Podcast: June is a tough test for White Sox

Record Date: June 1, 2023


  • Recap the month of May for the White Sox
  • Middle infield jam
  • How a tough June schedule will determine the 2023 White Sox fate
  • Series Preview: Detroit Tigers
  • Speculating how Liam Hendriks will be used this weekend
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Trooper Galactus

They had a month to bum-slay and the best they could muster was a game over .500. Now the competition gets real again and man, if they have another month like April I can only hope it’s the final nail in the coffin for this front office.

Augusto Barojas

I think it is better to face that it is hopeless for this roster than have some marginal shot at winning a hapless division, with hopes of winning a playoff series that are delusional. As you said, we can only hope that Hahn is gone, and that Getz isn’t his replacement. Jim Click, as someone else suggested, please.

With series vs the Yankees, Dodgers, M’s, Rangers, they should get smoked. They may not get a great haul, but have several desirable players among those leaving in the next 2 years. Kelly, Graveman, Liam, Gio, TA, Yoan, and Grandal should fetch some good prospects to restock their minors a bit at least.

Last edited 3 months ago by Augusto Barojas

My read on Hahn’s job security is that the temperature of his seat is tethered to the expectations placed on these players in 2019. The top of this organization has a tremendous amount of faith in this roster, and Hahn is fired jk! steps down only when he is firmly backed into a corner with another teardown imminent. 

Hahn knows he can easily run it back in 2024 with Moncada, Anderson, and Hendriks all in tow for one more season in a final attempt to salvage his legacy. That gets harder in 2025, but for at least another year I predict he continues to coast on the wild prognostications of the 2022 preseason.


My God, that is worst case scenario and criminal mismanagement of assets. If they run this back with no significant improvements (which we all know is happen, they will continue to band aid known problems like starters, 2b and outfield); how will anything be different. Lightening in a bottle is not a strategy, it’s hoping and praying.

Josh was spot on, after this stretch, they should trade assists and restock, it’s the only logical move, regardless if Hahn is here or not. The franchise has no hope for the future, trade what we can to restock.


I’m all for trading what they can to restock, I’m just not in favor of having Hahn or Getz or someone currently in the organization doing it.


I still anticipate a faint “sell off” midseason, but in a manner akin to the 2021 Twins cashing in on expiring contracts. Which, hey, they turned a 41 year old Nelson Cruz into Joe Ryan, so I’m all for that.

But with Hahn and the same core of players intact next season, expect trading a tarp for a few shingles rather than a brand new roof.

If I’m wrong, I’m afraid it’s going to be in the direction of Hahn standing pat and pitching the returns of Hendriks, Crochet, and Andrus as “impact acquisitions”.


It doesn’t really matter what Hahn says, because he is so clueless his words mean nothing. I agree with your take above that Hahn will keep everyone who is still under contract next year and hope 2024 will be better. If he starts another rebuild, he will be admitting the last one was a failure- even though he expected “multiple championships”, not 2 winning seasons. We are stuck in baseball hell until Jerry fires Hahn and replaces him with some bright mind outside of the organization (not happening), or he dies.

My guess is they’ll trade Giolito and Kelly for sure, and Grandal, Lynn and Clevinger if anyone wants them. He’ll keep everyone else and use the lightning in a bottle approach to next year. Then this winter, they’ll sign a middling starting pitcher, run Romy or Sosa at 2nd, Colas in right and Seby and Perez behind the plate in 2024. And payroll will be much lower than this year’s.


Next year’s lineup:
TA ss
Benintendi lf
Robert cf
Eloy DH
Moncada 3b
Vaughn 1b
Colas rf
Seby/Perez c
Sosa/Romy 2b

Maybe Burger at 3b if they can unload Moncada’s contract.

Alex Wood
Michael Lorenzen (after he shuts down the Sox again this weekend, Hahn will salivate over signing him)
Scholtens or someone he acquires for Giolito

As Cirensica

I respectfully disagree with Josh in the podcast about the state of pitching being better than the state of hitting. Unfortunately the data is in favor of Josh. I looked at how the White Sox hitters did in May, and that was not good. Having said that I think this team will trend up offensively speaking. Amazingly, our “core” players are all healthy at the same time! That’s rare, and even one of our weakest hitters (Romy) is doing something as of late.

The pitching…oh boy. The pitching has been atrocious, and continues to be so. I think the White Sox have 4 starters, and Lance Lynn. Lynn looks done, and cannot be counted on moving forward. I hope we score tons of runs when Lynn pitches. Cease is in the top 10 of worse ERA in the majors. Giolito has been OK, but not great. Kopech and Clevinger have been like 4th and 5th starter, so they are doing their job.

The A’s aren’t a major league team, so I will dismiss their terrible stats. The White Sox are dead last in walks and homers allowed. That is a deadly combination. I lose my shit whenever I see White Sox pitchers giving away walks to horrible hitters. Often times those walks are followed by a homer. Only 4 teams are worst than the White Sox in the number of hitters per inning the starting rotation faces.

Does Grifol have a slow hook? Because despite of all the runners allowed, the White Sox ranks 9th in the Majors in innings pitched by their starters with a little bit over 5.1 innings per game.

The pitching is by far what worries me most this season. The question of why the White Sox are a disappointment this year should start with their pitching staff. At the end of the season, the hitting stats will travel into the middle of the pack. Will the pitching?


Nah, Josh is right. The pitching results have been uneven. But Gio and Cease will be fine. Kopech is still figuring things out but shows flashes of brilliance. Clevinger and Scholtens look like passable 5th starters. The bullpen is probably above average, especially if either Crochet or Hendriks take a step forward.

Lynn has been disappointing, but I don’t think he’s toast for two reasons. First, look at his game log and you see basically three blowups and the rest of the time a 4th starter. Second, his xFIP is 4.07, which leads the Sox rotation (and it’s not really close). He’s gotten some combination of poor batted ball/defense luck (which checks out with the eye test, I’d say).

When I look at this offense, I just don’t know where the runs come from consistently. The whole offense is just guys who run hot/cold with a mix of injury concerns. They’ve shown that they can have the occasional offensive outburst and that they can hit LHP. But they’ve not shown they can score 5 runs on a semi-consistent basis and that’s what it takes to be good. I have a hard time seeing how they get there.

As Cirensica

Good points. Glad to read those stats from Lynn. Maybe there is hope? The eye test if often misleading among untrained fans. So I hope I am wrong.

Augusto Barojas

Lynn has given up 4 runs or more in 7 of his last 11 starts, the four exceptions all being vs hapless AL central teams. Does anybody really need to see what he does next week in New York to confirm how bad he is, after watching Trout and Ohtani hit off him like it was tee ball, seriously? An ERA over 6.5 through 12 starts doesn’t lie, he is toast.

Last edited 3 months ago by Augusto Barojas

That’s a good example of cherrypicking. Here’s mine: before the Angels start, he had three consecutive starts of 6+ IP, 2 ER or less.

The problem is ERA often does lie. Or at least it doesn’t tell the whole story. That’s why I included the xFIP number.

I don’t think he’s just bullying the AL Central and getting shelled by good teams. Like I said, he’s three complete duds. Before LAA, they were the Giants (15th best offense) and Royals (25th best). But he’s had competitive starts vs. Tampa Bay (2nd), Toronto (11th), Minnesota (12th), Cincinnati (14th), and Houston (17th).

Again – I’m not saying Lynn is good. He’s not the solid #2 he was. But there’s a big gap between that and simply “toast.” My read: he occasionally loses command and teams tee off (no matter who they are). The rest of the time he’s a #4 that can get you 6 IP.


Would you rather have: a very small number of proven but inconsistent starters with no depth behind them, or an endless supply of hot/cold hitters with no real positional versatility?

The former, more often than not, leads to awful outcomes. But the latter puts a hard cap on how many wins this team can achieve.


I don’t really get the framing but if you’re asking, “would you rather have the White Sox pitching staff or offense?” I’m taking pitching staff for sure.

Hot/cold describes both the pitching and the offense, but “hot/cold” isn’t necessarily bad. Robert can pull it off and be a good player, for example. What’s bad is when a team is predictably cold. If an average or better righty starts, the Sox are toast. Occasionally they run into a 5-run inning, but they’ve shown virtually no ability to consistently score unless there’s a LHP on the mound. The staff is at least starting to find some semblance of a rhythm, even if that includes Lynn’s duds every now and then. But the bullpen is evening out after an abysmal start and I still have some confidence in the rotation.


I didn’t phrase it well, but yes, that is what I’m asking.

And I don’t have a good answer, but the rotation gives me more anxiety. The individual guys haven’t been streaky — their performances have been pretty random. I haven’t the slightest guess how Clevinger, Cease, and Kopech will pitch this weekend. Even scarier is the prospect of being a bad break away from Sean Burke or Daniel Ponce de Leon in the rotation.

Augusto Barojas

Best case, their hitting and pitching come up to middle of the pack. That’s still mediocrity, which is the upside of this team. They’ve scored 3 or less in 29 of their 58 games, which is half. That’s what they get when they don’t have a major league RF or 2b on the roster, or a legit left handed power hitter.

Their hitting and pitching stink, bottom line, and they still aren’t a good defensive team either. What to expect but a team that loses more than it wins. Not complicated.


12-under through 58 games, which is 36 percent of the schedule. Just to get to .500 for the year, they would have to play .558 thru the rest of the season. To get to 85 wins, they would have to play. 596. Unless they suddenly turned it around that isn’t happening. Even a good 6 weeks until the break of 7-over leaves them at 5-under at the break. Against the tough schedule that they have, that almost certainly wouldn’t happen. I hate to say it’s over in early June, but realistically it’s over. I know they won’t do anything drastic until probably the all-star break, but I really don’t want Hahn (or Getz) doing the dumping of players. I almost to the point of complete apathy. A couple of bad weeks will get me there.

Jim Margalus

Scoops Nelson got the Alberto DFA correct.

Joliet Orange Sox

Maybe if no one picks him up the Sox can make him a coach!

Augusto Barojas

I guess that settles any notion of Lynn getting benched anytime soon. I thought Scholtens did decently enough to keep a roster spot. But I guess with all of their many outstanding pitchers, they only keep the very best!

Scholtens is sure to get some starts later in the year, almost undoubtedly. He will probably be in their rotation in August/Sept, if not before that, once Gio is gone. They have like, nobody else.

JR’s Culture Club

Hanser hit 3 more homers in less than half the at bats given to the biggest franchise free agent signing (by total dollars) in team history….

DFA Hahn once again proving “Accountability around here is not a problem.”


At least Grifol’s pet got a shorter leash than La Russa’s.


This is my reading of the move. I don’t know if they’ve wised up a little or if it reflects the career stature of the two managers. Very probably the latter.


If “massive Superfund site of a team” is too harsh a descriptor for the post-April White Sox, perhaps “brownfield of a team” is more appropriate. From the US EPA: “A brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.”

Maybe calling Jerry Reinsdorf “a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant” sounds harsh, but since there is no accountability in the organization, he really can’t be called a “potentially responsible party.”


I’ve watched a lot of Sox over the last 40 years. One of the most interesting things about this year is the runs allowed at home in March/April, when the park usually plays more as a pitcher’s park. Our pitchers allowed 2.4 hr/9 at home in April (worst in the league by far), a 6.30 FIP (ditto), and 4.75 xFIP (25th).

In contrast, in 2022 those early season home numbers were 0.6 hr/9, 3.57 FIP, 4.16 xFIP.