Spare parts: White Sox rotation shaping up

The White Sox haven’t named an Opening Day starter yet, but Carlos Rodon put forth an argument for tone-setter. Since he threw four scoreless innings against Milwaukee on Thursday to deliver a sorely needed strong start, the rest of his potential rotationmates have followed suit.

After Rodon’s easy afternoon on Thursday, Manny Banuelos recovered from a dud against the Cubs with five strikeouts over three quality innings against the Angels on Friday.

Reynaldo Lopez carried it into Saturday, recovering from a rocky first to strike out seven Rangers over four innings of one-run ball.

The White Sox have now won three games in a row, scoring 36 runs over that stretch. It doesn’t mean much, but it’s better than losing a split-squad doubleheader 18-4

Spare Parts

We know the AL Central is bad, but I hadn’t seen it framed like this. If you were to build a team of the four non-Cleveland AL Central teams by projected WAR, it’d beat the total of the Indians’ likely 25-man roster … by 0.4 WAR.

Every stance and swing Adam Engel has deployed in his effort to be an adequate big-league hitter has been plum ugly, so I can’t say I noticed a different setup, but in case he manages to turn a second strong spring into a first decent MLB season, James Fegan’s article about force plates might tell you why

After losing Salvador Perez to Tommy John surgery this spring, Maldonado isn’t a bad consolation prize. He can’t hit, but he’s one of the top defenders in the game, and he comes at the cost of James McCann’s contract ($2.5 million). I liked Maldonado better, and now we’ll be able to size them up in the same division.

A subplot: Maldonado switched from Scott Boras to Dan Lozano at some point while this contract had been in the works. Buster Olney says the Astros offered Maldonado a two-year, $12 million contract at the start of the winter, so that might explain it.

The Sox’ latest cuts were of little consequence — Luis Basabe (already injured), Kodi Medeiros (still a project) and D.J. Peterson (organizational).

Two Februaries ago — and two weeks after he had attended SoxFest — Esteban Loaiza was arrested for transporting 44 pounds of cocaine. He pleaded guilty to a single felony count of possession with intent to distribute, and it finally concluded with his sentencing on Friday.

Ben Lindbergh and The Ringer received 73,000 scouting reports from a former Cincinnati Reds front-office executive between 1991 and 2003, and these were the best stories to come from it. You’ll also learn that the White Sox have added scouts and are at the league average, but the Astros’ severe slashing may turn the system upside-down.

Blake Snell won the Cy Young, and all it netted him was an extra $15,500, boosting his salary to $573,700. Jack Flaherty finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting after an above-average season, and he’ll be making $562,100 because that’s what the Cardinals’ algorithm said. Meanwhile, a former Cy Young winner, Dallas Keuchel, remains unsigned.

In the final article, Alex Gordon sums it up pretty well:

This is the system’s flaw: Teams are no longer paying veterans what they used to, and they don’t have to pay young players what they’re worth.

“I’m not saying we should get more money,” Gordon said. “I’m saying it should be fair. I’m saying if you’re going to treat older players the way you are, then young players need to get what they deserve.”

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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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That Gordon quote really sums it up well. 

lil jimmy

I think that Alex Gordon quote hits the nail on the head.


Pay them young or pay them old, MLB wants neither…..


That article about Cleveland v the rest of the ALC really was an eye opener. Makes it all the more frustrating the Sox didn’t even try to put a .500 team out there. Cleveland is good but with one or two key injuries the chance to take the division could have been open.


The chance to take the division doesn’t come along every season. Just as the chance to sign a top-tier free agent doesn’t come along every off season.


Ouch! for Maldonado. What was Boras thinking
It does put the McCann signing in a different light


How different is the “this signing was godawful” light from the “this signing was really godawful” light?