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The White Sox cannot be fixed by next season


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3 minutes ago, soulfly said:

Depends.  Is Hahn still with the club next year?

Of course. Do you know how hard it is to build a 2nd place team? What an accomplishment. He tells ownership this every day to remind them what a good job he’s done.

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People are crazy. The team had a crazy amount of injuries and certain players drastically underperformed their career norms and very likely the division will go down to the last week either way. 

Did this team underperform up to this point in the season? 100%. Is the team completely broken. That is a very long stretch. 

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1 hour ago, kwill said:

People are crazy. The team had a crazy amount of injuries and certain players drastically underperformed their career norms and very likely the division will go down to the last week either way. 

Did this team underperform up to this point in the season? 100%. Is the team completely broken. That is a very long stretch. 

I tend to agree here.  This division is still bad.  The Sox had major injuries from ST thru Sept and still right in the race until the end.  The Guardians literally made it this far with almost zero injuries of consequence.  (Sure a couple back end starters went down, but that’s about it).

As badly as this season went we could easily see many of the following take place and be right back in the 92+ wins territory:

1) New Manager makes a difference / team that comes into season more hungry and less arrogant

2) Slight rebound by Giolito 

3) More games for Eloy as strictly DH

4) Improved Kopech taking a step to a solid #2-3 type starter 

5) More games played by Robert and TA 

6) Vaughn continues to improve and adds even more power 


My concerns for 2023 is the bullpen (lots of age there).. and finding a way to improve the defense enough while not hurting the offense too much.  All assuming payroll doesn’t increase.

I don’t see a WS contender, but this division is still very winnable the next couple years.

 

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1 hour ago, kwill said:

People are crazy. The team had a crazy amount of injuries and certain players drastically underperformed their career norms and very likely the division will go down to the last week either way. 

Did this team underperform up to this point in the season? 100%. Is the team completely broken. That is a very long stretch. 

I tend to agree with you and I feel some still do not understand the economics of this team and why we are not the Dodgers or Cardinals. The Rays might be a closer example but even that has some limitations in this market. This rebuild is important to this team and I am withholding any judgment until after the Cleveland series. Not just how the team performs but how well the Sox draw in the most important series of the year.

The Sox currently rank 18th in average attendance... during a season the team has never been more than 5 games out of a division lead. The Sox also operate in a market unlike most other teams, only the Mets and Angels play in similar situations and... they both outdraw the Sox. This has always been the albatross around the team's success. Obviously to draw this team needs to be a serious contender.

This offseason will be tricky for any GM. Yes, Hahn has made mistakes and, yes, I am completely unsure he can right this ship but the Cubs (yeah, you don't even want to look at what they draw...) are in a position to spend money this offseason and potentially suck all the oxygen out of Chicago this offseason. Simply, the Sox do not compete solely with the American League for a pennant but also the Cubs for market share. It's why this rebuild is so important, to maintain a sense of relevancy. We have some underperforming players and others that just can't seem to stay healthy but the core of this team is, hopefully, solid. Some tweaks. New management. Just have to hope for the best and that 2022 is the anomaly to the years afterwards.

Lastly, for those who want to let Abreu walk, expect him in a Minnesota or Cleveland uniform next year. Not saying that is going to happen but it is the risk you take when you want to let a franchise player walk.

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1 hour ago, soxfaninfl said:

I tend to agree with you and I feel some still do not understand the economics of this team and why we are not the Dodgers or Cardinals. The Rays might be a closer example but even that has some limitations in this market. This rebuild is important to this team and I am withholding any judgment until after the Cleveland series. Not just how the team performs but how well the Sox draw in the most important series of the year.

The Sox currently rank 18th in average attendance... during a season the team has never been more than 5 games out of a division lead. The Sox also operate in a market unlike most other teams, only the Mets and Angels play in similar situations and... they both outdraw the Sox. This has always been the albatross around the team's success. Obviously to draw this team needs to be a serious contender.

This offseason will be tricky for any GM. Yes, Hahn has made mistakes and, yes, I am completely unsure he can right this ship but the Cubs (yeah, you don't even want to look at what they draw...) are in a position to spend money this offseason and potentially suck all the oxygen out of Chicago this offseason. Simply, the Sox do not compete solely with the American League for a pennant but also the Cubs for market share. It's why this rebuild is so important, to maintain a sense of relevancy. We have some underperforming players and others that just can't seem to stay healthy but the core of this team is, hopefully, solid. Some tweaks. New management. Just have to hope for the best and that 2022 is the anomaly to the years afterwards.

Lastly, for those who want to let Abreu walk, expect him in a Minnesota or Cleveland uniform next year. Not saying that is going to happen but it is the risk you take when you want to let a franchise player walk.

I'm with you on a lot of this, but disagree wholeheartedly that the Cardinals are not the team we should emulate or economically can match. The White Sox and Cardinals have had similar payrolls (sans the three "tanking" seasons), and the White Sox do not have a large market team like the Cubs in their division.

The highest payrolls by decade for the Cardinals are $100M (2008), $163M (2019) and $163M (2021).

The highest payrolls by decade for the White Sox are $121M (2008), $128M (2011) and $193M (2022).

MLB Annual Payroll Ranks (World Series Years in Bold Italics, Division Titles in Bold, Tanking Years Stricken):

Cardinals (2000-2022): 2000s (11, 9, 13, 8, 9, 6, 11, 10, 12, 132010s (12, 10, 8, 12, 14, 12, 10, 14, 10, 72020s (10, 10, 13)

White Sox (2000-2022): 2000s (25, 14, 18, 22, 14, 13, 5, 5, 5, 11) 2010s (7, 12, 11, 23, 15, 16, 23, 29, 262020s (17, 15, 7)

The reason the Cardinals are consistently successful is the fact they have always had a solid organization. Ownership doesn't meddle in day to day or engage in feuds and pettiness, they hire the best front office available, and they have a scouting and development organization in place that identifies, develops and promotes quality cost effective players. They can also identify and trade for quality ML players in their prime (Goldschmidt, Arenado).

The White Sox don't have any of that. The White Sox need that. It's the missing piece. It's the piece Cleveland and Tampa has so they can compete with a fraction of the White Sox and Cardinals payrolls. Hahn had 10 years to build an organization and has not come through. Kenny didn't either during his 12 years. 

The Cardinals consistently call up mid round draft picks who come up and kick ass.

  • Where is White Sox Tommy Edman (2016 6th Round, 6.5 bWAR)?
  • Where is White Sox Brendan Donvan (2018 7th Round, 3.2 bWAR)?
  • Hell, where is White Sox Lars Nootbaar (2018 8th Round, 1.9 bWAR in 94 Games)?

Nearly all of the White Sox young core was identified and largely developed externally, obtained when Hahn pawned off everything in 2016. The fact that Hahn wasn't able to supplement in part internally, and filling in the remaining gaps via free agency, is the core reason the Sox rebuild is stuck in neutral.

I'll follow this up with a post or thread on how the 2022 White Sox were constructed.

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9 hours ago, Balta1701 said:

The only guys they lost for the full season were Mendick and Crochet. Thats nothing. Go compare to Detroit and Minnesota and get back to me. Detroit at one point had their top 5 starters on the IL. How would the White Sox have endured that?

What players of significance have the Guardians lost due to injury? They gotta be the healthiest team in baseball this year.

To say the Sox haven’t been hit hard by injuries is disingenuous. Guys like Robert, Moncada, Kopech, Lynn, and Grandal spent good portions of their seasons playing with nagging injures even if they weren’t on the IL at the time.

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4 hours ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

What players of significance have the Guardians lost due to injury? They gotta be the healthiest team in baseball this year.

To say the Sox haven’t been hit hard by injuries is disingenuous. Guys like Robert, Moncada, Kopech, Lynn, and Grandal spent good portions of their seasons playing with nagging injures even if they weren’t on the IL at the time.

I will totally agree with this. The Guardians have been extremely healthy. There is a strong chance they will be more banged up next year.

However, I stress this as well - here's an exercise on the average roster age this year done at the trade deadline. The White Sox, 4th oldest roster in MLB. The Guardians? Youngest. In general, health should go along with roster age. 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/236223/major-league-baseball-clubs-by-average-age-of-players/

The White Sox have been hit by injuries, but there's fewer injuries than one should have expected given the age of the roster. Out of the league, the White Sox are roughly in the middle in terms of injuries, which is actually better than one should expect given their ages. Out of the division, the Guardians have been the healthiest, the White Sox are in the middle, and the Twins and Tigers have been utterly devastated by injuries. 

Did the White Sox lose some games because of injuries this year? Yes. Did that cost the White Sox the AL Central? No. Was it more injuries than one should have expected? Absolutely not.

Could the White Sox be healthier next year - yes it's possible, but a prediction that they will be healthier is a prediction that one of the oldest rosters in MLB will be one of the healthiest rosters in MLB. That is at the least unlikely - and the only way that I see it being true is if the coaches and training staff are in fact really bad, and they're all replaced.

But personally, I can't wait until I get to hear how the 2024 team is certain to be healthier than 2023 and that the injuries are finally past them. 

On 10/20/2021 at 10:40 AM, Balta1701 said:

And just to repeat my part, you cannot look at Eloy Jimenez and Adam Eaton and say “how on earth did these guys all get hurt!” You may now add Engel and Robert to that list. When guys get hurt every year, you can’t say “how did our studs get hurt no one could have expected this!” Same sentiment applied to the starting rotation this year, and look what happened in August and September.

In three years, your excuse is going to be “no one could have predicted these guys being hurt every year and it’s a shame but now too many guys are expensive so we have to rebuild, but I have full confidence in the same people to do it right this time!”

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They are going to have to play better defense. They are going to have to hit more homers. I don't know if things could have gone much worse than they did for them this year, and I don't know if things could have gone much better than they have for Cleveland, yet, here we are, and the Sox still have a shot. Not a big one, but if somehow they sweep them, the pressure will switch to being on Cleveland. Unless JR cuts the payroll drastically and LaRussa comes back, I can't see how the Sox won't be the division favorites next season, unless Hahn does worse this coming offseason than he did the last one.

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On 9/18/2022 at 5:08 PM, VAfan said:

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.

I can't argue with much of anything here. Nice wrapup of the team and the future. I do disagree about the bullpen being good. I feel it's not except for the closer Liam who is great. Sox future looks very bleak to me. I still say we're like the Orioles when they stunk every year for a long while. Sox are gonna be in a period of lousiness under Hahn. He's constructed a team that can't win anything of note.

The Sox's chances of being an overachieving team and winning big are not good cause we have a bad manager in Tony and apparently a horrific training staff considering the injuries. Hitting, and pitching coaches also seem abysmal along with the 3B coach who to be fair did seem to improve as the season went on.

I like your post but am sad as a fan. Sox future is very bleak IMO.

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2 hours ago, Chick Mercedes said:

Too bad Abreu wasn’t traded while they had the chance. Still can hopefully dump Moncada. Move Eloy to DH full time, get speed and defense into the outfield. If Andrus stays, move Anderson to second base. Begin prioritizing speed, defense,  and smart baseball.

The priority is home runs.

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23 hours ago, Balta1701 said:

I will totally agree with this. The Guardians have been extremely healthy. There is a strong chance they will be more banged up next year.

However, I stress this as well - here's an exercise on the average roster age this year done at the trade deadline. The White Sox, 4th oldest roster in MLB. The Guardians? Youngest. In general, health should go along with roster age. 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/236223/major-league-baseball-clubs-by-average-age-of-players/

The White Sox have been hit by injuries, but there's fewer injuries than one should have expected given the age of the roster. Out of the league, the White Sox are roughly in the middle in terms of injuries, which is actually better than one should expect given their ages. Out of the division, the Guardians have been the healthiest, the White Sox are in the middle, and the Twins and Tigers have been utterly devastated by injuries. 

Did the White Sox lose some games because of injuries this year? Yes. Did that cost the White Sox the AL Central? No. Was it more injuries than one should have expected? Absolutely not.

Could the White Sox be healthier next year - yes it's possible, but a prediction that they will be healthier is a prediction that one of the oldest rosters in MLB will be one of the healthiest rosters in MLB. That is at the least unlikely - and the only way that I see it being true is if the coaches and training staff are in fact really bad, and they're all replaced.

But personally, I can't wait until I get to hear how the 2024 team is certain to be healthier than 2023 and that the injuries are finally past them. 

It still doesn’t capture the players playing with more than just “normal” injuries that a lot of guys play through. I don’t think there’s another team in baseball that would keep running Robert out there over the past month when you see how much that wrist is impacting his play. I get the feeling Kopech, Kelly, Grandal, and Moncada should have spent more time on the IL than they actually did for most other teams as well because the organization was so damn desperate/stubborn.

And I’m not sure there is a correlation between age and frequency of injuries for the White Sox at least. Their younger players are the ones that seem injured the most - Eloy, Robert, Moncada, Anderson, Kopech. These guys are all in their mid/upper 20s…

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1 minute ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

It still doesn’t capture the players playing with more than just “normal” injuries that a lot of guys play through. I don’t think there’s another team in baseball that would keep running Robert out there over the past month when you see how much that wrist is impacting his play. I get the feeling Kopech, Kelly, Grandal, and Moncada should have spent more time on the IL than they actually did for most other teams as well because the organization was so damn desperate/stubborn.

And I’m not sure there is a correlation between age and frequency of injuries for the White Sox at least. Their younger players are the ones that seem injured the most - Eloy, Robert, Moncada, Anderson, Kopech. These guys are all in their mid/upper 20s…

But those nagging injuries in most cases have still turned into IL trips, with the exception of Robert who is just dead. They could have IL'd Vaughn when he first had his bruise and saved a week. Robert aggravated his wrist injury because they didn't put him on the IL. 

And on the second point, if someone is trying to convince me that the White Sox will be healthier next year - "the few young guys they have are injured all the time" really, really doesn't help that argument. 

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18 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

But those nagging injuries in most cases have still turned into IL trips, with the exception of Robert who is just dead. They could have IL'd Vaughn when he first had his bruise and saved a week. Robert aggravated his wrist injury because they didn't put him on the IL. 

And on the second point, if someone is trying to convince me that the White Sox will be healthier next year - "the few young guys they have are injured all the time" really, really doesn't help that argument. 

I’m not saying they will be healthier next season. They are what they are. My original point was that Cleveland has been absurdly healthy and that’s the difference between the two teams to this point. Really that simple. Also, Tony vs Terry probably accounts for a 4-5 game swing on its own. Having someone like Cairo in place of Tony narrows that gap further.

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4 minutes ago, JUSTgottaBELIEVE said:

I’m not saying they will be healthier next season. They are what they are. My original point was that Cleveland has been absurdly healthy and that’s the difference between the two teams to this point. Really that simple. Also, Tony vs Terry probably accounts for a 4-5 game swing on its own. Having someone like Cairo in place of Tony narrows that gap further.

This conversation literally started because of a poster suggesting they would be healthier next year and arguing that the White Sox were exceptionally banged up this year.

Neither of those is the case. For a thread about next year, if you're planning for the team to be healthier next year, and then they're in the middle of the pack in injuries again, I don't want to hear how "no one could have predicted this rash of injuries" for the 3rd straight year, but I know they will - because people even complained about injuries in '15-'16 when they were the healthiest team in the league. People will always complain about injuries, but the context says the White Sox weren't particularly banged up this year.

The White Sox have the 2nd fewest IL days in the division this year - even if you assume they should be higher because the front office is a bunch of dunces who can't figure out that a guy should be on the IL despite the fact that he's swinging one handed, that isn't a team that deserves to complain about injuries. The only guys they lost for the season are Crochet and Mendick. Right now, the Twins have their top 4 starters all hurt, where would the White Sox be if Giolito and Martin were their top 2 starters? The Tigers were in the same boat for much of the year.

Cleveland has definitely been very healthy, healthiest team in the division, but given that they're also the youngest team in baseball that level of health may well be sustainable next year. Furthermore, unlike the White Sox, Cleveland has multiple guys at AAA who can either step in to fill roles for them next year or who could be traded to fill holes when they pop up. On top of that, the other 3 teams in the division could possibly be healthier as well, and they have more room for improvement on health than the White Sox. 

The idea that this team is going to be healthier next year and that is going to be a key part of them being better should receive a ton of skepticism every time it is stated. It is unlikely to be true and not supported by anything other than anecdotes. People simply don't understand how many injuries an average team suffers over the course of a MLB season.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

This conversation literally started because of a poster suggesting they would be healthier next year and arguing that the White Sox were exceptionally banged up this year.

Neither of those is the case. For a thread about next year, if you're planning for the team to be healthier next year, and then they're in the middle of the pack in injuries again, I don't want to hear how "no one could have predicted this rash of injuries" for the 3rd straight year, but I know they will - because people even complained about injuries in '15-'16 when they were the healthiest team in the league. People will always complain about injuries, but the context says the White Sox weren't particularly banged up this year.

The White Sox have the 2nd fewest IL days in the division this year - even if you assume they should be higher because the front office is a bunch of dunces who can't figure out that a guy should be on the IL despite the fact that he's swinging one handed, that isn't a team that deserves to complain about injuries. The only guys they lost for the season are Crochet and Mendick. Right now, the Twins have their top 4 starters all hurt, where would the White Sox be if Giolito and Martin were their top 2 starters? The Tigers were in the same boat for much of the year.

Cleveland has definitely been very healthy, healthiest team in the division, but given that they're also the youngest team in baseball that level of health may well be sustainable next year. Furthermore, unlike the White Sox, Cleveland has multiple guys at AAA who can either step in to fill roles for them next year or who could be traded to fill holes when they pop up. On top of that, the other 3 teams in the division could possibly be healthier as well, and they have more room for improvement on health than the White Sox. 

The idea that this team is going to be healthier next year and that is going to be a key part of them being better should receive a ton of skepticism every time it is stated. It is unlikely to be true and not supported by anything other than anecdotes. People simply don't understand how many injuries an average team suffers over the course of a MLB season.

 

 

But there appears to be very little correlation between that injury scatter plot and the average age of rosters you linked earlier. Mets are the oldest team in baseball but about average within the scatter plot. Yankees second oldest but one of the top 10 healthiest teams (even healthier than Cleveland). Nationals third oldest and third least healthiest. White Sox fourth oldest and middle of the pack. So where’s the correlation? My guess is there’s very little correlation in MLB unlike NFL and NBA because MLB is far less physically demanding compared to the other major sports. It’s less of a sprint and more of a marathon. Young dudes run sprints, old dudes run marathons.

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And probably even more important than the sheer number of days on IL is the value lost. Notice the Sox bubble is MUCH larger than Cleveland’s bubble. No one cares if Leury, Ruiz, and Keuchel are racking up IL time but when you have important players missing time it matters. I don’t think cleveland holds up if Bieber and JRam miss significant time regardless of their minor league depth.

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23 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

This conversation literally started because of a poster suggesting they would be healthier next year and arguing that the White Sox were exceptionally banged up this year.

Neither of those is the case. For a thread about next year, if you're planning for the team to be healthier next year, and then they're in the middle of the pack in injuries again, I don't want to hear how "no one could have predicted this rash of injuries" for the 3rd straight year, but I know they will - because people even complained about injuries in '15-'16 when they were the healthiest team in the league. People will always complain about injuries, but the context says the White Sox weren't particularly banged up this year.

The White Sox have the 2nd fewest IL days in the division this year - even if you assume they should be higher because the front office is a bunch of dunces who can't figure out that a guy should be on the IL despite the fact that he's swinging one handed, that isn't a team that deserves to complain about injuries. The only guys they lost for the season are Crochet and Mendick. Right now, the Twins have their top 4 starters all hurt, where would the White Sox be if Giolito and Martin were their top 2 starters? The Tigers were in the same boat for much of the year.

Cleveland has definitely been very healthy, healthiest team in the division, but given that they're also the youngest team in baseball that level of health may well be sustainable next year. Furthermore, unlike the White Sox, Cleveland has multiple guys at AAA who can either step in to fill roles for them next year or who could be traded to fill holes when they pop up. On top of that, the other 3 teams in the division could possibly be healthier as well, and they have more room for improvement on health than the White Sox. 

The idea that this team is going to be healthier next year and that is going to be a key part of them being better should receive a ton of skepticism every time it is stated. It is unlikely to be true and not supported by anything other than anecdotes. People simply don't understand how many injuries an average team suffers over the course of a MLB season.

 

 

Again, counting IL days doesn't tell the whole story.  The Sox have lost extremely meaningful players for long stretches.  Their supporting cast has actually been pretty healthy outside of Mendick. The Twins, for example, IL day list is loaded with guys that wouldn't even be on the active roster.  Sure, they've had injuiries to key players lately, but if you actually analyze the IL list and back out the guys that aren't anything but backend roster role players, it evens out a lot.

The Sox have lost TA, Eloy, Moncada and Yaz for long stretches of time this season.  All huge parts of the team.  They've also lost Robert for longer than his IL days say because he's been hurt since mid August but hasn't hit the IL.  AV and Pollock also have had IL stints.  Then on the pitching side we lost Lynn for 2 months, we lost Giolito for several starts and he hasn't really been himself all season. Kopech has had IL stints.  Bummer was lost for most the season.  Crochet lost all season.  Lost Liam for awhile. 

Sox players that are not actually good have been very healthy outside of Mendick.  

Counting IL days is one way to look at it.  But its not the only way, and it assumes each IL day is the same no matter how good the player is.  I know you love to give every other team the benefit of the doubt and give the Sox none, but the Sox have been crushed by injury this year.  There is really no debate to that whether you care to agree or not. 

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