Baseball

BOX SCORES

Game 1: Reds 1 – White Sox 7

Game 2: Reds 1 – White Sox 6

 

In a 2 game stint against a team clinging to playoff contention with a single fingernail, the Sox walked to the edge of that cliff and stomped squarely on that finger, sending the Reds to the bottom of the sea. Both Reynaldo Lopez and a diminished Carlos Rodon were able to hold a disinterested Cincinnati offense at bay, while Luis Robert continued to put the rest of the league on notice that he’s coming for his seat at the Table Of The Upper Echelon.

In other news, word broke yesterday that Tim Anderson somehow landed himself a 3-game suspension for supposedly “making contact” with umpire Tim Timmons (clearly a fake name) during the benches-clearing fracas stemming from Jose Abreu getting plunked for approximately the 6,548th time this season. In video posted to the internet, you can see Timmons and Timmy (new jazz-fusion group name) face to face but really nothing comes of it. The suspension is being appealed, and won’t affect Timmy’s availability for the postseason. I guess we’ll just wait and see what actually happened down there.

 

NUMBERS DON’T LIE

GAME 1

-Reynaldo Lopez continues to make a solid case for him to be on the postseason roster with another excellent outing. His 6 innings of 2 hit ball were only slightly marred by an Eugenio Suarez bombshot in the 5th inning. Even better, he only needed 80 pitches to get through 6, showing his newfound efficiency. Nice work.

-Luis Robert had two dingers on the night, the second of which was absolutely murdered and briefly showed up on our radar here at work. He’s been a force of nature recently, and has matured into the world destroyer Rick Hahn was hoping for when he coughed up that international signing money.

-In addition to Robert’s two blasts, Yoan Moncada and Gavin Sheets each added solo shots of their own. Sheets is another one who I would say has absolutely earned himself a playoff roster spot, as that kind of insane power from the left side will be very useful going forward.

-Jose Ruiz, Aaron Bummer and Matt Foster all added scoreless innings of relief, and while only 2 of those 3 will be pitching in the postseason it’s good to see.

GAME 2

-Carlos Rodon looked solid in his final tune-up before postseason play, though his velocity was still considerably down. Instead of dominating the Reds lineup with 98-mph fastballs, he kept them off kilter with 85 mph changeups and sliders then occasionally peppering them with a fastball that topped out at 93. Whether or not he was holding back due to the impending playoff pitching he’ll be asked to do (I don’t think this is the case), he was definitely good enough to hold down a depressed Reds offense. Will it be enough next week? We’ll see, but either way his arm strength will be one of the biggest storylines heading into the Astros series.

-Oh look, more dingers from Gavin Sheets.

-Michael Kopech finally got to go more than 2 innings, and made the most of the 3 he was given. The 2 walks weren’t great, but the overall performance is exactly what you’d want to see out of him.

-Leury Legend continued to swing a hot bat, going 2-4 with an RBI and run scored. Once Adam Engel is fully stretched out and ready for the playoffs, it’ll be interesting to see how much Caesar Hernandez actually plays.

 

 

Next up is the final series of the regular season. Naturally it’s against the team involved in the bench-clearing incident from the other day. I would fully expect things to be less chippy this time around, and wouldn’t be shocked if both teams start with umpire warnings in effect.

With the Astros 1.5 games ahead of the Sox in the standings, the odds of home field advantage are pretty long. The ultimate goal this weekend is to get out of the series unscathed, so expect to see pretty short outings from Giolito and Lance Lynn. In addition to that, it should be the last appearances for guys like Mike Wright Jr and Matt Foster so just one more time to deal with that. Stay healthy and get through the weekend, then it’s time to fuck up the Asstros.

Let’s Go Sox!

Baseball

BOX SCORES

Game 1: Red Sox 3 – White Sox 4

Game 2: Red Sox 9 – White Sox 8 (10 Innings)

Game 3: Red Sox 1 – White Sox 2

 

In a series where the Sox very easily could’ve taken all 3 games despite some glaring deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball, 2 wins should be considered a  healthy victory, especially since it takes the season series against Boston (which is always nice, because fuck Boston).

In addition, the 2 wins this weekend drops the White Sox’ magic number down to 9 with Cleveland getting No-Hit on Saturday and 4 Hit on Sunday. More importantly than that, everyone stayed healthy over the weekend with Lance Lynn and Carlos Rodon making their returns. Mostly good stuff all around.

 

TO THE BULLETS

 

 

GAME 1

-Jose Abreu didn’t do much in this series except for his second plate appearance on Friday night, where Tanner Houck hung a slider low and away to him and yet he still managed to pull it just to the right of the Sox bullpen for a 3 run shot. It wasn’t a tape measure dinger by any stretch of the imagination, but it was enough to give the Sox a lead they would refuse to relinquish. It also put Jose back on top of the AL lead in RBIs with 107, with Sal Perez and Vladdy Jr right behind him.

-Carlos Rodon returned and fired 5 strong innings, surrendering only a solo shot to Bobby Dalbec in the 5th inning. He struck out 7 and only allowed 5 hits. More importantly his velocity was back up, topping out at just under 98 MPH, where it was only around 95 in his previous start before his 2nd trip to the IL. He also threw 82 pitches in the 5 innings, and said he could’ve gone another but LaRussa smartly called it an early night.

-The bullpen had a solid night except for Ryan Tepera, who struggled with the command of his fastball for the first time in quite awhile. Thankfully Garret Crochet was up to the task, bailing out Tepera by getting Schwarber to fly out, ending the inning. Tepera has been one of the best releivers for the Sox since the trade deadline, so I’m willing to chalk this one up as a fluke.

-The 1-2 punch of Craig Kimbrel and Liam Hendriks shut the door on the Red Sox in the 8th and 9th, though it wasn’t a clean sweep. Kimbrel gave up a leadoff walk in the 8th, and Hendriks a single in the 9th, which was originally an out but overturned by the nerds in NY after a brief review.

-The Sox could’ve made this less of a game, but the trend of stranding a conga line of runners on base continued with 21 left out there to die on the vine. Jose Abreu was the primary culprit, stranding 7 by himself, yet he also accounted for 75% of the Sox offense with his 3rd inning dinger so I guess that evens out. The lack of timely hitting IS a concern however, and needs to be addressed before the calendar flips to October.

GAME 2

-Dylan Cease just very flatly did not have his stuff Saturday night. The issues were different than the ones we’ve seen in the past, where he’s able to get ahead of hitters 0-2 or 1-2 and is unable to put them away. This time he was just missing the zone on the first two pitches of the at-bats and then battled back to a full count, only to lose the hitter on the 7th or 8th pitches of the at bats. I have nothing to back this up other than what I’ve seen, but it appears that Cease has difficulty pitching consistently out of the stretch. Whether this is a release point issue or something else remains to be seen, but I’m sure him and Katz are working on the issue. Either way, he just plain sucked tonight.

-The flip side of that coin is that Michael Kopech looked every bit the world destroyer that he was billed as when the Sox sent Chris Sale to Boston for him and Moncada (also awesome). He faced 7 batters on Saturday night, and struck out 5 of them. His command of his fastball AND his slider was downright filthy, and he was able to mix them to the point of utter confusion for the BoSox hitters. In the 5th inning he got Dalbec to swing at a filthy wipeout slider down and away, then blew away Travis Shaw with a fastball that broke 100 on the gun, then went back to the slider and made Kike Hernandez soil himself. Here’s the 3 pitch strikeout of Shaw, just look at the movement on that 4-seamer:

-Oh look, Grandal and Robert combine for 7 hits on the night while Moncada was on base 4 times. Once Eloy gets his timing back and TA returns to the lineup there should be no excuses for them not to put up at least 5 per game.

-Craig Kimbrel was unable to hold the lead in the 8th, and the White Sox were unable to get Luis Robert in from 2nd after his ground rule double in the 9th. The writing was on the wall for a tough loss, but TLR sealed the deal when he threw Mike Wright to pitch in the 10th where he promptly gave up an RBI single to put Boston ahead.

-The Sox didn’t help their case in the bottom half of the inning, however. With runners on 1st and 3rd and nobody out, Leury Garcia struck out on 3 straight pitches. Tony then brought in Danny Mendick to pinch hit for Gavin Sheets (which was fine, though I would’ve preferred Vaughn but whatever) who promptly struck out. Then Goodwin had his shot but was unable to get Eloy in from 3rd, grounding out softly to end the game. Fart Noise.

GAME 3

-This game had each team with 4 hits apiece, and was about as exciting as that implies. It wasn’t even like either team was stranding a bunch on the bases, they just kinda sucked offensively.

-Lance Lynn looked good in his return, however. Another 5 inning stint, only needing 70 pitches to get through them. I realize TLR wants to protect these guys in their first starts back, but it definitely put a strain on the bullpen this weekend.

-Speaking of the pen, Garrett Crochet and Jose Ruiz looked good for their parts. They managed 3 innings between the two of them whilst striking out 2. Crochet looked a bit off, but gutted out his innings and got the ball to Ruiz. Well done, both of them.

-Pitching in his 3rd consecutive game, Craig Kimbrel looked bad. He couldn’t spot his knuckle curve to save his life, walking Rafael Devers on 4 of them to load the bases. Zavala finally called for a fastball against Verdugo, but he got enough of it to get the sac fly in from 3rd to bring the BoSox even. Since coming over from the Cubs at the deadline, Kimbrel has been a pretty mixed bag. Some games he looks unhittable, and others he looks like he couldn’t find the strike zone with a GPS. He’s spoken openly about having difficulties with his mechanics right now, and realistically it’s the perfect time (if there ever was one) for that, since he’s got just under a month to get right. Nobody doubts his stuff, but results matter and as of now they haven’t been there nearly enough.

-Anyways, all Kimbrel’s blown save did was create an opportunity for Leury Legend to make up for his 3 pitch K in the 10th the night before. Ballgame.

 

Next up is a team the Sox haven’t seen since Opening Day, the Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim And Also Portions Of Disneyland But Not Star Wars Land Because That’s Extra. Their roster looks a bit different since Mike Trout exploded his calf back in June and hasn’t been seen since. The most exciting man in baseball, Shohei Ohtani is still here, as is Jared Walsh. Also the corpse of Justin Upton, and Blonde Nick Madrigal (David Fletcher). Besides those 4, offense is pretty hard to come by for the L-AAA, though they have some interesting pieces in Jo Addell and Brandon Marsh.

The Angels have very little starting pitching outside of Ohtani, since Dylan Bundy turned back into a more-orange pumpkin and Griffin Canning turned out to be Dylan Cease with shittier stuff and somehow worse control. Jose Suarez is probably the best of the bunch right now, having gone 2-0 with one complete game shutout over the last month.

Tim Anderson is likely to return tomorrow, which makes it the first time all season the White Sox will be fully armed and operational on the offensive side of the ball. The opportunities to pour on the runs against this Angels team will be there, as well as the chance to close the gap for home field in the AL as the Sox try and run down the Astros for it. The brass ring is right there, time to reach up and grab it.

Let’s Go Sox

Baseball

BOX SCORES

Game 1: White Sox 7 – Rays 5 (11 Innings)

Game 2: White Sox 4 – Rays 8

Game 3: White Sox 0 – Rays 9

 

 

At least Friday night was exciting, right?

 

In a series that statistically meant much more to the Rays than the Sox, you got the expected effort level from each team. The Sox looked up for this series right until the point that Wander Franco’s ground ball trampolined off the 3rd base bag and turned into a run scoring double Saturday morning. At that exact moment the “Not Interested” neon sign flared on and the weekend was kaput.

It was also not a glorious weekend for the bullpen, as Craig Kimbrel gave up yet another run and then left Aaron Bummer with a bag of shit that he promptly exploded all over the mound. The Sox also trotted out Mike Wright Jr, who is so good at baseball that MLB.COM doesn’t even have a player bio for him.

All told, the Sox gave up 22 runs in 3 games and only scored 11. Not really a recipe for success, but they did manage to scrape out an exciting win Friday and split the season series with the Rays 3-3 so all is not terrible.

 

To The Pipe Bombs!

 

NUMBERS DON’T LIE

GAME 1

-Lucas Giolito, welcome back! A very quality start from our guy here, going 7 strong and striking out 8 while only making a single mistake to Ji-man Choi in the 2nd inning (which barely cleared the OF wall). Gio looked in control all game, and probably could’ve at least started the 8th inning but Tony wanted to (rightfully so) get the ball to his lockdown bullpen in the 8th. Unfortunately we know how that went, but it shouldn’t diminish what Lucas was able to do on the mound against a very pesky Rays lineup.

-Tim Anderson, ladies and gentleman. There’s not much else that can be said, so just bask in his glory.

-Yoan Moncada went yard as well, so that should potentially silence his haters for a second or two. But probably not.

-Luis Robert looks like he never left. Having Brian Goodwin around to spell him every few games is a great bonus for the team, and it should hopefully keep Robert at 100% heading into the postseason.

-Ryan Tepera has been as advertised and might end up being a sneakily great addition for Rick Hahn.

GAME 2

-Seby Zavala went yard and Dallas Keuchel had some bad luck but also kinda sucked. That’s it, that’s the game.

 

GAME 3

-Nope.

 

Next up the Sox head North of the border and meet up with the Toronto Blue Jays, a team that can pound the shit out of the ball but outside of Robby Ray can’t pitch for shit. George Springer was back for a hot minute then collapsed right back on the IL, so that’s one less issue for the Sox pitchers to worry about, but Vladdy Jr is still there hitting balls to the moon and back. Should be a fun series. A split of the 4 game series should be the bare minimum here, especially with the impending return of Yasmani Grandal. Get it done.

 

Let’s Go Sox

Baseball

BOX SCORES

Game 1: A’s 2 – White Sox 5

Game 2: A’s 0 – White Sox 9

Game 3: A’s 2 – White Sox 3

Game 4: A’s 5 – White Sox 4

 

For a four game series against a team that has historically kicked the shit out of the White Sox, this was a very nice change of pace. While the starting pitching didn’t exactly blind us with their brilliance, they did enough to turn it over to a bullpen that suddenly seems to be about as dominant as advertised at the beginning of the season. Combine that with Cleveland pooping all over themselves against the Twins, and you get the Sox with an 11.5 game lead after going 4-3 against the Yankees and A’s. With the Rays and Blue Jays on the horizon before they get a break against the Cubs, another 4-3 stint would be more than welcome, and probably enough to put the last 12 nails in Cleveland’s coffin.

Also: Yasmani Grandal is almost back!

 

NUMBERS DON’T LIE

GAME 1

-Dallas Keuchel started off the game looking like he wanted to be anywhere but on the mound on the South Side, as he gave up a leadoff dinger to Matt Olsen (eh, it happens), plunked Josh Harrison (not great), walked Stephen Piscotty (definitely not great), and then walked someone called “Vimael Machin” to load the bases before giving up a single to Mark Canha and a run scoring fielder’s choice to Starling Marte to spot the A’s to a 2 run lead. After this, however, he shut that shit down and went 5 solid innings before giving the ball to Michael Kopech. Gutsy performance for DK (I can use this now since Duncan Keith told the Hawks to get fucked), and really nothing to complain about out of your 5th starter after it looked like it was going to be an early exit.

-Speaking of Michael Kopech…wow. He looked unhittable in his 2 innings, striking out 3 and walking 1 (only because of the shit strike zone of Ron Kulpa) and generally making the A’s hitters look like they were being attacked by bees. I don’t know if the Sox are going to give him anymore spot starts, but I sure would like to see them.

-If Luis Robert can stay healthy, we could have a perennial MVP on our hands. He’s that good.

-Eloy just keeps plugging along, doing his thing. Knocking in runs and keeping his OPS over 1.0, making pitchers look scared of him. He also didn’t spontaneously combust in the outfield, so aces all around.

-Kimbrel and Hendriks righted the ship in a big way, striking out everyone they faced in their 2 total innings. Sickness.

GAME 2

-First and foremost I can’t say how glad I am that Chris Bassitt escaped any permanent damage after Brain Goodwin absolutely smoked a line drive off his cheekbone in the 2nd inning. Bassitt went down in a heap, with blood pouring out from between his fingers into the dust of the mound. It was horrible to see live, and even worse to hear. I don’t blame the A’s for pretty much packing it in after this.

-Credit to Jake Lamb for cleaning what Andrew Vaughn left for him on the table with a 3-run shot to center field. I don’t know how much longer the Sox are going to have room for him, but he’s certainly been a nice surprise.

-Jose Abreu just keeps doing the thing. Another 3 RBI night for Pito, and though his batting average is lower than one might like he’s still raking when it matters.

-If this is the Reynaldo Lopez we’re getting from here on out, I may be ready to get hurt again. He had some great stuff, and was more efficient than I’ve seen him in a long time. He was still under 70 pitches when he got lifted after the 5th, but I get TLR wanting to protect him from going through the order a 3rd time. Good shit.

-Ryan Burr picked right up where ReyLo left off and looked solid the pair of innings he worked. I like his stuff, and if given a chance think he could be “A Thing”

GAME 3

-Gonna be honest here, I missed most of the game because of Stupid Work™ but I did see the clip of Lance Lynn throwing all his accessories to the umpire after the 4th inning and getting tossed. Boss Level shit right there.

-More quality work out of the bullpen again with Ryan Tepera, Garrett Crochet and Aaron Bummer taking care of business before turning things over to a resurgent Liam Hendriks with 1 out in the 8th inning and a 1 run lead. Hendriks never looked under duress in the 1.2 innings he threw, and his slider had more break on it than in weeks past. I declare him healed.

-Ho Hum, another 3 hit game for Luis Robert. How droll. He did manage to make things interesting in the top of the 7th when the grass disintegrated beneath his feet and he fell to his ass and still almost made the catch.

GAME 4

-Dylan Cease came out a house of fire and mowed some chumps down in the first few innings, then…stopped. He gave up a solo shot to Sean Murphy in the 3rd, which…whatever, then completely lost the zone in the 4th inning where he walked in a run. It’s like he completely forgot everything he was doing in the first 3 innings and went back to getting ahead in the count and then filling the count trying to nibble the edges of the zone. His final line wasn’t bad (quality start), he’s just infuriating to watch sometimes.

-Andrew Vaughn smoked himself another dinger today off an 80 MPH curveball, bringing his career total up to 15 with a real shot at 25 for the year. Plus he’s played almost everywhere on the diamond, and I’m thinking the Sox have their own version of Max Muncy now.

-Michael Kopech made one mistake today, but that was all it took to end the Sox’ hopes of a 4 game sweep. He hung an 0-1 slider in the middle of the plate, and Matt Olsen (who else?) didn’t miss it. Live and learn.

-The Sox tried to make it interesting off Lou Trevino in the bottom of the 9th, but Eloy left Jose on 2nd base when he smoked a line drive right at Starling Marte. Can’t get too mad about it based on how well the first 3 games went. Moving on.

 

Next up the Sox have a 3 game set this weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays, who they took 2 of 3 from earlier in June. Looks like the Sox miss the meaty part of the Rays rotation, instead getting the corpse of Michael Wacha and Luis Patiño. Giolito, DK and ReyLo will get the nods against the Rays, who have the ability to single you to death, or bludgeon you with dingers. Let’s hope Gio can keep his stuff up in the zone, and DK down. Take another 2 from them, call it a series and send em packing back to America’s Taint.

 

Let’s Go Sox.

 

 

Baseball

I was hoping when I wrote up the analysis of what could be done with the lineup after Eloy went down with a torn pectoral muscle back in March that it would be the last time I would have to do such a thing. What a fool I was.

Last night, the worst case scenario was confirmed by Rick Hahn about the status of Luis Robert going forward this season after he went down like he was shot beating out an infield single in the loss to Cleveland on Sunday. Diagnosed with a grade 3 strain of his hip flexor (an odd way of saying he completely tore the entire tendon from the hip bone), Robert will not even begin to work on any baseball activities for 12-16 weeks, let alone be on a rehab assignment. Even on the most optimistic of timelines, he wouldn’t be back on the field before late September at best.

In reality however, the greater concern for him will be his range of motion and overall mobility going forward. The player that immediately came to my mind when I heard the diagnosis was Bo Jackson. While not the same injury (Jackson had his hip dislocated while being tackled from behind, which resulted in damage to the blood supply to his entire hip and caused avascular necrosis), the fears of a reduced level of athleticism for him is real. There are two body parts in baseball that when injured are almost impossible to play through. The back is one and the hips are the other. Everything he does is either powered by or enabled by motion through the hips. If they aren’t returned to full functionality with healing and rehab this could be career-altering.

So first and foremost is hoping that Luis can come back completely healthy and mobile. After we take that into consideration, now we ponder the second half of this equation: What do the Sox do from here and how can they plug that ginormous hole left behind?

As it stands, the White Sox have 1.5 functioning outfielders on their roster. I only count Billy Hamilton as .5 of one, because until he can hit above a .225 average (something he hasn’t been able to do since 2018) he’s nothing more than a defensive replacement for whichever 1st baseman LaRussa currently has in left field. Also, calling Adam Eaton a functioning OF is being fairly generous, as he’s gone into a tailspin at the plate since the 3rd week of April. Adam Engel is also at least 3 weeks away, as he’s had a setback in recovering from his hamstring strain with zero guarantee he wouldn’t turn around and hurt it again with the way he plays. Leury Garcia can play a decent center field, but you also need him to fill in when Moncada, Anderson and Madrigal need a breather. So internal options are limited/nonexistent.

Down in the minor leagues, the closest thing to a major league ready prospect (and I use that term as loose as Robert’s hip muscles currently are) is Micker Adolfo, who’s only spent 90 plate appearances above single A ball, and slashed .205/.337/.632 at AA Birmingham. Unless he’s hiding some superpowers that he’s yet to make apparent, he’s not the answer at all. Yoelqui Cespedes has yet to take an at bat on North American soil, so hoping he could step in is futile as well.

The free agent pool outside of Yasil Puig is drier than the Sahara, and at this point if Puig remains unsigned there’s probably a damn good reason for it. This leaves the Sox one viable option, and that’s the trade market.

Unfortunately for the Sox, everyone on the planet now knows they’re in the market for outfield help so the asking price automatically goes up. In addition to that, the trade market in early May is notoriously slow, and for good reason. Really no teams have been eliminated this early, and the ones that are realistic about their chances probably don’t have much that the Sox would want anyways, or they’re smart enough to try and wait until the deadline where they could conceivably start a bidding war for whoever’s services they’re selling. This is why I’m not going to include Kris Bryant on this list, as if the Cubs have two functioning neurons left they know the asking price can be tripled at the deadline for him. All that being said, here’s the more realistic possibilities for Rick Hahn to pursue:

 

Joey Gallo – Rangers

.234/.410/.351 3HR/11 RBI/130 wRC+

The first one here also makes the most sense, and probably should’ve happened at the exact same time Rick Hahn traded for Lance Lynn. While Gallo has only hit 3 home runs thus far, his .410 OBP would slide right into the middle of a Sox lineup that leads the AL in the category. The power hasn’t shown up yet, but some of that could be attributed to pitchers refusing to give him anything to hit due to zero protection in a moribund Rangers lineup. Gallo has 2 years of team control after this one, and being that they’re the higher end of the arbitration years they could be pretty expensive, thus lowering the asking price. In addition, keeping him around in 2022 and 23 solves the RF problem if/when Luis returns to the height of his powers.

 

Charlie Blackmon – Rockies

.198/.323/.632 1 HR/12 RBI/67 wRC+

The option that would cost the Sox not much in terms of prospects and moreso just money (and therefore the least likely to happen) would be Blackmon. While Blackmon has gotten off to a terrible start as evidenced above, he has an all-star pedigree backing him up. Just last year he slashed .303/.356/.804 so the ability is still there, and as Nolan Arenado is proving this year the splits away from the space station environment that is Coors Field isn’t what it used to be. With him still having 2 years left on his deal and earning $21 million in 2022 it wouldn’t take much more than a willingness to eat his salary to pry him loose from a Rockies team that’s hell-bent on a rebuild.

 

Starling Marte – Marlins

.310/.414/.897 2 HR/8 RBI/141 wRC+

The tastiest option on this list is also the most problematic. Marte is in the final year of his deal with the Marlins and has already said he wants to test the free agent waters in 2022, making his trade from the Fish very likely. The only issue is that he’s currently sitting on the IL with a fractured rib, and is not likely to return to action until the first week of June at the earliest. Despite that, it probably wouldn’t affect the asking price much since the Fish would realistically get him back long before the trade deadline with plenty of time to build his value back up. The cost for this 4-5 month rental will be the steepest out of all of these, and probably the most pie-in-the-sky. That being said, if you want an impact player than can not only hit but play the position vacated by Luis Robert then Marte fits the bill perfectly.

 

The question then remains what (if anything) Rick Hahn is willing to give up. With the threat of a lost season in 2022 due to a labor stoppage most likely spearheaded by the skinflint owner of the White Sox, are we willing to wait around 2 years to see this team at the height of their powers?

As it stands now, the Sox have enough pitching and hitting to easily keep them  in the mix with Minnesota and Cleveland. With Eloy projected to return to the team before the playoffs begin, there’s no reason to think that they couldn’t snag a Wild Card spot bare minimum. Hahn can talk about “windows of contention” all he likes, but the fact of the matter is that the Sox traded a starting pitcher in Dane Dunning (who fits that window perfectly) for one year for Lance Lynn. He’s pushed some of his chips in now, and in my opinion it’s time to toss the rest in. I don’t want to wait until 2023 when he has the excuse of a Giolito extension to not add again.

No more waiting, Get it done.

 

 

Baseball

VS

 

Gametimes: Thursday 9:05 / Friday 8:38 / Saturday 8:07 / Sunday 7:37 (I don’t get it either)

TV: Thursday-Saturday NBCSN / Sunday ESPN

We Got Rocks In Our Outfield: Halos Heaven 

 

Probable Starters

Thursday: Lucas Giolito (4-3, 3.48 ERA) vs. Dylan “Al” Bundy (6-3, 3.29 ERA)

Friday: Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 1.99 ERA) vs. Andrew Heaney (4-3, 4.46 ERA)

Saturday: Lance Lynn (6-3, 3.32 ERA) vs. Alex Cobb (2-5, 4.30 ERA)

Sunday: Dylan Cease (5-4, 4.01 ERA) vs. Shohei Ohtani (0-1, 37.81 ERA)

 

 

After what seems like an eternity, White Sox baseball will finally return to us tonight as the boys take on Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels of Southern California But Not Including LA Or San Diego Really Just Disneyland And A 2 Mile Stretch Of The 405. After an off-season that featured the Sox punting on all the good toys except for the closer that is awesome but they really didn’t need, and Eloy going on the IL for attempting to rob a home run in spring training that would’ve required the Silver Surfer’s board to catch we finally get to see what the results of a 4 year rebuild gets us.

Because make no mistake, the ultimate goal for this team in 2021 is nothing short of wresting the division away from the playoff chokers to the North. Anything less than that should (and will) be deemed a failure by the fanbase and hopefully the front office. The Sox have a boatload of homegrown talent, and have spent a little money here and there to address (some) issues to fill out what should be a very fun and powerful lineup, but unless the results are there the misery of 2016-19 will all have been for naught.

Lucas Giolito will take the bump tonight against the best the Halos have to offer, which is Dylan Bundy. While on the surface that statement seems ridiculous, (much like Lance Lynn) Bundy has reinvented himself the past two seasons, dropping his ERA by almost a full point and a half since escaping from Camden Yards. Developing a new approach to attacking hitters with more of his off-speed stuff as opposed to relying on his two seamer worked wonders for Bundy last season. He was able to lower his BB/9 and raise his K rate by more than 1 each with his new approach, and his FIP of 2.92 shows that it probably wasn’t a fluke.

Sunday night will feature the return to the mound of the two-way international star Shohei Ohtani, and the Angels have been waiting quite awhile for his double debut. After being felled by Tommy John surgery back in 2018, Ohtani was able to serve as a DH during his rehab in 2019, though it clearly affected his ability to hit for power. 2020 was supposed to be his triumphant return to the mound, but it ended almost as soon as it began with a flexor strain in his forearm that took over two months to heal. Acting with an overabundance of understandable caution, the Halos shut him down completely. He’s looked pretty healthy thus far in his return to the mound in spring training, striking out 17 in 10 innings pitched. He’s also pounded out 5 dingers from the offensive side of the plate, so all eyes will be on him Sunday night to see if it’s the real deal.

As always with the Angels, however, it’s all about Mike Trout. While he’s had some competition from Mookie Betts recently for the title of Best In The World, he still hasn’t lost it yet. While having a down year (for him) in 2020, he still managed to post a 162 wRC+ rating and a 2.5 WAR season. Having Anthony Rendon and a healthy Ohtani around him should only offer more protection and opportunities to drive in runs, and the White Sox staff will be well aware of his presence in the lineup I’m sure.

As for the Sox, prized prospect Andrew Vaughn had his contract selected by the team yesterday so there will be no service time shenanigans with him. With the loss of Eloy, Vaughn is expected to see time in left field, which will basically involve him standing out there and watching Luis Robert run down anything that isn’t directly on the LF foul line. Vaughn will also fill in at DH, so we will finally get to see how those plus hit tools hold up against legit MLB pitching. He’ll be watching opening day from the bench, however, as Leury Garcia will be manning LF for game 1 against Bundy. Vaughn most likely will get a crack and Andrew Heaney on Friday night, realistically a much better matchup for his first game as a pro.

Luis Robert still has questions to answer about what version of himself was the real one last year. Was it the July and August Luis with the wRC+ of 157? Or was it the September version of himself that slashed .136/.237/.309 with one home run and a 34% strikeout rate? The athletic ability and the hit tools are all there for Luis to be the better version of himself, he just has to get better at working pitchers over to make sure he gets something he can pound. Personally, I fully expect him to rebound back to what he was at the beginning of last season and be hitting in the top half of the batting order. I have no advanced stats to back up my assertation, but hopefully I can tell you all “I told you so” in September.

The road to the playoffs for the White Sox starts tonight in Anaheim. Most betting outlets set the Over/Under for the Sox win total around 91. Were that to be the case, it would most likely be enough for the Sox to win the AL central, squeaking it out by a game or two over the Twins. Personally I feel like the 87-89 win range is more likely, setting up a showdown with Minnesota and quite possibly Cleveland as well (who’s pitching is nothing to be sneezed at and pretty much owned the Sox last season). So much hinges on the Sox not only being able to stay healthy (because of the zero depth), but Dylan Cease and Carlos Rodon being able to rebound from last September. There’s a lot that has to go right for this team, but if it does….look out. It’s been 6 long months with only the dark of winter to keep us company, but now the sun is shining out and the Sox take the field tonight. Hope shines eternal, LFG.

Let’s Go Sox

Baseball

Twins VS.

Records: Twins 30-18/Sox 30-16

Start Times: Mon-Wed 7:10/Thurs 1:10

TV: NBCSN

Circle My Ass, Bert: Twinkie Town

PROBABLE STARTERS:

Monday: Jose Berrios (4-3, 4.40 ERA) vs. Dylan Cease (5-2, 3.33 ERA)

Tuesday: Randy Dobnak (6-3, 3.61 ERA) vs. Dane Dunning (1-0, 2.70 ERA)

Wednesday: Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 8.33 ERA) vs. Lucas Giolito (4-2, 3.43 ERA)

Thursday: Kenta Maeda (5-1, 2.43 ERA) vs. Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 2.19 ERA)

 

AND WE’RE BACK! After a brief hiatus to decide the future of the blog after Dale Tallon managed to Milkshake Duck his way into the Shitty Hockey GM Hall Of Fame, we’ve decided to just say “fuck it” and power ahead. Thank you all for patiently waiting for us to figure out the future of the blog, and I’m extraordinarily excited to keep being able to do this for the 38 of you that regularly read my shit.

What a perfect time to come back, as the Sox head into what might be the most important series of this entire screwed up year. With a 1 game lead on the Twins heading into this 4 game set, it’s imperative for the Sox to prove that they can do more than just pummel the Tigers and Royals 20 games a year. While it’s true that those are historically games the Sox would biff and ultimately cost them a trip to the postseason, with a playoff birth virtually in hand it’s time to show the rest of the league they can throw elbows with the top end talent as well.

The Sox come into this series on a roll again, having won 8 of their last 10 games and averaging just under 7 runs a game. While those are some gaudy offensive numbers, runs against the Twins pitching staff will not be as easily had. Kenta Maeda has been absolutely nails for the Twins this season, and is giving Dallas Keuchel a run for his money as “Best Free Agent Signing In The AL Central.” Jose Berrios has also rounded back into form recently, as he’s overcome his wildness in the beginning of the season and sports a 3.79 ERA with 48 K’s over his last 7 starts.

Tuesday night presents the Battle of The Bespectacled Batterymates, as Randy Dobnek takes on Dane Dunning. Dobnek has been another example of found money for the Twins this season, as he started out as a candidate for 6th starter but managed to deal his way up the rotation after Rich Hill turned out to be actually made of glass. He’s come back to earth in his last few starts, giving up 12 runs in his last 3 when he’d only allowed 6 in his previous 6 combined.

Wednesday’s starter is still TBA, but the assumption is Jake Odorizzle is going to be coming off the IL, much the same way the Sox starter for Thursday is TBA but everybody knows it’s gonna be Keuchel unless he has a setback. Odorizzi hadn’t been much to write home about even before he went on the IL, sporting an 8+ ERA, with his K rate falling to a career low 19.6% and batters hitting a cool .326 against him. While his FIP suggests he’s the victim of some bad luck, it’s still at 6.14 so there’s some fire to that smoke.

As for the Sox, Dylan Cease kicks things off tonight with his tightrope act of somehow having a 3.33 ERA despite the eye test (and his FIP at 5.95) saying otherwise. Ben Clemens at Fangraphs put out an excellent article today taking a dive under the hood and explaining why despite having such a great spin rate on his fastball, it’s not moving at all or resulting in any strikeouts.

The Sox are either going to need his luck to continue, or ambush Berrios right out of the gate. Both are possible, and a combination of the two would be wonderful. Getting 6 innings out of Cease is going to be necessary, as there’s no guarantee that Dunning will be able to eat any extra innings Tuesday, and the bullpen needs all the rest it can get, as Jimmy Cordero is about to collapse into a pile of ash.

It will be interesting to see how Lucas Giolito handles the Twins this time around. It’s his 3rd start against them, and the first two really weren’t anything to write home about. With the amount of preparation, and as cerebral as he is, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him have a different plan this week than the “fastball/changeup” pairing he’s been riding recently. If he can make it out of the 1st inning with 20 pitches or less, I like the odds of a quality start.

On the offensive side of the ball, fingers crossed Jose Abreu can continue his quest for the American League MVP, and Tim Anderson can stay ahead of DJ LeMahieu in the race for another batting title. It also seems as though Yoan Moncada is starting to shake off some of the COVID effects he’s been dealing with over the past months, as his doubles power returned this last series against the Tigers.

Luis Robert is dealing with his first slump of the season, as he’s gone 4-25 in his last 7 games. While this is to be expected for a rookie, it would be nice to see him perhaps take a few more pitches in his at bats. When Nick Madrigal has a higher slugging percentage than you do over the last 10 games, it might be time to make an adjustment to your plate approach.

All that being said, as long as the offense can continue to hit the stitches off the ball they stand a good chance of at least splitting this series with the Twins, which at this point should be the absolute bare minimum bar for success. Time is running out on this bastardized season, and taking 3 of 4 from Minnesota would go a long way towards quieting the haters who say the White Sox can only beat up on shitty teams (and the Cubs).

 

And for the love of fuck, please don’t throw Nelson Cruz anything in the strike zone.

LET’S GO SOX

Baseball

VS

RECORDS: White Sox 2-4 / Royals 3-4

START TIMES: Fri 7:05, Sat 6:05, Sun 1:05

TV: NBCSCH

Are You Missouri Or Are You Kansas: Royals Review

 

Probable Starters

Friday: Dallas Keuchel vs. Kris Bubic

Saturday: Gio Gonzalez vs. TBD

Sunday: Dylan Cease vs. TBD

 

Heading into the second weekend of the season, did anyone out there pick the Royals to have a better record than the Sox? Put your hands down, you’re a goddam liar. Anyways that’s where we currently sit, with the Royals having one more win than the SouthSiders coming into Friday night’s tilt. Granted, they’re coming off a 4 game swing against the Tigers, but Ws are Ws and they have more.

This is a team that’s actively battling the Tigers and Orioles for the #1 overall pick in next year’s draft, and is throwing everything at the wall this season to see what’s going to stick for the future. Whit Merrifield and Jorge Soler are basically the only pieces that are worth anything and yet the Royals don’t seem interesting in moving them for parts. They’re also the only two members of the lineup currently hitting, so the Sox starters should probably keep that in mind.

On the pitching side of things, the Royals have brought up their prized rookie pitcher Brady Singer who started the other night against the Tribe, giving up 2 in five innings and keeping the Cleveland bats off stride. Other than him, it’s a bunch of rookies and journeymen (and Danny Duffy, who’s still around so fantasy baseball writers can list him as a potential breakout each year) that they’ll toss out each night. This is evidenced by the fact that they have TBD penciled in as their starter in 2 of the 3 nights against the Sox.

The most obnoxious elements of last year’s dustup with Tim Anderson are still here, so we’ll at least have a little drama to eyeball. Fingers crossed Timmy hits a few bombs and pimps the living shit out of each one. Professional curmudgeon Ned Yost has grabbed his hobo bindle and fucked off into the sunset, but he got replaced by Mike Matheny (who’s basically the same guy) so most of the Sox players can expect to get thrown at and then lectured about how to play the game the “right way.”

For the Sox, the story is the same. If the starting pitching can keep from giving up 5 runs in the first 2 innings the odds of victory go up exponentially. Just don’t walk anyone not named Merrifield or Soler and things should go swimmingly. Cease and Gonzalez have the perfect lineup to bounce back against and build some confidence and momentum going forward. Keuchel just needs to repeat his performance against the Twins and he should be able to keep the Royals bats at bay.

For the Sox hitters, they’re facing a starter Friday night that’s never pitched above the high A ball level and I guarantee he’s never seen anything like Luis Robert or Yoan Moncada. This is a rotation and bullpen just asking to be pummeled into submission, so a little patience at the plate and they should crumble like the argument of a facebook science denier. Now that I’ve said all that, I fully expect the Sox to have 12 hits total over the course of the series because life is pain and we are in The Bad Place.

Of course, this all could be a moot point thanks to the announcement today that the Cardinals and Brewers game is postponed due to at least two Cards players testing positive for The Rona. All while the Marlins are bussing 20 players positive with the virus home to Miami. Can you imagine actually wanting to stay in Philadelphia instead of going home to Miami because the hospitals are nicer? Welcome to 2020!

 

 

Baseball

Welp, it looks as if MLB is really gonna do this.

 

I struggled coming up with an article announcing the imminent return of my favorite pastime for weeks now. It’s a weird feeling, watching sports during a pandemic. As many of you know already, I watch a boatload of professional wrestling. My favorite company, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has been running empty arena shows along with WWE during the entirety of the crisis. I’m torn, because I know these men and women are potentially risking infection and quite possibly serious health issues or death to bring me entertainment on Wednesday nights. Yet still I tune in every week, and enjoy almost every second of it (unless it’s Raw or Smackdown, in which case I enjoy 1 out of every 10 seconds).

Baseball feels the same way to me, in as much that part of me is thrilled to watch these elite athletes ply their trade for my entertainment but another part of me is terrified that I’m going to wake up and find out that Lucas Giolito is in the hospital hooked up to a ventilator. I desperately want to have the comfort back that comes with watching a baseball game from my couch in the summer while checking my fantasy team’s stats on my phone. Just being able to pull your mind away from the constant stream of terrible news and watch something that’s fun is quite good for your mental health, but there’s also a feeling that by tuning in you’re enabling behavior that’s not helping the country work past this virus. There’s really no good answer to the question of “should we be watching this?” other than to come to grips with this being the new reality, and (for me at least) to just try and enjoy as much of it as I can. That’s not to say you’re wrong for not feeling comfortable with watching the product, far from it. I wouldn’t blame anyone in the slightest, I’m more just presenting my frame of mind going into this season (or whatever you wanna call it).

Speaking of this season, the start of it is merely a few days away. Since MLB is gonna plow ahead with this, I (and most likely Wes) will be here to cover all the Sox Excitement moving forward. This fresh of the heels of the White Sox pummeling the Cubs bullpen last night in an exhibition game that featured a mammoth home run by (seriously) Adam Engel that touched off a 6 run rally in the 6th inning that chased Robo-Hendricks from the mound and gave Jahrel Cotton vertigo from all the spinning around he was doing. Yasmani Grandal, Edwin Encarnacion and Luis Robert went back to back to back with doubles to end Cotton’s night and cement the win for the South Siders. More importantly, nobody got hurt and Yoan Moncada is apparently healed up from his bout with COVID-19 and could potentially be ready for the start of the season.

With Friday being a pseudo-Opening Day for the Sox, a few questions still remain heading into the series against the Twins. Here’s a few of them that hopefully will have some positive answers going forward:

What Does the Sox Rotation Look Like Going Forward, and Does Carlos Rodon Have A Place In It?

With Michael Kopech opting out for the rest of this season, the Sox are still left with good (if mostly unproven) depth at starter. As it stands, the rotation looks something like this:

1. Lucas Giolito

2. Dallas Keuchel

3. Dylan Cease

4. Gio Gonzalez

5. Reynaldo Lopez

6. Carlos Rodon?

Rodon, fresh off of Tommy John surgery, has made no secret about his desire to slide directly back into his spot in the rotation. With that being said, Gio Gonzales was signed in the off season specifically to provide depth to an unproven rotation outside of it’s top two starters. Will Rick Renteria go with a six man rotation heading forward, or will Gonzales be moved into more of an opener situation? Most of his success in 2019 was predicated on Craig Counsel of the Brewers keeping him from going through a lineup the third time. How will that fare in a shortened season like this? Will he be able to eat enough innings to be valuable? On top of that…

How Much Effect Will Yasmani Grandal Have On The Sox Young Rotation?

One of the main reasons Rick Hahn signed Yasmani Grandal this past fall was not only to add switch hitting pop to a Sox lineup that lacked it from the left side (Moncada notwithstanding), but to bring his elite framing skills to a Sox staff that outside of Lucas Giolito could desperately use a few extra called strikes. Will Grandal’s framing ability be able to harness the talent that Dylan Cease and Reynaldo Lopez clearly possess? Also…

Is The Regression Monster Coming For Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson?

With both Moncada and Timmy hitting over .315 last season and TA winning the AL Batting Title, how much regression can be expected for the two? Moncada completely flipped the script from his 2018 season by massively cutting down on his K total and raising his BA from both sides of the plate. Tim Anderson did the same, all while walking approximately -7 times all season. I don’t think anyone believes that Tim is going to hit .335 again, the question is how far will he fall?

What Will Eloy and Luis Robert Bring To The Table This Season?

Eloy had a pretty solid rookie season all things considered, finishing with a .267/.315/.828 slash line with 31 dingers. Unfortunately for him, he spent a decent time on the shelf with varying maladies that kept him from really reaching his true potential. Will he be able to stay healthy and pick back up where he left off? Will Luis Robert be as good or better than Eloy in his rookie campaign? We all saw him rip a dinger off Carlos Rodon while falling down the other day, and that alone made a lot of our pants uncomfortably tight while watching it. How will he fare against pitchers that aren’t coming off Tommy John surgery? Does he have the plate discipline to go head to head with the Mike Clevingers and Josh Haders of the league?

How Good Are The Twins, Really?

As far as competition for the Sox goes this season, the main monolith standing between them and the promised land still resides in the swamps of Minnesota. With the type of offense that gives pitchers night terrors, the Twins are an offensive force to be reckoned with. On the other side of the ball, however, the Twins have a lot of questions of their own to be answered. Jose Berrios is a true ace, but after him the drop off is STEEP. Jake Odorizzi threw above his head in the first half of last season, but came crashing back to earth. Michael Pineda is very good, but also very suspended. Kenta Maeda is solid, but hasn’t been anything more than a super long reliever for the Dodgers in the past 3 years. The shambling corpse of Rich Hill is there, still throwing his 32 MPH curveball. Their bullpen is average at best. Is this the weakness the Sox hitters will be able to exploit? Finally…

Will COVID-19 Make All Of This Moot?

The challenges for this season to get underway, let alone finished are colossal. As of me writing this, the Toronto Blue Jays are still without a park to play in since the Canadian government told them to pound sand. The list of players who are opting out grows by the day, as does the case count across the nation. Testing delays are wreaking havoc across the South, forcing players to sit out without results to their required results. How long before the league has to take a serious look at whether or not continuing the season is viable? We could’ve been a month into the season by now with a decent infrastructure in place for testing if the owners hadn’t decided to be colossal dicks about everything, and now the league is behind the 8-ball. Will the considerable obstacles facing a full season be overcome? I guess we’ll see before too long.

 

Hoping you all and your families are well, and continue to be so. Stay safe everybody, and please for the love of baseball…wear a fucking mask.

 

 

Baseball

Rick Hahn made it a point to call out Right Field as at or near the top of his shopping list for the 2019 off-season. It was well chronicled how historically awful the White Sox were in 2019 at the position, but if you’re unaware they were on pace for a worst-in-history 54 wRC+ before a couple big games in September saved them from immortality. So what was the solution as the team looks to turn the page on the down years of the rebuild and march toward the post-season? A post-hype, RHP mashing/LHP flailing Nomar Mazara. Hahn is eager to prove his club can unlock the untapped potential of the former mega-hype prospect from Texas…

2019 Stats

.268/.318/.469

6.0 BB% 23.0 K%

19 HR 66 RBI 69 R

.327 wOBA 94 wRC+ 0.5 WAR

-4 DRS

LAST WEEK ON NITRO: Mazara turned in his fourth MLB season in much the same fashion as the three that preceded it – by underwhelming. Nothing if not consistent, Mazara posted another season of mediocre production while crushing RHP to the tune of 13 HR/110 wRC+ in 302 ABs and bowing to the whims of LHP with just 6 HR/55 wRC+ in 127 ABs. Mazara seemingly is what he is at the plate at this point, with 64 of 79 career HR coming off RHP and a career 53 wRC+ against LHP that screams for a platoon. Mazara actually went backward in some ways in 2019 as he turned in the worst K/BB ratio of his career with a career high 23% K rate and 6% BB rate.

Mazara is also mediocre (at best) in the field, turning in a -4 DRS and keeping with a theme of being somewhere between -3 and -6 DRS for his career in RF. Nomar was slowed a bit by left oblique strain that kept him to only 116 games played, the lowest of his four full seasons in the bigs. No real speed to his game, Mazara appears to be a curious choice to end the RF woes all on his own.

TOO SWEET! TOO SWEET! (WHOOP WHOOP): Mazara, still just 25 as of late April, finally taps into the unrealized potential that scouts and industry prospect hounds drooled over as he assaulted the minors en route to Texas in 2016. The former top-25 prospect finally figures out how to crush all pitchers the way he’s been able to against RHP (for sizable stretches), allowing him to set a career high in games played and homers as he goes over 150 and 30 for the first time.

“So, sometimes, you need to lean a little more heavily on your scouts, sometimes need a little more heavily on the analytic side. And there’s some projection, especially with younger players involved.” Hahn is rewarded for acquiring such a young player that just never could seem to put it all together and helping him to realize all that potential. Mazara even turns in a passable RF defensively, aided by Luis Robert covering a nice big chunk of Right Center on a regular basis.

YOU FUCKED UP! YOU FUCKED UP!: Mazara is, in fact, a bit worse than what he appears to be. Every once and a while he drives a mistake deep into the Chicago Summer night, but all too often it is he that is the mistake. LHP remains the bane of his existence, exploiting the holes in his swing so harshly that Mazara finds himself in a platoon with Leury Garcia (or Nicky Delmonico??) by June. The K/BB ratio gets even worse as he devolves to a 25%+ K rate and becomes an expensive LH power pinch hitting option off the bench in August and September as the Sox find more a defensively capable replacement at the trade deadline in their quest to reach the first post-season berth in over a decade.

Mazara is then non-tendered in the Winter and drifts through the majors on short term deals with whichever team’s GM convinces himself that his staff can solve this human puzzle. After ‘flirting’ with the top of the market in Mookie Betts and George Springer, Hahn inks Marcell Ozuna to a four-year, $65M deal a year after he probably could’ve had him for 5/70 instead of spending prospect capital on the allure of what Mazara could’ve been.

BAH GAWD, THAT’S MAZARA’S MUSIC!: I tend to think Nomar Mazara is what he is after over 2,000 Major League at bats and he’ll become Hahn’s most regrettable move of the 2019 Winter. Regrettable might not be the right choice of word, considering the cost of Steele Walker(Texas Ranger) probably has a ceiling for essentially what Mazara is right now. This just feels too much like the type of move you make when you’re a year or so out from contention, trying to catch lightening in a bottle and get a few years of cheap-ish quality labor out of a corner OF spot. The problem is that while the Sox may be a year out from REALLY contending, they went ahead and filled basically every other hole they needed to with what amounts to major upgrades, leaving a little more to be desired from the absolute pit that has been Right Field.

This is not Mazara’s fault, and maybe he does have something left to show us. I think it’s foolish to think he’ll give anything more than a .260/.315/.450 line and a wRC+ around 90 overall, and it’d have been a good idea to have a platoon to hit LHP and realize his best usage. Maybe that’s the real plan, that this is the way Garcia gets at bats after he’s moved off 2B for Madrigal in May or so. Garcia did turn in a 110 wRC+ in 183 ABs against LHP in 2019…so a combined 110 wRC+ between the two would be nearly 40 points higher than 2019 amalgamation of shit that was White Sox Right Fielders.

We’d all happily take that, especially if it’s part of a playoff formula.