RECORDS: Marlins 36-61   White Sox 44-52

GAMETIMES: Monday-Wednesday at 7:10

TV: NBCSN Monday and Tuesday, WGN Wednesday

Booger Sugar: Fish Stripes


Game 1: Chevy Nova vs Trevor Richards

Game 2: Dylan Covey vs Caleb Smith

Game 3: Reynaldo Lopez vs TBD




Leury Garcia – RF

Yoan Moncada – 3B

Jose Abreu – 1B

James McCann – C

Jon Jay – LF

Wellington Castillo – DH

Yolmer Sanchez – 2B

Adam Engel– CF

Jose Rondon – SS



Curtis Granderson – LF

Martin Prado – 3B

Brian Anderson – RF

Garrett Cooper – 1B

Starlin Castro – 2B

Jorge Alfaro – C

Miguel Rojas – SS

Cesar Puello – CF

Yadiel Rivera – DH


Well that was odd.  The White Sox certainly weren’t supposed to show up in Tampa Bay and take the series from the wild card sniffing Rays but that’s exactly what happened. The series featured a return to form for Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito, who both looked extremely comfortable on the mound, leaving Ray-shaped piles of ash in the opposing batters boxes. The Marlins, meanwhile, did exactly what everyone expected of them by losing the series to the Unholy Terror that is the Dodgers.  Both teams have had stupid travel schedules the past few weeks, having been on both coasts (Oakland and Tampa for the Sox and NY and LA for the Fish) only to meet in the middle here on the Southside.

The Fish have been taking the path the White Sox have as far as lineup construction this season, they just haven’t had the big name prospects producing the way Moncada and Giolito have.  They also haven’t hit on any lottery tickets like the Sox did with James McCann. They’re dead last in the NL in offensive categories, and fourth from the bottom in pitching stats. The only bright spots for the Marlins this year come from Brian Anderson and Caleb Smith. Anderson provides consistent pop from the 3B spot and currently leads the team in WAR 1.7 (Simpsons collar tug.gif). He was drafted in the 3rd round back in 2014, and while he didn’t tear up the lower levels, his production has steadily increased over the past seasons and may end up being a nice surprise for Miami in the long run.

Caleb Smith came over to Miami in a trade from the Yankees, who drafted him in the 14th round (!) back in 2013. His first full year in 2018 he posted a 4.19 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP and lead Miami’s rotation in strikeouts. His fastball isn’t anything to write home about speed-wise, only averaging about 92.5 in speed. It’s the spin rate of the pitch that makes it so effective, as it’s in the top 15% across the league. He’s had some injury issues this season, and missed a decent chunk of time with hip problems. He’s under team control for five more years, but the Super Brain Geniuses in Fish Central Control have said that they’re willing to listen to offers for him.

As far as our Southside Stalwarts go, not much has changed lineup-wise as Eloy and Timmy are still on the shelf with their respective elbow and ankle issues. Rick Hahn was quoted as saying that we should know more about Timmy’s rehab status later today after his medical evaluation.  Luis Robert continues to murder balls down at AAA, causing Hahn to temper everyone’s hopes earlier than expected. Ricky Renteria got some interesting news from his Pitching Rotation Ouija Board so it looks like Dylan Covey is going to get a start Tuesday night instead of the Better Dylan for reasons that only beings from The Beyond can answer. Wellington Castillo is still here, so it looks like the WAR from the DH position is still going to be in the negative for the foreseeable future.

The Sox built some momentum this past series against a much better team than them, lets see if they can continue it against one of the few teams with a legitimately worse rotation than them.

Let’s Go Sox


Starlin Castro has some pretty nice career stats.  4 All Star selections, 120 HR and almost 600 RBIs in 1400 career games with a .279 average is nothing to sneeze at.  He currently holds the record for most RBIs ever by a rookie in his first game with six.  A pretty excellent MLB career by any standards, but why then does it feel like Castro has been a bust?  I’m pretty sure that any GM would take a 2B with that kind of production any day of the week, and yet Castro is stuck plying his trade in the dead zone of Miami.  With the trade deadline approaching and Derek Jeter likely to trade anything that isn’t nailed down, you’d think that Castro would be the first to go.  With him getting hot down the stretch before the trade deadline (he’s hit .429 in July, with 3 bombs), there shouldn’t be any end to the suitors that would want his services, especially with only a team option left for next season.

Yet it seems the hot stove doesn’t include a ton of phone calls for the 29 year old second baseman.  A closer look at his stats this year shows that his power has completely evaporated, his usually solid batting average has plunged, as even after his hot July he’s still only hitting .250 and his BABIP has never been lower at .262 (yikes).  Defensively he’s always been at the bottom of the league, as his career UZR is a whopping -10.  With the league looking more and more at advanced stats these days, suddenly the reason for the lack of interest in Castro becomes more apparent.  Even if the Fish were able to move him to a contender, the return would probably be pretty negligible as he would most likely be used for a utility position.

The biggest benefit to the Marlins would be freeing up a spot for their #6 prospect and the 3rd player in the Christian Yelich trade, Isan Diaz.  Diaz is currently tearing up AAA for the New Orleans Babycakes (who’s mascot is the stuff nightmares are made of), and will be the one called up if the Fish are able to get anything at all for Castro.  Even if they aren’t, odds are they DFA him to try and save a little salary rather than hold Diaz down until September.  Once the offseason arrives and Castro is inevitably bought out for 1 million (instead of the 11 million option), he will hit the free agent market at the worst possible time.  He will be entering his age 30 season with some of his worst peripheral stats at a time when every team will be looking at them.  He will most likely be the poster child for the type of player that would’ve gotten a 4 year deal worth 30 million 5 years ago, but will now at best be offered a minor league tryout.    All told despite the solid career numbers, Castro will probably be nothing more than the guy who the Dumbest Owner in Baseball traded Giancarlo Stanton for.  That’s quite the career path for someone who was once expected to be the second coming of Ryne Sandberg by most folks in baseball, and should be a cautionary tale going forward.


Game 1: White Sox 9 – Rays 2

Game 2: White Sox 2 – Rays 1 (11 Innings)

Game 3: White Sox 2 – Rays 4


Well that’s a bit more like it.  Taking two outta three from a team in the playoff chase like the Tampa Bay Rays is kind of what I was hoping for in Oakland.  Alas that was not to be (or the next 4 in Kansas City, but I digress), but the team made up for it here.  The most exciting thing about this series was the starting pitching for the Sox, as Reynaldo Lopez has now strung together 3 pretty darn good starts in a row.  On top of that we saw Lucas Giolito return to form, mowing down Rays like like the propeller of a drunken Floridian’s speedboat off the Tampa coast.  Oh yeah, James McCann is pretty clutch too.



Numbers Don’t Lie


-All three Sox starters this weekend went at least 5 innings.  This was a welcome sight, because after the 7 game losing streak coming out of the All Star break the bullpen was reaching critical mass.  Especially with Kelvin “Everything Hurts” Herrera heading back to the IL with an oblique strain.  Speaking of the bullpen, it was aces this series.  It allowed no runs, 2 hits and 3 walks in 9.1 innings to a Rays team that isn’t without pop in it’s lineup.  Jace Fry and Josh Osich in particular stood out.  This is a good thing, and I would like more of it please.

-James McCann went 2 for 14 this weekend and saw his average dip below .300 for the first time in quite awhile.  That didn’t matter so much, however, thanks to his clutch ass dinger in the top of the 9th in game two, with two people out.  Even if regression is here (I think it probably is), I’ll take a catcher who hits .275 and has power in the clutch any day of the week.

-Watching Jose Rondon hack his way to an eye-bleedingly bad .190 average and play sub par defense is not making for good television viewing.  Please, please, please let Tim Anderson’s evaluation go well tomorrow.  My retinas can’t take much more.

-Especially when Rondon is combined into a 1-2 punch of wretchedness with Wellington Castillo.  Ole Big Beef is back below the Mendoza line after Sunday’s 0 for 4 display, putting on a clinic of What Not To Do with runners on base.  The Sox continue their mystifying tradition of having complete stiffs playing the DH position, and it’s getting to the point where I hope the team has a road trip to NL parks soon so I can watch Giolio and Lopez out-slug Wellington by .100 points of OPS.

-Dylan Cease got himself into trouble with walks today, having issues controlling his fastball again.  The stuff is clearly there, it’s just going to take time for him to get comfortable on the bump up here in the bigs.

-Nick Madrigal hit his first home run in AA the other night, checking another box in the pages long list of them that only Rick Hahn knows what it contains.  Luis Robert continues to rake in AAA, playing in that broom closet of a park with a ball that has an enriched uranium core.  I wonder if one of the boxes on Rick’s list is X amount of dollars of property damage before Robert is called up to the main club, because he’s really not slowing down.

-Next up is the Miami Marlins of Cuba, who wander into town tomorrow night.  They’re ready to showcase their wares to the dozens of GM’s lining up to be the next person to fleece Derek Jeter by convincing him that this bag of magic beans is totally worth Caleb Smith and Jordan Yamamoto.  Honestly you’re kind of doing him a favor, as these beans are going to be top 10 in Baseball America’s next prospect list.  Seriously, would I lie to you?  You’re a hall of famer, Derek!  If anything, YOU’RE hoodwinking ME.  Why sure, I guess I’ll take Brian Anderson too.  He’s probably a career AAA guy anyways.  You owe me.