First Pitch: White Sox at Tigers

There’s no doubting that Leury García has $5 million of utility to any ball club, but I had my reservations about the three-year deal he signed with the White Sox because of his tendency to find himself a little too involved with some very important plans. He shouldn’t be starting in a corner outfield spot two postseasons in a row, and yet two different managers have felt compelled to put him there.

The reason he’s starting at shortstop and batting sixth on Opening Day is different — Tim Anderson is serving a two-game suspension to start the season, and Yoán Moncada is out — but there’s always some logic that puts him in the middle of things.

At least we’re seeing the benefits of the trade for AJ Pollock. With Anderson out, Pollock is a natural choice for a backup leadoff man.

TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Time: 12:10 p.m. CT

Lineups:

OrderWhite SoxTigers
1AJ Pollock, RFRobbie Grossman, RF
2Luis Robert, CFAustin Meadows, LF
3José Abreu, 1BJavier Báez, SS
4Yasmani Grandal, CJeimer Candelario, 3B
5Eloy Jiménez, LFMiguel Cabrera, DH
6Leury García, SSJonathan Schoop, 2B
7Josh Harrison, 2BAkil Baddoo, CF
8Andrew Vaughn, DHSpencer Torkelson, 1B
9Jake Burger, 3BTucker Barnhart, C
SPLucas Giolito, RHPEduardo Rodriguez, LHP

Weather: At the moment, it’s raining.

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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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Augusto Barojas

It’s opening day, and I’m already tired of Garcia in the lineup, lol. Can’t wait for TA7 to get back.

soxfan

Nobody plays 162 games anymore. I’d rather have Anderson (and Moncada and Lynn) miss games in April than October.

soxygen

Do we get to choose now? Just kidding.

soxfan

What’s the over/under on the number of times that Ohtani NFT commercial is streamed during the online broadcast? I feel like I’ve seen it five times before the opening pitch.

burning-phoneix

YAAAY! WHITE SOX BASEBALL!!!!

LuBob DuRob

Eloy adding red.

burning-phoneix

Rodriguez is having control problems but both Jose and Eloy missed on middle middle fastballals in the low 90s but somehow missed but Eloy can muscle a low inside fastballs for an RBI somehow lol

Foulkelore

Damn, that was a cool intro on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s a long way from Don Cooper slinking into the shadows.

soxygen

Nice to see how we do against one of the better lefties in the division on opening day.

Based on the Zips depth chart, the other 4 AL Central teams are somewhat RHP heavy. Their LHP are projected to pitch only 21% of their projected innings in 2022. As a point of comparison, it looks like 29% of baseball plate appearances last year involved a LHP, so the AL central this year is light on LHP relative to the league last year.

burning-phoneix

Please don’t kill yourself Andrew

LuBob DuRob

Is it too early to quibble about lineup construction?

soxygen

Do you think Andrew Vaughn and his .955 OPS versus LHP should be hitting higher in the order? If so, then we’re in agreement!

soxfan

If you want a reason, I’d guess it’s to spread the switch hitters out in the lineup for the inevitably switch to a right-handed reliever and the ability to be replaced by Sheets if/when that happens. So La Russa has a strong-side lineup against the starter with the ability to balance the lineup by having the 4, 6, and 8 hitters turned around.

LuBob DuRob

I’d rather have Vaughn/Sheets at 6, but yes, that is probably TLR’s sober reasoning.

soxygen

He didn’t spread them out very much though, with Grandal 4th and Leury 6th. I think putting Vaughn 6th and Leury 7th would have been a better choice.

GrinnellSteve

My understanding is he was looking at Leury as a second leadoff man, a couple of table setter types in front of a couple of thumpers.

LuBob DuRob

Leury against lefties should not be seen as anything but a bad option.

LuBob DuRob

Scratch that. Early season error. I was thinking Leury was better as a lefty batter. And it is too early to quibble about the lineup.

soxygen

Tom Tango’s “The Book” has a great chapter on lineup construction. According to The Book “from slot #6 through #9, put the players in descending order of quality.”

Tony is a hall of fame baseball person…but…
Leury’s OPS versus lefties was .717 last year. That’s definitely worse than Vaughn’s .955.

Last edited 4 months ago by soxygen
GrinnellSteve

You’re right, but someone I saw said this was Tony’s thinking.

burning-phoneix

I was always under the impression that the #7 hitter is the “second leadoff”

jorgefabregas

Jake Burger is a MLB-quality player. It’s neat to have an MLB-quality player in reserve when another player goes down.

dwjm3

We aren’t used to depth. It is like a magic unicorn to us Sox fans.

burning-phoneix

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Last edited 4 months ago by burning-phoneix
burning-phoneix

You know, I usually would get mad at Eloy for not chasing that ball down and limiting that hit to a single but honestly, I’m just happy he’s not injuring himself out there.

CaptainEuphemism

I’m liking this “Professional Right Fielder” concept so far.

burning-phoneix

Wow, is this what it feels like to have a good hitting corner outfielder?

phillyd

61 pitches was the limit for Gio? He threw more than that in his last spring training start.

GrinnellSteve

I suspect weather is also a factor.

phillyd

You’re probably right.

burning-phoneix

Why is Lucas out after 4 innings?

LuBob DuRob

Seems a little strange. I did think for a moment that Gio tweaked something is his upper right leg earlier in the game. Hope this is just cold weather, gonna be a long season choice.

soxfan

Abdominal tightness according to twitter.

burning-phoneix

Rotation is kill 🙁

CaptainEuphemism

It would be nice if Sousa can be a decent relief option this year. We could use some development wins.

jorgefabregas

Here’s the answer on Giolito

jorgefabregas

Was that sold by Harrison? Very crafty if so.

burning-phoneix

Jerry Reinsdorf called the Commish’s office and told them to end the inning lol.

jorgefabregas

Or maybe it was a crafty way of minimizing contact.

a-t

Harrison didn’t jump, but he shouldn’t need to any more with the Utley rule protecting him like it did there. Usually it applies to going far out of the base line to break it up, but high school (and college?) is strict about going past the base like Candelario did even without taking out the MIF making the turn.

a-t

Pollock didn’t *need* to have three hits to endear himself as the everyday right fielder but I’m certainly not complaining

Foulkelore

I’m sure Mazara had at least 3 total hits during his entire season, but it sure doesn’t feel like it.

Foulkelore

So, use Graveman for a couple more hitters, have Bummer come in and overlap Meadows, and then bring in Hendriks starting with Baez. That sounds good.

a-t

No reason to ride Graveman that hard, just give Bummer the 8th. It’s not like he’s a LOOGY

Foulkelore

I posted my comment to start the seventh, so Graveman should be done with Bummer to start the 8th, which is what I meant. Give Bummer the 9-1-2 hitters, then bring in Hendriks starting with Baez.

a-t

Ah yes in that case I agree lol

dwjm3

Miggy is full on fat Elvis these days. I enjoy the Tigers being bad.

LuBob DuRob

Yeesh

jorgefabregas

Grandal motioned for someone to come out of the dugout after the hbp

Foulkelore

Vaughn!

LuBob DuRob

Boom! Tony’s so smart.

soxygen

If you had “Andrew Vaughn mashing lefties” and “Tony using 5+ relievers” then come on down and collect your prize.

burning-phoneix

Andrew Vaughn Breakout campaign incoming.

a-t

Liam just wanted the win more than the save

dwjm3

So much for that

a-t

[Curb theme playing]

soxygen

I love having a killer bullpen. It means I don’t need to worry when we take a lead into the late innings.

mrridgman

Contrary to popular opinion, apparently we didn’t spend enough on the bullpen.

WHITESOX_RIGHT_SOX

😂

LuBob DuRob

Hit the wall first, I think

soxygen

I took a lot of crap from some folks for suggesting that AJ Pollock was a lousy right fielder.

jorgefabregas

ok

HouseOfTheRisingSox

Now I wish we still had Kimbral

jorgefabregas

Aw, phooey

Shingos Cheeseburgers

God I love this team’s commitment to just emotionally obliterating its fans

WHITESOX_RIGHT_SOX

Your response is great 😂

Wow, that finish was atrocious. Kudos to Vaughn in the clutch!

calcetinesblancos

I was already pissed after seeing how Suzuki did in his debut, so I’m glad we just kept the misery coming.

DuckSnorting-CanofCorn

I cannot recall an opening day loss that has ever stung this much. Woof.

As Cirensica

I missed the game (at work). It appears it can be summarized as “womp womp”

LuBob DuRob

With Tony on trombone

calcetinesblancos

I only caught part of the game on the radio. Was this a typical LaRussa bungling of the bullpen?

LuBob DuRob

Maybe… but really Bummer and Hendriks were bad.

calcetinesblancos

I’m always suspicious of Tony when I see a pitching line with two hits and a walk. I assume Bummer was looking like shit while Tony was taking his siesta.

Last edited 4 months ago by calcetinesblancos
billyok

At some point you have to blame the pitchers for pitching poorly

a-t

There wasn’t really much for him to do different, Bummer and Hendriks just did not have it today.

a-t

He brought in Hendriks for the 4-out save (good move!) and Liam immediately gave up a 2-run single to Miggy. He then stuck with Hendriks for the 9th with the slim lead via Vaughn’s dinger and it did not go well. The remaining options in the pen were uhhhh Banks, Ruiz, Foster, Reylo, and Velasquez, so I think they were probably screwed either way. Get well soon Joe Kelly…

billyok

I hope this at least means I eventually don’t have to see the stupid aggro music video that precedes Liam’s shitty performances on the mound.