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  #1  
Old 05-28-2014, 12:18 PM
BRDSR BRDSR is offline
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Default State of the White Sox: 1/3 down, 2/3rds to go

With exactly 1/3 of the season in the books, it seemed like a good time to look at the season in a big picture so far.

Offense: Certainly a pleasant surprise. The Sox are third in the league in runs scored, fourth in homers, and fifth in average, slugging, and OPS. Abreu has been everything we thought he could be and then a little more. A handful of players are either having breakout seasons or producing above their historic averages (Gillaspie, Ramirez, Flowers, Beckham). Even Dunn is having a respectable campaign. There have been a few boneheaded baserunning blunders, but the Sox have swiped 31 bags while being caught only 10 times. Big picture: nothing to complain about on the offensive side of things, really. They just need to keep doing what they’re doing, and Herm just needs to try to stop the bleeding on the injury side of things. The production seems to have slipped some in May…if it’s slipped to its actual level, then fine. If it continues to slip, that would be a problem.

Starting Pitchers: Some good, some bad. The White Sox have already used 9 starting pitchers this season. Only Quintana and Danks have started more than 10 games. Quintana has been consistent again as a 2nd starter. Danks has shown positive signs, but would have an ERA over 5.50 without his most recent 8IP/0ER start. Sale has, of course, been awesome, but injury has limited him to only half the season. Rienzo has filled in admirably in Sale’s stead, consistently keeping the Sox in games and picking up four runs along the way. Five other pitchers (Noesi, Carroll, Johnson, Paulino, and Leesman) have made 20 starts for the Sox and have given up 80 earned runs in 97.2 IP (ERA of 7.37). Big picture: Sale and Quintana can be expected to continue to anchor the rotation. Rienzo is putting up good 3rd starter numbers but is unproven, with only 17 big league starts under his belt. Danks is an acceptable 4th starter, but hardly inspires confidence. And to make a good run, the Sox need someone to emerge as a 5th starter who will given them at least a chance to win. The 5 fifth starters who have started games for the Sox are a combined 2-10. Hopefully Johnson can put up decent enough numbers when he returns.

Bullpen: Mostly bad, despite last night’s 6IP/1ER showing. The White Sox bullpen is 9th in the league with a 3.90 ERA and 13th with a 1.44 WHIP. Petricka, Putnam, and Webb have been relative bright spots, but everyone else has been inconsistent at best, and consistently bad at worst. A bullpen that would probably have been below average anyway has been hampered by injuries, especially major injuries to Matt Lindstrom and Nate Jones. Big picture: Some other strengths might be able to compensate for a weak bullpen to some extent, and perhaps the Sox could make a move for a reliable reliever in July if they’re in contention. But they may not, since Lindstrom’s and Jones’ return will be imminent by that point. In the meantime, Cooper and Thigpen need to figure out how to get the most out of what they’ve got.

Fielding: Statistically, only the Indians are a worse fielding American League team than the White Sox, but I actually don’t think reality is quite that bleak. Marcus Semien leads the White Sox (and is tied for second in the Majors) with 8 errors, 5 of white occurred at third base where he will not play much as long as Gillaspie continue to play well and stay healthy. Ramirez is making fewer errors than he did in last year’s terribly fielding campaign. Eaton is playing a great CF and Beckham is playing well enough, giving the White Sox good enough defense up the middle. Flowers certainly has room for improvement, and the Sox are probably as weak as anyone at the corner outfield positions. Abreu’s great offensive start has not translated to the field, where he is clearly learning to play at the big league level. Big picture: While defense is certainly not a strength, I don’t see the White Sox as the second worst defensive team in the league. And with a number of young players, there is some room for improvement.

Intangibles: The Sox have had some late inning come from behind wins and the talk is all about what’s happening on the field, not off the field. Can’t complain.

Overall: The White Sox have hovered around .500 all season. In fact, not counting when they were 0-0, they have found themselves at exactly .500 on 16 different occasions so far this season. Without checking, I don’t believe they’ve had either a four game win streak or a four game losing streak. With a solid offensive team, it is unlikely they’ll go on an extended losing streak, but could reel off 6-7 wins in a row once or twice during the rest of the season. It’s hard to evaluate the season without considering injuries. While injuries will happen, I imagine if we just subtracted Sale’s and Abreu’s injuries, the Sox would probably have three more wins and would be sitting at 30-24 (.555). If they can play at that clip for the rest of the season, they’ll finish at 87-75 (.537). While that probably won’t be enough to take the division, it will probably be good enough for second in the Central and might even earn the White Sox a Wild Card play-in game. Big picture: The fact that I can say that with a straight face means this has been a great start to the season!
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:20 PM
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FielderJones FielderJones is offline
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Spaced paragraphs are your friend. They make it easier to comprehend.
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2014 Attendance Record: 7 - 5

March 31 W
April 10 W
April 26 L
May 10 L
May 28 W
June 1 W
June 14 L
July 4 W
July 18 W
August 30 (2) L
September 14 L
September 27 W

Next Game: ??
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:21 PM
BRDSR BRDSR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FielderJones View Post
Spaced paragraphs are your friend. They make it easier to comprehend.
Fixed...it was spaced correctly when I initially wrote it, but for some reason that didn't translate when I published the post.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:30 PM
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FielderJones FielderJones is offline
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Originally Posted by BRDSR View Post
Fixed...it was spaced correctly when I initially wrote it, but for some reason that didn't translate when I published the post.
Thanks, looks and reads great!
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2014, 12:34 PM
hoosiersoxfan hoosiersoxfan is online now
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Considering all the injuries they've had to deal with you have to be impressed with how the Sox have played so far
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:43 PM
Moses_Scurry Moses_Scurry is offline
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Originally Posted by hoosiersoxfan View Post
Considering all the injuries they've had to deal with you have to be impressed with how the Sox have played so far
Yep. Not only have they had to deal with injuries, but the injuries have been to one of the best pitchers in baseball and their best hitting position player. Every team deals with injuries, but we lost our Miggy and Verlander.
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:08 PM
Madvora Madvora is online now
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It usually take the Sox a lot longer to work themselves back to .500, at which point I usually have lost most of my interest. This year they've been hanging around it since the start. Overall, I'm happy with the year considering the injuries. I think they have it in them to be a good team and I can actually see a future with better players once money is freed up in 2015.
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:09 PM
34 Inch Stick 34 Inch Stick is offline
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resilient would be the word I'd use to describe this team
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:26 PM
LITTLE NELL LITTLE NELL is offline
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Very good analysis. Right now I have no idea what our record will be after 162 games, that's why .500 teams are so frustrating, they are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. Then again you probably can say that every year about any team, doesn't seem to be any dynasties out there like the Yankees from the 30s, 40s and 50s.
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  #10  
Old 05-28-2014, 02:29 PM
hawkjt hawkjt is offline
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No way I thought they would survive this rash of injuries if you told me in March that they would lose Avasail, Jones, Lindstrom, Sale, ect.

I had no idea what to expect from Eaton, but he has exceeded my hopes.
Just needs to back it off enough to stay healthy, if that is possible.

Tank has been much improved at the plate, as is Alexei, making the Cubans a huge factor. I hoped that Abreau would be close to this good, but he also has exceeded my hopes.

It makes for an interesting bunch to watch play, which beats the heck outta last years team....altho I know it is early.

Steverson would be my MVP at this point.
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  #11  
Old 05-29-2014, 08:24 AM
Dan H Dan H is offline
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The team isn't going to the playoffs but it come such a long way in a short time. I think the White Sox knew they had to do something in the off season after 2013 disaster. The organization deserves credit for making some good decisions. I didn't think it would. I have never been so glad to be wrong about something because things looked dire last year and not just because of a last-place finish.

When I was at opening day, I thought I saw a different team. At first, I wondered if that was just wishful thinking because of one game, but as time has passed, I can see the Sox are a different team. And I don't mean just the won-loss record. Last year the club was lifeless. This year the Sox act like they can win every game, not wait for the game to end with an inevitable loss.

I hate the term "Hope Springs Eternal." A team has to show it has some potential not just lose 90 or more games year after year and call that progress. I really don't know exactly when the Sox will be a true contending team, but at least there is real hope, not manufactured hype.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:31 AM
Madvora Madvora is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan H View Post
I really don't know exactly when the Sox will be a true contending team, but at least there is real hope, not manufactured hype.
I really believe the Sox could be contending next year. Consider the changes that will take place between now and 2015. Beckham and Dunn are hot right now and are probably at the peak of their trading value since we've had either of them. If we can get rid of them this year, perhaps we can get some prospects that will make an impact with us in 2015. Konerko and De Aza will also be gone. I'm not one to calculate salaries, but we should have some money freed up and a younger team next year.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:14 AM
Domeshot17 Domeshot17 is offline
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I think we are in great spots if Hahn is realistic...

For example, we are not a playoff team, we are not a world series team. But real contenders are starting to get hit by injuries and guys like Dunn, Beckham, maybe Danks, some of the relievers, are going to be movable pieces.

We need to see what we have in some of the kids. For example, Eaton is a gamer, a keeper. Marcus, while he has had his spots, has really been non-impressive. Maybe Connor is a keeper at 3rd, maybe Flowers is a keeper at C. These are questions we need to try and answer this year, to try and start contending next year.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:57 AM
Moses_Scurry Moses_Scurry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domeshot17 View Post
I think we are in great spots if Hahn is realistic...

For example, we are not a playoff team, we are not a world series team. But real contenders are starting to get hit by injuries and guys like Dunn, Beckham, maybe Danks, some of the relievers, are going to be movable pieces.

We need to see what we have in some of the kids. For example, Eaton is a gamer, a keeper. Marcus, while he has had his spots, has really been non-impressive. Maybe Connor is a keeper at 3rd, maybe Flowers is a keeper at C. These are questions we need to try and answer this year, to try and start contending next year.
I agree with this, but I also have no problem if they try to be "buyers" at the deadline (assuming the present play holds), on condition that the players they buy are more long term rather than rentals.

Moves like the Peavy and Rios trades would not be bad if thinking toward 2015 and beyond. No idea what will be available in that regard though.
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:30 PM
anewman35 anewman35 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRDSR View Post
While injuries will happen, I imagine if we just subtracted Saleís and Abreuís injuries, the Sox would probably have three more wins and would be sitting at 30-24 (.555).
Sale's injury hurt, and you'd have expected Abreu's to also, but they're actually 7-4 since Abreu went out and I doubt they would have done any better over that stretch even with him.
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