Podcast: 2023 Chicago White Sox Season Predictions with Laurence Holmes

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Guest: Laurence Holmes, 670 the Score

Rundown: 

  • White Sox bench options
  • Pedro Grifol asking for a clean slate.
  • White Sox Best Case Scenario:
  • White Sox Worst Case Scenario:
  • White Sox Record Prediction:
  • White Sox Best Position Player:
  • White Sox Best Pitcher:
  • White Sox Breakout Player:
  • World Series Prediction:
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As Cirensica

Enjoyed this podcast. Thanks Josh and Laurence. Can’t believe we are gonna have an official White Sox game very soon.

Last edited 1 year ago by As Cirensica
GrinnellSteve

I’ve got about 50 hours to refine my thinking but here goes:

Sox 88-74, second to Cleveland. 3rd wild card.

Lynn will be the ace of the staff.
Robert will be the best position player.
I don’t see what I would call a true breakout player, so Josh’s Ruiz makes the most sense to me.

If it all breaks right, this team could win the World Series and deserve to do so. On the downside, health and defense conspire and the win 77 games.

steelydan52

I agree with your win total though 90 wins wouldn’t surprise me and I still think the Sox will win the division.
Cease will be the ace. Either Robert or TA for best position players though Vaughn will have a good season too.
As far as the World Series goes I agree everything would have to fall into place but right now I’d place the Sox behind the Asstros, Yankees, Toronto and possibly Seattle. Cleveland will put up a fight too.
I just want the season to start!

As Cirensica

OK…here I go:

Record: 85-77
Best Pitcher: Dylan Cease
Best Hitter: Eloy Jimenez in a close race with Andrew Benintendi
Breakout player: Andrew Vaughn

steelydan52

Do you have them as division winners or wild card team?

As Cirensica

I don’t know. I didn’t go further than. Tied in 1st place?

dwjm3

I think we could make the playoffs if we stay healthy. I don’t think we have the talent to win the World Series

As Cirensica

A hot streak from a couple of players, and suddenly you “have the talent”… remember when Edwin Rosario hot streak, and then Jorge Soler who won the WS MVP helped the 87 wins Braves to win the WS??

dwjm3

Refresh my memory of that Braves team. Didn’t they have better depth then we currently do? I mean if people think we have a championship caliber team then why does Hahn get so much flack on here?

As Cirensica

No, they had a better GM. A much much better GM. This is sadly still true.

upnorthsox

This.

upnorthsox

No, they were the team that when they had their whole OF go down to injury, instead of trying to turn 1B into OF and acting like the smartest guy in the room by getting a 2nd closer, they bludgeoned their OF deficiency with actual outfielders until they won a WS.

roke1960

If: The big 4 (Timmy, Yoan, Robert, Moncada) all play 130+ effective games.
The starting 5 starts at least 90% of the games.
The Sox closer by committee is effective until Hendriks gets back.
Colas doesn’t faceplant.

Then: Sox win 91-94 games, and win at least one postseason series.

If none of those things happen, the Sox win 81 games and finish 3rd.

Most likely somewhere in between.

jorgefabregas

Per James Fegan, Colson Montgomery (oblique) will likely not play a game until late-April. Noah Schultz (flexor, plus barely pitched last year) will likely not play a game until June.

They are downplaying the injury for Schultz (they claim it’s resolved) and saying the slow ramp-up is due to last year’s inactivity, but I would think if he was 100% healthy they would have him starting earlier. I figure if they want him to get ~50 innings, there’s a risk in waiting too long (there may be some other issue that crops up once he starts playing).

steelydan52

Wow, already? We’re not even out of the gate yet.

steelydan52

As a side note, I’d like the Sox to try to get Hiura either by a small trade or waivers. He’s only 26. Can play 2nd, 1st and OF.

jorgefabregas

The numbers suggest he is a poor defender everywhere but first base. His defensive potential is limited by a poor arm (injured elbow his junior year of college and had to DH, now has one of the slowest throw velocities for first basemen). Only reason to sign him would be to bet on his bat.

upnorthsox

His bat didn’t show up, that’s why the Brewers are giving up.

steelydan52

Yes, he’s struggled. My son, who is a big Brewers fan, said Hiura started going downhill when his mom passed a couple seasons ago or so. Since I can watch all Brewers games and not all Sox games, that’s the team I watch and I remember Hiura in his rookie season looking pretty dang good. Just thought maybe the Sox could get him back to where he was. You know, with how well they develop players.

jorgefabregas

He had an above average batting line last year and for his career. Last year was an unorthodox way to have an above-average line and I can understand why they’re not willing to bet on it. Also, an above average batting line doesn’t necessarily mean hitting enough to play 1B/DH.

upnorthsox

What do you mean by above average? His power #’s? Meh, I guess kinda. But the rest of the line .212/.297, .168/.256, and .226/.316 the last 3 yrs is not even good let alone average or above. I thought that when they got Wong they’d trade him, now I’m glad we didn’t make an offer.

jorgefabregas

I mean he had a 115 wRC+ last year and has a 105wRC+ for his career. That’s 15% and 5% above average, weighted for park and league.

The average OBP in MLB last year was .312 and the average SLG was .395.

upnorthsox

Ok kinda, .004 above avg. The same for his power/wRC+/OPS/OPS+ or whatever you like were all bouyed by his slugging last yr which while fine couldn’t get him on the field enough with only 266 PAs. The year before though in 2021 was an awful .301 slugging/ 51 OPS+. He does have the reverse splits though as he hits RHP better than LHP. Too bad he can’t play the field.
As I said, I wanted to trade for him a few yrs back. Now I’m glad we didn’t.

ForsterFTOG

With any luck, neither will hit free agency until their age 30 season.

-Rick Hahn
(probably)

Yolmer

Here’s my take:

White Sox Best Case Scenario: Relatively good health. Vaughn takes an incremental step forward, Colas has decent power and defense, and everyone else plays some version of their best selves. Gio and Lynn regain top starter form, and Clevinger and Kopech are decent. Bullpen is sturdy.
White Sox Worst Case Scenario: Tim Anderson misses significant time along with other injuries. Sox go 75-87.
White Sox Record Prediction: 92-70. Wins Central Division
White Sox Best Position Player: Tim Anderson. He is the guy that makes this team go.
White Sox Best Pitcher: Dylan Cease, although best case involves Gio and Lynn at their top form.
White Sox Breakout Player: Vaughn is a breakout if only because the other players play a good version of themselves.
World Series Prediction: White Sox over Padres! My non-homer prediction would be Padres over Astros, however.

FishSox

White Sox Best Case Scenario: It’s about health. We have to assume Moncada is going to need time off and we have to cover that gap, but if all else can remain without significant damage, we should be ok (Yeah, I know that’s asking a lot)

White Sox Record Prediction: 91-71. Wins Central Division

White Sox Best Position Player: Tie, Andrew Vaughn & Yasmani Grandal for their offensive contributions.

White Sox Best Pitcher: Reynaldo Lopez – Turns into a lock down reliever that gets the hard outs.

White Sox Breakout Player: Michael Kopech – Becomes dominant with a 4 pitch selection

World Series Prediction: The White Sox will be there if they buy tickets.

Last edited 1 year ago by FishSox
dongutteridge

Best case scenario is that all 5 starting pitchers make every start and the Sox win 90 games and the division.

Worst case is that 2 or 3 of them miss a fair amount of starts and Gio and Clev don’t perform much better than last year. In this case, the Sox win 80 games and finish in 3rd place.

My prediction is they win 84 games and finish in second.

Foulkelore

Romy homered again today. I think that’s 5 in the last week. If he found a way to turn into Aaron Judge, I think we should adjust our predictions.

Augusto Barojas

I had assumed that Hahn was full of shit with his “raves about Romy’s offseason”, b/c Hahn usually is. But maybe there was some truth. Good way to finish the spring. If Andrus plays more like he did from 2018 to the first half of 2022, we might see a lot more of Romy than anticipated, at some point.

a-t

Romy does have serious, measurable raw juice in his bat for a middle infielder, let alone a superutility guy. 91.2 average EV last year was nearly 3mph above league average, about equivalent to Vaughn’s. But he’s got to improve on the terrible plate discipline to be usable.

GrinnellSteve

With so much negativity in the comments this winter, I expected my 88-win prediction to be met with derision. Instead, I seem to be the low man here. Apparently it’s true: In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of White Sox division championships.

steelydan52

Like you said, everything would have to break right for the Sox. After the shit show last season I’d like to think things will be better this season.
I know it’s ST and I know pitchers work on pitches but I’m still on the ledge with Kopech. And they really need him this season. Clevinger too.

jorgefabregas

In The Athletic’s Bold Predictions for every MLB team listicle, James Fegan predicted that the White Sox will win the division.