Alllll season long I've tried beating into not just White Sox fans, but baseball fans across the country that the White Sox just needed to tread water until Eloy, Lu and now Yaz return from injury. That, and the White Sox were never not going to be buyers. The front office fully recognizes that they could win it all this year and will add in some realm or another to make this team better. How big that trade or those trades are, we'll find out.
But the best pieces they can "acquire" are already inked by the White Sox. Eloy Jimenez, one of the best pure power bats in baseball, returns to the lineup tonight as DH. FUCK and Yes!!! One down, 2 more to go. Lu will be back in a week or so as well, followed by Grandal shortly after that. Things are looking prime for the stretch run in White Sox land.
And yes, I did say one of the best pure power bats in baseball. Take a look at Eloy's highlight reel from 2019:
That's a dude that dropped 31 dingers in 2019 as a 22 year old rookie:
Now those aren't HOLY SHIT numbers. Of course not. But Eloy is now 24 years old and has a crazy offensive pedigree and profile and is now entering the heart of his prime. When you consider those numbers (hopefully better) are going to be replacing Brian Goodwin… and Billy Hamilton… And May/June/July Yermin Mercedes… and Jake Lamb… you don't need holy shit numbers. Sure, Goodwin, Lamb,and Hamilton all have performed admirably, have had big hits of their own, and kept the White Sox afloat but they're not Eloy Jimenez. Eloy Jimenez can carry entire offenses when he's hot. Whether or not he gets hot we'll see, but he's got plenty of time to get his feet wet for October and with a 9 game lead entering August, October is all we care about at this point.
The division is all but over. The White Sox are the best team in it, bar none. There's still an opportunity to make money off them while they're on cruise control, hopefully. Tonight, with Eloy's return, we're going to have the biggest Mash the Lefty bet of the year. Mash the Lefty is up about 20 units YTD. From now until it cashes, we will be riding Eloy Jimenez. As one could safely guess, Eloy Jimenez pounds LHP, so we're boosting his odds to hit a HR in a White Sox win tonight. Stay tuned for that as well.
Oh, and I had a great conversation with my good friend Rick (Hahn) at the Sox game in Milwaukee this Saturday:
Many people are asking if I was his guest of honor at Miller Park on Saturday and the truth is, I wasn't. I got to my seats, saw him, gave him a head nod and asked, "How's it going Mr. Hahn" while he laughed and said "how in the hell did you get these seats" in a "goddamnit I have to answer this idiot's questions for the next 9 innings" sort of tone.
Did I ask him anything specific? No, because he was with his son and I didn't want to be that guy. That and there was zero point zero chance he'd tell me anything anyways and if he did, it would have been privileged information anyways. We yucked it up and joked around throughout the game though, and without having any knowledge of what he's spinning the wheels on with his FO team, I can safely say that this team will be better next week than it is today because of his trade acquisitions. At the VERY least, I think the Sox acquire two pen arms.
I think we're going to have Hahn on the podcast right before the Cubs series at Wrigley. Stay tuned.
Back to the current team - here's about how I think they'll roll tonight in KC:
1. Anderson SS
2. Moncada 3B
3. Abreu 1B
4. Vaughn LF
5. Jimenez DH
6. Engel RF
7. Garcia 2B
8. Zavala C
9. Hamilton CF
Now 7-9 is still an offensive black hole. Zavala and Hamilton are good enough defensively to where I don't really care about their offensive game, but in 2-3 weeks we're going to replace those two with Lu and Grandal. Here's about what it'll look like with them:
1. Anderson SS
2. Moncada 3B
3. Abreu 1B
4. Grandal C
5. Jimenez DH
6. Vaughn LF
7. Robert CF
8. Engel RF
9. (trade?) 2B
That's a HUGE swing. Massive. Both Lu and Grandal are as good or better defensively than Zavala/Hamilton but their offensive games are a 180. Come mid August, nobody is going to want to face this White Sox offense. Nobody at all.
Especially if they still get an Eduardo Escobar type player to play 2B. My point is this: this team is almost at full strength. They have one of the best records in baseball in spite of being gutted by injuries but they're getting healthy at the perfect time. To everyone who bitched and moaned about the roster construction while 44% of their team was out with injuries… this is why I tried to tell you to chill the fuck out. Everyone bitching about the Sox record vs. teams better than .500 can shove it. If that consistently happens when Lu and Yaz are back, then you'll have a legit gripe. To this point, you didn't. You were missing 44% of the lineup and more than that with Engel's extended absence.
After the trade deadline has come and gone, it will be 2 months of boring ass baseball unfortunately. Like I said, they won the division. It's over unless they get drilled by injury bullets again. Just gotta get to October and once they get to October? There's only one thing left to do:
Just never let Eloy play OF unless it's absolutely, positively necessary. Please god don't let him step foot in the OF. We beg of you. Now let's go win a goddamn World Series.