Things that needed to be address via trade: third base and relief pitching. Things that have been addressed to some degree via trade: third base and relief pitching. Kenny Williams presumably has a sore back from all the pats he received there concerning the Kevin Youkilis trade, and Sox fans can only hope to vigorously shake his hand again if Brett Myers proves to be a valid contributor. Now the trade market is really heating up. First, Ryan Dempster caught a trade to the Braves, and then not, and now…maybe later? Then more immediately affecting the Sox, the Tigers made two major upgrades at once by acquiring a second baseman and starting pitcher from the Marlins in Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez. Just because the afternoon didn’t seem “tradey” enough, the Mariners went ahead and sent Ichiro Suzuki to the Yankees. Why? I don’t know, I can’t think of any reason beyond that maybe the afternoon didn’t seem “tradey” enough.
Now what for the Sox? Does Williams respond? Does he need to?
One could argue that the White Sox are good to stand pat. The offense is in a slump, but for the most part there is positive overall value with each position for the team. The starting pitching has a little revolving door action due to injury, but there are 6 guys that could be more than serviceable starters (if you are a believer in Good Gavin and Good Philip Humber) ready and willing when healthy. If you’re feeling charitable you could call it 7 and include Dylan Axelrod. The bullpen has got Jesse Crain back, and Brett Myers is a solid addition, is there more experience necessary there?
The piece that is probably up for the most debate is the starting pitching. There is strength there, but injured can’t pitch. It hasn’t reared its ugly head just yet, but neither can tired. Chris Sale is going to either hit a ceiling that the White Sox have placed above him, or a real, physical one. If the former, he just misses some starts here and there. If the latter, he gets shut down completely, missing any potential postseason action. Jose Quintana, though lower profile, is subject to this as well. Quintana has thrown over 70 innings this season. His career high in the minors is 2011’s 102 and it’s not close. In 4 other MiLB seasons he didn’t go over 55. Jake Peavy has been healthy so far but between his insistence on trying to manage his own innings despite coaching wishes and the lack of precedent from the type of injury he’s missed so much of the past couple seasons because of, it’s hard to know what to expect of his health.
For the record KW was characteristically non-committal in his statements regarding whether or not the White Sox would make any more moves prior to the trade deadline.
I’d love to sit here and say that it’s all good. Pitching is covered. There are capable guys out there and they will be able to continue performing through the remainder of the year. But only one part of that statement is true.