Podcast: Chicago White Sox split in Houston to start 2023

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Record Date: 4/2/2023

Rundown:

  • White Sox split the opening series in Houston
  • Good: Yoan Moncada and Yasmani Grandal’s bats are alive
  • Good: White Sox starting pitching excelling
  • Bad: White Sox bullpen struggles
  • Bad: Hitting with runners in scoring position
  • Preview the home opener against the San Francisco Giants
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FishSox

I think Lopez needs to be told to stop shaking off. One of my big questions about him has always been his composure. Yesterday with the 3 step off balk, illustrates this. I’ve always though he shook much more than most and not to a good end. Tell him we need him to concentrate on throwing the best version of whatever the catcher calls and he’ll be a better pitcher and see if he buys in.

Buck Weaver

I agree with you on him shaking off too much–it obviously contributed to the mini train wreck of the bottom of the 9th. I noticed after the end of the game that Grandal was talking to him about it on the field and was holding his arm up as if to say something about Lopez’s arm slot. I’m guessing he saw something that led him to not call for a certain pitch. At any rate, Lopez just shook his head no in disagreement.

asinwreck

Gregory Santos could just be the new Thyago Vieira, but if he can harness his stuff, whew.

Foulkelore

White Sox players being a part of 3 out of 4 of these categories is nice to see too.

HallofFrank

The jury is still out on Giolito’s velocity. The fastball velocity was up from his 2022 average, but it may have been the adrenaline of first start or in Houston or whatever. Out of curiosity, I compared his start on Saturday with his first start from 2022:

Giolito First Starts
’22 (4/8/22 at Tigers): 93.0 avg, 94.3 max, 91.3 min, 2131 rpm avg
’23 (4/1/23 at Astros): 93.1 avg, 95.1 max, 89.9 min, 2158 rpm avg

Some encouraging signs, but I don’t know what to make of the minimum velocity. The average is almost identical. Maybe he was taking a little off in certain situations, and that brought the average down? But it’s worth monitoring. Giolito’s velocity may be the single most important piece of statcast data we can mine in these early weeks.

a-t

Went and checked, that 89.9 was vs Abreu, the 1st batter of the bot 3rd. Saw a lot of 91-92 in the first batters of each inning; maybe it’s less effort, or just a mini-warmup type deal. Or he’s simply having more consistency with his mechanics out of of the stretch.

jorgefabregas

Luis Robert statcast percentiles
2022
Sprint speed 65
Outs above average 84
Outfield jump 30

2023
Sprint speed 96
Outs above average 100
Outfield jump 100