White Sox to settle draft position, league leads on final day

Today marks the merciful end to the 2019 White Sox season, aka Year 3 of the Rebuild. As is the custom on the final day of the regular season, all teams will start at 2:10 p.m. CT as to offer no advantage to the teams playing on the West Coast.

Ross Detwiler will take the mound for the Sox, but given that he’s pitching on three days’ rest after throwing 65 pitches over five innings on Wednesday, Rick Renteria will probably hope for three innings and expect two, and I’d imagine he’ll try to stay away from his better relievers if possible given recent workloads. The way Evan Marshall pumped his fist with his inning-ending strikeout Saturday night suggested an emphatic stamp on his season. Otherwise it’s all hands on deck, because all anybody can do is rest afterward.

What else is going on?

Draft position: The White Sox are currently in the 10th spot at 71-89, and they won’t be able to advance any higher because even if Colorado and San Diego join the Sox at 71 wins, they’ll be one ahead/behind in the loss column. If the White Sox beat the Tigers and the Angels lose to the Astros, they’d slip to 11th.

Batting title chase: Tim Anderson leads all of baseball at .337, and D.J. LeMahieu sits at .329. In order for LeMahieu to close the gap, he would need to go 5-for-5 while Anderson goes 0-for-4. Neither is likely to happen.

BABIP title chase: Moncada has overtaken Anderson for league lead, .405 to .402. Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds is third at .387. We’re not the only ones noticing this:

RBI title: Jose Abreu leads Xander Bogaerts by seven for the AL RBI title, but trails Anthony Rendon by three.

Team home run lead: Abreu leads Eloy Jiménez 33 to 31, so it appears though he’ll survive the rookie’s late push.

Postseason picture: The Cardinals hold a one-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central, so they’ll clinch it with a win or Milwaukee loss. St. Louis would host a tiebreaker Game 163 for the division if it comes to that, with the loser heading to Washington for the wild card game.

The rest of the postseason brackets are set, with Oakland hosting Tampa Bay in the AL Wild Card game, and the Astros and Dodgers holding home field advantage in their leagues.

The most nerves might involve a couple of key players who suffered injuries on Saturday. Lorenzo Cain sprained his ankle sliding into home, while Minnesota utilityman Luis Arraez sprained an ankle in a collision with Willians Astudillo at Kauffman Stadium. Arraez was carted off the field in tears, but fortunately for everybody involved, the tests showed no fractures or ligament damage.

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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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Josh Nelson

The Brewers/Rockies game last night got crazy in the end. Those home runs by Sam Hilliard and Trevor Story were in large thanks to juiced baseballs played at Coors Field.

Poor Matt Albers.

texag10

Fun fact. I’ve met Sam Hilliard before. Nice dude.

burning-phoneix

So who should the Sox get with the 10th pick? I’m partial to RHP Cole Wilcox myself. Guy throws 98mph with good command, something most Sox pitchers are missing.

ParisSox

I’m worried that the 10th pick is going to displace me as the Sox’ 12th best prospect.  The 11th pick? Slightly less worried.  

PauliePaulie

Who cares? We beat the Indians!

jorgefabregas

Paulie, is this a complaint that they won a few late, meaningless games? It’s not like they pulled out all the stops to win those games, they had plenty of fringe pitchers and bench players playing.

Since September 15
Zack Collins .333/.429/.600
Moncada .408/.420/.673
Eloy .395/.422/.791
Anderson .372/.404/.535

If you’re winning because of lines like that from young players, I’m good with falling a few places in the draft.

PauliePaulie

They aren’t meaningless.

They also stood pat at the deadline.
Adam Engel Sept OPS- .809
Beef Sept. OPS- .835
PS-
Leury Garcia has a .791 OPS since Sept 15th.
It’s Sept baseball.

Trooper Galactus

I really can’t wait for the point where fans stop rooting for losses. This is ridiculous.

roke1960

I, for one, am really glad we won today and fell to 11th in the draft. We avoided 90 losses and ended the season on a good note. Now let’s go get some stud free agents!

lil jimmy

Emerson Hancock RHP

Spencer Torkelson 1st

Austin Martin SS, Look to go 1,2,3.
Then four College pitchers, four HS outfielders, two HS pitchers, and at least one College hitter to choose from.
For me right now I like Mick Abel, and Zac Veen.

PauliePaulie

So it’ll be the 5th best College Pitcher. Great.

lil jimmy

Your a big Fangraphs guy. They only have one of those College pitchers in the top 10.

PauliePaulie

But the Sox aren’t a big Fangraphs team.

The Sox will take a college starter with bullpen risk or a defensively limited college bat.
Even in a draft this deep, there won’t be an obvious choice to shake them off their predictable strategy.

lil jimmy

I think more than just the White Sox will be thirsting for College pitchers. After the miserable level in this years draft.
Five College pitchers going before the Sox would not surprise me.

GrinnellSteve

Cubs just moved on from Maddon.

PauliePaulie

Pirates did the same with Hurdle

asinwreck

The Pirates had a truly ugly season, but I would see if Hurdle was interested in being a bench coach. Read Travis Sawchick’s Big Data Baseball to see how instrumental Hurdle was in the Pirates’ buy-in to analytics over the past decade. His teaching and communication skills would be useful with a young team.

lil jimmy

Maybe the Cubs should hire him.

Trooper Galactus

Oh fuck no, I could do without a guy who thinks throwing at batters’ heads on purpose is a part of baseball.

karkovice squad

And The MVP Machine goes to show how his skills might not have kept up with later advances. Redass tendencies aside.

Yolmer's gatorade

I wouldn’t say it’s a merciful end to the season. I liked this season, and the Sox definitely improved a lot.

GrinnellSteve

Still many things to work on, but there are a number of hopeful signs: Moncada, the development of Eloy, Giolito, Timmy’s bat, McCann’s emergence is a credible part of a tandem, Cease’s gradual improvement, Lopez’ dominant games, Bummer, perhaps the reemergence of Herrera, Leury’s season, maybe even Engel’s September, Robert and Madrigal knocking on the door.

There are ships to be righted, gains to be consolidated, anchors to be jettisoned, holes to be filled, but progress was made.

roke1960

Comparing this to where they were last year at this time, we are light years ahead of that. At this time last year:
Yoan had 200+ strikeouts
Giolito was the worst starter in baseball
Timmy was a .240 hitter
Eloy sat home last September
Robert couldn’t stay healthy in the low minors
What a difference a year makes.
Now is the time to strike in free agency.

burning-phoneix

What really gets me is that we had something like -10 WAR from the “talent” brought in (Alonso, Jay, Beef, Covey, Detwiler…etc) if we had literal replacement level players, Sox would be in line for a winning season.
If we had STARTER level players, not even All-stars, just 1.0-2.0 WAR guys? We would be in the wildcard chase right about now.

Trooper Galactus

I think it’s a bit of an exaggeration to say they’d be in the WC chase, but they certainly could have made a run at .500.

karkovice squad

Mostly another way of saying that 1 of the key things they still have to prove in 2020 is an ability to consistently identify or develop legit major leaguers with more than 1 skill. Particularly major leaguers who don’t require either extraordinary circumstances or exceptional amounts of scarce resources to obtain.

burning-phoneix

I really don’t think its an exaggeration. The lineup had 4 decent hitters (Timmy, Yoan, Abroo and Half a season of each of Eloy and McCann) with real gaps in the likes of Cordell, Tilson, Jay and Alonso. As much as I like Leury, he’s not a good hitter.

The starting rotation was non-existent outside of Gio and the Bullpen was basically just Colome, Bummer and Marshall (Until Cordero was snapped up). So many holes in this team yet they put up a decent season compared to last year.

If we had decent free agents last season, we would be in the conversation for a WC. Granted, I don’t think the Sox would actually clinch the WC because Oakland and Tampa are just too good but I definitely think we’d be hanging out near 90 wins

TCBullfrog

Still holding out hope that Eloy can tie Abreu for the HR lead and make my front-running look amazing.