Rios + Pena = Subtraction by addition

Two questions with (crappy) video after the least satisfying victory of the season:
No. 1: How could you, Alex Rios?
Rios actually had an above-average day at the plate, collecting a flare single and an ugly sac bunt to raise his average in a White Sox uniform to .157, but he completely obliterated the tatters of his reputation with this play:

(If somebody with and the know-how could make an animated .gif of that play, I’d be forever in your debt.)
I just… I don’t know. I had fears that his contract would be Linebrinkian, and it appears those are completely warranted.
At any rate, this is making the case to retain Scott “Four Hits” Podsednik all the more compelling. Although there’s a good chance he will revert to his frustrating form next season, there’s really no way to dismiss his production, especially considering his competition.
(Oh, and Jermaine Dye? He’s now at .174/.271/.273 in 188 plate appearances since the All-Star break.)
No. 2: Can the Sox give Tony Pena back?

I fully endorse calling Pena “Mahoney,” in honor of the Buffalo Wild Wings commercial:

Thanks to some heads-up Oakland baserunning and defense, the Sox have now won two consecutive games in which Tony Pena has pitched. Of course, they would’ve won it sooner had Pena and his 0-2 rollers never entered the equation.
Let’s counter that with two items of good news:
No. 1: Detroit lost.
The Sox are somehow 6 1/2 games back of first place. The blueprint is still intact, even though the Sox only took one from Oakland.
No. 2: The Sox have a real fifth starter.
For at least one game, anyway. Jake Peavy says he’s ready to go, which will spare the Sox from at least one Carlos Torres (or equivalent) outing.
Tuesday’s minor league roundup:

  • Great Falls 4, Helena 2 (completed game)
    • Nelson Curry picked up the win by allowing just a solo homer over four innings, striking out six.
    • Nick Ciolli went 0-for-1 with three walks and two stolen bases.
    • Weird line for Kyle Colligan: 0-for-4 with three steals.
  • Helena 4, Great Falls 3 (Game 2, 7 innings)
    • Ciolli went 3-for-4 with a double.
    • Trayce Thompson singled twice, struck out twice, stole a base and committed a throwing error.
    • Kyle Colligan singled, walked and stole two more bags.

Wednesday’s minor league roundup:

  • Salem 7, Winston-Salem 2
    • Why the minor league playoffs don’t matter: Daisuke Matsuzaka held the Dash to one run over 6 2/3 innings.
    • Justin Edwards allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over six innings. He struck out four.
    • Brent Morel went 1-for-3 and drove in both runs.
    • Justin Greene went 2-for-4 with a double.
  • Lakewood 4, Kannapolis 2
    • Eduardo Escobar went 2-for-4 with a double; Jon Gilmore went 2-for-4, himself.
    • Josh Phegley went 1-for-4 with a double; Daniel Black went 1-for-3 with a walk.
    • Charles Leesman wasn’t sharp: 5 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.
    • Santos Rodriguez walked two and allowed a hit in two-thirds of an inning.
  • Kannapolis vs. Helena
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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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HAHA, his face is priceless after he realizes he didn’t catch it.
On another note, every time Pods gets a hit, I hate him just a little bit more.


I left after the 10th inning (because I live in South Bend and I have to get up at 5 a.m.). I listened to the game on the way home, and Farmer’s almost total silence after Rios’ non-catch tells all you need to know about how he feels.


So far Pena & Rios both look like garbage. I hope they can turn it around but right now they look like Todd Richie & Rob Mackowiak. Kenny got hoodwinked on both, but Rios @ $12 mil per year is a huge mistake. He is a lazy CF who plays too deep to cover himself. His swing is WAY too long!!
I hope I’m wrong but BA was just as good/bad.


It’s too soon to make any real judgments on Rios and Pena. The sample sizes with the Sox are too small and both have probably been unlucky in 2009 (Rios 2009 BABIP .279, career .324; Pena 2009 BABIP .335, career .304). I’m much more optimistic about Pena’s 3.83 K/BB ratio than I am pessimistic about the trivial win/loss stat.
In your initial post on Rios, you cited his triple slash line as evidence of a three-year decline, but going by Fangraphs’ WAR numbers, he actually increased in value by almost a full win each year from 2006 to 2008, mainly because of his defense. Like a lot of others I’m still skeptical about the defense component in WAR that Fangraphs and others are always promoting, but I’m not willing to discard those measurements entirely, especially on a team like the Sox with dreadful outfield defense.
I strongly disliked the Pena trade and was neutral on Rios, but at least Kenny Williams actually bought low on two players for a change. If Pena and Rios just end up as be two more Swisher-esque sell-lows because the Sox front office is more interested in no-upside buy-highs like Peavy, then this club is going to have a lot more 2009s than 2008s.


Why can’t Pods stop hitting he is making it harder and harder not to bring him back.


Can someone please explain to me why Oz continues to run JD
on the field. JD has flunked every chance offered. Are we really trying to win?


Regarding JD, it’s pretty sad to see his post-ASG OPS at .554*. .554!
Pods’ post-ASG slugging alone is .449.
*MLB differs slightly from what you’re showing, Jim.


Quentin in rf, preparation for 2010


jd can not field and can not hit so at least give the appearance of trying to win would be nice
my solution, granted, is not guaranted but a different
setup might ignite a fire that is snuffed in rf


Pods either is going to continue to surprise us. Pena will probably be another Dotel or Linebrink (who will probably win man of the year and should), Rios will be another Anderson unless a miracle happens, so on and so forth, but unfortunately none of this matters because every time anyone predicts anything about this season, Kenny or the guys do something to surprise us. Watch, after all this speculation Pena and Rios are going to completely turn around and have a stellar September when it doesn’t count anymore.


With the $60 million contract of Rios and the obvious work that lies ahead to fix what is wrong with him, the Sox have a dilemma regarding whether or not to keep Walker next year. I am not a big critic of Walker’s- he seems to be popular with the team and works hard and all that, but he clearly is not a guru-type who turns guys around like the hitting coach at Texas or like Duncan and Cooper do for pitchers (though I think we sometimes lean to heavily on the ‘Coop can fix anybody’ mantra at times).


It’s not great, but…
I’m working on a better one.