Doubling the 2022 White Sox’s numbers at the halfway point

This is the 10th year of Rick Hahn’s tenure as White Sox general manager, and the White Sox just wrapped up their 18th half during this time with a dispiriting 2-1 loss to the Tigers on Thursday.

(I’m counting the 60-game season as its own half, although if you wanted to disregard it completely due to the 21-game deficit, the entirely Central-based slate of opponents and everything else that made it such an unprecedented ordeal, I wouldn’t blame you.)

With the White Sox closing out this most recent first half at 39-42, the White Sox have only had winning records in four of those 18 partial-seasons. Here’s the tale of the tape:

  • 2013: 33-48, 30-51
  • 2014: 37-44, 36-45
  • 2015: 37-44, 39-42
  • 2016: 41-40, 37-44
  • 2017: 36-45, 31-50
  • 2018: 28-53, 34-47
  • 2019: 39-42, 33-47
  • 2020: 35-25
  • 2021: 49-32, 44-37
  • 2022: 39-42

The bold type only captures half the halves, but it emphasizes the ones in which the White Sox played at a 90-win pace. That’s both a nice, round number and a convenient marker for October-worthiness in an expanded postseason.

The White Sox have played 18 halves of baseball under this administration, and they’ve only cleared that very low bar twice. Twice!

This year was supposed to be the one in which they put it all together. Instead, they’ve dropped a dead skunk on the porch as an offering. The smell doesn’t appear to be going anywhere for a while.

Position Players

NameGPAR2B3BHRRBISB/CSBBKBAOBPSLGOPS+bWAR*
Reese McGuire94296241400200/01252.233.273.286600.2
José Abreu1586949242020760/080108.290.378.4591394.4
Leury Garcia120430408404302/01290.202.229.26641-1.6
Tim Anderson11048868200104020/02068.313.352.4221203.2
Jake Burger 1023664018216520/020112.250.302.4581130.0
AJ Pollock130182562428482/024106.239.278.354790.0
Luis Robert13258280220188622/420112.289.320.4261113.2
Adam Engel1183204022222018/42288.238.300.347841.6
Andrew Vaughn1245325828016760/03488.298.346.4551260.4
Yasmani Grandal 10040212604302/05490.185.294.237540.6
Gavin Sheets1164002620010340/03088.225.295.36387-1.6
Josh Harrison112382541844262/02462.244.326.357951.4
Yoán Moncada76298181006340/01284.184.228.28445-0.2
Danny Mendick 6221244826302/01446.289.343.4431221.2
Seby Zavala36120141202220/0638.345.373.5091490.4
Eloy Jiménez26966204200/0426.222.250.37876-0.4
Adam Haseley2246600040/0412.250.318.250660.4
Lenyn Sosa 826420000/026.083.154.167-8-0.2
Totals61726862821213064870/83941276.254.310.378

Takeaways

No. 1: The White Sox’s 130-homer pace is the lowest and slowest in 30 years. The 1992 White Sox only hit 110, mostly because they only produced 19 homers from their outfield. The 1990 White Sox were the last team to not field a 20-home-run hitter, at least if you don’t count 2020.

No. 2: Leury García has recent comps as a player who is on pace for -1.6 WAR over 430 plate appearances, but none of them are good. Adam Dunn and Alex Rios both played that much because Ozzie Guillen managed as though their failure nourished him, and Jeff Keppinger was cut less than halfway into his three-year deal. Hm.

No. 3: Andrew Vaughn’s season is a revelation at the plate and a nightmare in the field. Gavin Sheets is what it looks like when the bat doesn’t pull its weight.

No. 4: Josh Harrison has played his way into an acceptable season, which is cool. It’s a shame that he’s stuck with García as a three-legged race entrant.

No. 5: The White Sox were supposed to have built an age-in-place facility for José Abreu by now. Instead, all the bathrooms are in the attic.

PERTINENT: The White Sox offense can’t find an heir to José Abreu

Pitchers

NameW-LERAGGSSVIPHR/ERHRBBKERA+bWAR
Dylan Cease14-82.513434018414070/5016862661594.4
Lucas Giolito10-84.902828015016488/823058178800.2
Michael Kopech4-123.34303001449460/5418701361173.2
Johnny Cueto4-83.302018012011046/441836961803.0
Vince Velasquez 6-65.212816093.19258/54163284750.0
Liam Hendriks2-42.605403255.14220/16616841532.2
Reynaldo López8-43.166220746832/26016781251.2
Kendall Graveman4-22.457001073.17430/20624681611.4
Matt Foster2-45.187000666242/3812206677-0.2
José Ruiz2-03.90680065.15630/281042761020.8
Tanner Banks2-03.38460069.15632/26826621160.2
Lance Lynn2-25.3310100545838/328145275-0.6
Davis Martin 2-44.291040423820/2061434930.4
Bennett Sousa6-08.41500241.15040/386202447-2.0
Aaron Bummer0-23.06400235.13818/12218421310.4
Kyle Crick 4-04.02280031.12014/14022381000.4
Jimmy Lambert0-43.06204035.12812/12418261300.8
Joe Kelly0-49.49280225.13428/262223443-1.8

Takeaways

No. 1: If you can overlook the score of unearned runs, this is the Dylan Cease season everybody wanted to see. Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito, not so much.

No. 2: There’s decent chance that Bennett Sousa doesn’t resurface with the MLB team this season, but I like the concept of a 6-0 record combined with an 8.41. The only comparable season is Bob Veale, who went 6-0 over 37 games with the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates while posting a 6.99 ERA.

No. 3: Johnny Cueto isn’t having a Carlos Rodón season in terms of stats, but he’s filling the shoes in terms of “pitcher delivering way more than $3 million.”

No. 4: It feels like Reynaldo López needs to throw more than 74 innings, especially if Kendall Graveman is laboring on a 73-inning pace.

No. 5: Joe Kelly is still on that Kelvin Herrera pace his contract and condition warned us about.

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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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dat gummit

dat gummit, this team stinks!

BenwithVen

just like “The money will be spent”, “mired in mediocrity” is another Hahn soundbite that is aging pretty poorly.

Root Cause

We would have been better prepared mentally had he said, “The money will be misspent.”

Big_Fun
GrabSomeBench

Jim,
You’ve become the Mike Royko of sportswriters with this gem:

“This year was supposed to be the one in which they put it all together. Instead, they’ve dropped a dead skunk on the porch as an offering. The smell doesn’t appear to be going anywhere for a while.”

At least you made me laugh after living and dying with this team. Some personal takeaways:

  1. Why do we have coaches at 1st and 3rd? It is apparent that the coaches aren’t coaching or the players aren’t listening. Abreu’s idiotic move last night was the latest in a hundred dumb moves this year. Players consistently don’t pick up McEwing as they round 2nd and instead look over their shoulder. Not sure what Adam Engel and Moncada were doing on the 8-5 triple play but I also don’t know what McEwing and Boston were doing. Let’s use our outside voices boys!
  2. This team can’t create runs despite having Anderson, Robert, Moncada, Engel, Harrison, and Garcia who should be able to go first to third and steal based.
  3. Sheets is a AAA player. I’d play Engel or Pollock in RF every day.
  4. What’s with all the illnesses. I’m old and I don’t take off because “he’s not feeling well today”. Vaughn missing an important game because he’s not feeling well or the benchings to rest players has to stop.

A Frustrated Fan

dwjm3

Come play for the White Sox immobile first baseman. We will train you to play anywhere.

PauliePaulie

So much $, so poorly spent.
Isn’t Vaughn the heir apparent to Abreu?

Ben

Side bet: Does Abreu end the season with more runs scored or batted in?

As Cirensica

Reading this was as good as it was disheartening, now, if you excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom

*screams as hear on the distance* – where is the fucking attic on this building

OldMMJ87

This makes me sad.

dwjm3

Post edited

Last edited 1 month ago by dwjm3
metasox

Sox twitter features an interesting Cease / Katz conversation

HallofFrank

“It’s a shame that he’s stuck with García as a three-legged race entrant.”

This is just so spot on. And I’m getting a fair bit of joy out of imagining Harrison trying to high step a three-legged race, but Leury is holding him back.

Josh Nelson

I know you pointed out the halves which the White Sox were on a 90-win pace, but only having four above .500 halves in a 10-year span is disheartening as hell.

upnorthsox

And one of those convinced you to throw in the towel and do a 4 year rebuild.

Foulkelore

And the fact that it was over .500, which was an illusion, led to the Tatis/Shields trade before they came to that decision for the rebuild.

As Cirensica

Hahn is so bad at what he does, that I bet that if we would have kept Tatis Jr. we would still suck.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

They would have had to trade Tatis anyway to create more playing time for Leury.

dwjm3

You would think an organization with that level of output would be more hesitant to fan shame

vince

I was thinking maybe the Sox could just retool for next year but now I’m wondering if they need to blow it up (again, again).

calcetinesblancos

So I never actually watched the Titanic movie til the end. I assume they plug the hole and make it to NYC?

shaggy65

Leury’s on pace for 84 doubles?!! Tony has to find ways to get him into the lineup more.

calcetinesblancos

Don’t give Tony any ideas.

StockroomSnail

If he batted Leury twice, I bet other managers wouldn’t even point it out. M

soxexile

The numbers just back up what we’ve been seeing all year. We have 4 guys who hit (Abreu, Anderson, Vaughn and Robert), 3 more who MIGHT start to contribute once they’re fully back from injuries (Jimenez, Moncada, and eventually Grandal), the last 2 lineup slots on any given day will never consistently produce, and there’s nobody on the bench who can be trusted. So even if Jimenez, Moncada and Grandal can retrieve their best selves, this is still a thin team.

metasox

But most teams don’t have great lineups top to bottom. If the guys who are supposed to produce did, offense would hit its projections and be fine

Augusto Barojas

The only thing standing between the Sox and a good shot at an AL championship are the top 25 WAR position players in the AL – all of whom they don’t have, and play on other teams.

upnorthsox

130 HR would be good for 29th in 2021, how is that fine? Or are we under the delusional projections that our lineup is littered with 30-40 HR hitters?

686 runs would be good for 24th in 2021, how is that fine? Or are we under the delusional projections that our lineup is a top 5 run producer?

2021 run producers
Houston
Tampa Bay
Toronto
Dodgers
Boston
San Fran
White Sox
Atlanta

7 of 8 top run producers were playoff teams, only Milwaukee at 12th with 738 runs was left of the playoff teams.

metasox

Am not sure of the point. You say the Sox were 7th in runs scored in ’21. Exactly. Projections like ZiPS and Steamer are using those past numbers. Those are the projections the team is not hitting.

Augusto Barojas

Just take the top 2 or 3 players away from each of the other teams, and the Sox are almost as good as anybody.

a-t

That’s a little unfair to Harrison. League-average offense and good 2B defense is what he was signed for, and after a hot six weeks he’s giving that. 98 wRC+ from the 9th hitter is def ‘producing’.

Depth is absolutely an issue (*the* issue arguably) in general though.

Joliet Orange Sox

Harrison is now also eligible to run for President of the United States!

(And somehow Beau Brieske isn’t eligible to run. Perhaps there could be a constitutional amendment just for him.)

a-t

President Harrison (the new one) would be a fine imperator, I feel sure.

soxygen

Someone’s going to have to pick up the slack and replace Danny Mendick’s production. My money is on nobody.

chipporter

Is he on the 40 man or would they have to make room for him?