Following up: White Sox play coy better than they play baseball

Carlos Rodon not yet in the cards on Sunday; Tim Anderson says he could play center, but don't push for it

Good news: Carlos Rodon’s wife was stuck in Chicago traffic.

Bad news: The White Sox need more than a starting pitcher.

Also, it remains to be seen how good the good news is. There’s this …

… but it doesn’t necessarily lock in Rodon for the spot currently occupied by Dylan Covey on Sunday, as Paul Sullivan said Rick Renteria wouldn’t cede a likelihood.

“We still want him to get up six times, get a little higher (pitch count),” Renteria said before the game. “So we’re still discussing it. We’ll see where we’re at after the discussion.”

So he’s not in the rotation this weekend?

“Not at the moment,” Renteria said. “We’re still discussing it.”

But it’s a possibility?

“We’re still discussing it,” he repeated.

The Sox later announced Dylan Covey would start Sunday, eliminating that potential bright spot.

Then again, Sullivan said Renteria said the players weren’t having a meeting, and Daryl Van Schouwen painted a different scene.

When reporters walked in after meeting with Sox manager Rick Renteria, a somewhat-animated Abreu stood at his locker, talking to about a half-dozen Spanish-speaking players.

‘‘It was about us,’’ third baseman Yolmer Sanchez, whose 446-foot homer in the ninth prevented the Sox from getting shut out, said of the meeting. ‘‘We don’t like to say what we talk about, but it was about us.

‘‘Try to stay together, that’s the most important thing. Stay together and come together. If we win, we win together; if we lose, we lose together.’’

The White Sox have the worst record in the baseball at 16-37, and this is the kind of stuff that comes along with it. The hope is that the discontent doesn’t manifest itself for that long, because Renteria can misdirect so much before nobody can trust what he says.


We’ll find out on Monday whether the White Sox draft an infielder. For what it’s worth, Keith Law’s latest mock has them taking Florida right-handed pitcher Brady Singer, even with Nick Madrigal and Alec Bohm still on the board.

Should they draft Madrigal, expect louder calls for Tim Anderson to move to the outfield. He tells Scott Merkin he could do it

“When you are an athlete, I can play anywhere on the field,” Anderson said. “I try to sum it all up and keep it easy. It’s an honor to be in any lineup. Whatever they want to do with me, I’m fine with it. As long as I’m in the lineup, that’s great.

“I’m going to just keep working at shortstop, and it’s going to be hard to move me off there. But you know it is what it is. Like I said, an athlete can play anywhere.”

When asked how long it would take to adjust to hypothetical life as a center fielder, Anderson smiled and said it can be done in “one day.”

… but I’d rather this discussion be saved for when there’s an actual middle infielder knocking on the door in Charlotte. When the calls to push Anderson to center or left field happens while Eddy Alvarez is the most ready replacement in the minors, it takes me back to 2000, when people dwelt on Jose Valentin’s 36 errors at shortstop instead of all the cool things he did at a premium position. That led to Royce Clayton bumping Valentin off short and batting .115 through the White Sox’ first 50 games, during which they went 20-30.

The further removed I get from high school English classes, the more I’m convinced that “King Lear” was about shortstops with one glaring flaw.

How far your eyes may pierce I cannot tell. 
Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well.

It’s good to be aware of the possibilities, but it’s counterproductive to dredge it to the surface every time Anderson hits a rough patch, because shortstop is one of the few not-problems on this roster. He’s on pace for a 30/30 season and walking at a league-average rate, both of which are difficult to fathom at this stage given what his game looked like last year. Why people have resigned themselves to zero improvement on the defensive side escapes me.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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mikeyb

If the Sox draft Madrigal, who is going to be pushing Anderson off of SS? Moncada to SS and Madrigal to 2B?

soxfanpa

Cross that bridge after it’s gone.

Patrick Nolan

I don’t get it — don’t people / the White Sox want to see Covey? I understand he didn’t have the same sharpness his most recent time out, but he’s essentially thrown three starts, one of which was the best start of the White Sox’ season. I feel like that he should be given time to see whether he can do it again.

It’s further mind-boggling that Covey is in the discussion for demotion when Lucas Giolito is turning opposing lineups into Hall-of-Fame-caliber offenses on a regular basis.

Needless to say, I would be sorely disappointed in the White Sox if Covey goes and Giolito stays.

Josh Nelson

Speaking for myself, I would rather see Michael Kopech than Dylan Covey, but I understand your frustration on why Giolito has such a long leash.

Greg Nix

Seems obvious to me that the rotation should be Shields-Rodon-Lopez-Kopech-Covey for the moment. But “seeing the obvious” has not been a White sox strength this season. 

Patrick Nolan

It’s not an either-or. Santiago’s been in the rotation.

Josh Nelson

The 40-man is pretty tight. I don’t remember if the White Sox could have added both Covey and Kopech at the time.

Patrick Nolan

The moves would require two spots. Dump A. Gonzalez and A. Garcia off the 40-man and you’re fine. There might even be someone else I’m forgetting with lower priority.

Reindeer Games

I mean theoretically, we could get rid of the Chris-es right?

35Shields

Yeah, we definitely don’t need both of them if we’re moving Santiago back to the bullpen

Trooper Galactus

…but then how would we trade Avi?

Reindeer Games

What do you mean people. You know where I stand.

Dylan Covey is beautiful

— Dylan Covey's Burner Account (@GameofReindeers) May 31, 2018

Otter

What if the Sox and Giolito think the best thing for his development at this second in time is for him to continue to work out his issues in the majors?

Otter

To be clear, I’m not advocating for this (or for it to continue), I’m just raising the question/possibility.

Amar

It’s fairly obvious that’s what the Sox think (ie developing in MLB vs minors)

Patrick Nolan

Giolito’s never going to think (or at least vocalize) that the best thing for his development is to go to the minor leagues.

As for the Sox, that would seem a little nuts to me.

Otter

Maybe? I think we’re just reaching the point where sending him down would make sense. But I think importantly (most?) is that everyone is on the same page. So it depends on what they think he needs to work on, how to do it, and how to best address it. If it’s a single pitch, then yes, AAA seems like the best place to do it. If it’s more mechanical… I’m not an MLB liver who has a good answer to that. Same with confidence (though I’d assume a DL stint (at this juncture) would be more likely than AAA).

As Cirensica

At some point he needs to be sent down because otherwise the White Sox are sending the wrong message to prospects….hey play with the White Sox, we reward suckitude!

35Shields

It definitely gets into “wrong message” territory.

It’s unfair to Covey, who after taking his lumps last year due to a promotion forced by Rule 5, put in a solid performance in Charlotte and three solid starts for Chicago.

It’s unfair to Fulmer, who was demoted despite having effectively the same awful performance as Giolito.

It’s unfair to Giolito’s teammates, who have to play through him getting shelled, and the bullpen that has to cover all of his short starts.

Greg Nix

You’d also think the rather obvious lesson of Covey pitching better after time in AAA is that sometimes young major leaguers need more time in AAA.

ndsoxfan

Guys like Gibson and Berrios from the twinks were up and down quite a few times and have been really good.  Floyd and Danks weren’t great in their first go around in majors but they weren’t this bad either.  I’m pretty much indifferent and still think he can develop into a major league starter either way

Trooper Galactus

If there weren’t better options (i.e.-anybody) knocking on the door I might not care, but there are other guys who deserve a major league look right away and Giolito doesn’t even look like he could go through a AAA lineup right now. Flinging him out there to get nuked time and again by major league rosters is probably not doing him any favors at this point.

Soxfan2

Agreed. Also, Covey’s fastball is up almost 2 mph compared to last year according to brooks baseball. Something to monitor going forward. 

Josh Nelson

Brady Singer starting Saturday’s game

Josh Nelson

If Florida wins on Friday (which they should), that start will be 6:30 pm CT on ESPNWatch (Stream). It’ll be on an ESPN channel but not for sure which one it will be.

PauliePaulie

Mayo just posted a Mock. Madrigal gone at #3. Sox take Singer.

IF the Sox get Madrigal, the ‘Stros, Braves, Red Sox and Padres were all smart enough to not force Altuve, Albies, Pedroia and Urias to play out of position essentially past AA.
I sincerely hope the Sox practice the same common sense.

mikeyb

Agreed, I too hope the Sox do not force Anderson or Moncada to play out of position and leave them at SS and 2B.

PauliePaulie

So where should they play Madrigal?

Greg Nix

The minors.

PauliePaulie

That was covered in my OP.

Greg Nix

comment image

PauliePaulie

I was asking, if my hypothetical of drafting Madrigal occurred, what would he do.

What’s wrong with that?
It’s harmless rosterbation spawned by a definite “do not move Moncada or Anderson” posted by someone else.

35Shields

It seems like starting him at the more valuable defensive position (SS) is kind of a no-brainer.

35Shields

The only arguments that I could see against playing him at shortstop are:
– We already have a shortstop
– It would slow down his development
– There’s another good SS at the level that he would ideally play at which could limit his playing time

The first one is dumb because even if he were to make it all the way to Chicago as a SS and Timmy were still successful there, we could move one of them to another position or another team.

The second is a bad argument on a rebuilding team. The Sox don’t need him in Chicago right now. So it doesn’t really matter if it slows him down initially.

The third is not true. The best SS prospect in our system is probably Danny Mendick.

Trooper Galactus

If Madrigal is a shortstop in Charlotte in a few years knocking on the gates of the majors and Anderson and Moncada are still entrenched in the middle infield, that’s a good problem to have.

sgp2204

Agreed. I absolutely believe they should play him at shortstop until he proves he can’t play the position. If that day comes, he will easily be able to transition back to second base. 

Lurker Laura

Thanks for the defense of Tim Anderson, Jim. I’ve been doing the same until I’m blue in the face with some of my Sox acquaintances. His defense makes me nuts sometimes, yes, but the fact that people don’t care that he could be a 30/30 guy is even nuttier.

oljeto

No one is trying to run Tim out of town!  Just put him in his natural position, Yolmer to his natural position, and Matt to his natural position.  You might just have a team.
However, backs are tricky and Matt might need a year off a la Saladino.  If so, buy a third baseman.  Major miss on Moustakas. 

Otter

Why are you benching Moncada?

Reindeer Games

You realize that yolmer sanchez has the same bWAR as Mike Moustakas right now which .1 Wins behind Tim Anderson, right?

Trooper Galactus

Doesn’t matter, he’s 100% committed to this Anderson to center field thing. Have to admire the dedication to the narrative.

zerobs

I don’t subscribe to the concept of “natural position”. I don’t want a left-handed thrower playing second base and maybe not shortstop, anything else is fair game.

I’m not trying to keep Anderson off shortstop, I want to know if given a few weeks in the outfield if that might not be a better use of his talent. Anybody who thinks Tim Anderson is going to be seriously damaged as a shortstop by not playing shortstop for a few weeks can’t be a serious student of the game. Was Javier Baez ruined by the games Maddon had him in the outfield?

Heck, putting Anderson in the outfield for a few weeks might just make him better at positioning himself for cutoffs when he learns what it’s like when the shoe is on the other foot. Certainly the team’s glaring need is in outfield defense, and Yolmer is the team’s best defensive infielder. This season is the best chance at throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks, being afraid to try things now does them no good for the future.

Reindeer Games

There’s a reason literally no teams do this.

zerobs

Except for the last few seasons when literally the Cubs, Rockies, Indians all did so.

Trooper Galactus

Javier Baez benefited from being thrown into the outfield because it was the only way they could force him into the lineup on a semi-regular basis. If the White Sox had some sort of massive talent logjam for middle infield, sure, throw Anderson out there to get him at bats and experience in a major league lineup. But that is absolutely not the case here.

Trooper Galactus

Isn’t Anderson the one who collided with Jacob May a couple years ago and both of them went on the shelf? While he was a SS at the time, yes, I see this being a recurring danger if he’s basically hitting the reset button on fielding a position.

L2R

didn’t people call this natural selection back in the day?

Trooper Galactus

I’ll be interested when the evolution of the modern ballplayer leads to them developing a thagomizer.

sgp2204

Baez has been pretty bad on defense this year, so maybe? He has always been more flash than substance, but he appears to have gone from being a good defender to a mediocre one pretty quickly. 

Trooper Galactus

He’s still a bit over average there, I think. His defensive value takes a bit of a hit when he isn’t getting as many reps at shortstop, where he’s also pretty good.

Trooper Galactus

Javier Baez was also a noted plus-plus infielder when they put him in the outfield. It’s not like he needed a lot of infield reps to know he could hack it there. Anderson, on the other hand, needs the reps to shore up his game at shortstop…there’s no use moving him when he’s still tightening up his game there.

lil jimmy

“Not at the moment,” Renteria said. “We’re still discussing it.”

But it’s a possibility?

“We’re still discussing it,” he repeated.

“So, You say there’s a chance?”

Eyr0nMaid3n

I am finding this with much more than Anderson’s defense. I’ve seen many complaints about Moncada not being a “Superstar”. It seems that many fans get tunnel vision which doesn’t allow them to imagine any sort of improvement for many players.

MrTopaz

I think a lot of this boils down to Reindeer Games’s meme.

Trooper Galactus

People see guys like Aaron Judge do what he’s doing and figure that’s the bar for any top prospect. Obviously that’s the ideal, but if you manage to get even an above average player out of a prospect that’s still a win. You’d think we’d have learned this after all those years of Gordon Beckham.

sgp2204

People were saying stupid stuff like that when he was top 3 in second base fWAR before going down with the hammy injury. Before the injury, he was absolutely showing his potential (even with the K’s). All they see is the strikeouts, and they ignore the fact that he still had an .850+ OPS because of his patience/power combo as a 22 year old second baseman. At the time (before the injury), I believe he was ranked something along the lines of #1 in base running, #2 in defense, and like #4 in offense among all second basemen via Fangraphs. The kid is already good, and he has elite potential on both sides of the ball if he can stay healthy. 

Marty34

NL scout friend of mine said to me yet again he doesn’t know what the Sox are doing, that Jimenez and Kopech should have been up two weeks ago. Service time he said is really only an issue for Boras clients. Said it’s one thing to tank and it’s another to be a league wide clown act.

Trooper Galactus

I think at this point it’s pretty well established it’s about saving money and nothing else. I might be a little less perturbed if I actually believed they would eventually use that savings on a top free agent.

PauliePaulie

This scout friend seems to give you bad advice/info quite often.

Marty34

He is a bitter man to be sure. You’d get a kick out of him Paulie.

Trooper Galactus

Edwin Jackson released by the Nationals. Anybody wanna lay odds on the White Sox trying to bring him back to fling into our awful rotation mix?

lil jimmy

I like Edwin.
First I thought,” He’s still playing baseball?”
Then, “hmm, not anymore”