Tigers 6, White Sox 3: Jimenez hits 30th home run

Before today’s game, the league had 54 players already hit more than 30 home runs in 2019 which doubled the amount from 2018. Eloy Jimenez was on the cusp to join the 30 dingers company just needing one more and facing Detroit Tigers starter, Matthew Boyd. Despite posting a 3.6 bWAR season, Boyd allowed 38 homers, second-most in the majors.

With two outs in the first inning, Jimenez took Boyd deep for a two-run shot becoming the 55th player this season to hit at least 30 home runs.

Despite the White Sox jumping out to a quick lead, Detroit responded with two home runs off Reynaldo Lopez. Jeimer Candelario hit a two-run shot in the first inning, and old friend Gordon Beckham tagged Lopez for a solo shot in the second inning to give Detroit a 3-2 lead.

In Jimenez’s second at-bat against Boyd, he lined a double splitting the gap in center and right field, his 17th of the season. However, he would be stranded there as Yoan Moncada struck out, and Welington Castillo grounded out to shortstop.

While the Sox failed to convert, the Tigers continued to make good contact against Lopez. With runners on first and second with two outs in the third inning, Christian Stewart’s grounder scooted by Danny Mendick for an RBI single. That was followed by Dawel Lugo’s line drive that Anderson made an attempt to catch but failed to come up with the play. With the bases loaded, Lopez did bounce back from falling behind 2-0 in the count to Grayson Greiner to strike him out, but after three innings it was Detroit ahead 4-2.

Between innings, Rick Renteria on television was shown in a lengthy conversation with his young starter. Whatever was said to help calm down Lopez, didn’t work, as he gave up his third home run of the afternoon to Victor Reyes. Lopez’s day was done after four innings as he allowed five runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and one walk.

Down 5-2, the White Sox finally converted with a runner on second base. After three straight innings with a runner in scoring position but failing to score, Welington Castillo drove in Moncada with an RBI single.

That was the last offensive hurrah for Chicago as the Tigers bullpen did an excellent job pitching four scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Willi Castro hit his first career home run in the seventh inning as Detroit’s four homers powered them to a 6-3 win.

Game Notes:

  • Tim Anderson went 1-for-5 and his season batting average is .334. 
  • Yoan Moncada went 2-for-4 hitting his 33rd double of the season, and his season batting average is .316 with a .920 OPS. 

Record: 68-87 | Box Score | Highlights

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
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.

Articles: 854
38 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Hulksmash

So, what we’re looking at for 2020 is Gio, Cease, and then a whole lot of nothin’ for the rotation. We’ve got Kopech coming back, hopefully. Rodon, hopefully. Maybe. We’re praying. And Lopez, who gets lucky once in awhile but is otherwise terrible (and the numbers bear that out). If the Sox don’t sign an arm–and a good one–it’s another 85-90 losses. I hate to be a downer–I’ve been trying my best to be optimistic–but seeing Lopez today made me finally lose my nerve.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan

Lopez needs to move to the bullpen next year. He was always questionable as a starter and he has regressed all year.

And 16 months removed from surgery Kopech better be ready to go, thought the average TJ recovery was only supposed to be 16 months? No way Rodon pitches next year though.

I’m not ready to write Lopez off especially as a 5th starter and seeing Giolito’s change. Get him in a good offseason program and help him reduce that arm-side run and focus more on the mound. He still has excellent stuff, but his fastball location sucks and would suck too as a reliever. Plus, how much worth is a fifth starter with an 8 man bullpen? It will be much better for the Sox to invest in one very good starter than two mediocre ones too.

Hulksmash

I hope you’re right. He’ll be given another shot because there’s no one in his way, but seeing him perform like this for another full year would be unbearable. But it also could conceivably happen, which is such a difficult pill to swallow.

burning-phoneix

Lopez is rocking a 5.45 ERA versus one of the bottom 50 offenses of ALL TIME (in the live ball era) by wRC+. I really don’t see him being good in any capacity. His numbers first time through the order are terrible which doesn’t bode well for him as a reliever either.

karkovice squad

Counterpoint: Lopez doesn’t have excellent stuff beyond fastball velocity. That only goes so far in today’s game.

He has a lot of work to do.

GoGoSoxFan

This.

If your fastball doesn’t have any movement, it doesn’t matter how hard you throw it, major league hitters will hit it.

Hulksmash

I’d like to think Kopech will follow that timeline, but given this is the Sox we’re talking about, who knows what his return will look, when it will be, etc. It takes a lot, from what I understand, to come back from TJS, and this organization is so dysfunctional at the moment, I can see setback after setback for Kopech. I’d love to be proven wrong, obviously. And even if that’s the case, that’s still three pitchers, virtually no ready depth.

(And I forgot it hasn’t been that long since Rodon went down. It just FEELS that long that we’ve had another adequate starting pitcher wearing a Sox uniform.)

Patrick Nolan

Lopez sits at 2.0 fWAR. He’s below-average because health means that he’s made his full complement of starts, but that’s not a guy you move to the bullpen unless there’s some expectation his stuff would play up in relief. They should plan on Lopez being a #5, and if that’s where he’s slotted, they should be happy with it.

Soxfan2

Enough of this move Lopez to the bullpen talk. Lopez is a more than capable back end starter at this point with upside for more. From 2018-2019, Lopez is 22nd in fWar of starting pitchers that have thrown at least 350 combined innings. His HR/FB is up about 4% than previous years. He is not this homer prone. His K% is higher this year and BB% is down. Once the homers come down (which they have for the most part in the second half) he is a pretty good pitcher. 

Trooper Galactus

I find it amusing you anoint Cease as a part of next year’s rotation while writing off Lopez when Cease has a worse ERA, FIP, HR/9, IP/GS, WHIP…the list goes on.

burning-phoneix

We’ve had two seasons to look at Lopez and half a season of Cease. Lopez has had his chance so Cease now gets to see if he’s learned from his lumps.

Besides, Cease has a better xFIP and nearly identical FIP to Lopez

Hulksmash

Yeah, c’mon, Trooper. Let’s be serious. Lopez has started 78 games; Cease has started 14. I think it bears saying we’ve seen plenty of one, enough to make a pretty reliable evaluation, while the other is barely getting settled.

Trooper Galactus

I think people need to pump the brakes on expectations for Cease a bit. He averages less than 5 innings a start and he wasn’t exactly dominating in Charlotte before his call-up. Between him and Lopez, he kinda profiles more like a guy destined for the bullpen. And yes, we’ve seen a lot of Lopez, but I don’t know that we really have a final answer on just what he really is. I also don’t think he’ll be any better in the bullpen than he would be at starting if he can’t generate more ground balls and command within the zone better.

Hulksmash

I don’t think I’ve seen much chatter about Cease expected to be an All-Star or the like. Mid-rotation guy? I don’t think that’s an unfeasible expectation. But he’ll be in the rotation next year so we can see, realistically, what he can do (and we both know Charlotte is a hard place to gauge any pitcher; we can look at 2018 and see him actually being quite good in a different scenario. But, again, this is what 2020 will help determine). Lopez will probably be in the rotation in 2020; we can probably count on it. He just won’t be any good, and a move to the bullpen, I agree, won’t improve anything.

Trooper Galactus

Even when he was dominating in lower leagues he wasn’t known as an efficient pitcher. I don’t know that he’ll ever be the type of guy who pitches deep into games regularly, but I do think he’ll be very effective in shorter outings.

karkovice squad

Cease has better stuff to work with…if he can fix his mechanical issues.

GoGoSoxFan

Pure speculation on my part, but I think he needs to work with the people who Giolito used to improvee his mental toughness.

karkovice squad

He already is. That’s only going to go so far in improving his results, though, since his mechanics have been getting in the way of execution.

texag10

So right now with the roster as is, our rotation next year looks like:

1: Giolito
2: ????
3: Kopech? If healthy?
4: Lopez
5: Cease

Lopez or Cease aren’t horrible options for a 5th starter and maybe Cease can grow enough in the offseason to be the 4th starter instead of Lopez. Realistically though, we need 2 more starter since Kopech probably isn’t starting the year in the bigs. Lopez seems like the kind of guy we could trade to the Rays for anything and then he posts an All Star season immediately but then we need a 3rd starter from FA although as a 4th starter, I wouldn’t hate bringing Nova back. And all that doesn’t even factor in that if we want to contend, we need a RF and a DH, assuming we roll with McCann which is not the best idea and we re-sign Abreu which is not horrible. PLUS, we don’t even know if Robert/Madrigal will start in the bigs, let alone hit the ground running once they arrive.

Trooper Galactus

I kinda don’t want to see Nova brought back. This season was basically about as close to expectations overall as we could have hoped for, with disturbing signs that the worst case scenario looms. It’s like Miguel Gonzalez, where they went to the well one too many times instead of cashing out while ahead.

Hulksmash

Yeah, bringing Nova back would be the ultimate shoulder shrug. It’s basically the front office admitting they didn’t even try. I sorta get what Patrick is saying about Lopez, but as easily as you can look at one stat of his that looks okay, you can look at another that’s abysmal. That’s his MO at this point.

Point being, and this may be unfair to Lopez, but you can only roll with a pitcher of his caliber in the back end–and be competitive–if your front end is really well stocked. The White Sox certainly don’t have that luxury. You’ve got Gio, Kopech with a big health/recovery question mark, potentially Cease somewhere in the middle, and that’s it for 2020. Nova does nothing to offset Lopez who, we all know, for better worse, is in the 2020 rotation. They need someone else in there, someone much better than Nova if they’re even considering making this work.

Hulksmash

(Which is a long, convoluted way of saying that, yes, maybe–*maybe*–Lopez is all right on some teams as a #5. But on the Sox, going into 2020, he’s probably #3. And that is…not so good.)

texag10

The scenario where Nova is brought back is where we somehow sign Cole/Straus/MadBum, and then trade Lopez away somehow (which is a horrible use of resources but its the Sox so…). Gio/FA/Kopech/Nova/Cease is not a horrible rotation and I don’t think we will have the luxury of going into the season without questions marks in the rotation unless we sign 3 guys.

lil jimmy

I feel very good about this team. No bad contracts. Lots of talent. Cash to spend. If I am a Chicago baseball fan today, I have to wear shades as I look at the future. (As a Sox fan)

dwjm3

“Cash to spend”

Will Jerry actually spend it?

Trooper Galactus

Sure!



…wait, you mean on the team?

anthonyprinceton

He spent after 2005 and the White Sox had a top 10 payroll for 6 or 7 seasons afterward. This team should have a payroll in the $125 to $130m range at the very least. However the money has to be spent wisely like the Dodgers and Astros and not like the Cubs and Padres. The Padres have guaranteed $527m to Myers, Hosmer and Machado the last 3 years and the trio have a combined 2.9 fWAR in 2019. Add in the fact that the AL Central can be won next season with a handful of moves and some luck is all the more reason to spend on quality. Prelim ZiPS projections for next season have the White Sox near 80 wins without any moves.

Trooper Galactus

$130 million would be the club record for the White Sox and still in the bottom half of league payrolls.

iowasox1971

If the Sox can use Lopez as bait in a package to acquire a proven starter in a salary-dump deal, I wouldn’t mind it. Lopez is not very good. I’m not sure if I want to see him in our bullpen either. He doesn’t seem to pitch very well when the pressure is on.

One of the more curious things about this season was how often the Sox had Castillo catching when Lopez was pitching. I read somewhere that Lopez likes throwing to Castillo, but I wonder why. Does anyone know if the stats justify this?

PauliePaulie

Lopez doesn’t have trade value right now.
Not sure what you mean by “pressure”. It was the Tigers.
His stats are better throwing to Beef. Although there could be some bad BABIP luck when McCann has caught to consider.

burning-phoneix

Castillo loves calling fastballs in an era where fastball use is decreasing. Reynaldo doesn’t trust his offspeed so he loves throwing to Castillo.

PopeDonnPall

I think a lefty veteran would be swell. Otherwise we’re praying for… Kubat?

Also – side note – if you want to get pumped for the future, take a listn to Baseball American’s most recent Pod. They said La Pantera is sugy the could build a statue outside of the stadium. Good review of the Sox system. Give it a listen!

5742mail

Looking forward to 2020 line-up of Robert,Moncada,Abreu,Jimenez Anderson,McCann and maybe Mercedes.Also the possibility of Collins and Palka(who should come back with on fire) as power left handed bat. Spend on some lock down bullpen arms since the starter have trouble going 5 innings. Spend wisely to protect our future.

Jeff

You had me until Palka. I’m hoping we’ve seen the last of him, Cordell, Tilson and the rest of the AAAA guys they’ve been trotting out there. Given the lack of superior/young position players in FA (with the exception of Grandal who I’d love to see), it’ll be interesting to see if the FO can pull off some creative trades.

I also hope Anderson can clean up his defense and start walking a little bit to overcome the likely BABIP regression.

5742mail

In heart I agree, I didn’t care for him much last year. But if he find something he might hit 40 homers as long as it’s dh only. Cordell and Tilson only helped slow down the progress of others. Overpaying for F.A only cause higher ticket prices.

MrStealYoBase

1. If this season is Eloy’s talent floor, I’m really excited for his future. He looked lost for half the year at the plate and has still managed to provide plus offense. If he can maintain something like his June/September output for a whole season, he’ll be a superstar even if he’s still a butcher in left (although of course I hope he improves there substantially).

2. This team needs two starters no matter how you look at it. No team has 5 starters make 30+ starts anymore. If they are serious about 2020, a performance argument could also be made. If Kopech is going to ease back into it (which i think is totally reasonable) I’d like to see them go with Gio, Cease, Lopez + 2 FA pitchers to open the season, then drop Lopez to a swingman-spot starter role when Kopech is back or give Cease a bit more time at AAA if his command is still a major issue.

Yolmer's gatorade

One word: opener. I wouldn’t mind them signing a cheap LAIM like Nova to swing between long relief and spot starter, but thinking they need two starters is just giving Hahn an excuse to he cheap. They need a frontline starter to take some pressure off Giolito and be the ace of the staff until Kopech, Cease, and Giolito develop more. Cole, Bumgarner, Wheeler, Ryu all fit that role.