Homestand offers White Sox a chance at dignity

Rangers and Orioles are in just as bad of shape, if that matters

In all likelihood, the 2018 White Sox will not be 120-loss kind of bad. The question is whether they’ll show any meaningful measure of positive regression before the return of injured players (Carlos Rodon, Avisail Garcia, Miguel Gonzalez) or the arrival of key prospects (Michael Kopech, Eloy Jimenez).

For the incumbents on the roster, this homestand would be a fine time to show it. The Sox start with four games against the last-place Rangers, and follow it up with four games against the last-place Orioles.

Granted, these are the same Sox that went 1-5 against the Tigers and Rays when both teams looked dreadful in early April, and that stretch is a big component of their what-the-hell 3-15 record at home.

Whether you weigh with weather or larger sample sizes, mid-May feels much more real than early April, and all of these three teams are awful. The bottom of the American League team leaderboards are all cluttered up with Rangers, Orioles and White Sox.

Runs per game?

12. Orioles, 4.14
13. Royals, 4.12
14. Rangers, 4.00
15. White Sox, 3.82

OPS?

12. White Sox, .717
13. Royals, .715
14. Orioles, .702
15. Rangers, .687

Runs allowed per game?

12. Rangers, 5.32
13. Orioles, 5.55
14. Royals, 5.72
15. White Sox, 5.74

Defensive efficiency?

10. White Sox, .685

14. Rangers, .671
15. Orioles, .660

When you look at the state of the Rangers from Patrick’s preview, and when you look at the Orioles’ Baseball-Reference.com page, it’s hard to believe the White Sox are several games worse than either club. They all seem the same kind of bad.

It comes down to the pitching. The White Sox offense is below-average, but looks a little worse than it might actually be due to a horrible early stretch with runners in scoring position. There’s no similar way to shine up the pitching staff, which has the league’s worst ERA, FIP and just about every other predictive metric. Most of their struggles are independent of the defense, which is itself so abysmal that Rick Renteria is thinking about playing Yolmer Sanchez in the outfield.

The White Sox should be able to come away with their first split of the season against a non-Royals team in either half of this homestand. Even if you think there’s something legit to their 3-15 record at home — and even if the Rangers reinforce that notion –the Orioles are 3-16 outside of Baltimore. Something’s gotta give.

Alas, nothing can be assumed, except for maybe the worst-case scenario. If the White Sox somehow run their KC-excluded losing streak to 0-14, a long season will feel all the more interminable.

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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.

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Joliet Orange Sox

I’ll start the discussion. Why is Yolmer in the outfield crazy? We’re already playing bad defensive outfielders often. Especially in interleague games, it seems like a way to get all the guys who have a chance against mlb pitching all in there at once. What am I missing?

Right Size Wrong Shape

I actually was going to suggest this yesterday when Anderson sat, and started thinking about it during the Cubs series when Sanchez sat. The OF defense can’t get any worse, and there are only a few capable bats to choose from right now.

Lurker Laura

“Crazy” in this case may be more of the “I can’t believe this is what it’s come to” kind of crazy, rather than “this is a terrible idea” crazy.

zerobs

It’s crazy because he is their best infielder. Ricky ought to be thinking about Tim Anderson in the outfield before putting Yolmer there.

mikeyb

I don’t know that his bat really plays in the outfield. I guess it would be nice for him to have that positional flexibility in seasons where the Sox are trying to compete. But unless he can handle CF, he’s not going to be a strong enough hitter to be very valuable in a corner OF position.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Don’t think anyone is suggesting this as a long-term solution, but at least against NL teams when you want to get Davidson in the lineup. As someone mentioned above, if he is your super utility guy on the championship team, you want him to be able to play OF.

mikeyb

Weird that this would then be a discussion thread on an article about how the White Sox have a long homestand coming up.

sgp2204

The outfield consists of Delmonico, Engel, and some combination of Garcia’s and/or Thompson. Are we really worried about Yolmer’s bat not playing out there? 

Trooper Galactus

Delmonico’s OPS is about 150 points below Yolmer’s, so let’s not pretend like we’d be missing out on offensive production out there. Even Palka’s barely hitting any better than Yolmer at this point, and his defense is bad to an absurd degree. While it’s not ideal, it might be Ricky’s best option at the end of the day.

PauliePaulie

For me it only makes sense as a way to maybe build trade value.

Lurker Laura

The headline of this article may be the most White Soxian headline I’ve ever seen.

A chance at dignity. As if.

mikeyb

The White Sox are 0-7 in home games when I attend this year (1-0 when I attend road games though!). I’ll be out of town for the next stretch of games until June 1st, so yeah, go ahead and get your hopes up for some wins.

Josh Nelson

That’s brutal, mikey.

PauliePaulie

Found my scapegoat. Thanks!

Greg Nix

That means they’re only 3-8 in home games you’re not at, so I wouldn’t take it personally.

Patrick Nolan

Hamels scratched. Seriously, if they can’t beat the Rangers twice without Beltre, Andrus, and Hamels…

Right Size Wrong Shape

Are you kidding? Even when the Sox were good these were the games they would be guaranteed to lose.

Trooper Galactus

I’d like to think this, but our pitchers have been so atrocious all season I have little faith they could even hold down a High-A lineup at this point.

Marty34

Any word on Rodon’s rehab assignment. He was supposed to start it this week.

Patrick Nolan

Greg Nix

Well, that’s exciting (or what passes for it with this team). 30 day limit for rehabbing pitchers, so if he doesn’t get hurt again we’ll see him by mid-June at the latest.

L2R

Since management gets to do rebuilds, can the players just have a do-over?

hazymania

It’s a classic example of “movable force meets a stoppable object”