Podcast: Hello, Dylan Cease and 2019 First Half Grades

The Rundown:

Dylan Cease will be finally arriving on Wednesday to make his first start in the majors. What should we expect from the rookie? Plus, three White Sox players are attending the All-Star Game, the staying power of Ross Detwiler, and why Yoan Moncada should always bat second. 

With 81 games on the books, it’s time to dish out our 2019 First Half Grades in which we received over 450 submissions from our listeners so thank you for your participation. 

TopicJim’s GradeJosh’s GradeFans
Jose AbreuCBB
Yolmer SanchezC-CC
Tim AndersonBAA
Yoan MoncadaAAA
Eloy JimenezCCB
Leury GarciaABB
Ryan CordellFFD
Charlie TilsonDDC
James McCannAAA
Welington CastilloFDF
Lucas GiolitoAAA
Ivan NovaFDD
Reynaldo LopezFFD
Ricky RenteriaBBC
Rick HahnCCD

Finally, your P.O. Sox Questions. 


I listened with great interest to your discussion of the MVP Machine. How high-tech do you think the Sox are in their approach? Is there any way to know this? And particularly with pitchers: how data-driven do you think they are in their philosophy?

Andrew Segall

How many injured players are going to be taking up space (at least five come to mind) on the 40 man roster in the off season? Could that cause the Sox to lose a player or affect their ability to add players?

Ed Casey

With the under-performance of the Sox second tier minor leaguers and rash of injuries hampering possible trades, and an underwhelming upcoming free agent market, is there a path to contention in 2020 or realistically are we looking more now at the 2021 season?

Presented by SeatGeek. 

Click play below to listen:

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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Lurker Laura

Occasionally, I browse Sox Twitter during my lunch break. Today, I am amused by how much s*** Jim is getting for giving Renteria a B.

Jim Margalus

They deserve to have Robin Ventura on a lifetime appointment.

Joliet Orange Sox

For people who rate Renteria as an F, how many more games would the Sox have had to have won for him to rate as a C? That’s a two letter grade improvement so I expect it would mean the Sox had won at least 4 or 5 more games meaning the record would be 44 and 37. With this roster (especially the pitching), I think 44 and 37 would have earned the manager more than a mediocre C.

Lurker Laura

I think I gave a Renteria a C (because of the bunting, mostly, and batting TA seventh), but I do think his pitching management has been very good, and Jim’s reasoning for the B was solid.


I think Renteria did a great job these last 15 games. He managed the pitching staff very well, and it seems that he is bunting less also. I was very critical of him earlier this season and even compared him to Robin and Terry Bevington. Is he the guy that should be managing this team when they are legit contenders? I’m not sure, but getting this team to 39 wins in the first half with 1 good starting pitcher and several dead spots in the lineup has been impressive. Jim, I take back my comparison to those two! I gave him a C, but these last few weeks have been at least a B.

Joliet Orange Sox

On a lighter note, I really enjoyed watching videos of Pesapallo (Finnish Baseball) after listening to Jim and Josh talk about it. Well worth a few bucks a month to get the extra podcast content. I was surprised to hear that over 450 people voted on the grades since there are only 320 or so Patreon supporters.


Gosh, this entire podcast was so enjoyable to listen to. It’s so fun when it’s fun. Let’s have an even funner second half.