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Mismatched Sox: Wroster Wrongs and Roster Rights

by Ed Siebert

A note for those of you reading: Mismatched Sox is a weekly blog hastily thrown together by Sox in the Basement Co-Host Ed Siebert and is written to present you with White Sox and baseball thoughts in a manner that, frankly, thinks it is funny in the way a cat falling off a table can be funny. While there will be facts here that will be factual, the opinions and other nonsense are neither reflective of anyone at Soxon35th.com nor believed or intended to cause any harm, but consult a box of kittens and ask if this blog is right for you.

Either way the furniture is getting built, amiright? Ikea dude (C) Ikea, Sox logo (C) White Sox

So many things this season have been a let down, at least based on what was expected going into the season. There are tirades and “I told you so” moments out there, moments where even those that are classified as team apologists have even been critical. White Sox fans and those that cover the team have all offered their opinions and rants in the bigger picture. At last count there are 378,562 active general managers of the team not including Rick Hahn; 895,312 coaches not including Ethan Katz, Frank Menechino, et. al.; over a billion served as manager not including Tony LaRussa, Ricky Renteria or Ozzie Guillen; and, oddly, one guy who thinks he would make a better clubhouse attendant. But the performance on the field generally doesn’t get dictated in the dugout, the front office, the armchair or the toilet (don’t deny it). It gets dictated on the field. Actually, no one is dictating anything. On the field, the players either succeed or fail. There is, however, still try because Yoda was kind of dictating without the “tating” when he said otherwise.

Looking at the players, at least at the 40-man, and maybe at Tony, there are things each has done right, and things that have been done wrong. And maybe or not for lack of trying.


MANAGER

Tony LaRussa – RIGHT: Tony has managed injuries decently and treated April like an extended spring training, giving guys time in spots where he may need them later. WRONG: During the April skids, there were moments where it felt like he could have read the leaves a bit and grabbed a win by taking guys out of their roles while they were struggling. But that may be something that could have also been detrimental long term.


OUTFIELDERS

Luis Robert RIGHT: Defensively and on the basepaths La Pantera has been the goods as advertised. WRONG: Whether by approach or feel, the results at the plate haven’t been great. But maybe he’s a slow starter, and whenever he gets hot there will be naught but destruction in his wake.

A.J. PollockRIGHT: Not much of late other than being a solid fielder; started out strong. Has maintained a decent approach. WRONG: Bad hammy or being a dad for the second time clearly put the hex on A.J.’s timing and at the plate he’s been nearly a disaster. That should change.

Eloy JimenezRIGHT: Didn’t hurt himself fielding! WRONG: Wasn’t hitting for power before the injury, and once again got injured because he doesn’t play under control. Both last year and this year’s injuries were a large man trying to lunge at something that didn’t require making an awkward attempt. Run through the base, don’t jump if you don’t got it.

Adam EngelRIGHT: Defensively and at the plate has been the quintessential 4th OF with a chance to be a decent daily contributor if needed. Not great, but good enough. WRONG: Like a lot of guys the offense has been a struggle, but sadly he’s not far off his career numbers.

Andrew VaughnRIGHT: Looks like one of the best hitters on the team, when he’s been in the lineup. WRONG: Remains somewhat of an adventure in the field.

Adam HaseleyRIGHT: Didn’t kill the team when needed. What? It’s a low bar for the 6th OF on the depth chart. WRONG: Uhhh…didn’t turn out to be a massive star? It’s a low bar for the 6th OF on the depth chart.


INFIELDERS

Leury “Legend” GarciaRIGHT: Honestly? Can you fault the guy for showing up every day and doing whatever the manager asks, which is kind of more than Tony asks of any other guy on the team? Literally does that. And fans hate him for it. WRONG: Remains far off the pace he’d need to be a (legit) hall of fame baseball guy. Really seemed to be pressing at the plate to start, trying to earn a starter’s tag after getting starter’s money in the offseason. That lead to terrible numbers for the one guy that seems to be in the lineup daily.

Yoan MoncadaRIGHT: Nothing yet due to injury. WRONG: Didn’t take the rehab time off to release any new music.

Jose AbreuRIGHT: Remains the leader of the team and kept the proper demeanor through a bad stretch. WRONG: At some point the “always starts slow” thing gets old. Started slow again this year.

Josh HarrisonRIGHT: When healthy brought better defense to 2B and 3B than what the Sox had outside of Moncada last year. WRONG: Maybe it is the back tightness but hasn’t hit real well since the opening series.

Jake BurgerRIGHT: Remains a solid bat that if this is a slow start would be deadly by June. WRONG: Defense hasn’t been stellar, which is unfortunate due to the sheer number of DH’s the team has on hand.

Gavin SheetsRIGHT: Has taken to beating the shift to try and open up the field for himself. WRONG: Seems to only hit the ball on the ground to the left side to beat the shift, which is not helpful when his forte is supposed to be bombs to the right field stands.

Tim AndersonRIGHT: Just TA doing TA things at the plate. WRONG: For a minute there, seemed to forget how to play any semblance of defense.

Danny MendickRIGHT: He’s Danny Mendick. WRONG: He’s still Danny Mendick.

Yermin MercedesRIGHT: Hasn’t broken any unwritten rules, mainly due to injury. WRONG: Nothing due to injury.

Romy GonzalezRIGHT: Nothing much to write about at the moment. WRONG: Hasn’t found himself at Charlotte either.


CATCHERS

Yasmani GrandalRIGHT: Seems to be his usual self behind the plate and the walks are there. WRONG: Pretty much everything else at the plate. Unlike last year, the league-wide power outage has kept Yas from at least contributing big hits in spite of a dismal average.

Reese McGuireRIGHT: Defensively as advertised. No off field incidents either. WRONG: Not hitting at all. Which was his issue in Toronto, but has 7 total bases this year. Yikes. Maybe he needs to take a drive, park somewhere and find some way to relax.


STARTING ROTATION

Lucas GiolitoRIGHT: After a freak injury, has been himself. WRONG: Really not much, though hasn’t exactly dominated any particular start yet.

Lance LynnRIGHT: Nothing, due to injury. WRONG: Might have helped to have the knee done in the offseason, though understandable that surgery should be the last option and circumstances put him away from the team doctors.

Dylan CeaseRIGHT: Between the mustache and the results on the mound, pretty much everything. WRONG: Hasn’t won the Cy Young award for 2022 yet. But that’s nitpicking.

Michael KopechRIGHT: Given the innings limitations has been great. WRONG: Given the innings limitations, needs to be efficient to really help the team get through the funk.

Vince VelasquezRIGHT: Somewhat better than would have been expected based on a disaster of a 2021 season. WRONG: Hasn’t performed overall to a level needed for a championship roster, though there are signs that Katz has something figured out.

Jimmy LambertRIGHT: Filled in when needed. WRONG: But didn’t get the job done.

Dallas KeuchelRIGHT: …? WRONG: Everything from the results on the mound to the resulting words from his mouth.

Jason BilousRIGHT: Nothing in the majors. WRONG: Five starts in at Birmingham has been pretty decent and may translate to trade bait or a spot shot in case Jimmy Lambert continues to struggle.


BULLPEN

Liam HendriksRIGHT: When he’s on, remains one of baseball’s best closers and a fun interview to boot. WRONG: Was tipping his pitches and coughed up a couple games along the way.

Kendall GravemanRIGHT: The bullpen Dylan Cease. WRONG: No complaints, other than he hasn’t cloned himself like a selfish bastard.

Aaron BummerRIGHT: Stopped getting beat by weak grounders. WRONG: Because he’s getting beat by line drives.

Tanner BanksRIGHT: Really, everything at this point. A very, very pleasant surprise. WRONG: As the second lefty has been solid, so no complaints.

Anderson SeverinoRIGHT: Didn’t hurt himself or anyone else. WRONG: Pretty much everything else, but there’s still hope for the future.

Bennett SousaRIGHT: Has had moments, probably. WRONG: Too hittable and too many walks so far.

Reynaldo LopezRIGHT: Has taken the multi-inning role out of the bullpen in stride. WRONG: In spite of an ERA north of 5.00 has actually decent numbers otherwise, so maybe just stop letting runs in.

Matt Foster – RIGHT: Matt Foster has been real good. WRONG: Hasn’t somehow made the guys who are under performing disappear.

Jose RuizRIGHT: Solid low leverage guy. WRONG: Shaky looking in high-leverage.

Joe KellyRIGHT: Nothing yet. WRONG: Showed up pre-injured.

Kyle Crick RIGHT: Very little. WRONG: Ethan Katz fixed his delivery to make his wicked slider do nasty things again, but this version is also wildly out of control and may just be in Charlotte for emergency use only.

Ryan BurrRIGHT: Only two games and nothing well done. WRONG: Hasn’t been good yet this year, though Liam Hendriks expected big things.

Yoan AybarRIGHT: Nothing, been in the minors. WRONG: Has sucked at Birmingham.

Garrett CrochetRIGHT: Nothing because he got hurt. WRONG: Doesn’t even have the decency to go on the 60-day IL and clear a 40-man spot for poor Blake Rutherford. Just kidding.


So what does it all mean? The players have their ups and downs but some players are so far down that they aren’t even close to up, which means when they start getting up they’ll right the wrongs and the Sox will be up for more wins and fans should be down with that. Right?

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