offseason intimating he may not finish in Chicago and he may be losing some passion for the game.

He 100% looks like a guy who has lost passion.  I'm very hopeful he can come back around but this reminds me very much of 2013 Konerko...dude just fell off a cliff in production.  We kept waiting and waiting for him to find his groove and it just never happened.  Came back the next season, still couldn't hit, and retired.  

Much like Konerko, Abreu isn't going to ask to be dropped in the order or get more rest.  TLR is going to have to have a difficult conversation with Jose if he is still scuffling in the middle of June....a competitive team can't afford so little production out of a spot in the top half of the lineup.  

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Posted (edited)
On 5/15/2022 at 12:01 PM, 35thstreetswarm said:

I know certain posters get a lot of rope around here because of shared history or whatever reason.  But I think it’s genuinely unfortunate and counterproductive that so much of the commentary on the site is driven by trolls.

Bad post. Generally if somebody has a different opinion than the vast majority, he/she is considered a troll. Unfair. Not all people have to agree for a discussion to be valuable.

Edited by greg775
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3 minutes ago, greg775 said:

Bad post. Generally if somebody has a different opinion than the vast majority, he/she is considered a troll. Unfair. Not all people have to agree for a discussion to be valuable.

I don't think you understand the definition of the term "troll."  

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A few reasons for optimism: 

1) Jose's K rate is better than his career rate, and so is his walk rate. This means he's actually seeing the ball well still. 

2) Jose's BABIP is absurdly low. 

3) Even though his GB% is way up, his hard hit rate is way above career norms. 

This all suggests to me that there may be nothing fundamentally wrong with Jose except that he's hitting hard grounders in the range of the fielders against him, at what appears to be a very unlucky clip over a relatively small sample size. 

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Posted (edited)

Wasn't sure where to post this, but did anyone think it was odd that both Sheets and Vaughn started in RF in outfields that also featured Pollock, the guy that we acquired to play RF? Could that be a sign of things to come when Eloy comes back? I mean DHing Eloy, having Pollock at his natural spot in LF and then throwing Vaughn or Sheets out in RF for most of the time?

Edit: this looks like it was the case May 9th against the Indians, against the Cubs May 3rd, Angels May 1st, and possibly a couple more times if I keep looking.

Edited by Bob Sacamano
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7 minutes ago, Bob Sacamano said:

Wasn't sure where to post this, but did anyone think it was odd that both Sheets and Vaughn started in RF in outfields that also featured Pollock, the guy that we acquired to play RF? Could that be a sign of things to come when Eloy comes back? I mean DHing Eloy, having Pollock at his natural spot in LF and then throwing Vaughn or Sheets out in RF for most of the time?

Edit: this looks like it was the case May 9th against the Indians, against the Cubs May 3rd, Angels May 1st, and possibly a couple more times if I keep looking.

I think the idea of having Sheets out in right that often is pretty atrocious, which means its probably what this team is thinking.

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1 minute ago, Spumoni said:

I think the idea of having Sheets out in right that often is pretty atrocious, which means its probably what this team is thinking.

Lol I don't disagree. Neither Vaughn or Sheets should be in RF. Just thought it was odd they both played there over Pollock.

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40 minutes ago, Bob Sacamano said:

Wasn't sure where to post this, but did anyone think it was odd that both Sheets and Vaughn started in RF in outfields that also featured Pollock, the guy that we acquired to play RF? Could that be a sign of things to come when Eloy comes back? I mean DHing Eloy, having Pollock at his natural spot in LF and then throwing Vaughn or Sheets out in RF for most of the time?

The team may have publicly stated Pollock was acquired to play RF, but he has never been a RF and was exposed as uncomfortable the few games he played out there, including costing the White Sox the game in Detroit.

Nobody else was able or willing to take Kimbrel's unnecessary contract, and the Sox had little leverage as a result. Would have made more sense to pay the $1M buyout and use the money to sign or acquire an actual player with at minimum acceptable experience in RF.

Pollock is the best defensive LF on the team (beyond Robert or Engel who need to be in CF/RF). I'd prefer Eloy at DH permanently, but I don't see the Sox forcing that issue, at least in 2022. Pollock, Sheets and Vaughn will all lose significant playing time as a result, barring further injuries.

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Jose this year:

.275 Expected Batting Average (about as high as he's ever been)

.523 Expected Slugging Percentage (2nd highest after 2020)

94.3 Average Exit Velocity (highest of career), in the 98% percentile in all of baseball

9.6% Barrel Rate (career 9.5%)

55.8% Hard Hit Rate (highest of career), in the 98% percentile in all of baseball

17.2% K rate - lowest of career

10.3% Walk rate - highest of career

 

There's no indication Jose has lost any steam, he's walking more, striking out less, hitting the ball as hard as ever. He just appears to be incredibly unlucky. Historically Jose has generated a lot of his power production off fastballs, this year his SLG on fastballs is .412 with an expected SLG of .599. Thus to be more precise he's been incredibly unlucky on hard hit fastballs.

 

Here's already had 7 pitches that had a hit probability over 90% go for outs. In all of 2021 he 14 pitches that had a 90% hit probability go for outs. He keeps his current bad luck pace up this year and he'll end up with 33-34 hard hits balls that are hits 90% of the time.

 

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1 hour ago, mac9001 said:

Jose this year:

.275 Expected Batting Average (about as high as he's ever been)

.523 Expected Slugging Percentage (2nd highest after 2020)

94.3 Average Exit Velocity (highest of career), in the 98% percentile in all of baseball

9.6% Barrel Rate (career 9.5%)

55.8% Hard Hit Rate (highest of career), in the 98% percentile in all of baseball

17.2% K rate - lowest of career

10.3% Walk rate - highest of career

 

There's no indication Jose has lost any steam, he's walking more, striking out less, hitting the ball as hard as ever. He just appears to be incredibly unlucky. Historically Jose has generated a lot of his power production off fastballs, this year his SLG on fastballs is .412 with an expected SLG of .599. Thus to be more precise he's been incredibly unlucky on hard hit fastballs.

 

Here's already had 7 pitches that had a hit probability over 90% go for outs. In all of 2021 he 14 pitches that had a 90% hit probability go for outs. He keeps his current bad luck pace up this year and he'll end up with 33-34 hard hits balls that are hits 90% of the time.

 

While these are true, there's also some serious weirdness in Jose Abreu's numbers this year. 

Abreu is showing a career low in launch angle of 9.5 degrees which is on the lower side of the league. 

Abreu has a high ground ball rate, in the highest 10% of the league. Highest of his career.

Abreu is at the very bottom of the league in line drive rate. Lowest of his career by almost a factor of 2.

There is absolutely an indication that Jose Abreu is doing something quite screwed up at the plate. He may be hitting the ball as hard as he has in his career, he is also hitting those balls on the ground or hitting them straight up rather than driving them. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Bob Sacamano said:

Lol I don't disagree. Neither Vaughn or Sheets should be in RF. Just thought it was odd they both played there over Pollock.

Odd = Tony's lineups.  at least he got the outfield right. Engel should be in RF, Pollock in LF and Robert in CF, no if's and's or but's about it.  It's called defensive positioning.

Edited by A-Train to 35th
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Balta1701 said:

While these are true, there's also some serious weirdness in Jose Abreu's numbers this year. 

Abreu is showing a career low in launch angle of 9.5 degrees which is on the lower side of the league. 

Abreu has a high ground ball rate, in the highest 10% of the league. Highest of his career.

Abreu is at the very bottom of the league in line drive rate. Lowest of his career by almost a factor of 2.

There is absolutely an indication that Jose Abreu is doing something quite screwed up at the plate. He may be hitting the ball as hard as he has in his career, he is also hitting those balls on the ground or hitting them straight up rather than driving them. 

League average on grounders is about .240, he's at .196.

League average on fly balls is .220, he's at .179.

He should be roughly 40-50 points higher on his average just on the grounder and fly balls. Given how hard he's hitting the ball he should be outperforming the league average on both grounders and fly balls. 

Where he is struggling and why the power output is lower is his line drive rate is down to about 12.5% (career avg is 20.6%). Expected average on a line drive is about .700. 

So he's hitting most of his balls on the ground or in the air but not on a line. The outcomes on those should be better than what we've seen, but his HR and double output is a cause for concern as he's not hitting line drives. This is still a relatively small sample size. If he continues to hit the ball hard and his line drive rate recovers to what we've seen in his career he numbers will stabilize. What makes the numbers even more stringing is his line drive rate drop to 9.1% at home, and if you keep slicing it down his line drive rates on hard hit balls is only 19% (usually over 30%) and medium EV balls at home it's only 3.7%, historically on medium EV balls his line drive rates would be over 20%. There's just an insane disparity based on his career numbers, expected outcomes and basic probabilities. 

Overall it's actually quite striking how the Sox are underperforming their career baseline line drive rates. 

Line Drive Rates

Abreau -- Career: 20.6%, Best: 23.6%, 2022: 12.5%

Robert -- Career: 23.3%, Best: 26.4%, 2022: 21.2%

Moncada -- Career: 23.4%, Best: 26.6%, 2022: 14.3%

Grandal -- Career: 18.6%, Best: 22.9, 2022: 14.9%

Pollock -- Career: 19.8%, Best: 23.3%, 2022: 19.7%

Vaugh -- Career: 19.5%, Best: 19.9%, 2022: 16.7% 

Harrison - Career: 22.3%, Best: 25.1%, 2022: 8.1%

I guess not hitting line drives has become contagious. 

 

The Sox are now 28th in line drive rate.

 

Edited by mac9001
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