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Three of Rick Hahn’s offseason additions made the All-Star Game. One who didn’t come close probably isn’t going to pay dividends for anybody.
The Angels were the latest team to designate Adam Eaton for assignment, because they seemed to realize that the White Sox might’ve already seen the best ball Eaton has to offer this year.
- with Sox: .201/.298/.344 over 219 PA
- with LAA: .200/.232/.277 over 69 PA
The good news is that Eaton already feels like a name from another season, probably because he already was one before he came back to Chicago. The White Sox found a more useful left-handed free agent to pair with Adam Engel (Brian Goodwin), and the returns of Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert might crowd them both out to rotational duty as soon as they’re entirely back up to speed.
Eaton’s DFA is mostly a device to point to an article at FanGraphs, in which Jake Mailhot took a look at the White Sox’s sudden depth in the outfield. He notes that Engel and Goodwin have both benefited from big jumps in contact rate. Engel’s now putting the bat on a ball at an above-average rate when he used to have the kind of holes in a swing that drag a league average down. Goodwin merely had to return to his pre-2020 norms, where he accomplished enough to be more attractive to other teams than the one he was currently on.
Goodwin’s hitting just .160/.214/.440 over nine games in August, but it’s not because of swinging and missing, which makes it possible for hot streaks to balance out the cold spells. Engel just needs to get healthy, but with Jiménez and Robert back, there’s finally no need to rush anybody.
Seby Zavala defaulted to reticence even during his better days as a prospect, so of course we didn’t hear much from him during his repeated struggles at Triple-A. Now that he’s succeeding, his perspective on more downs than ups at Charlotte shows why his framing numbers have risen above average.
Zavala was tabbed over Yermín Mercedes because the White Sox trusted him more to run and call a game, and that trust has only further bloomed since he’s arrived in Chicago. Three years after Zavala made it to Triple A, and only slightly less time than he has been on the 40-man roster, this represents his first significant major-league look. Some players could look at such a stretch as being left to rot in the minors; Zavala feels he was preparing, and that his receiving is much better than it was in even April.
“I’ve had a long time in the minor leagues to fail,” said Zavala. “I maybe try a (catching) set up and it wouldn’t work. Give it a couple more tries and it still doesn’t work. So you can it and you try to find something else that works. If I called up to the big leagues earlier, maybe I didn’t have the opportunity to evolve into what I am now. I’ve been able to fail in the minor leagues because you’re training, you’re getting ready for the big leagues.”
- Chris Sale is ‘just so freakin’ appreciative’ after making first MLB start in two years — Boston.com
Whether it’s Carlos Rodón, Carson Fulmer or Garrett Crochet, fast-tracked White Sox pitchers have shown how Chris Sale made an insane timetable look so simple. On the other side of this equation, Chris Sale has never had to deal with professional adversity like he did with Tommy John surgery. Prior to missing the last two years, his biggest hardship might’ve been, what, uncomfortable jerseys? Anyway, he pitched five innings of two-run ball in a 14-run victory over the Orioles, so everything’s easy again.
- The ‘Field of Dreams’ game was an absolute home run for MLB and Fox — so get ready for more — The Athletic
I wonder whether subsequent Field of Dreams Games will struggle to capture the magic of the first, but Richard Deitsch digs into why it was the most-watched regular-season game in 16 years.
- Trevor Bauer, on leave amid assault probe, was subject of previous protection order — Washington Post
- The long, complicated history of Trevor Bauer’s ‘rough sex’ defense — Defector
The Dodgers have placed Trevor Bauer on administrative leave five times as the investigation into sexual misconduct allegations continues, and the Washington Post reported a separate incident. It’s a graphic, disturbing story that ends up in he-said-she-said territory for the time being, but even the version in which Bauer is innocent doesn’t really redeem him. At best, he makes terrible decisions. At worst, it gets gross.
Jake Arrieta’s return the Cubs cratered with an 8.95 ERA over a 15-start stretch, made worse by his requesting that Bruce Levine remove his mask during what turned out to be Arrieta’s final postgame Zoom conference. Somehow, a team that added Mike Clevinger, Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove over the last 12 months needs him. The Padres’ rotation might be the equivalent of the White Sox bullpen, except bullpen arms come a little cheaper.
(Photo by David Banks/USA TODAY Sports)