Podcast: 2018 Season Preview – Infielders

We are just 10 days away from Opening Day when James Shields will be starting for the White Sox against Kansas City Royals starter, Danny Duffy at Kauffman Stadium. Last week we previewed the White Sox outfielders and gave our picks on the upcoming season. This week we’ll do the same for the infielders.

  • Will Jose Abreu be traded this season? Will he make the All-Star team?
  • How many home runs will Yoan Moncada hit?
  • Where will Tim Anderson hit in the lineup?
  • Who’ll back up Welington Castillo at catcher?
  • And who is most likely to be the White Sox starting third baseman in September?

We’ll address those questions and more shortly as many of you got a chance to partake in our preseason survey.

Also answered your questions in P.O. Sox:

For our Patreon supporters, here are this week’s extra P.O. Sox questions:

Andrew Segall: Our opening day starter is destined to be DFA’d by midseason to make space for Rodon or Kopech. How recently has that happened to an opening day starter and is there another fate you see for Shields?

Asinwreck: Given the wide array of bullpen options in camp, I am curious if Rick Hahn has a firm plan for the Charlotte pitching staff. Will all the NRI vets who don’t come to Chicago be released, or would some supplant the Ynoas of last year in the Charlotte pen?

This episode is presented by SeatGeek. Good deals are available on SeatGeek for the White Sox first homestand and remember to save $20 off your first order by using promo code SOXMACHINE at checkout.

To listen, click play below:


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Our season seems to be taking shape. Pitching is becoming a real sore spot unless you are rooting for the annual, WGFDPA (“We Got the First Draft Pick Award”)

They need to trade Abreu and Avi as soon as as decent offer comes in.

I hate the 5n7 plan (5 years of rebuild for 2 years of winning). Admittedly, I don’t know saber metrics but I do understand business models. Fire the good employees and go bankrupt with the hopes of coming back stronger. Nope, haven’t read of any company planning that in the Wall St. Journal.

*Borrow the NBA’s model -create a lottery for the bottom 8 teams.
*Borrow NFL’s model- forget AL teams playing AL teams. Give the better teams from last year a stronger schedule.
*Bigger markets should lose a 3rd or 4th round pick to level the playing field every year.

With all the data floating around, someone should be able to level the field. The 2018 all-star team in pinstripes still has a farm team that rivals ours and has money ready to spend next winter. SERIOUSLY?


5 years of rebuild for 2 of competing is not the plan, for any team.

Jim Margalus

I’d say it’s a bigger concern for a small-market team/tight-fisted ownership. The Royals, Pirates and A’s ended up having three-year windows.

We don’t know what consecutive postseason appearances would do for the White Sox’ payroll because they’ve never achieved that in their entire history.


I agree that it’s a potential outcome. One that is more possible for lower payroll teams. But it is not, and has never been, the “plan” for any organization.


Just repeating what I have been reading. this may take 5 years so be patient. KC, Detroit and Miami had short lived success then arbitration, payroll, etc. ate them up. We had great talent with a few holes to fill, they could not fill them. Dunn, the shark and Shields did not help at all. So someone just enlighten me and tell me what has changed in management that will help them make better decisions next round? Not being sarcastic, I really would like to have a better opinion about this but I don’t see a different outcome as of yet.


“Why should we trust this group?” is a reasonable question and discussion topic. It has been broached in the past, and the consensus seems to be “past mistakes say we shouldn’t”. But that is wholly different than your original post about a team planning to tank for 5 years just so they can contend for 2. I would also add: no one from this FO has put a 5 year timeline on this, or any timeline for that matter.


Not interested in an internet argument. I have seen it in print several times, 2019, 2020 or maybe even 2021 is when we will be contenders.

We are in year 2 now in 2018 of this rebuild. Sounds like a 5 year plan to me. If you see it differently, ok.

I haven’t heard of any real changes in management to make me believe that the farm system won’t dry back up as our trades make it to the bigs, it has already been stated by Hahn that holes will need to be filled next year and beyond. How is 2020 going to be that different than 2013, 14 or 15? Have I missed somthing that has changed? I hope they make better choices, hope history does not repeat itself.

I see our current situation as the beginning of another round of ‘almost’ getting over the hump.

I am ok with our current situation, giving away our stars for potential but only if is a one time correction. Other changes are necessary to do so and I haven’t seen what will keep this from becoming a cyclical pattern.

So forgive my rant and calling it a 5n7. It was over the top, I guess we will see if they jump in with the big boys next Winter as Hahn suggested he would.


I’ve never read a collection of ideas on this blog that I disagree so wholeheartedly with

1) You think that tanking is a bad business model but think we should trade Avi and Abreu ASAP
2) Rookie contracts are 6 years of affordability. Nobody is trying to open a 2 year window by rebuilding. 2 year windows were the old FA first model of the last 20 years
3) The NBA lottery system blows and does nothing to prevent tanking.
4) The NFL’s model only works because it is a 16 game season, over a season 10 times that length load balancing would be a nightmare.
5) You don’t level the playing field by taking away draft picks from large markets. There are a ton of options that would actually have an effect on the competitiveness of the MLB to try before taking away a single lottery ticket from teams with big pockets
6) The Yankees not only have deep pockets but are a phenomenally run organization that always finds itself in the mix. Don’t let your hate for the top dog dictate your opinions on the league as a whole


I understand MLB isn’t the NFL or NBA. Just because they blow doesn’t mean they haven’t worked to make things more even. I well remember the same teams in the NFL going to the playoffs year after year. It isn’t perfect but it is better. Didn’t say my suggestions were great, wishing someone would find a way to make it more competitive. I do hate the yankees and will continue to do so. MLB owes it to the fans to level the playing field to some extent. We have infinite amounts of data on players, surely MLB can find a way to make it a little more even. Badly managed teams don’t deserve extras to level the field, but when the amount of money spent is a multiple of what others do, it needs to be fixed, then let the chips fall.

Jim Margalus

The White Sox released Michael Ynoa. That’s the first move of many to loosen up the log jam in Charlotte’s bullpen.

Trooper Galactus

And with that, we can put the Smarch trade behind us. Until Zack Burdi arrives, anyhow.


minorleagueball has a very lukewarm write-up on my favorite 2018 draft prospect, Nolan Gorman.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Having not seen any of the draft prospects actually play, I just can’t get excited about Nolan Gorman (bad name). Especially with a great name like Kumar Rocker out there.


Nolan Gorman is a great baseball name

It’s not easy to say at all. Makes me feel like I have a mouthful of marbles.

Jim Margalus

Gorman Thomas hit .261/.333/.783 with 11 strikeouts over 27 plate appearances against Nolan Ryan.


That’s kind of a fascinating line. Looking in the dictionary under “All or nothing.”

Right Size Wrong Shape

reply fail.

Patrick Nolan

I believe it to be a fine name.


You may have to wait for the 2nd round to get your 80 grade baseball name. Steele Walker will be there for you.

lil jimmy

The idea that you can watch one game, and know everything about a player, is silly.


But he saw Gorman at the plate AND in the field, jimmy.


MAGA: Make America’s Game (err pastime) Awfullyslowduringtradeseason

Patrick Nolan

The way the article was worded made it seem like its applicability to baseball was vague at most.

Lurker Laura

Josh, what’s with the incredulous tone on “Delmonico” when discussing the batting order?? Huh??

Disrespect Nicky at your peril!