First Pitch: White Sox vs. Astros

TV: NBC Sports Chicago

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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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Adam

Bregman crying is my favorite thing in baseball

a-t

And that right there is why teams value catcher framing so much. Good job Lucas, great job Sevy, please keep arguing Bregman!

Kelly Wunsch N' Munch

Elvis Andrus will be at Short starting tomorrow in Cleveland.

Adam

I’m hoping that chip on his shoulder over the breakup leads us to finally pounding Oakland in Oakland. I know it’s still a few weeks away

a-t

Andrus signed in time for Elvis Night on Aug. 26

Adam

Why pitch to Alvarez

Adam

Wow, Tony knows I guess

a-t

Well, if he’s gonna keep the bat on his shoulder on a fastball down the middle,

As Cirensica

Ugh…

Adam

Well…we’re at 46 runs scored the last 15 games. At some point we gotta score some runs. Why not today?

hellotowel

Always count on the White Sox to find the most emotionally painful way to split a series. Give you hope, then pull you back down.

NDSox12

Well, this year it has more often been the exact opposite way (lose the first two and then win the last two).

As Cirensica

Davis Martin > Lucas Giolito

Adam

100% agree

roke1960

He is their 5th best starter. Since he almost certainly won’t resign, what could they get from the Dodgers this winter for him? With the likely payroll constraints Jerry will impose, freeing up the money he would make in his last year of arb would be huge.

Last edited 1 month ago by roke1960
Adam

Given his salary, maybe trayce Thompson

roke1960

I’m sure they could get Cody Bellinger, but is he too broken?

metasox

Swapping questionable players with an arb year remaining would seem a fair trade. But, per bref, Bellinger makes 17 mil this year.

a-t

Bellinger for Giolito would be a dreadful trade. Gio’s having a down year after several excellent ones; Bellinger looks to be broken as a player due to an injury.

metasox

It may be a down year, but there is only one year of control remaining. If it isn’t clear the Sox know if or how they can make him more reliable, given this is the peak of the rebuild, I can see moving on without worrying so much about the return.

a-t

The same is true for Bellinger? He’s also got one expensive arb year remaining? I don’t hate the idea of trading Gio, but in this you’re swapping expensive 3rd arb year players and getting the one who I think has a much much worse chance of rebounding. If this is a blip and Gio has a good contract year, he might not resign but the Sox still get a year of excellent starting pitching in a contending year and a comp round pick from Gio’s presumed declined QO. He just needs to pitch good enough next year to not accept a QO, and that comp round pick will itself will likely be worth more than anything they get back for moving him this offseason.

metasox

I am certainly not pounding the table for Bellinger. His was simply the name that was mentioned, and the idea of taking back someone who fills a need but isn’t perfect might be fair.

My point is more that this is the contention window, and I don’t believe the Sox should get too caught up in things like what if he rebounds, QO and comp picks. They need to focus on building a contending roster and that could mean making tough decisions about whether putting resources toward him is the way to do that.

roke1960

I put Bellinger’s name out there to generate discussion while the Sox were losing 10-0. This has been a very good discussion. Giolito is much, much more likely to rebound than Bellinger, but Belli is only 26 and a former MVP. And though not great, there’s a chance that with a full offseason and a fresh start he can show additional improvement as he’s further removed from a major injury. Even if he OPSd .700-.750 and played solid defense and hit 20-25 homers from the left side, he would really help the Sox. He would improve our outfield defense immeasurably. But again, maybe he really is broken broken. I think I’d be willing to take that chance if the Dodgers kicked in several million $$$. Giolito is definitely gone after next year. Jerry is not giving him a White Sox record shattering contract.

metasox

If he was nontendered, Bellinger might take a short deal to prove himself. That could make sense while waiting for – and instead of rushing – Colas

roke1960

That’s what my thinking is. I wouldn’t want to hand Colas RF next year, but he actually could be the power hitting, left handed RF that the Sox have failed to get for the last 5 years. Belli might be worth a chance for one year to see if he can get something back from his early years, and if he doesn’t, Colas should be ready by mid-season. I really don’t think there’s a RF to give a long term contract to in free agency. I really believe Colas will be their long-term solution to RF.

Augusto Barojas

I believe in Colas, but coming into next year with somebody like Bellinger means waiting another year to address their RF – and suffering the consequences, like we’ve seen. There has to be somebody better than that who they could go after, they have had a gaping hole in RF opening day for 3 straight seasons. I like Colas but he is far from a guarantee overnight success.

I am just SO sick if their pissant solutions to RF, and 2b.

a-t

Of course. But I don’t really see a way to spend the money Gio will get in arb that would be better spent elsewhere. They don’t have a pitching prospect ready to take a rotation spot like they did when Rodon walked, unless you want to try Reynaldo there again, and in that event the rotation depth is still very thin, even assuming Cueto re-signs. So they’d be spending most of the $ they save from Gio on a SP anyways. Who would you rather have than him in that price range next year? Manaea? Taillon? Clevinger? Heaney? Martin Perez? None of these guys would be meaningfully cheaper— some probably more expensive— they’re all at least 2 years old than him, and none have demonstrated comparable durability. Only Clevinger has ever performed on a similar level to 19-21 Gio for a full season, and he hasn’t done that for three years now pre-TJS.

It’s a bit of a gamble, certainly. But I simply don’t see a better use of the money Gio will get to make the 2023 White Sox the best squad they can be. Even in today’s clunker, his FIP is 4.13, a full 1.2 runs lower than his ERA. Replacing 175 IP of excellent (previous) to average (this year by peripherals) pitching is a lot easier said than done.

metasox

I can see the point about cost. Quick response is that I would expect this is where a GM would need to put effort into reshaping the team. For example, could Anderson bring back a pitcher with 2 yrs of control and be replaced by a reasonably priced more defensive-minded SS (heck, maybe that is even Mendick), could Giolito bring back a left-handed RF… and so on. I don’t know if such deals exist. It is just speculation on my part.

a-t

Respectfully: what on earth are you talking about?? Why would you want to trade TA of all players? He’s a top-10, arguably top 5 SS in baseball— he is indeed 5th by fWAR since 2019 incl this year—via averaging about 5 fWAR per 600 PA. He’s got two club options for $12M and $14M, peanuts salary relative to that All-Star level performance. Also, obviously, he’s the face of the franchise. Not even the Rays or A’s would trade him in this situation while trying to win.

I don’t comprehend the desire to shake things up with the roster, when it seems pretty evident that the shake-up that REALLY needs to happen is on the coaching, training, scouting, analytics etc staffs.

roke1960

Yeah, I saw that. The Dodgers would have to kick in some $$$.

metasox

Am I reading correctly that Bellinger has an arb year remaining (like Giolito)? In which case I would think he would be nontendered at that pay level whereas Giolito should be more interesting as a trade candidate

Last edited 1 month ago by metasox
roke1960

That’s the more likely scenario.

Adam

I’d take that trade in a heartbeat. Don’t think the dodgers would unless they are sure they could fix Gio. I just don’t know. Seems like he’s been solved.

Berlinger just got benched. He’s got 20 doubles, 16 homers, 11 steals. His miserable is our like…3rd best hitter. Maybe higher

roke1960

And very good defense.

a-t

Gio hasn’t been “solved”. He’s struggling with his mechanics and it’s making his pitches far less effective. The fastball that had elite ride and extension at the top of the zone is now cutting on him and thus not riding as it should, nor boring in on the hands of righties, plus it’s down a tick of MPH on average. The slider isn’t dropping as much and the release point/spin angle on it has been highly inconsistent, and it’s also a tick slower. The changeup also isn’t dropping as much. I’m pretty confident that a normal offseason w/ full contact with Katz and a contract year ahead will rectify his struggles just fine. Bellinger is broken broken.

Augusto Barojas

You can bet he’s on the Sox radar. “Left handed hitter” with .660 OPS, hasn’t hit well in 3 years, in the same category of most RF’s they would ever wind up with.

Adam

To add to the equation of Martin> Gio, we have a Gio =Velasquez.

As Cirensica

Batting practice for the Astros

a-t

Well, this is deflating

As Cirensica

I have Lenyn pitching the 7th and Josh in the 8th

funkerdan

build me up, buttercup, to just DESTROY ME

As Cirensica

I assume that when Aaron Bummer gets reactivated we will jettison Velazquez to the moon. He serves no purpose.

Adam

Maybe the offensive game plan is having Garcia wait an hour and a half between innings. We’ll see how sharp he is….

roke1960

It’s only one loss. Get everyone that matters out of there and get ready for Cleveland. They crossed off 4 days where they played the Astros and Cleveland played Detroit, and no ground was lost to them. That’s a positive.

Adam

It would be nice to just see some fight. Two weeks ago the astros got up on Cleveland 7-0. Cleveland forfeited the dh and pretty much gave up. Even so, scored 3 runs and brought the tying run to the plate in the 7th before falling 9-3. There are no moral victories but watching a lifeless offense is really hard. Never feel like you really have a shot. Just show us….something

roke1960

There’s a little bit of fight!!

Adam

Would so love a 6 week hot stretch from yoan

Augusto Barojas

He was in the midst of a torrid 5 for 20 streak coming into today like somebody predicted.

BenwithVen

I’ll never understand what this team saw in Velasquez to give him a big league deal. He’s never been good.

Augusto Barojas

It’s the White Sox way! Thank God Lynn got hurt at the start of the year for them to sign Cueto, or this team would be even more screwed.

ForsterFTOG

Defensive OF replacement.
Ohtani-ish

ForsterFTOG

Is getting one hit with the bases loaded too much to ask for?

Foulkelore

Alright, finally done with meetings. How are we doing? … Oh no … oh so very much no.

As Cirensica

Today is the game we scored the most runs in this series, and of course we lost

ForsterFTOG

And we were outscored times four.

Augusto Barojas

This game was a pretty harsh reminder of where this team is really at, relative to the Astros at least.

Foulkelore

I wonder how many games have featured the following: at least 4 different pitchers used with each pitcher giving up at least 4 earned runs.