Following up: Rick Renteria’s alter ego makes in-game appearance

A week ago, Dan Hayes explored the idea of which manager would prevail if you put all 30 of them in a wrestling ring. It’s a fun idea, although it’d be more fun if there were a little more variety in the physical builds and demeanors of the fighters.

However, Hayes’ blurb on Rick Renteria suggests more differences could emerge if the fight-or-flight responses were truly put to the test in a Royal Rumble.

Don’t let Renteria’s calm and pleasant demeanor lull you into a false sense of security. His postgame alter-ego, Ricky Loco, has made him the cult hero of every coaching staff he’s ever worked on for reasons nobody will discuss publicly. While he prefers to keep a low profile in the dugout, Ricky Loco must be fed. His alter reminds us a lot of the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, which makes Renteria a threat at all times.

We saw a bit of Ricky Loco — and Jason Benetti dared speak the name — during his ejection in the third inning on Sunday. Renteria stomped from home to first to simulate Jose Abreu’s baserunning path to a less-than-receptive group of umpires, and it made for good theater.

Here’s hoping this series against Detroit brings the return of the Renteria everybody enjoyed — the one who led the league in ejections and led a team that played a flawed-but-inspiring brand of baseball. He’s going to be around whether you like it or not, but maybe he has some options on the version of the guy who is going to be around.

(It’s a travesty that Renteria ranked a spot behind Yost. I’d flip them, considering Yost broke his hip and is talking about it on Verizon commercials.)

* * * * * * * * *

Jose Rondón made his first appearance in the outfield in an official stateside game on Sunday. Two batters in, Nicholas Castellanos lofted a flare into the left-center gap, then tested Rondón’s readiness by gunning for second.

Rondón’s throw left a lot to be desired.

It was an ominous start for the Rondón experiment, but any doom it foreshadowed wasn’t realized immediately. Thanks to Reynaldo López’s 14 strikeouts, Rondón only one other batted ball, and it was a lazy fly he caught without issue.

There will probably be more growing pains for Rondón, but it’s worth throwing him out in left field as often as safety allows. He’s on the roster because he’s out of options, and if the Sox went through the whole season without understanding what he looks like when given everyday playing time, they’d end up confronted with another awkward obligation to navigate. It might not work — I’d say it probably won’t work — but until the Sox can start winning wars, they have to focus on battles, and as G.I. Joe will tell you, knowing gets you halfway there on those.

Rondón blending in on his first game made me feel sorrier for Eloy Jiménez. In between Nicky Delmonico having an easy three days in Baltimore and Rondón seeing next to nothing Sunday, Jiménez only needed three innings to be thrown into a wall.

* * * * * * * * *

Over at Statcast, Mike Petriello explored the best new pitches of the first month, and it’s nice to get a third party reinforcing my reads on Kelvin Herrera’s cutter and Iván Nova’s also cutter, while putting them in a greater leaguewide context.

Regarding Nova:

Speaking of cutters that have become weapons, if we go back to that same list of 57 pitchers who have thrown 50 cutters, we’ll find Nova at the very top. That’s because he’s thrown it 71 times and allowed just four singles, while collecting nine strikeouts. […]

So far in 2019, he’s had batters miss on 40.4 percent of the swings they’ve taken against his cutter, one of the 12 best marks in baseball.

Regarding Herrera:

(Herrera’s average fastball velocity of 94.7 mph is) not slow, exactly, but it does open the door for a pitch to give a hitter a slightly different look. Enter the cutter, which comes in at 92.5 mph and offers five inches more drop and nine inches different movement than his main four-seamer. So far, Herrera has yet to allow a hit off of it, and he’s off to a good start overall with a 1.48 ERA.

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Default image
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.

Articles: 3534
26 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
dwjm3

I didn’t really care for Ricky’s act yesterday. The umps appeared to make the right call no sense in making a scene for no reason. The strike zone yesterday was pretty good as well.

shaggy65

totally disagree. Abreu took the exact path to the base that every player takes every time he runs to first (as Ricky hilariously demonstrated). It was a ridiculous call.

dwjm3

It was the correct call…He was running in fair territory and impeded the ability to throw to first the umps will call you out for that almost every time.

phillyd

While I don’t disagree with you, I don’t like the rule as it is applied in this situation. Abreu got hit just before touching the base. The base is in fair territory. It is hard to run in foul territory at the point where Abreu got hit and still be able to touch the base effectively.

PauliePaulie

“He’s going to be around whether you like it or not,” hits me pretty hard in my unhappy place.
It would be awesome if some of the “fun” we’re expected to root for was competence based.

PauliePaulie

2080Baseball released their first Mock Draft.
They’re with Fangraphs 1-4.

lil jimmy

The same guys who say you don”t draft for need, in the next breath say
“As a bonus, he would slot in nicely as the heir apparent to Abreu.”

PauliePaulie

If he’s there at #3, I think we need to accept he’ll be the choice. So I’ll choose to key on the “capable of a .300/.400/.500 slash line at maturity” part of the write-up, while hoping they go for defense and athletic upside with the second pick.

lil jimmy

I accept nothing, until they shove it down my throat. Him not getting picked until #8 would not surprise me in the least.

PauliePaulie

Who would you prefer over Vaughn, that could you honestly see the Sox picking at 3?
Lodolo?
Bleday?

karkovice squad

I mean, the Sox almost never draft by best player available alone. What changes is whether they’re trying to fill holes on the 25-man or minor league depth charts.

mikeyb

Can somebody who is a rules expert explain where the player is actually supposed to run? The base is in fair territory; how do you get to first base if you don’t eventually step into fair territory at some point?

PauliePaulie

There is a clearly marked base “lane”. It’s the 3 foot wide box to the right of the foul line, beginning 45 feet from the bag.

Right Size Wrong Shape

The problem is that the base itself is in fair territory, so the player has to step into fair territory to touch the base. I’d like to see them go to the softball double base at first.

mikeyb

Yeah I understand there’s a box in foul territory. But the base is in fair territory.

As Cirensica

Ervin Santana has declined his Triple-A assignment and elected free agency. White Sox no longer have to pay out his salary for the rest of the season

— James Fegan (@JRFegan) April 29, 2019

PauliePaulie

How did his salary not become guaranteed when he was added to the 25 man roster?

As Cirensica

Maybe he didn’t sign a guaranteed contract. I need to read more on this

karkovice squad

I’m intrigued by the reason why Santana would elect immediate free agency.

As Cirensica

They forced his hand by offering to pay him 4 millions or nothing, and he selected nothing.

I would have taken the assignment.

Clearly

PauliePaulie

MLBTR explains it as possibly a case of something called a “45 day advanced consent clause” That would explain the short, for the White Sox anyway, leash.

karkovice squad

That makes sense though maybe a bit surprising the Sox went that route.

tommytwonines

Why is that surprising?

karkovice squad

They don’t seem to have a history of using that approach to curb their liability.

Milky✌️

Uhh, good luck then.