Part Two of this homestand is a three-game set against the lowly White Sox, which will inevitably make many a writer use a “clever” Sox pun headline. I mean, we’ve seen these teams play each other quite a bit, guys, you don’t need to be uncreative to tell us who they faced and that they coincidentally have the word “Sox” at the end of their names. BOYCOTT BAD SOX PUNS!
CHICAGO WHITE SOX – 56-76, 5th in the AL Central (21 GB)
Hard times have come to the north side of Chicago. The White Sox have been plagued by bad transactions and a barren farm system, and if it wasn’t for a certain left-handed pitcher of theirs, they almost wouldn’t be worth watching. The offense is downright putrid, and now that Alex Rios is gone…yeesh. The rebuilding phase has begun, so I do wonder what their The Will To Win number/level/percentage is, Mr. Harrelson.
1 – Alejandro De Aza – CF – .271/.329/.416
- Speedy outfielder who possesses quite a bit of power. He’s hit 55 doubles over the last two seasons for the White Sox.
- Won’t put up gaudy stolen base numbers a la Jacoby Ellsbury, but he’s enough of a threat to have pitchers take notice.
- His fielding is suspect. In a small sample, he’s been good, but over a longer span, De Aza’s been subpar.
2 – Gordon Beckham – 2B – .290/.339/.399 (in 311 PA)
- Young-ish infielder in the midst of his best season since his rookie year, where he put up 2.5 fWAR over 430 PA.
- Starting to live off making contact. His swing percentage has been going over 50% for two of the last four seasons.
- Solid fielder. Won’t hurt you with the glove, but it’s primarily the bat that most people are concerned with when it comes to Beckham.
3 – Alexei Ramirez – SS – .287/.312/.377
- Slick-fielding Cuban shortstop with a penchant for not walking or striking out all that much. Doesn’t mean he’s fantastic with the bat, however.
- In 2008, Ramirez’s rookie year, he his 21 homers and had a 102 wRC. He’s not posted a wRC over 100 since then.
- His glove is the best thing he’s got, as he’s racked up 47 Defensive Runs Saved over his career & a positive UZR since 2009.
4 – Adam Dunn – DH – .231/.333/.462
- If you look up “Three True Outcomes” in the baseball dictionary, the photo next to it would be a mug shot of Adam Dunn. Homers, walks and strikeouts are his game.
- Other than a fluke awful year in 2011, Dunn’s posted an ISO over .230 every single year, so it’s not like he lacks power.
- There’s a reason he’s going to be a DH until he retires, and that reason is a -100 DRS in the outfield & a -62 DRS at first base.
5 – Paul Konerko – 1B – .245/.313/.354
- This year very well could be the end of the road for Konerko. He used to be a steady, 2-3 fWAR player, but with his back problems, a -1.5 fWAR isn’t tolerable.
- His power has disappeared. His .109 ISO is way below his .211 career mark. Konerko’s swan song, perhaps?
- Never really was a good fielder. His best years in the field were barely above league average.
6 – Avisail Garcia – RF – .292/.325/.416 (in 163 PA)
- Fast, high-strikeout guy with a BABIP inflated by his considerable speed. His value is directly tied to his strikeout rate, however.
- In the minors, he was only really productive when his strikeout rate was below 20%. Doesn’t possess the power to offset it.
- Not the greatest fielder, but the major league sample sizes are too small to make anything out.
7 – Jeff Keppinger – 3B – .251/.280/.311
- Keppinger’s awful -1.4 fWAR is only beat out by Konerko’s rock-bottom-level -1.5 mark. It’s not been a great season for him.
- Doesn’t take many pitches, and will hit to contact. So, naturally, he’s a streaky hitter and lives & dies with his BABIP.
- He can play a plethora of positions, but that doesn’t mean he’s good at fielding at each of them.
8 – Dayan Viciedo – LF – .256/.299/.416
- Viciedo, like Dunn, has a lot of power, but doesn’t have anything close to the patience at the plate Dunn has.
- Yes, he can hit the ball a long, long way (.416 SLG, .160 ISO). Yes, he will swing and miss a lot. (12.2% swinging strike percentage).
- Bad fielder & baserunner. He’s gotten below averages grades in both of those aspects of the game.
9 – Josh Phegley – C – .213/.223/.338 (in 141 PA)
- Rookie catcher who showed some promise in the minor leagues with some gap power that developed into some homers.
- He’s been getting starts over fellow catcher Tyler Flowers since he’s world better than Flowers’ slash line of .190/.244/.341.
- Catching defensive metrics don’t really exist, but all reports suggest Phegley’s a better defender.
Who’s hot? – Last 14 days
- Jeff Keppinger: 2 HR, .400 AVG, 202 wRC
- Alexei Ramirez: 6 runs, .304 AVG, .500 SLG
Who’s not? – Last 14 days
- Gordon Beckham: .182 AVG, .223 wOBA, 30 wRC
- Josh Phegley: .186 AVG, 2.3% BB%, 29 wRC
When you look at Santiago, his 8.72 K/9 looks fantastic. But then you see his 4.15 BB/9 and his 4.45 xFIP and all the hitters instantly start salivating. He allows line drives on 20% of batted balls hit off of him, which is even more tantalizing to hitters. Opposing him will be Ryan Dempster, noted batting-practice hurler fresh off a suspension, during which I wish he learned to pitch effectively.
A few weeks ago, this would look like a typo. But now Peavy wears crimson stockings, and he’ll be facing his former teammate in Danks. Danks doesn’t walk very many batters. That’s good! But he only strikes out 6.15 batters per nine innings and has a 1.77 HR/9. That’s bad! Peavy will work to keep his expletives yelled on camera under 100 words while battling his former team.
Now, take Danks mediocre strikeout rate and add Santiago’s awful walk rate, and you’ve got Rienzo. It also doesn’t help that he has a 1.49 HR/9 and a 5.29 FIP. Also, it’s a day game, so expect the baseballs to fly farther than usual. Doubront will look to keep his good pitching going, as in his last two starts, he’s shut down two top-10 offenses.
- Gavin Floyd: 60-day DL – will miss the remainder of the season (April 27th, right elbow surgery)
- Nothing new to report.
Every one gets one free use of a Sox pun. After that, you’re on your own. Just giving you fair warning, guys.