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Lip Man 1
10-01-2007, 05:33 PM
This section gets to the guts of the issues. It is not the entire story which is posted at White Sox.com:

FORECAST FOR 2008

Lineup: It's a true work in progress, with three or four major decisions all intertwined. Thome, Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye, who comprise the team's potent middle, all figure to return, but the team has to make decisions on shortstop Juan Uribe ($5.5 million option) and outfielder Darin Erstad ($3.5 million option). Crede appears on schedule to come back healthy and ready for Spring Training after back surgery, but then what becomes of Fields and fleet-footed center fielder Jerry Owens -- especially if the White Sox pursue a front-end free agent in center field such as Torii Hunter or Aaron Rowand?

Rotation: Bringing back the starting five from this steady rotation certainly would do nothing but help the White Sox cause. Buehrle, Vazquez and Jon Garland all made at least 30 starts and pitched at least 200 innings, while Jose Contreras won four straight decisions down the stretch. Rookie John Danks provided a more-than-admirable anchor at the fifth starter's spot, but he is no lock for the same role in 2008. Gavin Floyd and Minor League standouts such as Gio Gonzalez and right-hander Jack Egbert could challenge for a rotation slot, which could have another opening if Garland or Contreras are moved as part of the offseason overhaul.

Bullpen: Aside from Jenks, no firm answers exist for this crew so crucial to success. Matt Thornton remains under contract through 2009, and the White Sox like the left-hander's upside, meaning he will remain in the team's picture. The White Sox also talk about the great stuff possessed by righty Mike MacDougal, but he needs to start producing on the field to have any sort of future role -- even with two guaranteed years left on his deal. Both Boone Logan and Wasserman are young arms who impressed late, but Williams certainly will be looking to upgrade through slightly more proven commodities.

Biggest need: In 2005, the White Sox won a World Series title with great pitching from start to finish and the ability to manufacture just enough runs to survive. With that title in mind moving forward, the South Siders need to drastically improve their bullpen and add more speed to the lineup. Regarding position specifics, the free-swinging, power-packed days of shortstop Uribe might be replaced by a better contact, higher on-base possibility.

Prospect to watch: Top youngsters such as Fields, Owens, Danks and second baseman Danny Richar all saw significant playing time in 2007 because of the plethora of injuries. All four should be back in some form or another next year. But keep an eye on Gonzalez, the hard-throwing left-hander, whose 185 strikeouts topped teammate Egbert's total of 165 for the Southern League lead this past season.

Lip

eriqjaffe
10-01-2007, 05:59 PM
Danks and Richar didn't see playing time due to injuries (unless you count getting traded to Philadelphia as an injury), but...other than that, yeah.

Lillian
10-01-2007, 07:38 PM
Merkin's analysis is pretty much what we've heard from most observers, but I have a different take, and one which may not require so many changes:
Where Josh Fields plays may be the key, as it will likely dictate many other pieces of the 2008 Sox puzzle.
If he plays left, and Sox management opens the company check book for Rowand or Hunter, then there is no place for Owens. He is our only in house legitimate lead off candidate. (I assume Pods is gone). That means they would have to look outside the organization for a lead off hitter. Bringing in Edgar Renteria probably means having to trade a starter, most likely Garland. That in turn further complicates the pitching equation. Moreover, neither Renteria, nor Furcal for that matter, really look like they would give Ozzie the speed he seeks at the top of the order, and either one would be very expensive.

Here is a solution that minimizes the number of moves required to fill the several holes on this team: Fields should be platooned with Thome as DH. Thomeís numbers against lefties are awful. He only hit .196 with a .314 OBP. He had just 10 extra base hits in 143 at bats.
Fields, on the other hand, was a terrific vs. lefties. He hit .321 with a .371 OBP.
He hit 11 homers and 7 doubles in just 106 at bats. He also drove in 25 runs.
By platooning the two of them the Sox would have monster stats from the DH slot in the lineup. It was also give Thome some rest as he ages. Perhaps even more important, it would give them a potent bat off the bench, every day, as the one sitting would be available to pinch hit, or take over after either one is replaced by a pinch runner.

Using Fields as a DH, opens up left field for Owens. That in turn eliminates that need for a new shortstop who can lead off. If the Sox bring in a good defensive center fielder with a potent bat, they may not have to make any other moves. Imagine Rowand or Hunter in center, with Crede back at third. With that lineup, you can afford to leave Uribe at SS in the 9 hole. He frustrates me as much as the rest of you, but he does have potential to contribute, especially on defense. I would include a clause in his contract, requiring that he stay in the kind of shape in which Ozzie implored him to be, when he came to Spring Training this year.

If you donít have to trade Garland or Contreras, you have the potential for a solid rotation. That in turn affords you the possibility of filling the bullpen holes with some of the promising young pitchers in the organization. Broadway, Danks, Floyd, Gonzales and Egbert could compete for the fifth spot in the rotation. The best of the others could join Jenks, Thornton, Logan and Wasserman in the pen.

There is one more intangible here that could be a consideration. K. W. has turned over a lot of players the last few years, including some awfully good ones. I, for one, am a little disappointed to see so many former Sox players doing so well for other teams. John Rauch, Damaso Marte, Chris Young, Riske, Ordonez, Rowand and Lee, all would look pretty good on this team. Of course we got good players back in return, but it is still a little frustrating. The point is, maybe it would be constructive to just stick with most of the current roster, and hope that some of these guys will return to their career numbers.

Here is one possible lineup with just one F.A. acquisition:

LF Owens
CF Rowand
DH Thome or Fields
RF Dye
1B Konerko
3B Crede
C A.J.
SS Uribe
2B Richar

upperdeckusc
10-01-2007, 07:57 PM
the only problem i have with the above post is that you'd be paying thome $13 mil to hit against righties. so........375 abs? 400? thats alotta money for a platoon player. if thats the case, i'd rather trade him to the angels an NL team really in need of a 1b for a player or 2. he played a good amount this yr and put up good #'s. its worth pondering. then, of course, fields would be our DH/fields off day man, and free up money for the bullpen/CF/SS.

Lillian
10-01-2007, 09:21 PM
the only problem i have with the above post is that you'd be paying thome $13 mil to hit against righties. so........375 abs? 400? thats alotta money for a platoon player. if thats the case, i'd rather trade him to the angels an NL team really in need of a 1b for a player or 2. he played a good amount this yr and put up good #'s. its worth pondering. then, of course, fields would be our DH/fields off day man, and free up money for the bullpen/CF/SS.

The only problem with trading him is that we need one potent left handed bat, which he provides. Of course it's a shame to have to sit him against lefties, but his numbers are just awful, and Fields is very good vs. lefties.

palehozenychicty
10-01-2007, 09:28 PM
It's actually a thoughtful idea, and fiscally creative, but I have a feeling that they're going to do more than that because it just isn't KW's style to stand pat. I still think the Sox just need to get more athletic in the field, period. A bold trade does that more than anything else.

asindc
10-01-2007, 09:31 PM
the only problem i have with the above post is that you'd be paying thome $13 mil to hit against righties. so........375 abs? 400? thats alotta money for a platoon player. if thats the case, i'd rather trade him to the angels an NL team really in need of a 1b for a player or 2. he played a good amount this yr and put up good #'s. its worth pondering. then, of course, fields would be our DH/fields off day man, and free up money for the bullpen/CF/SS.

Aren't the Phils picking up part of Thome's salary for next year?

champagne030
10-01-2007, 09:53 PM
The only problem with trading him is that we need one potent left handed bat, which he provides. Of course it's a shame to have to sit him against lefties, but his numbers are just awful, and Fields is very good vs. lefties.

Or the fact that you'll limit Fields to 200-225 AB's? And have Owens counted on to produce 600+ AB's out of the 1 hole? Kenny has his work ahead of him. To me, Josh needs 600 AB's whether in LF, 3B, DH or a mix of all. For that to happen, Owens, Thome or Crede cannot be everyday players. Kenny needs to get creative. There's no leadoff hitting CF or SS available in the FA market that I want. Owens is a very risky option to count on as a leadoff hitter at any position and with his arm I want no part of him in CF. Fields, at this point is a liability at 3B. I just don't see how Fields and Owens fit, together as everyday players, with our current roster.

russ99
10-02-2007, 12:50 AM
Aren't the Phils picking up part of Thome's salary for next year? I thought it was just for the first 2 years.

TDog
10-02-2007, 01:16 AM
the only problem i have with the above post is that you'd be paying thome $13 mil to hit against righties. so........375 abs? 400? thats alotta money for a platoon player. if thats the case, i'd rather trade him to the angels an NL team really in need of a 1b for a player or 2. he played a good amount this yr and put up good #'s. its worth pondering. then, of course, fields would be our DH/fields off day man, and free up money for the bullpen/CF/SS.

If Thome is splitting time with someone who is making the minimum, his salary isn't an issue. The big problem with platooning Thome and Fields at DH is that Fields only hits against southpaws, he might have trouble keeping sharp. Compound that with that fact that some left-handed pitchers are difficult even for right-handed hitters to hit, and it's a lot to ask of a young player to platoon against southpaws at DH.

Lillian
10-02-2007, 06:19 AM
If Thome is splitting time with someone who is making the minimum, his salary isn't an issue. The big problem with platooning Thome and Fields at DH is that Fields only hits against southpaws, he might have trouble keeping sharp. Compound that with that fact that some left-handed pitchers are difficult even for right-handed hitters to hit, and it's a lot to ask of a young player to platoon against southpaws at DH.

Perhaps you are right, but how do you explain the great stats that Fields put up vs. lefties? Did they sit him against the tougher ones? I doubt it.

esbrechtel
10-02-2007, 07:09 AM
I just personally wouldnt want a young player like fields to be in the DH spot....

Frater Perdurabo
10-02-2007, 07:15 AM
I've advocated the same thing.

Fields would get additional ABs against RHP starting some games at third base because Crede likely would need frequent days off to rest his back. Because of his superior defense, Crede should start at third when groundball pitchers like Buehrle and Garland start for the Sox.

Basically the "platoon" situation would look like this:

v LHP: Crede at third, Fields at DH

v RHP, when Buehrle or Garland are pitching: Crede at third, Thome at DH

v RHP, when Vazquez or Contreras are pitching: Fields at third, Thome at DH

The other obvious advantage to this is that either Thome, Fields or Crede would be available to pinch hit every game.

wulfy
10-02-2007, 12:29 PM
Basically the "platoon" situation would look like this:

v LHP: Crede at third, Fields at DH

v RHP, when Buehrle or Garland are pitching: Crede at third, Thome at DH

v RHP, when Vazquez or Contreras are pitching: Fields at third, Thome at DH

The other obvious advantage to this is that either Thome, Fields or Crede would be available to pinch hit every game.

Wow, I really like that approach - as I think Fields has to be our 3B in 2009, so I like that he'll see regular action over there. It keeps Crede/Thome fresh and provides enough at bats for Fields.

The Immigrant
10-02-2007, 12:54 PM
I thought it was just for the first 2 years.

Next year is also included, as is the $3MM buyout after 2008.

Sargeant79
10-02-2007, 02:06 PM
I've advocated the same thing.

Fields would get additional ABs against RHP starting some games at third base because Crede likely would need frequent days off to rest his back. Because of his superior defense, Crede should start at third when groundball pitchers like Buehrle and Garland start for the Sox.

Basically the "platoon" situation would look like this:

v LHP: Crede at third, Fields at DH

v RHP, when Buehrle or Garland are pitching: Crede at third, Thome at DH

v RHP, when Vazquez or Contreras are pitching: Fields at third, Thome at DH

The other obvious advantage to this is that either Thome, Fields or Crede would be available to pinch hit every game.

I actually wouldn't be opposed to that approach either. Several good things would be accomplished with this:

- Thome's back is saved a bit more, and he is resting at a time when he is not particularly helpful being in the lineup, thus providing the most bang for the Sox' buck.

- Fields still gets the opportunity to play 3rd, because he will likely be needed there in 2009 after Crede leaves.

- Fields can still play left on occasion, thus eliminating the need to carry a 5th outfielder (not that we may have done that anyway), plus he can spell Owens in left on days when an outfielder needs a day off.

IIRC, we had something like a 4-man outfield rotation in 2005 for the six weeks or so that Frank Thomas was healthy. Given Ozzie's propensity to rest players an average of once a week anyway, this would be a way to give us the best "Sunday lineup" possible.

nysox35
10-02-2007, 02:40 PM
I actually wouldn't be opposed to that approach either. Several good things would be accomplished with this:

- Thome's back is saved a bit more, and he is resting at a time when he is not particularly helpful being in the lineup, thus providing the most bang for the Sox' buck.

- Fields still gets the opportunity to play 3rd, because he will likely be needed there in 2009 after Crede leaves.

- Fields can still play left on occasion, thus eliminating the need to carry a 5th outfielder (not that we may have done that anyway), plus he can spell Owens in left on days when an outfielder needs a day off.

IIRC, we had something like a 4-man outfield rotation in 2005 for the six weeks or so that Frank Thomas was healthy. Given Ozzie's propensity to rest players an average of once a week anyway, this would be a way to give us the best "Sunday lineup" possible.

This thread rules! All the things said make a hell of a lot of sense to me. It wouldn't force us to trade starting pitching and would limit the amount of work Kenny needs to do and to still have a good team.:bandance:

TDog
10-02-2007, 02:50 PM
Perhaps you are right, but how do you explain the great stats that Fields put up vs. lefties? Did they sit him against the tougher ones? I doubt it.

Fields hits left-handed pitching better than right-handed pitching. But he is hitting both. He has been playing just about every day. If he faces a tough lefty after sitting for three days after facing a tough lefty after sitting for three days -- a possibility in such a platoon -- that tough lefty is going to be tougher for him to hit. Left-handed hitters fair better in such platoon situations because they play more.

The need for more playing time is greater in a young player like Fields than it is with a veteran like Thome.

And as others have implied, it's not a good idea to turn a young player with some hitting talent into a DH who only hits lefties.

Mohoney
10-02-2007, 10:31 PM
I've advocated the same thing.

Fields would get additional ABs against RHP starting some games at third base because Crede likely would need frequent days off to rest his back. Because of his superior defense, Crede should start at third when groundball pitchers like Buehrle and Garland start for the Sox.

Basically the "platoon" situation would look like this:

v LHP: Crede at third, Fields at DH

v RHP, when Buehrle or Garland are pitching: Crede at third, Thome at DH

v RHP, when Vazquez or Contreras are pitching: Fields at third, Thome at DH

The other obvious advantage to this is that either Thome, Fields or Crede would be available to pinch hit every game.

The only problem I have with this is that, since Contreras struggled so much this year, I think it's pretty imperative that we field the best defensive team possible behind him. I would also want to do the same for whoever gets the 5th starter spot, since it's going to be a younger guy.

Madscout
10-03-2007, 10:16 AM
All this makes me think that we are just going to get rid of a right handed bat in our lineup. My guess would be Dye, and we put Fields or Owens in right and the other in left. I think this would make us a little faster, and RF is not much different that LF, so it could be a decent fit for Fields. But Dye just got paid, so we will see if they want to do this. Anybody know who would pick him up? LA? ???

eriqjaffe
10-03-2007, 10:48 AM
Owens in right:rolling:

Owens doesn't have the arm to play right field. Owens barely has the arm to play first base.

SBSoxFan
10-03-2007, 10:59 AM
:rolling:

Owens doesn't have the arm to play right field. Owens barely has the arm to play first base.

Which reminds me, who does play RF when Dye is not in there? Not Fields, not Owens. Terrero? Erstad?

eriqjaffe
10-03-2007, 11:55 AM
Which reminds me, who does play RF when Dye is not in there? Not Fields, not Owens. Terrero? Erstad?According to baseball-reference:

Right Field Inn GS G PO A E DP .985 *2.08
-----------+----+---+---+----+----+---+---+-----+-----
JDye (http://www.baseball-reference.com/d/dyeje01.shtml) 1156 0 135 284 9 3 3 .990 2.28
RMackowiak (http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/mackoro01.shtml) 88 0 14 22 1 1 0 .958 2.33
DErstad (http://www.baseball-reference.com/e/erstada01.shtml) 76 0 9 12 1 0 0 1.000 1.53
AGonzalez (http://www.baseball-reference.com/g/gonzaan01.shtml) 63 0 10 15 0 0 0 1.000 2.14
LTerrero (http://www.baseball-reference.com/t/terrelu01.shtml) 56 0 15 12 0 0 0 1.000 1.90
-----------+----+---+---+----+----+---+---+-----+-----
Team Total 1440 162 162 345 11 4 3 .989 2.22
-----------+----+---+---+----+----+---+---+-----+-----

upperdeckusc
10-03-2007, 01:08 PM
All this makes me think that we are just going to get rid of a right handed bat in our lineup. My guess would be Dye, and we put Fields or Owens in right and the other in left. I think this would make us a little faster, and RF is not much different that LF, so it could be a decent fit for Fields. But Dye just got paid, so we will see if they want to do this. Anybody know who would pick him up? LA? ???

i coulda swore i heard that in his new 2 yr contract, the 1st yr was no trade.

eriqjaffe
10-03-2007, 01:15 PM
i coulda swore i heard that in his new 2 yr contract, the 1st yr was no trade.No, but there is a third option year.

rdivaldi
10-03-2007, 01:25 PM
Fields should be platooned with Thome as DH.

Actually I was thinking that due to the fragile nature of his back, I was thinking of Crede getting some ABs as a DH next year with Fields playing 3rd and Sweeney or Owens in LF. Thome needs days off at his advanced age, so against LHSP would be best.

ilsox7
10-03-2007, 01:26 PM
i coulda swore i heard that in his new 2 yr contract, the 1st yr was no trade.

There most likely is. Otherwise, there is absolutely no incentive for him to sign that contract in the first place.

my5thbench
10-04-2007, 11:41 AM
I'd be surprised if they didn't try to unload Contreas

eriqjaffe
10-04-2007, 11:44 AM
I'd be surprised if they didn't try to unload ContreasIf they can get anything of value for him thanks to his good September, I'd be thrilled.

I like Contreras, I really do, I just don't trust him to be a consistent member of the rotation any more.

rdivaldi
10-04-2007, 10:47 PM
If they can get anything of value for him thanks to his good September, I'd be thrilled.

For that reason I think it would be best to keep him, as I highly doubt we would get much of anything for him. I'd just hold on and see if we can catch lightning in a bottle again, the divorce should be mostly off his mind.

eriqjaffe
10-05-2007, 09:10 AM
For that reason I think it would be best to keep him, as I highly doubt we would get much of anything for him. I'd just hold on and see if we can catch lightning in a bottle again, the divorce should be mostly off his mind.Yeah, I would love it if Contreras found himself again, as he's a lot of fun to see pitch when he's on.

I just don't really see it, though. The biggest stumbling block to unloading him is going to be the $20 he's still owed. When's the last time the Sox ate part of somebody's contract in a deal? I honestly don't remember them doing that.

rdivaldi
10-05-2007, 11:32 AM
I just don't really see it, though. The biggest stumbling block to unloading him is going to be the $20 he's still owed. When's the last time the Sox ate part of somebody's contract in a deal? I honestly don't remember them doing that.

Exactly, that's why I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that Jose will be our 4th or 5th starter next year. I'd rather not we unload him and pay a ton of $$$ as well.

Jurr
10-05-2007, 03:08 PM
I don't see as much upside for the Sox keeping Thome as I can see reward for trading him. Yes, Thome can mash, but he stagnates the basepaths, especially with Konerko right next to him in the lineup. You say we need another 35-40 homer guy? Well, we have him in left field (or third base).

You can expect that sort of production out of Fields, and he comes at a much cheaper price. With the money you've just saved, picking up bullpen guys (or another starter) becomes much more conceivable. I see nothing wrong with a Fields/Hunter/Dye outfield with Crede, Konerko, Pierzynski returning to their positions. Much the same way the Sox moved in 2005, there would be a need to strengthen the middle of the infield, and we would see who was available to help.

I favor a varied offense that doesn't rely on station to station baseball. Torii Hunter is a very versatile offensive ballplayer, and I really see it written on the wall that he's going to become Sox property. He'll really help the Sox get out of that station to station type of baseball. I am just tired of seeing the plodding style of play that has taken over the White Sox offensive approach since Thome arrived. It seems that instead of having each player coming through at different times, the offense has been sitting and waiting on the homers from the heart of the lineup. No more, I say!

Get me Hunter, get me some middle infielders with some versatility (and an eye at the plate), and plug in some dependable DH that doesn't rely solely on the homer to get the job done. No more shifts. No more dead pull baseball. Just give me a guy in the DH slot that can hit me a two out single to score a run but can also go first to third on the next single, as well.

I'm going to get crucified by the blind Thome supporters because A.)He's a nice guy and B.) He hits massive homers and also gets on base with walks.

Well, guess what. He's A.)Expensive B.)Very one dimensional and B.) Hasn't really helped the Sox offense become that much more explosive than before he arrived. So.......part ways with Big Jim. Get the focus back on offensive variety and actually start putting pressure back on the opposing pitcher.

GregO23
10-05-2007, 05:10 PM
I've advocated the same thing.

Fields would get additional ABs against RHP starting some games at third base because Crede likely would need frequent days off to rest his back. Because of his superior defense, Crede should start at third when groundball pitchers like Buehrle and Garland start for the Sox.

Basically the "platoon" situation would look like this:

v LHP: Crede at third, Fields at DH

v RHP, when Buehrle or Garland are pitching: Crede at third, Thome at DH

v RHP, when Vazquez or Contreras are pitching: Fields at third, Thome at DH

The other obvious advantage to this is that either Thome, Fields or Crede would be available to pinch hit every game.

I like this idea alot, but not with Jerry Owens leading off. I do not want Owens batting 600 times, especially in the leadoff spot. We will be back in 4th place. I wouldnt mind signing Shannon Stewart, Corey Patterson(bat 9th, and then we would get Eckstein =/), or Kenny Loften to play LF and leadoff.

LF Stewart, Kotsay, Baldelli, or Loften
CF Rowand, Hunter, or Cameron
DH Thome/Fields/Crede
1B Konerko
RF Dye
C Pierzynski
3B Crede/Fields
2B Richar
SS Uribe

PH-Thome/Crede/Fields
BN-Owens

And we would keep all our pitching. Loften or Stewart wont cost much, and they both had very good seasons this season, and if either get hurt we still have Owens.

EDIT: Considerations for another LF that can lead off: Rocco Baldelli and Mark Kotsay

Frank the Tank
10-06-2007, 07:19 PM
If we can get someone useful for Thome, we need to unload him ASAP. He clogs up the basepaths and his health is unreliable. Furthermore, he continues to get older and has no future upside for the organization. Freeing his salary could give us funds to buy solid arms in the bullpen; failed Kansas City Royals pitchers won't get it done.

With Fields showing he can play, I see no reason to keep Crede. Hopefully we could get a SS or 2nd baseman for him.

Trade Contreras for anything, hopefully salary deferral

Tragg
10-07-2007, 02:43 PM
T but the team has to make decisions on shortstop Juan Uribe ($5.5 million option) and outfielder Darin Erstad ($3.5 million option).
$3.5 million for Erstad and his .310 OBP and 4 homers. What decision is he possibly talking about?

ilsox7
10-07-2007, 02:47 PM
If we can get someone useful for Thome, we need to unload him ASAP. He clogs up the basepaths and his health is unreliable. Furthermore, he continues to get older and has no future upside for the organization. Freeing his salary could give us funds to buy solid arms in the bullpen; failed Kansas City Royals pitchers won't get it done.

With Fields showing he can play, I see no reason to keep Crede. Hopefully we could get a SS or 2nd baseman for him.

Trade Contreras for anything, hopefully salary deferral

Thome isn't going anywhere.

Grzegorz
10-07-2007, 05:36 PM
$3.5 million for Erstad and his .310 OBP and 4 homers. What decision is he possibly talking about?

One player backs up two positions with close to in not gold glove calibre defense.

That is a nice option to have.

upperdeckusc
10-07-2007, 05:55 PM
One player backs up two positions with close to in not gold glove calibre defense.

That is a nice option to have.

yes it is, but not at 3.5 mil. hes not even capable of being a backup at those 2 positions for a full year, as he's guaranteed to get injured AT LEAST once during the yr. you can get 2 players that back up 1 position each fairly well for less money.
pass......

Tragg
10-07-2007, 06:23 PM
One player backs up two positions with close to in not gold glove calibre defense.

That is a nice option to have.

Please - you can get his production (good field, no hit) for minimum salary, and 10 years younger who doesn't spend 1/2 the year on the disabled list. You could probably get one with a better arm, as well.
Erstad as backup 1B is of no help at all... a punchless ozzie-style slapper is a killer at 1B (much less batting 1st, 2nd or 5th, which is where Ozzie batted him most of the season).

Owens can be the backup outfielder. The bench needs a real bench bat anyway - get one who can also play 1B. Let Fields play some backup 1B - can't be any worse than him in LF. With his 3B experience, it might work.

guillen4life13
10-09-2007, 10:43 PM
I'll preface this by saying that I really think the Sox should use this year to build, test and mature for '09. We would still compete in '08, but don't expect any rings.

My 2008 Projected (with some hopefulness) Lineup:

LF Owens
SS Vizquel
DH Thome OR RF Dye
1B Konerko
RF Dye OR CF Rowand
CF Rowand OR 3B Crede
3B Crede OR 3B/1B Fields
C Pierzynski
2B Richar

Regular Bench:
UT Ozuna
IF Cintron
OF Sweeney
C Toby Hall


STARTERS

Buehrle
Vazquez
Garland
Danks/Broadway/Floyd/Gonzalez will fight the last two spots out and probably rotate in and out.

Relief:
Jenks
[insert name here] x 5

For the infield, we need to unload Uribe somehow and land a quality shortstop, like perhaps Omar Vizquel with a 1 year initial offer, and if he turns it down, gamble on the two. He's still a viable major league starting shortstop if we get him for the right price. He also helps tutor Danny Richar on defense and he is only one year removed from a very good year. Let Richar be the main 2B and give him a chance to perform. Ozuna backs both of them up.

I like the idea of Fields playing as the corner infield backup player to start the season, giving him 3/7 games per week.

The way I see it, it's more likely than not that by midseason, either Thome or Crede (or, god forbid, both of them) will be going through some injury and will go on the DL a few times. If that doesn't happen, Fields will at least play around half of the games and will be fresh in the infield. That's where I see his future taking him in the long term anyways. I really don't see Crede sticking around, regardless of his health. If he has a good 2008, Scott Boras will put him out of White Sox price range, and if he has a bad 2008, he will be too unreliable to have a future here. Fields is the 3B of the future. He doesn't need to play outfield, which will be another crowded situation anyways.

That situation is a little more unpredictable considering the rumors about Torii Hunter, Aaron Rowand, Andruw Jones, etc. Now, I really don't like Hunter and I think he's going to be overpriced. I don't like him running his mouth either, but I didn't like AJ when he was against us, but with us he's awesome (even like Rodman as well). Jones would not be ideal either because I think Kenny is going to go for a higher average instead of more Thome like offensive production (in the most ideal situation) with a high price tag. However, I wouldn't be against Rowand coming back to CF. I know he's not as good defensively as some other options (Anderson and Sweeney), but realistically, if he gets signed he will play CF every day and he's a good bat. I think it's understood that if Anderson makes it as a regular, he won't do it wearing silver and black. Dye is the guaranteed RF. Pods is gone. Sweeney and Owens will break camp with the team, with Sweeney likely to be the all around OF backup. Owens would play LF, where his arm better suits the position and would lead off. I see this as the most likely scenario. I don't think Erstad won't be around next year.

With regards to pitching, I think the Sox are going to unload Contreras, eating a bit of money in the process. He hasn't been the same since the back whacked out, and who knows if he's just an older than reported player showing his age. Buehrle, Garland and Vazquez will stay. The rest of the staff will go to the best two of Broadway, Danks, Gonzalez and Floyd. The relief corps is anyone's guess.

Let the impaling and skewering of guillen4life13 begin!