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2022 Cleveland vs. White Sox - The Defense Rests


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Breaking down team statistics on FanGraphs, the primary reason for Cleveland's lead over the White Sox is the fact that their defense is Top 5 and the White Sox is Bottom 5. This is driven primarily by the White Sox' league worst outfield, and also a big drop in Tim Anderson's individual metrics year over year. The Sox did improve in catching, though much of the increase was traded away when the Sox swapped McGwire for yet another old ineffective RP with a multi-year contract.

Pitching: Cleveland & Chicago have the exact 15.5 fWAR, tied for 10th across The MLB.

  • SP Chicago 12th (10.9 fWAR), Cleveland 15th (10.0 fWAR)
  • RP Cleveland 5th (5.6 fWAR), Chicago 10th (4.6 fWAR)

Position Players: Overall, the teams are middle 10 across total fWAR, Cleveland 14th (18.6) & Chicago 19th (16.0).

  • Hitting fWAR: Chicago has a slight advantage, 14th overall vs. Cleveland is 19th.
  • Fielding fWAR: This is the primary difference this season. Cleveland is 3rd and Chicago 27th.

Fielding Components:

  • UZR Ultimate Zone Rating: Cleveland 36.8 (2nd) vs. Chicago -39.4 (30th)
  • DRS Defensive Runs SavedCleveland + 68 (3rd) vs. Chicago -23 (24th)
  • ARM OF Arm Runs / Throwing: Cleveland 8.3 (3rd) vs. Chicago -14.9 (30th)

Positional Breakdown:

  • Similar: First Base (Cleveland 5th, White Sox 11th); Shortstop (White Sox 21st, Cleveland 25th); Third Base (Cleveland 9th, White Sox 10th)
  • Advantage White Sox: Catcher (Includes Pitch Framing White Sox 2nd vs. Cleveland 13th)
  • Advantage Cleveland: Second Base (Cleveland 3rd, White Sox 21st); Right Field (Cleveland 17th, White Sox 30th); Centerfield (Cleveland 1st, White Sox 26th); Left Field (Cleveland 11th, White Sox 23rd).

2021 vs. 2022 - Significant Internal Changes

Catching is the one area with significant improvement (12th to 2nd), driven primarily by replacing Zack Collins with Seby Zavala and and The Departed Reese McGwire.

First Base (11th) and Third Base (10th both seasons) remained unchanged year over year. Second Base (23rd to 21st)

White Sox Positions featuring a Year over Year Decline:

  • Shortstop - Sox dropped from 10th to 21st this season, driven by both the quality of Tim Anderson's fielding (9.0 2021 vs. 1.0 2022). Elvis Andrus is an upgrade over 2021 options, and a defensive upgrade from Tim (ranked 7th last year vs. Tim's 12th). Tim needs to improve his fielding efforts or perhaps shift positions.
  • Right Field - Went from bad (21st) to league worst (30th). They must never, ever play Vaughn or Sheets in RF ever again. Period.
  • Center Field - Luis missed time both years, but also suffered a regression this season, from a slightly above average overall CF to below average. This drove the Sox to regress from 19th last season to 26th this season. Luis needs to get health, but also needs to significantly improve his efforts, improve play near the wall, and return to the promising defensive CF he showed glimpses of in 2020.
  • Left Field - The White Sox were solid here last year (10th), but both Vaughn and Eloy have taken massive dumps in LF this season, and the overall rank dropped to 23rd. Pollock is below average, but the best of this pathetic bunch.

It would behoove the Sox to have all four corner OFers (Sheets, Vaughn, Eloy and Pollock) gone from any starting OF roles in the future.

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Vaughn and Eloy have carried this team over the past two weeks while not costing them that much in terms of substandard defense.  IMO, they can play wherever they want as long as they are hitting.   They both have to be in the line-up almost every game PLUS a 1B/DH power hitter. That might mean OF/DH for Eloy and some 1B/OF/DH for Vaughn.

 

 

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“We played our best baseball so far this year, and we're doing it in all facets of the game,” Quantrill said. “Head to Chicago here and have a good series there and close this thing out.”

Winners of 12 out of their last 15 now.  Pretty incredible.  Quantrill 4-0 on the month. Thanks Preller.

Against the Twins this year? We won that season series 13-6.#ForTheLand | #GuardiWinspic.twitter.com/WmEPjbcoq9

— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) September 19, 2022

 

Three wins against Twins accomplished in walk off fashion.

 

Edited by caulfield12
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1 minute ago, tray said:

Vaughn and Eloy have carried this team over the past two weeks while not costing them that much in terms of substandard defense.  IMO, they can play wherever they want as long as they are hitting.   They both have to be in the line-up almost every game PLUS a 1B/DH power hitter. That might mean OF/DH for Eloy and some 1B/OF/DH for Vaughn.

I agree Vaughn and Eloy are ML everyday hitters, but defensive ability at their slotted position is 1A to hitting 1. Handedness is a tertiary concern. If they are a 30-40 ish reserve in LF to help rotate others through DH for rest, that's fine I guess until Abreu retires. I think Eloy's body type is much more suited to 1B than Vaughn, but I don't think Eloy has the coordination to play 1B.

Even limiting plate appearances to about 10% vs. LHP, Sheets is hitting .708. Perhaps it would improve if he wasn't forced to play RF, but even if Abreu retires or plays elsewhere (that better not happen), there is no room for Sheets here beyond organizational depth. Same with Pollock, I guess he can be a $13M-$14M 4th / 5th OF, but you are pissing away money that could have been spent on an actual RF or 2B.

1 minute ago, Leonard Zelig said:

It's the moment of truth
It's all on the line
This is the place
This is the time

Waited forever, it's now or it's never
Nothing can stop you now*

*🤞

My first job out of college was at an accounting firm that did their and several other Chicago area professional bands / musicians taxes.

 

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47 minutes ago, caulfield12 said:

“We played our best baseball so far this year, and we're doing it in all facets of the game,” Quantrill said. “Head to Chicago here and have a good series there and close this thing out.”

Winners of 12 out of their last 15 now.  Pretty incredible.  Quantrill 4-0 on the month. Thanks Preller.

Against the Twins this year? We won that season series 13-6.#ForTheLand | #GuardiWinspic.twitter.com/WmEPjbcoq9

— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) September 19, 2022

 

Three wins against Twins accomplished in walk off fashion.

 

They have been winning games like that all season...sometimes it is just your year like the Sox in 1990.

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15 minutes ago, Lip Man 1 said:

They have been winning games like that all season...sometimes it is just your year like the Sox in 1990.

I agree with this. The Sox have played good enough the last three weeks to be back in this thing by all rights - but the guardians have just been as good or better at times. I wouldn’t want to face the guardians in the playoffs if they make it. They play hard and they’re hungry. 
 

imagine the storyline too if they shed that awful name and mascot and the very year they do it, they win and break the curse. 

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2 hours ago, Goober said:

Has there ever been a less talented team ever to be 13 games over .500 than the 2022 Guardians?

They have some good starting pitchers and a couple everyday guys like Santana who can play for anyone. Plus they have, in my opinion, a very good manager who preaches the fundamentals that can win you games. 

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Yep. I think we all saw this all season ...

It was a combo of these things in no order:

Manager/vibe, defense, no power, no urgency, injuries. It was a poor team all year. Good riddance. I am free of this team and following it until next season. 

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Seeing that video of ALL of those plays of piss poor fundamentals (and just dropping the ball) at once is amazing and very telling as to why this season went the way it has. Look at how many times the 2B and SS are standing damn near next to each other. Unless the belief in how to handle an outfield relay has recently changed, that is not how it should be done. Add in that neither one is near a base to cover either. There always seems to be a hesitation in the throws too, is nobody in the IF yelling out where to go with the ball? In addition, many of those clips show the pitcher is standing in the IF watching the play and not backing anything up.

Fielding is not the only place they lack fundamentals - horrific base running, poor situational hitting, failure to hold runners, etc... all add to the problem.

This in A to Z organizational failure from all. Clearly coaches don't stress fundamentals, that the players should already know or have not learned in a minor league system that is suspect at best, And it is incumbent on the players to get it right, work on it, and communicate. Personally, I think this is why they have been so unenjoyable to watch this season, even when they win - it is just sloppy baseball. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Superstar Lamar said:

We knew the OF defense was going to be bad.  It was supposed to be an exchange for slugging.

I'm most disappointed by the regressions of Robert and Engel from GG caliber defenders.  

Yes, our players in their primes all looked like late-career broken down vets, and our late career vets like grandal looked like they had one foot in the grave. This despite us never pushing them very hard over the last two years.

Meanwhile the players we obviously needed to manage playing time for (rodon/kopech last year, kopech this year) they just blissfully pushed as if there was no limit in site and surprise surprise they were complete shells of themselves in the last month or two or shut down.

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1 minute ago, Superstar Lamar said:

The next time I see one of these white sox catchers actually catch the ball on a play at the plate will be the first time, that doesn't even include actually tagging the runner.

I think we've had a lot of good posts and run downs of just the incredible complacency and lack of accountability from the sox front office. But watching players like Narvaez becoming good catchers by working with a different org, or Semien, or watching the Braves hire Ron Washington and win a world series...

while you have seen piss poor defense since 2013 and continue to run out the same coaching staff. It's just mind boggling. There is so little to lose budget-wise, and you are competing for a world series, yet ignoring the small things that can help.

Just lazy idiots.

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2 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

I am so old, I remember when our HOF guy manager was going to make sure we didn't make stupid mistakes and fix our team's baseball IQ.

Maybe a senior moment on my end, but I could swear he also said I would love Joe Kelly by the end of the season....did he mean the end of next season because I will be happy that his contract is over??

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On 9/19/2022 at 9:01 PM, South Side Hit Men said:

Breaking down team statistics on FanGraphs, the primary reason for Cleveland's lead over the White Sox is the fact that their defense is Top 5 and the White Sox is Bottom 5. This is driven primarily by the White Sox' league worst outfield, and also a big drop in Tim Anderson's individual metrics year over year. The Sox did improve in catching, though much of the increase was traded away when the Sox swapped McGwire for yet another old ineffective RP with a multi-year contract.

Pitching: Cleveland & Chicago have the exact 15.5 fWAR, tied for 10th across The MLB.

  • SP Chicago 12th (10.9 fWAR), Cleveland 15th (10.0 fWAR)
  • RP Cleveland 5th (5.6 fWAR), Chicago 10th (4.6 fWAR)

Position Players: Overall, the teams are middle 10 across total fWAR, Cleveland 14th (18.6) & Chicago 19th (16.0).

  • Hitting fWAR: Chicago has a slight advantage, 14th overall vs. Cleveland is 19th.
  • Fielding fWAR: This is the primary difference this season. Cleveland is 3rd and Chicago 27th.

Fielding Components:

  • UZR Ultimate Zone Rating: Cleveland 36.8 (2nd) vs. Chicago -39.4 (30th)
  • DRS Defensive Runs SavedCleveland + 68 (3rd) vs. Chicago -23 (24th)
  • ARM OF Arm Runs / Throwing: Cleveland 8.3 (3rd) vs. Chicago -14.9 (30th)

Positional Breakdown:

  • Similar: First Base (Cleveland 5th, White Sox 11th); Shortstop (White Sox 21st, Cleveland 25th); Third Base (Cleveland 9th, White Sox 10th)
  • Advantage White Sox: Catcher (Includes Pitch Framing White Sox 2nd vs. Cleveland 13th)
  • Advantage Cleveland: Second Base (Cleveland 3rd, White Sox 21st); Right Field (Cleveland 17th, White Sox 30th); Centerfield (Cleveland 1st, White Sox 26th); Left Field (Cleveland 11th, White Sox 23rd).

2021 vs. 2022 - Significant Internal Changes

Catching is the one area with significant improvement (12th to 2nd), driven primarily by replacing Zack Collins with Seby Zavala and and The Departed Reese McGwire.

First Base (11th) and Third Base (10th both seasons) remained unchanged year over year. Second Base (23rd to 21st)

White Sox Positions featuring a Year over Year Decline:

  • Shortstop - Sox dropped from 10th to 21st this season, driven by both the quality of Tim Anderson's fielding (9.0 2021 vs. 1.0 2022). Elvis Andrus is an upgrade over 2021 options, and a defensive upgrade from Tim (ranked 7th last year vs. Tim's 12th). Tim needs to improve his fielding efforts or perhaps shift positions.
  • Right Field - Went from bad (21st) to league worst (30th). They must never, ever play Vaughn or Sheets in RF ever again. Period.
  • Center Field - Luis missed time both years, but also suffered a regression this season, from a slightly above average overall CF to below average. This drove the Sox to regress from 19th last season to 26th this season. Luis needs to get health, but also needs to significantly improve his efforts, improve play near the wall, and return to the promising defensive CF he showed glimpses of in 2020.
  • Left Field - The White Sox were solid here last year (10th), but both Vaughn and Eloy have taken massive dumps in LF this season, and the overall rank dropped to 23rd. Pollock is below average, but the best of this pathetic bunch.

It would behoove the Sox to have all four corner OFers (Sheets, Vaughn, Eloy and Pollock) gone from any starting OF roles in the future.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that none of these four players should ever play outfield again for the Sox. However the key problem to this dilemma is Abreu. If he retires or signs with another team, then it's fairly easy to fix. The fix then is put Vaughn at first 100%, Eloy at DH 100%, Sheets is either sent back to Charlotte as back-up protection, or he is traded, which would make more sense and finally Pollack definitely being traded, no matter how little the Sox get back. On the other hand, If Abreu resigns with the Sox, then you are right back at square one-2022. Yes, you can still DH Eloy, but you still have 3 horrible outfielders in Vaughn, Sheets and Pollack.

You were right about one thing in that Eloy's length would ideally be suited for first base. However his lack of coordination and flexibility would be a major injury waiting to happen. I could see Eloy stretching for a long throw from SS and he pulls his hamstring, or fielding a grounder and getting injured. If we ever want to see the huge numbers that Eloy is capable of, he needs to stay healthy and play the majority of the season strictly from DH.

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