Podcast: White Sox Young Guns

The Rundown:

  • Eno Sarris joins the show to share his thoughts about the White Sox young pitching staff. What kind of pitcher can Michael Kopech become? Can Lucas Giolito ever reach his prospect ceiling? Is Reynaldo Lopez pitching arsenal good enough to be a starter? Will Carlos Rodon develop into the staff’s ace?
  • Jim and Josh discuss how the young guns fared in Detroit as the White Sox win three out of four in Mo-town.
  • We answer your questions in P.O. Sox:

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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Good dose of reality from Eno.
I’m a little surprised how much people are buying in after a post trade deadline run vs. Tigers-Royals-Twins-Tigers.


I say this without any disrespect to Eno and I’m happy to hear him on the podcast, but sometimes I think national guys can miss the minor adjustments and improvements on a guy like Giolito that have shown over the last month or so.

I think Giolito’s future is still uncertain, but he has been better lately, regardless of the outcome of the games and opponent. Velocity is up, fastball usage is down, curveball and changeup usage is up, Swstr% is up.

Nick Pollack, fangraphs/pitcherlist writer, reviews every starter’s start daily has had positive things to say about him lately.

Again, I think his future is still very uncertain, but there is reason for cautious optimism lately.


I agree on Giolito, and, if he can keep the improved FBall velo, still see him as a future starter on a winning Sox team.

My surprise about buy-in has to do with a growing # of fans thinking the current team may actually be good, and renewed calls to make a run at the playoffs next year.


Gotcha, yeah, if Giolito is the Sox #3 SP going into next year, things will be rough still.


I’m not saying this current team is good, but they can actually compete for a playoff berth next year IF a lot of things go right. They are 18-17 since the all-star break, and even though that involves a lot of Twins-Royals-Tigers, let’s face it, their schedule IS a lot of Twins-Royals-Tigers. 57 games, over 1/3 of the schedule is against those 3. The Twins seem to have taken a big step back this year, and if Sano and Buxton don’t come back big, they will suck next year. The Tigers and the Royals will both be awful next year. Cleveland has Miller, Allen and Brantley as free agents and aren’t exactly world beaters this year. With a full year of Rodon, Eloy, Kopech, Burr, Hamilton and improvements from Gioito, Lopez and Moncada, plus steady contributions from Timmy and Abreu, this will be a much improved team. I still think they can make at least one major free agent acquisition this winter (Machado) and their payroll would still be well under $100 million. Why wait til 2020 to add free agents? It makes no sense to wait until you are ready to contend to add free agents. What if they are no good next year, do they wait til 2021 to add free agents? You’ve got to try to pick up franchise pieces when they are available. It’s time to step up and compete- by not signing anyone big this winter, management is sending a clear message to the players that they don’t think they can win next year. I’m SICK of losing. Let’s move this rebuild along.


Expectations absolutely should be contention for a playoff spot next year. If they don’t there is something wrong with this rebuild.


No, they really shouldn’t be. This is only year 2 of the rebuild – a year where we should’ve been expected to lose ~100 games. Next year should be the first year where we start looking like an actual baseball team (aka around .500). Then, the following year we should be legitimately in the playoff hunt.

Based on the way other team’s rebuilds have gone thus far, next year would be the year where we talk about the Sox being “a year ahead of schedule” if they’re in the hunt. That certainly shouldn’t be the expectation yet. We’re getting there slowly but surely though. 


I admit I’m using the dreaded eye test re: his velocity. But he’s been able to ramp it up to 94 so infrequently, it’s all I have to go on. That said, he gets away with more at 94 and his secondaries play way up. IF second half Gio is for real, and is their 5th best starter, we’re in good shape.


I get that, and believe me, I know I’m just searching for anything that could possibly be construed as a slight positive. These are why I’m happy to see the fastball usage is down below 60% lately.
And for the last month or two, besides against NYY and TOR where his fastball was flat out bad, he’s been close to average or slightly above.

Lurker Laura

I have more belief that Giolito is part of a future rotation than Lopez. My only real evidence for this is that Giolito has gotten better as the season has gone on, and Lopez has gotten worse.


Honestly, if only one can pan out as a starter, I hope it’s Giolito. Lopez at least has enough gas to come out of the bullpen if necessary. Obviously I hope they both stick in the rotation, but I wouldn’t be upset seeing Lopez sit around 100mph out of the pen. 


Lopez would be a beast in the back end of the bullpen. He would be able to reach 100mph with his fastball if he only pitches an inning at a time.