If the whole August surge had been nights like Wednesday, who would worry about spurned draft picks?
With Avisail Garcia unlocking some power, Leury Garcia taking walks and causing havoc on the bases, Gordon Beckham spraying a couple of hits and even Dayan Viciedo looking passable, it conjured up the ideas Colin at South Side Sox was referring to the other day; overseeing progression from major leaguers with room to develop making up for the difference in value in draft picks.
To some degree, this has been what the August surge has been made of. The White Sox are 13-6 since Avisail Garcia joined the team. Which is not to say Garcia’s been the whole reason, even if the .352/.387/.451 line he’s contributed was a lot better than what Alex Rios was handing out around the time he left town.
The tools have been there, Garcia has legged out plenty of surprising infield hits, he’s clearly got a strong throwing arm, but so far the power–besides a few opposite-field doubles that stayed true to their plane longer than anything Rios ever uncorked to right field–had been relegated to giddy accounts of his batting practice exploits.
Garcia wasn’t utilizing any pull power or turning on any top notch velocity (mostly swinging through it), and going into Wednesday, his fly-ball rate in a White Sox uniform would be the lowest in baseball if projected over a full season. Obviously it isn’t over a full season. He’s 22 and had 75 plate appearances since getting called up, but I was eager to see him loft something and take advantage of his strength.
As cool as it was to see him take a ball out to the deepest realm of center in the bottom of the seventh, it was also a relief.
Of course, it was against Lucas Harrell, who has had such a rough go it recently that he was bounced from a rotation that just gave Paul Clemens his first career start, and boasts Jarred Cosart, who has more walks than strikeouts on the season, just like Harrell. They’re two of the four pitchers in major league baseball with over 50 innings pitched and K/BB ratios under 1.00 and they combined to pitch all eight innings Wednesday night, which is an important caveat to Viciedo and L. Garcia drawing two walks apiece.
David Wilder sentenced to two years
He pleaded guilty back in 2011 and I thought that might be the last time I would have to hear about, but David Wilder was sentenced on Wednesday for leading a four-year long scam of inflating the signing bonuses of Latin American amateur players and skimming off the excess (and more) for himself and his co-conspirators. Wilder defrauded young players out of thousands of dollars, savaged the organization’s international reputation as well as forced a wave of turnover in terms of employed personnel, and Andre Rienzo was the only player signed during Wilder’s reign as Senior Director of Player Personnel to make it to the majors.
Also, the nightclub Wilder ran in Phoenix with his profits went down in flames as well, just for good measure.
It’s possible that enough cannot ever be said about how damaging this was to the White Sox organization, but larry of South Side Sox tried this February. As much as we harp on the cheap spending in the draft pushed by Jerry Reinsdorf, the refusal to rebuild from Kenny Williams, the lack of hitting prospects developed; this guy is the real villain of the franchise.
Crain has yet to take flight
It’s a good thing that the Garcias are taking action, because they likely represent the only significant returns of the White Sox sell-off. The deal to send Crain over to Tampa Bay was based on the number of appearances he would make in a Tampa uniform, and it looks like that number could be zero.
The White Sox might not be entitled to that much–if any players at all–if Crain’s shoulder never comes around, but it would make him a nice little rehab project in free agency. Just sayin’!
“Ventura also said he would have given Ramirez time off prior to Wednesday had the White Sox possessed a true backup shortstop on the roster.”
BURN, Angel Sanchez.
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan