Grading Time: 2018 Chicago White Sox Pitching Survey

For Monday’s Sox Machine Podcast we will be reviewing the White Sox pitching staff’s 2018 season. We would love to have your thoughts about how certain pitchers performed and what does the future hold. Below is a survey that you can make your grades which we will share the final results on Monday. There is also an opportunity for anyone that would like to share their opinion on the show.

Leave us a voicemail at (312)870-0224 with your name and chime in about any of the topics:

  • Who was the White Sox best pitcher?
  • What grade you would give to Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito in their first season?
  • Which direction should the White Sox take in filling out their rotation for 2019?

As always thank you for participating and we look forward to your responses.

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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

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I answered “Bring back James Shields” with the understanding that that meant exercising the buyout and bringing him back for much less than the additional $8m that he would get under his current contract.

I think a rotation for next year of:
1) Rodon
2) Lopez
3) Free Agent
4) Shields
5) Giolito

sounds about right. Covey can be waiting in the wings for another shot when Rodon invariably gets hurt or Giolito doesn’t show anything encouraging in April/May.

Trooper Galactus

Uh, his option is for $16 million with a $2 million buyout. But yeah, I wouldn’t even want him back for $8 million. Also, don’t forget about Stephens, Adams, and Guerrero in Charlotte.


Ah, shit you’re right. Not sure where I got $8m from. But yeah, the extra $14 would definitely not be worth it.

Trooper Galactus

$8 million is Avi’s presumed arbitration figure.

Yolmer's gatorade

MiGo got $5.6 million. I think around there would be right.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Please, stop the madness. We’ve lived through the Shields nightmare, let’s move on.

As Cirensica

It’s not madness, the guy is indestructible. Good role model. 200+ innings. Cheap. In rebuilding years, that’s exactly what we need.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Pitching 200 bad innings is not a skill. Anybody can pitch 200 innings if you aren’t going to take them out for being bad.


Someone doesn’t remember the 2004 White Sox

Pitching 200 innings is a skill. Pitching 200 innings as poorly as Shields pitched them is more a testament to how bad the bullpen and the team was.


Yeah the vagueness of that question was unfortunate. I took essentially as “exercise his option” as I thought that was the most straightforward reading of the question, but it’s a different question if you ask if they should buy out and re-sign (I think I still say no, but it probably depends on the details and what the pitching market looks like)

Trooper Galactus

With two spots to fill in the rotation, maybe there should be an option to fill them through both internal options and free agency combined. That was my first thought.


That’s what I think they’ll end up doing.

Eagle Bones

Other than Rodon, Lopez and Giolito, who could you see them starting in the rotation on OD next year? I might be forgetting someone, but I’m not sure I see anyone else ready to be Plan A there. Stephens, Guerrero, Adams all seem more like guys you want to start at AAA.


Flip several coins and pick one. Plus there’s the Dylan Covey Experience.

Eagle Bones

Given the likelihood of injury and underperformance, I don’t see why they wouldn’t start those guys at AAA and have them as depth. Starting with any of them in the rotation seems like an unnecessary risk.

Trooper Galactus

So is signing a pitcher for tens of millions of dollars. I’m of the opinion they should give one of them a chance and move to the next one if the first should fail, and so on. At least give them the opportunity to surprise us.


Yankees are reportedly planning to shop Sonny Gray this offseason. I know he only has 1 year of control left, but he could be a good pick up for 2019. A good year and he is flippable or offer a QO, that if accepted helps 2020 if declined helps the farm.  On a slightly different note, I have wondered what they might throw in to get Ellsbury off their books.  Both of those scenarios might hurt in a pursuit of Machado though. 


I like the idea of signing one FA to a 1 or 2-year deal and then giving the last spot to whoever has the best spring among Adams, Stephens and Guerrero. Having the best of those guys get some big league experience while we wait for Cease or Dunning to possibly be up midseason can’t hurt. Who knows, maybe one of them will surprise us?


Assuming Rodon isn’t hurt, I think a rotation of ReyLo, Rodon, and Gio + 2 FAs is the way to go. I don’t see any AAA pitcher that should get the shot, although you could hope Cease might make the show at some point next year. I’d rather the Sox take two lottery tickets into 2019 rather than bring back Shields.

Totally off-topic, but I noticed the White Sox wake of destruction though the league claimed more victims as the Tigers will not bring back their broadcast crew:

The two were suspended on Sept. 7, three days after the alleged incident occurred in the broadcast booth before a game in Chicago against the White Sox.

As Cirensica

Cease and Dunning are so behind in development, but with pitchers, we don’t know. They might get a call early on, but I believe we won’t see any of them next year.

lil jimmy

Shields did as well as you could hope. It’s time to move on. I wish him well.


I’d want him coaching for us when he is done pitching. If that means bringing him back cheap next year to build relationships, why not.

Right Size Wrong Shape

You want to sign one of the worst pitchers in the league to a major league contract so that he will like you when it’s time for a huge bidding war when he decides to be a coach? Because all of the money he got paid for nothing the last few years isn’t enough? Why do we get so attached to guys who are awful? Let’s bring back Gordon Beckham while we’re at it.


Cease is the only untouchable I see.
What’s the point of trying to put together a pitching staff if your offense can’t put a bat on the ball. Package pitching to bring in some hitters. Add Yoyo to the mix and you might land yourself a Trout.
Sell on whatever potential is left and buy the proven.

Trooper Galactus

By the time we put together a big enough package to get Trout we’d be left with basically the same mediocre team as the Angels were with him and with a similarly mediocre farm system.