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View Full Version : Why So Down On Sox?


ukigdog
01-06-2004, 06:12 PM
We are nearing Sox Fest and the reporting of pitchers and catchers, and I couldnt help but look at where the White Sox are at. Everyone seems to be complaining about the fact that they are not making moves and not giving sox fans something to be excited about. I feel people should not look at things so negatively. Here is my take on the situation:

As of right now here is what our lineup will probably be next season:

1. Willie Harris
2. Aaron Rowand
3. Frank Thomas
4. Magglio Ordonez
5. Carlos Lee
6. Paul Konerko
7. Jose Valentin
8. Joe Crede
9. Miguel Olivo

Lets start from the top, in Willie Harris. I dont care what people tell me, but to me he has the potential to have a juan pierre effect on us as pierre had in florida. He is the kind of guy i like at the leadoff spot, one with tremendous speed that slaps at the ball and gets on base. He hasnt really gotten on base for us yet, but i think that given a full year, you will see that he can. He played lights out in AAA, and if you look at an interesting fact from the end of last season, in his last few games he bat .375. I know it is not much to go on, but i feel that with a regular role he can get it done for the sox.

Next is Aaron Rowand. Many think i am crazy for putting him at number 2, but if you look at last year when he came back up in the second half of the season before Everett came to Chicago, he played great in the two spot. In fact for those few weeks he hit a large .375 with a few great hits against the scrubbies!! I beleive that the beginning of last year he was forced into action from injury, rushed, and it was way too early and that is why he struggled. After really getting the time he needed he came back great. Harris followed by Rowand is young, but can be good for us if they can at least somewhat duplicate the end of last season (.375 and .370). These to players are definitely risks, but everyone knows that without risks you cannot grow and i think with our money constraints this is the time to let Harris and Rowand play a full season and see what they have to offer.

Next is our 3-4-5 of Thomas, Ordonez, Lee. Thomas is thomas. It will be interesting to see what happens with him and Guillen, but something tells me hell be just fine and put up his 30-40 hr's and nearly 100 ribbies. Ordonez is coming off a somewhat off year, and is in his contract year, so he will put up numbers. Lee is up and coming and looked great last year. Look for that to continue if he hits behind thomas and ordonez.

Next is Konerko. Konerko, IMO, cannot get worse then last year. Looking at last season, it was his worst of his carreer pretty much. We all know that he has one of the most fundamentally sound swings in baseball and he is always pushing himself and working his ass off. I see nothing but a complete turnaround this season and am glad if we keep him in our lineup.

Next is Valentin. It seems as though he is completely now a one dimensional hitter, left handed. Look for him probably to platoon this season a little with Uribe, Graffys replacement. But expect him in the linup in big games, for his clutch bat. Most importantly i like him on our team for his support and leadership in the clubhouse.

Next is Joe Crede. Just like alot of players on our team, struggled early, but showed promise at end of season. I see him having a more consistent year, but nothing like the greats of our 3-4-5 hitters. He will be great in the 8 hole.

Last is Olivo. He is a speadster, something i really, really love out of our 9th hitter. I like speed at 1 and 9 and i think he will improve now that he has had one year in the bigs.

To sum things up on our lineup, there are alot of things that are almost sure things, like maggs, thomas, lee, valentins clutch power, olivos speed and defense at catcher. There are also things that are iffy like rowand, harris, konerko. But looking at things, i really feel optomistic and excited that they will go in the right direction, especially with Ozzie in as our coach. In the end, i think that we still have the most potent offense in the AL Central by far.

Now lets look at the pitching side of the ball:

SP - Mark Buehrle
SP - Esteban Loaiza
SP - John Garland
SP - John Rauch/Felix Diaz
SP - Scott Shoenweis John Rauch/Felix Diaz

RP - Matt Ginter (long releif)
RP - Danny Wright (long releif)
RP - Kelly Wusnch (lefty specialist)
RP - Damaso Marte (lefty setup man)
RP - Cliff Pollite (righty setup man)
CL - Billy Koch (closer)

First lets look at the starters. I think that Buehrle will have a much better year now that he got his $$. I think he will come back and win the 18-20 we hoped for last year. Second, i think that Loaiza on the other hand, will drop off somewhat. It seemed as though near the end of last year, some were figuring him out more, and he was losing. However, you can argue that he was overpitched and sick through some of the starts. I see him down from 21 wins to the 15-18 range. Garland needs to step up this year. He is due for a breakout year, and unfortunately i dont see it happening. I dont have much faith in him, for he is very inconsistent. I see him haveing 15 wins at best. This moves up to Rauch or Diaz. Personally i think that Diaz will get the nod and Rauch will move to pen. I really like Diaz and what ive seen lately. He developed the cut fastball, which was lethal for loaiza, i see him haveing a great year. Last, there is Shoenweis. To me, easily another Wright. Not good, and dont like him there, but we are limited at that position and we have to go with it.

Overall, our starting pitching is worse then last year, but nothing tragic. I think that diaz will surprise alot and take alof of losing colon away. The major problem i see is the innings that colon ate. That will be hard to do and will be our major problem in the pitching this year.

Next we look at the releif. I think that Wright can be a dominant long releif pitcher along with ginter. They can get the job done in my opinion. Aslo, Wunsch will be wunch against lefties, and marte will be marte in his setup role. The big two things i want to see is politte in the sox uni next year and koch rebounding. If those two happen, i think our pen is somewhat saved next year.

Aside from the signing of Pollite, the rest seems to be set. I still think that KW will go out and get us a few guys to minor league contracts in the likes of pollite, maybe another bullpen guy, bench guy, or a veteran pitcher like loaiza last year.

After these are done, our team seems set. I am not saddened by what we have by any means. In fact i think that we should win. The one thing i remember saying over and over and over and over last year is why do we have manuel. I think that getting a fiery coach in Ozzie will make the difference even with a less talented team on paper. I think that it is time for some youngsters to step up as they did in 2000 for us and as for the cubs zambrano, wood, prior, etc last year. It can happen and i think it will.

In the end, i predict that yes we do make the playoffs and win the Central.

Realist
01-06-2004, 06:26 PM
Your "the glass is half full" optimism is refreshing and I pretty much agree with everything you've written, or at least I believe the upside potential is there. We'll just have to wait and see how things pan out.

One thing nobody has ever explained to me is why Marte can't be our closer? It seems as though he can out match any 3 players from any team for an inning. Isn't that what we want in a closer? I feel more confident with Marte coming in late in the game with a 2 run lead than I ever did with Farmer, Thiggy, Hernandez, Foulke or Koch.

southsidegirl
01-06-2004, 06:44 PM
I don't think that Ozzie will put Frank at the #3 spot if Maggs is around.

voodoochile
01-06-2004, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by southsidegirl
I don't think that Ozzie will put Frank at the #3 spot if Maggs is around.

If they put Carlos back in the two-hole, then Frank should bat 3rd, IMO. Ozzie has already said he wants to bat Frank 4th, but I would hope that if Rowand and Harris are indeed in the top two slots and Maggs is third that they will bat Carlos 4th and Frank 5th where he can give the most protection and still swing for the fences when he gets a chance. Now, who protects Frank is another matter...

lowesox
01-06-2004, 07:31 PM
While I appreciate your optimism, I'm pissed at this team for letting another good opportunity to win slip away. The team you've listed above is a .500 club at best. In fact, I think its worst than the team that was so awful at the beginning of last year.

Here's why:

1) I don't think Willie Harris is a legitamate Major Leaguer. He's fast and is ok defensibly, but is awful at the plate, rarely makes it on base and doesn't even run as much when he's on base.

2) I'm good with giving Rowand a chance, but he shouldn't be somebody you have to depend on. With weak spots in our lineup like harris and olivo, we can't have another hole. With Rowand (and unpredictable players like Konerko and Crede) there's the possibility that we could have at least 3 major holes in our lineup.

3) The rotation is awful. I love Buerle, and will expect big things from him. But Loaiza will not be as good next year as he was last year. His career numbers are too awful to assume he's going to be an ace from now on. I like Garland, in fact, I'd hedge more on him being an ace next year than Loaiza, but Rauch hasn't proven anything yet and Showenweiss hasn't done much since putting on a White Sox uniform. Maybe he'll be better but management is making a mistake if they expect it.

4) The bullpen is even worse. I think something is wrong with Koch's arm. He was terrible all year last year. Maybe he'll be better, but to depend on him as the closer is crazy. I agree Marte can and probably will be the man but the 6,7,8 innings will be an adventure. I'd be happy to see Ginter get a full-time gig, but not with such an inconsistent supporting cast.

ChiSox14305635
01-06-2004, 08:29 PM
1) I don't think Willie Harris is a legitamate Major Leaguer. He's fast and is ok defensibly, but is awful at the plate, rarely makes it on base and doesn't even run as much when he's on base.



I don't think Willie has been given enough of an opportunity. Let's at least give him half a year before we dub him a "bust". Same thing for Rowand. I know he struggled the 1st 2 months of last year, but keep in mind, he was coming off of that injury on his dirt bike. After he got straightened out in Charlotte, he was hitting well when the Sox acquired Everett. Even then, Rowand was still clutch on the bench, both with his bat and glove. I think he's ready to take the CF job full-time. Let's give him a chance to prove it.

Also, not making a bunch of moves like the Yankees & Red Sox have isn't necessarily a bad thing. Look at the Mets the past couple of years. All the people who they've trotted in, they can't get rid of them fast enough. The only significant moves we made in 2000 were relatively minor (Valentin, maybe an exception), and we got 95 wins out of the deal. It could happen again.

I think this team is definitely better than .500.

SluggersAway
01-06-2004, 08:50 PM
I was going along with it all.

Then you mentioned 'Danny Wrong' and 'strong in relief' in the same sentence.

And you lost all credibility.

PaulDrake
01-06-2004, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by lowesox
While I appreciate your optimism, I'm pissed at this team for letting another good opportunity to win slip away. The team you've listed above is a .500 club at best. In fact, I think its worst than the team that was so awful at the beginning of last year.

Here's why:

1) I don't think Willie Harris is a legitamate Major Leaguer. He's fast and is ok defensibly, but is awful at the plate, rarely makes it on base and doesn't even run as much when he's on base.

2) I'm good with giving Rowand a chance, but he shouldn't be somebody you have to depend on. With weak spots in our lineup like harris and olivo, we can't have another hole. With Rowand (and unpredictable players like Konerko and Crede) there's the possibility that we could have at least 3 major holes in our lineup.

3) The rotation is awful. I love Buerle, and will expect big things from him. But Loaiza will not be as good next year as he was last year. His career numbers are too awful to assume he's going to be an ace from now on. I like Garland, in fact, I'd hedge more on him being an ace next year than Loaiza, but Rauch hasn't proven anything yet and Showenweiss hasn't done much since putting on a White Sox uniform. Maybe he'll be better but management is making a mistake if they expect it.

4) The bullpen is even worse. I think something is wrong with Koch's arm. He was terrible all year last year. Maybe he'll be better, but to depend on him as the closer is crazy. I agree Marte can and probably will be the man but the 6,7,8 innings will be an adventure. I'd be happy to see Ginter get a full-time gig, but not with such an inconsistent supporting cast. This post is a lot more accurate than the first one.

maurice
01-07-2004, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by ukigdog
We are nearing Sox Fest and the reporting of pitchers and catchers, and I couldnt help but look at where the White Sox are at. . . .

That's a very thoughtful analysis. Unfortunately, I don't think it supports your optimism. As a direct result of JR's so-called "budget," the Sox have too many "ifs" and no adequate backup plans. IMHO, they'll need to catch lightning in a bottle to win even 86 games this year.

miker
01-07-2004, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by maurice
That's a very thoughtful analysis. Unfortunately, I don't think it supports your optimism. As a direct result of JR's so-called "budget," the Sox have too many "ifs" and no adequate backup plans. IMHO, they'll need to catch lightning in a bottle to win even 86 games this year. Is Ozzie our lightning? Or will it be time to hit the bottle? :gulp:

jabrch
01-07-2004, 01:33 PM
Kenny,

I like your optimism. I appreciate it. Now get off of WSI and go back to the phones and find us a legitimate leadoff hitter, a #3 starter and a few arms in the bullpen please. Also get Mr. Reinsdorf to open the wallet a bit so all this can happen without losing Magglio.

Originally posted by ukigdog
We are nearing Sox Fest and the reporting of pitchers and catchers, and I couldnt help but look at where the White Sox are at. Everyone seems to be complaining about the fact that they are not making moves and not giving sox fans something to be excited about. I feel people should not look at things so negatively. Here is my take on the situation:

As of right now here is what our lineup will probably be next season:

1. Willie Harris
2. Aaron Rowand
3. Frank Thomas
4. Magglio Ordonez
5. Carlos Lee
6. Paul Konerko
7. Jose Valentin
8. Joe Crede
9. Miguel Olivo

Lets start from the top, in Willie Harris. I dont care what people tell me, but to me he has the potential to have a juan pierre effect on us as pierre had in florida. He is the kind of guy i like at the leadoff spot, one with tremendous speed that slaps at the ball and gets on base. He hasnt really gotten on base for us yet, but i think that given a full year, you will see that he can. He played lights out in AAA, and if you look at an interesting fact from the end of last season, in his last few games he bat .375. I know it is not much to go on, but i feel that with a regular role he can get it done for the sox.

Next is Aaron Rowand. Many think i am crazy for putting him at number 2, but if you look at last year when he came back up in the second half of the season before Everett came to Chicago, he played great in the two spot. In fact for those few weeks he hit a large .375 with a few great hits against the scrubbies!! I beleive that the beginning of last year he was forced into action from injury, rushed, and it was way too early and that is why he struggled. After really getting the time he needed he came back great. Harris followed by Rowand is young, but can be good for us if they can at least somewhat duplicate the end of last season (.375 and .370). These to players are definitely risks, but everyone knows that without risks you cannot grow and i think with our money constraints this is the time to let Harris and Rowand play a full season and see what they have to offer.

Next is our 3-4-5 of Thomas, Ordonez, Lee. Thomas is thomas. It will be interesting to see what happens with him and Guillen, but something tells me hell be just fine and put up his 30-40 hr's and nearly 100 ribbies. Ordonez is coming off a somewhat off year, and is in his contract year, so he will put up numbers. Lee is up and coming and looked great last year. Look for that to continue if he hits behind thomas and ordonez.

Next is Konerko. Konerko, IMO, cannot get worse then last year. Looking at last season, it was his worst of his carreer pretty much. We all know that he has one of the most fundamentally sound swings in baseball and he is always pushing himself and working his ass off. I see nothing but a complete turnaround this season and am glad if we keep him in our lineup.

Next is Valentin. It seems as though he is completely now a one dimensional hitter, left handed. Look for him probably to platoon this season a little with Uribe, Graffys replacement. But expect him in the linup in big games, for his clutch bat. Most importantly i like him on our team for his support and leadership in the clubhouse.

Next is Joe Crede. Just like alot of players on our team, struggled early, but showed promise at end of season. I see him having a more consistent year, but nothing like the greats of our 3-4-5 hitters. He will be great in the 8 hole.

Last is Olivo. He is a speadster, something i really, really love out of our 9th hitter. I like speed at 1 and 9 and i think he will improve now that he has had one year in the bigs.

To sum things up on our lineup, there are alot of things that are almost sure things, like maggs, thomas, lee, valentins clutch power, olivos speed and defense at catcher. There are also things that are iffy like rowand, harris, konerko. But looking at things, i really feel optomistic and excited that they will go in the right direction, especially with Ozzie in as our coach. In the end, i think that we still have the most potent offense in the AL Central by far.

Now lets look at the pitching side of the ball:

SP - Mark Buehrle
SP - Esteban Loaiza
SP - John Garland
SP - John Rauch/Felix Diaz
SP - Scott Shoenweis John Rauch/Felix Diaz

RP - Matt Ginter (long releif)
RP - Danny Wright (long releif)
RP - Kelly Wusnch (lefty specialist)
RP - Damaso Marte (lefty setup man)
RP - Cliff Pollite (righty setup man)
CL - Billy Koch (closer)

First lets look at the starters. I think that Buehrle will have a much better year now that he got his $$. I think he will come back and win the 18-20 we hoped for last year. Second, i think that Loaiza on the other hand, will drop off somewhat. It seemed as though near the end of last year, some were figuring him out more, and he was losing. However, you can argue that he was overpitched and sick through some of the starts. I see him down from 21 wins to the 15-18 range. Garland needs to step up this year. He is due for a breakout year, and unfortunately i dont see it happening. I dont have much faith in him, for he is very inconsistent. I see him haveing 15 wins at best. This moves up to Rauch or Diaz. Personally i think that Diaz will get the nod and Rauch will move to pen. I really like Diaz and what ive seen lately. He developed the cut fastball, which was lethal for loaiza, i see him haveing a great year. Last, there is Shoenweis. To me, easily another Wright. Not good, and dont like him there, but we are limited at that position and we have to go with it.

Overall, our starting pitching is worse then last year, but nothing tragic. I think that diaz will surprise alot and take alof of losing colon away. The major problem i see is the innings that colon ate. That will be hard to do and will be our major problem in the pitching this year.

Next we look at the releif. I think that Wright can be a dominant long releif pitcher along with ginter. They can get the job done in my opinion. Aslo, Wunsch will be wunch against lefties, and marte will be marte in his setup role. The big two things i want to see is politte in the sox uni next year and koch rebounding. If those two happen, i think our pen is somewhat saved next year.

Aside from the signing of Pollite, the rest seems to be set. I still think that KW will go out and get us a few guys to minor league contracts in the likes of pollite, maybe another bullpen guy, bench guy, or a veteran pitcher like loaiza last year.

After these are done, our team seems set. I am not saddened by what we have by any means. In fact i think that we should win. The one thing i remember saying over and over and over and over last year is why do we have manuel. I think that getting a fiery coach in Ozzie will make the difference even with a less talented team on paper. I think that it is time for some youngsters to step up as they did in 2000 for us and as for the cubs zambrano, wood, prior, etc last year. It can happen and i think it will.

In the end, i predict that yes we do make the playoffs and win the Central.