Good day White Sox fans, it’s BeefLoaf here, 13% of the season is gone and our rebuilding club is playing good ball. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The Manager Matters – I know, I know, I hear it all the time, the manager doesn’t mean anything, you could plug anyone in there. If you are someone who makes that argument, please don’t make it here. The manager clearly does mean something, otherwise they wouldn’t exist and be paid so well. Also, they aren’t a homogeneous pool, ie, plugging in manager A vs manager B has no effect. Also a myth. Just because a manager’s effect is tough to measure by people with a spreadsheet doesn’t mean front offices don’t have a very good idea of what a manager means to a ballclub. In a very short amount of time I think we are starting to see Ricky Renteria’s influence on the White Sox. My early take is that this team appears to be more focused than the other recent vintages of White Sox teams and it is manifesting itself in two ways. 1) More hustle, and by hustle, I mean, players are taking the extra base when the other team makes a mistake and they are running out batted balls trying to force mistakes. Of course sometimes this is going to lead to outs on the bases, but you are seeing a team that appears savvy on the bases (YES, our White Sox) 2) They are making less mental errors in the field. The key here is “mental” because Avi Garcia is still going to drop some fly balls and occasionally Todd Frazier will just let a foul pop up hit the ground for some unknown reason. This team looks to be in the right places most of the time. People are covering their spots correctly and hitting the cut off man, it’s nice to watch. As I said on twitter the other night, “The
#WhiteSox just don’t play as dumb as they did last year, at a minimum that’s a tip of the cap to Ricky”
Talent is Emerging – Tommy Kahnle and Anthony Swarzak will come down to earth at some point, but both are establishing themselves as back of the bullpen arms. This is a monster coup for the White Sox as Don Cooper has once again worked his voodoo magic to turn someone else’s trash into our treasure. Swarzak is on a one year deal, so he may end up just being dealt at the deadline if he continues to be great, but regardless. Not to mention, we might have another super utility player in Leury Garcia (hey, 1 WAR bench players don’t grow on trees) and a potential masher of LHP in the Ryan Raburn mold in Matt Davidson. These aren’t necessarily game changers in the rebuild, but they do expand the talent base. *Holds breath* Avisail Garcia also looks like he MIGHT be turning a corner, it is still too early to tell as the peripherals aren’t moving far enough in the direction of true change, but we shall see, early results sure are positive. For a club that hadn’t been developing much talent in the last half decade, this is very encouraging.
Good Charlotte – (Terrible Band) The best part about the team in Chicago playing so goddamn well is that it allows our boys in AAA to keep on truckin’. Everyone gets Moncada updates, in fact, @Jack won’t let you register for an account if you are in the (312) area code unless your first account gets you regular Moncada updates (mostly about eating Twinkies). Good news, Willy Garcia and Nicky Delmonico are also crushing. Carson Fulmer, Reynaldo Lopez and Zach Burdi are all ready to be in Chicago. My man crush Rymer Liriano is just starting to hit, so there are plenty of kids we can expect to see this summer. The 108ers were discussing a trip to Charlotte, but at this point, we’ll just wait for the weather to warm and for these kids to show up to 35th and Shields.
The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades! ($1 Timbuk 3)