Baseball

So here we are, at the end of the position players who had the majority of the impact on the 2019 White Sox team. What’s left is the detritus, the flotsam, the garbage in the Death Star trash chute. Some of these guys will have a job with the Sox next year, but a good chunk of them will not. This is going to be an abbreviated stats write up, as I don’t think 2,000 words on AJ Reed will do anything for anyone. So without further ado, here is…

 

The Rest

 

ADAM ENGEL

2019 Stats

.242/.304/.383

6 HR 26 RBI 26 R

0.8 WAR +2 DRS 

Tell Me A Story: With the miserable off-season Rick Hahn had in 2018 the Sox were left with no real plan for the outfield other than Eloy Jimenez in left. They let Avisail Garcia walk down to Tampa Bay to have a career year, but made up for it by signing Friend of Manny and Human Stick Figure Jon Jay to a one year deal. This left center field pretty much Adam Engel’s by default. At this point, Engel is a known quantity. He plays plus defense at a premium defensive position, and swings what appears to be a soggy pool noodle when he’s at the plate. He’s a prototypical 4th outfielder at best, but that’s very good to have on a team that has deigns on postseason play. The Sox did not, and thus Engel started 90 games this year. To his credit, he finished the season very strong at the plate, and bumped his average above the Mendoza Line.

Contract: $516,000 under team control until 2021, then 3 years arbitration eligible.

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: Unless something really wacky happens, Engel will be back in a Sox uniform in 2020. He’s great as your 4th OF, or a late inning defensive replacement and won’t actively kill you at the plate.

 

RYAN GOINS

2019 Stats

.250/.333/.347

2 HR 10 RBI 13 R

0.2 WAR +1 DRS

Tell Me A Story: Ryan Goins was picked up off the prospect trash heap by the Sox in 2019 and intially sent to AAA as an extra body to fill out the Charlotte roster. He responded to the move by hitting .322 down there and playing above average D for the Knights. The Sox rewarded him with a callup in July when injuries began to hurt both the infield and outfield. He actually started out pretty hot, hitting .300 in his first month before falling back to earth and ending at .250 for the season. All in all not too shabby for a guy with the ability to play anywhere in the infield or outfield.

Contract: $975,000 in 2019, 3rd year of arbitration in 2020 estimated at $900,000 by MLBTR.

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: A tough one here. At $900K the price is right for a utility infielder/outfielder. Most of it depends on what the Sox do with Leury Garcia. If they think the $4 million is too much for him and he walks, Goins most likely stays. If Garcia stays, Goins probably starts the season back in AAA while he waits for another opportunity.

 

DANIEL PALKA

2019 Stats (Don’t Look)

.107/.194/.179

2 HR 4 RBI 4 R

-1.3 WAR -4 DRS

Tell Me A Story: In 2018 it seemed like the Sox had found a diamond in the rough when he hit 27 home runs and slashed .240/.294/.778. Granted his splits were terrible against lefties and his defense was hilariously bad (-13 DRS in LF) but he was one of the few feel good stories the Sox had in 2018 and was probably the main reason the Sox didn’t actively pursue someone like Michael Brantley in the off-season. The shine came off almost immediately in 2019, as Palka went 12 games to start the season without a hit and was summarily demoted to AAA. He reappeared a few more times during the season, but whatever fix he had down in Charlotte (where he hit .263 with 26 HRs) never came back with him. Ohhh man. I like DP, I really do. He seems like a funny guy online and very approachable. This season, however, is one for the record books and one he and the Sox want to forget as soon as possible.

Contract: $567,000 in 2019 and 2020, arbitration eligible in 2021

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: This is tough, as we have all seen what Palka can do when his mechanics are working at the big league level. Most likely Palka starts down in Charlotte again next season and only comes up if the need arises. The Sox will (hopefully) address the left handed power shortage through free agency.

RYAN CORDELL

2019 Stats

.221/.290/.355

7 HR 24 RBI 22 R

-2.2 WAR -2 DRS

Tell Me A Story: Ryan Cordell is the definition of “a guy” who “plays baseball” for the “major league Chicago White Sox” in 2019. Honestly, he’s a career minor league player who has ground his way through the lower levels and finally got a break with the Sox in 2019. He played decent, looks handsome and had an awesome pinch hit home run against the Tigers in July. That’s about it.

Contract: $555,000 in 2019, under team control for the next 3 years.

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: Unless Cordell plays his way onto this roster by having an unbelievable spring training he’s most likely destined to be back in AAA next season. The Sox have better options up and down their lineup.

DANNY MENDICK

2019 Stats

.308/.325/.462

2 HR 4 RBI 6 R

0.2 WAR 0 DRS

Tell Me A Story: Danny Mendick was drafted by the White Sox in the 22nd round of the 2015 draft. He moved steadily up through the lower levels of the minors hitting around .260 during his journey but always with consistent power. The Sox decided to give him a shot in September and purchased his contract during call ups. He responded pretty well, hitting for power consistently again during his time at the big league level. He played decent D in the infield and is an intriguing piece for the Sox going forward.

Contract: $550,000 in 2019, under team control for the next 3 years before arbitration

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: This will be an interesting story line in spring training. Mendick has shown pretty significant power at every level of the minors, and may turn out to be more than just “a guy” for the Sox in the infield. A lot depends on what the Sox do with Leury Garcia, but Mendick has a decent chance to be on the opening day roster in some capacity. We shall see.

MATT SKOLE

2019 Stats

.208/.275/.236

0 HR 6 RBI 7 R

-0.5 WAR 0 DRS

Tell Me A Story: Honestly, I’d rather not. Skole is the latest in a loooooong line of failures by the White Sox to properly staff the DH position. He played in 9 games and was utterly unremarkable in all of them.

Contract: 55,500,000 pennies were put in Skole’s bank account. Which is good work if you can get it.

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: If Matt Skole comes back in any capacity next season things have gone horribly wrong and I’m probably not watching it.

 

GONE AND HOPEFULLY FORGOTTEN

Jon “MIA” Jay

Charlie “I’m Not The Coldplay Guy” Tilson

Nicky “Nicky” Delmonico

Yonder “Fuck” Alonso

AJ “Fat Sami Zayn” Reed

Baseball

BOX SCORES

Game 1: Sox 7 – Braves 10

Game 2: Sox 5 – Braves 11

Game 3: Sox 3 – Braves 5

 

 

The pitching woes continue for the Sox, who faced their 3rd legitimate offensive juggernaut in a row this weekend, with predictable results. Giolito fared the best, though he was completely done in by 2 home runs, both coming from Young Christian Slater lookalike Freddie Freeman. Nova couldn’t go more than 4 innings, and Lopez backslid by not making it out of the 3rd. In a microcosm, none of this means anything really. Nova isn’t gonna be here next year, Lopez had one bad start after a string of solid ones and Lucas Giolito still went 6 while striking out 7. The offense wasn’t as putrid this series so that’s an improvement I guess. None of that makes it any easier to watch, however.

This last month of the season is going to be some 6 pack viewing for Sox fans, as in it’s gonna take a 6 pack of at least Bass Ale to get you through some of these games. Expect to see a lot more Carson Fulmer and Manny Banuelos, both of whom made their triumphant returns today. Jon Jay has gone back on the MIA list with season ending surgery on his hip, likely ending his tenure with the White Sox and ensuring his lasting contribution to the team being convincing Manny Machado that, yes, San Diego is nicer in the winter than Chicago. With Rick Hahn‘s steadfast refusal to call up Luis Robert from AAA, other than watching Moncada, Anderson and Giolito string out the remainder of their time there isn’t much here to lure people out to The Down Arrow in September. I’m sure Zack Collins will be here, but Renteria wouldn’t give him playing time over AJ Fucking Reed back in July so forgive me if my excitement is somewhat tempered. There’s a lot to be excited about this team, but right now it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.

Bullets, please.

 

BURN IT DOWN

Lucas Giolito looked pretty good except for the 2 shitty changeups he threw to Freddie Freeman. He even made up for the first ones by knocking in his first career RBIs by smoking a single in the gap off Julio Teheran in the 2nd inning. Probably would’ve been a double for pretty much anyone else on the team but Lucas was blessed with the same type of speed that I was, namely “none.” Which is completely fine, because if you’re expecting your AL-based starting pitcher to challenge the arm of Future Legend Ronald Acuna Jr then you were fucked before word go. Giolito pitched 173 innings last year, and after today he will be sitting on 162. Should be no reason he couldn’t hit 200 this year, leaving him completely stretched out for next season’s hopeful contention.

-Eloy had some hits this weekend, which is a good sign for his timing (which has been shit since his last IL stint). What isn’t the best sign is that they were all singles. Eloy has now gone 10 games without an extra base hit, which is definitely cause for a second look. James Fegan had an excellent article the other day questioning whether or not he might need to adjust his batting stance in the off-season, basically implying that his crouched stance might be affecting his ability to catch up to fastballs up in the zone. Hitting coach Todd Steverson has had luck with Moncada and Anderson in the past few springs and I feel there’s no reason Eloy can’t have the same success. He just has to stay healthy, so as to not have to start from scratch every few weeks.

-The Sox bullpen wasn’t any better than the starters this weekend, with Aaron Bummer and Big Boss Ross being particularly putrid. Bummer has already thrown 20 more innings than ever before in his career and that might be getting to him as more and more walks have started to creep into his stat line. Fortunately Manny Banuelos and Carson Fulmer are here to lighten the load. I haven’t totally given up on Fulmer, and think that he could still be a valuable piece going forward. If that’s the case, now would be the optimal time to show it.

-I’m not a huge fan of Renteria’s management style to begin with, and watching him do it in a National League park is even worse. When I run for president next year on a “Designated Hitters For All” platform next year, don’t be surprised if I win in a landslide.

-Next up is the Indians, who desperately need to take this series from the Sox. I’m sincerely hoping they can play spoiler and ruin September for Cleveland before the Browns take over in October. “Keep Cleveland Depressed” is also one of my many main campaign platforms.

-In other news, AEW’s All Out PPV was Saturday night. I was there at the Sears Center and had a blast, even with Dad Bod Chris Jericho winning the title. Should give AEW some nice momentum heading into their television debut in a few weeks, unless one of the Young Bucks died last night, which is highly possible.