Spare Parts: Three sweeps belie stressful start to postseason

On the second day of the 2022 postseason, the first two games delivered the longest scoreless game in postseason history, and the second-largest comeback in postseason history.

The National League games weren’t bad either, although the Mets were the only team to stave off elimination and force a do-or-die Game 3. The Guardians, Mariners and Phillies advanced to the divisional series as quickly as possible.

OK, that’s probably the wrong way to put it. The Guardians and Rays, no longer supported by the Manfred Man in extra innings, needed 15 before somebody could put a run on the board. That somebody was Oscar González, who homered off Corey Kluber in his old digs to send Cleveland to a 1-0 victory and a date with the Yankees.

The Mariners look destined for an ordinary loss and a do-or-die Game 3 when they fell behind 8-1 to the Blue Jays, only to see the Blue Jays bullpen falter thanks in large part to a scary collision in shallow center field with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth.

Watching Cleveland’s pitching staff hold the Rays to one run over 24 innings makes me think the White Sox could’ve been there. Watching the Blue Jays squander such a cushion — at home! — makes me think the White Sox could’ve been there.

Or maybe this is what the pressure of the postseason does to sounder teams, and the White Sox would show why they lost the season series to the Royals. That’s probably most likely, just because they didn’t have a strong-enough strength to counter some really glaring weaknesses. At least we have our blood pressures intact.

Spare Parts

Chris De Luca highlighted a quote that I missed during Rick Hahn’s end-of-season press conference, which reinforces the point I made in P.O. Sox about Hahn being in a great spot personally, regardless of what it means for everybody else.

“There’s only 30 of these jobs, and I’m fortunate enough to be able to do this in my hometown,” Hahn said. “Whether we won this division by 10 games or lost it by 10 games, I’m ridiculously blessed to be able to have this opportunity.”

Tony La Russa might’ve been hired without a process, but the Royals didn’t conduct a search the last time they hired their manager, telegraphing the Mike Matheny move by adding him to the front office as Ned Yost contemplated retirement. With Dayton Moore gone, both Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred lost their protection, and their loss in the AL Central’s loss, because both held the Royals back.

New Detroit GM Scott Harris is also making his initial changes to the Detroit Tigers’ coaching staff and front office. One of the casualties is hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, one of the few White Sox coaches to actually be hired away by another team. He was the White Sox’s assistant hitting coach under Frank Menechino in 2020.

Sahadev Sharma and Patrick Mooney team up for a lengthy dive into the way Jed Hoyer has overhauled the Cubs’ developmental programs during this second rebuild. It’s hard to tell how much is legitimately useful and how much is certain companies making a quick buck off a team that’ll try anything on players who don’t cost much, but I’d love to read a similar story for a number of other teams across the league to get a cross-section of dominant trends.

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
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.

Articles: 3791
27 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
itaita

Sox would’ve gone 0-2 in the playoffs just cause they would’ve been at home. Also nice to see both Machado and Harper had pretty good series cause the Sox could’ve used either of them.

dwjm3

Nightengale is saying we are parting ways with Abreu.

metasox

– The White Sox loved having Jose Abreu the past nine years, and has been nothing but a class act and valuable hitter, but they plan to part ways with him. Simply, they need to shake up their team, and are making virtually everyone but Dylan Cease and Andrew Vaughn available in trades.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2022/10/09/2022-mlb-award-predictions-aaron-judge-mvp-cy-young-rookie-picks/8221158001/

Foulkelore

I’m good with that except why would Vaughn be untouchable?

Rambler303

He is young and doesn’t cost much. Sure jerry loves the later aspect. Likely to play better in his natural position than corner outfield. Don’t hate it unless the return for him is huge which it won’t be.

Right Size Wrong Shape

That was my thought as well. I don’t see him as any more valuable than a lot of other guys on the team. He’d actually be one of the first guys that I’d be looking to shop.

Last edited 1 month ago by Right Size Wrong Shape
calcetinesblancos

Vaughn is a good bat, and also good in the field if he’s at 1B. So far he’s shown that he’s a smart hitter, and after two ok seasons following the the promotion after no minor league games, I really think he could have a monster season if he’s able to go back to 1B where he’s comfortable.

The other option is you sell low. If Abreu is walking, that would just be stupid to not give Vaughn a shot.

Foulkelore

Right, I get why Vaughn is good and could be better. I don’t dislike Vaughn. It’s just odd to say a player of his quality is not available. Vaughn would have value to other teams, while other players on our 40-man do not. For example, Burger and Sheets don’t have a lot of value to other teams. One potential path would be to decide that a platoon of Burger/Sheets at 1B is ok enough there and trade Vaughn for a valuable player at another position of need. I’m not saying I would do this. I just don’t think Vaughn is good enough to warrant making him untouchable if a creative trade with him could help the overall construction of the team. Cease makes sense to be in that category.

Joliet Orange Sox

I’m not disputing your statement that Vaughn is good in the field at 1B. You are not the first to state that Vaughn is a good defensive first baseman in these comments and that information must come from somewhere I just haven’t seen. I’m just looking for reassurance about that.

This year in a ridiculously small sample he was terrible defensively at 1B with a –7% Success Rate Added which was the worst of any MLB 1B with 25 or more chances. I understand that he was moving around the field and that along with the small sample can easily explain the terrible performance.

Can you point me to the scouting reports from college about Vaughn being a good defender at 1B so I can stop worrying that he just can’t field?

As Cirensica

What the White Sox are doing to Andrew Vaughn should be illegal.

First, they called him up with practically no reps in the minors, then they asked him to play a position he hasn’t played since he was in high school. Then, they asked him to contribute offensively while learning how to hit major league pitching while learning “on the fly” how to catch in the outfield. Then sent him to play a little bit to 1B where he hasn’t been played in a while. Then his legs started to falter because he has been moving around and pushed around. Jeez…no wonder he has been having underwhelming performance.

Give the guy a chance to play at an established position he can handle.

Last edited 1 month ago by As Cirensica
itaita

Cant wait for a smart team to fleece Hahn in an Eloy trade. With Abreu leaving the team there will be plenty more AB’s for him at DH to avoid any fielding related injuries.

steelydan52

Not going to happen because Hahn has already said that was his favorite trade and who can blame him? He got Jimenez and Cease. Neither is going anywhere. Jose just has to get used to being a DH.

Burke

Hahn’s the guy who thought it’d be a good idea to spend $22.5 million this season on Joe Kelly, Kendall Graveman and Leury Garcia as our big off season splashes.

He traded Reese McGuire for Jake Diekman. Diekman stunk something awful, while McGuire quietly hit .337 for Boston and will probably be their starting catcher next year.

He traded for Craig Kimbrel, who had been a complete bust for the Cubs since 2019 before finally having 1 good half. When we already had a closer! Now we’ve got A.J. Pollack for 13 million in ’23, while Cubs’ fans will get to watch Nick Madrigal and Cody Heuer grow into possible stars.

So now we’re supposed to trust this guy to make good trades? I mean, seriously ? It’s very frustrating.

texag10

I remember when everyone was ready for Hahn to dump McGuire because he was terrible and didn’t belong on the roster and now we are bemoaning his loss?

Madrigal got hurt again this year and was worse than Josh Harrison. Heuer didn’t even pitch this year because of injury and when he has pitched, has been fairly dependent on his defense to be good. How about they become useful regulars before we start talking about them being “stars”?

ParisSox

I’d hope Robert was untouchable

steelydan52

Yes, him too.

texag10

Because he’s in a glass case marked “Fragile”?

PauliePaulie

The only calls Rick is getting are butt dials and car insurance renewal scams.

steelydan52

Nightengale also mentioned 7 managers names and I’m not quite getting 2 of them. Gibbons and Bo Porter? Really? The others didn’t bother me except I think Girardi and Maddon have personalities that won’t mesh with the Sox FO. Though I don’t much care for Maddon, after reading an article about how the front offices tried to force in-game analytics on him I can understand why he’d tell them to screw off.
Adios Abreu and thanks for the memories. If it’s true.

LeftistLefty-Righty

None of the 7 named would be as offensive as the TLR hire, but I don’t think any of them would be a good move

texag10

I don’t like that apparently they have to be a former manager to even be in consideration. So cross Harris, Quartraro, and Espada off the list? Woof.

steelydan52

Well, Hahn would be a fool not to interview those guys. MLB Rumors mentioned some guy by the name of Pedro Grifol’s name is out there for numerous openings including the Sox! Now it’s getting ridiculous.

As Cirensica

Gibbons is fantastic. He would be great for the White Sox.

steelydan52

I’m not going to pretend to follow the Jays teams while Gibbons was there but his record was 4 games over .500. It is better than Hahn’s record with the Sox as GM.

PauliePaulie

Does the fact that the Sox haven’t fired anyone mean their jobs are safe? Wouldn’t a team hiring a new manager clear the slate for the new hire’s people, while giving the outgoing folks more time to find employment? Or is this normal pre-worls series normal?

Right Size Wrong Shape

I don’t know, McEwing might want to keep the staff intact when he gets the job.

To Err is Herrmann

Rick Hahn is ridiculously blessed. Another org might have fired him after the failed 2015-16 rebuild and certainly now after the 2022 fiasco.

Sox fans on the other hand are ridiculously ripped off.