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The Chicago White Sox Played Their Cleanest Series in FOREVER Against The Yankees

That was the most refreshing headline I’ve ever written.  Three games, two wins and clean baseball.  Even their loss they played solid baseball.  So let’s break it down:

The Good:

I’m going to start with Giolito.  I thought his start against the Yankees was the best he ever looked in terms of pure shit since he’s been in the Sox rotation.

No, his final stat line wasn’t great.  5 innings, 4 runs, 4 walks.  Hardly anything to write home about.  But we’re not looking at the stats, we’re looking at his shit.  And his shit was really good.  His command obviously wasn’t at its best, but he was pitching in a monsoon and battled his dick off.  His average fastball velocity was 94.7 MPH in the start, he touched 96 multiple times and he paired it with his always effective changeup.  One the season, his fastball velo is up almost a full MPH from the previous two seasons:

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and his spine rate is WAY up, generating more swings and misses too:

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Should it have been better conditions, we would have seen a better stat line for his start.  It was too wet for him to get a feel for his curveball, and understandably so.  If we get similar “shit” from him every start the rest of the year, we’ll be very happy with his end of season statistical summary.

Eloy Jimenez:

Eloy’s coming out party was in New York City.  Two bombs:

And he’s carrying a pretty solid overall slash line for his first 15 games in The Show:

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He’s going to be one of the very best hitters in baseball sooner than later.

Tim Anderson:

The caption said it all.  He’s on a fucking warpath.  I talked about it on Red Line Radio that we just recorded; he’s officially arrived as a baseball player.  Before he was just a really good athlete who happened to play baseball.  Now he’s a really good baseball player who happens to be athletic as fuck.  His defensive instincts are great.  One of the better defensive short stops in the league now.  But he’s grown so much as a hitter.  He uses all fields, he doesn’t strike out hardly at all and he’s a threat to hit a gap or even a bomb at this point every time he hits.  He will obviously have ebbs and flows this season, but if his approach stays true to what it’s been over the first 15 games, he’ll be an all star.

Yoan Moncada:

He’s the best player in on the team and I think maybe, just maybe all of Chicago.  His BABIP isn’t abnormal to what it’s been over the course of his career; .390 to a career ~.350.  But he always had trouble putting the ball in play before, this year he’s shown the ability to adjust and hack away with two strikes.  ZERO strikeouts looking thus far.  With his ability to not just make contact, but make HARD contact, he’ll always carry a higher than average BABIP, so I don’t see too much regression.  He had a littttttle bit of a cold streak over the last week, but if that’s the worst he’ll play and it’s paired with streaks where he runs trains on opponent pitching like he did in the 1st week of the season, he’ll have an absurd year.  I love watching this kid play baseball.

The Bad:

Daniel Palka:

My guy Daniel Palka is on the hot seat.  I’m not going to say I cursed him… but I cursed him.  When I watch him hit right now, it seems like he’s afraid to fail.  That’s a wicked generalization and I hate playing arm chair psychologist, but it seems to me to be the case.  He’s missing mistakes when he’s presented to them and swinging at pitcher’s pitches too much.  He needs to go up there with a “fuck it” attitude and just let it loose.

The Bullpen:

The bullpen has been… bad.  And it shouldn’t be.  There are a LOT of good arms in it, recently optioned Caleb Frarer being one of them.  Burr, Colome, Jones, Fry… the list goes on.  Can’t have it, won’t have it.  That said I do think it’ll be the best unit on the team when it’s all said and done.  Still, this slash line can’t happen.

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Love seeing the Cubs so low, Theo did it again!

The Ugly:

This can be paired with the bad, because obviously.  But I want to talk about two players here in particular: Leury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez.

I’ll start with Garcia – he’s got just about the worst head on his shoulders of all time.  And the thing about him is he can and should be a really useful player for just about any team.  Good utility guy who has a little pop, is fast, can play literally any position on the field sans pitcher/catcher in a pinch.  But holy shit does this guy do the little things so badly.  Shit like missing cutoff men.  Running into outs at 3B.  Overthrowing bases.  Things that aren’t measured statistically, but if you’re watching at a microlevel, they make you want to pull your fucking eyeballs out.  I cannot stand him as a baseball player, though on a statistical level, he’s stepped in really nicely as the leadoff guy with Jay being hurt.

And then we get down to Yolmer Sanchez.  If there is one reason for Yolmer Sanchez to be on an MLB roster, it’s because his glove, in theory, is ++.  But it can be argued that he’s already blown 2 games for the Sox alone with defensive; one of the losses in the season opening series against KC and once again in the loss against the NYY.  He cannot hit for his life (which is why you see Rondon playing so much) but if he’s bad with the glove he serves no purpose on the baseball field.  Thank god players like him will be filtered out more and more in the coming year.

What’s Next:

The White Sox sit at 5-9 on the season.  Not good, but also expected.  But take a look at this schedule coming up:

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15 games to close out April against arguably the three worst teams in the league.  I know Detroit and Baltimore are playing better than expected baseball, but if you said those two teams along with the Royals are the 1-3 picks in the 2020 draft I wouldn’t rebut it.  This is the first time in…. 3? 4?  years that I’ve looked at the schedule and been genuinely excited  for the White Sox.  Who knows; at the end of April the White Sox could be in 1st place and a couple of games over .500.  This stretch of games against shit teams will be a good litmus test for them.  If they rattle off 10 wins, we are happy.  If they face plant and lose 10 games…. we’re in for a much longer summer than we though.

It’s go time.  Take these teams and beat their fucking faces in.  You’re better then them, it’s time to show it on the field.  And yes this is my halfassed attempt at a pump up speech for the 3-4 players on The Sox that read Barstool Sports.  Let’s fucking go