Prior to last year’s Wild Card appearance, the White Sox had not sniffed the playoffs since 2008.
With October on the horizon for a second straight year, I take a deeper dive into which players on the current White Sox roster have performed the best during their respective playoff careers, grouped by their respective playoff experience.
World Series Champions
With 63 innings pitched in his playoff career, Keuchel holds a 3.71 ERA across 12 starts and one relief appearance. A 2017 World Series champion, (although it was earned on a fraudulent Astros team), Keuchel is one of the only guys on the roster with a ring. In his most recent playoff appearance, Keuchel went 3.1 innings last year against the A’s in the Wild Card, in which he surrendered two home runs and gave up three earned.
Kimbrel has appeared in nine playoff series in seven different seasons, including a 2018 World Series Championship with the Red Sox. In 22 innings pitched across those nine series’, Kimbrel has 27 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.68. His last postseason game came with the Cubs in their Wild Card loss to the Marlins in 2020. Kimbrel went 1.1 innings, walking two and striking out two.
Lynn has appeared in six different playoffs throughout his career, making his October debut all the way back in his rookie year in 2011, winning a World Series championship with the Cardinals. After a stellar NLCS that year in which he gave up zero earned through 5.1 innings pitched, the young Lynn came in in the World Series and threw 5.2 more innings, although this time he allowed four earned runs. Lynn made it to one other World Series throughout his career, throwing 5.2 innings in the 2013 World Series. Overall, Lynn has a 4.80 ERA in 54.1 playoff innings pitched over 12 series.
Hendricks has made the playoffs in four seasons, pitching in six series throughout those four seasons. He started out his playoff career with Toronto in 2015, when he pitched ⅓ of an inning in the ALDS and 4.2 innings in the ALCS. That Championship Series was not a very fun one to remember for Hendricks, as he gave up three runs over his two appearances, adding up to a 5.79 ERA during the series. The Aussie then played in three wild card games in a row from 2018-20 for the A’s, pitching four innings across the three games, giving up four earned and striking out nine. After Hendricks’ A’s knocked out the White Sox in the 2020 Wild Card Series, Hendricks provided three innings of work in the ALDS, giving up just one hit and zero earned runs, and striking out four. Overall, Hendricks has a career playoff ERA of 4.97 in 12.2 innings pitched.
‘Yaz’ has played in each of the last six postseasons for either the Dodgers, the Brewers, or the Sox. While he did appear in two World Series with the Dodgers, he has never won a ring, losing to Houston in 2017 and Boston in 2018. In his playoff career, Grandal is hitting .125 with an on-base percentage of .294. He also has five career home runs, 12 RBI’s, 21 walks, and 11 hits in his 36-game playoff career.
Small Sample Size, Great Production
Anderson’s first playoff experience came in last year’s Wild Card series against the A’s. Once he finally got to the postseason, all he did was rake. Anderson hit a whopping .643, smacking nine hits, including two doubles, in 14 at-bats.
Giolito was nothing short of stellar in his postseason debut last year against Oakland. The game one starter went 7 innings, striking out eight and giving up just two hits and one earned run in the series-opening victory.
The MVP made his playoff debut last year, appearing in all three games for the Sox in the Wild Card. Abreu had four hits in 14 at-bats, including one double and one home run.
Hernandez made the playoffs last year with the Indians, playing in two games against the Yankees. In eight at-bats, he had three hits, including one double, which is good for a .375 postseason average. Hernandez also contributed one walk and one RBI in the series.
In last year’s three-game series against Oakland, Robert’s bat was on full display after struggling late in the year. In 13 at-bats, he had four hits, a 487-foot moonshot of a home run, two RBI’s, two runs scored, and seven total bases. He comes into this year’s ALDS with a career .308 playoff batting average.
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