Chicago White Sox should buy at the trade deadline
By Erik Brown
The Chicago White Sox are on a hot streak. Winners of 9 of their last 11, this team has risen from the worst record in the American League (which they held on June 29th) to fourth from the bottom in the span of a week and a half.
This team has finally started playing big league baseball and has
entirely been led by the pitching staff.
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Since June 29, the White Sox have scored more than three runs just four times in those 11 games, including a 5-1 win Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. The pitching has proved that it can hold up its end of the bargain, with Chris Sale‘s dominance, Jose Quintana‘s steadiness, and Jeff Samardzija‘s seemingly endless auditions for other teams, White Sox pitching has been the reason for this most recent hot streak.
The bats are starting to come around, with Jose Abreu, Melky Cabrera, Alexei Ramirez, and Avisail Garcia each putting together hitting streaks of at least seven games during the 9-2 streak. If all those players, Cabrera and Ramirez specifically, continue to hit like they are capable for the rest of the season, the Southsiders should add a bat or two to help out the pitching staff as the trade deadline looms.
The most likely positions that can use offensive shots in the arm are second base and third base. While Carlos Sanchez has done what he was called up to do, play defense, he may as well go up there with a tennis racket because his bat is not servicing him well.
Conor Gillaspie and Gordon Beckham‘s platooning has not worked as Beckham’s average has nosedived to .195 while Gillaspie is sitting at a less ugly .238. While calling Micah Johnson back up from the minors could help at second, I envision a trade scenario being more beneficial in the short term.
As we know, White Sox Vice President Kenny Williams is always looking at winning this year, not two or three years down the line so it may be more likely than we think that the club pulls the trigger on additions at the deadline. Having previously looked at second base options, I will look at a couple possibilities to take over the hot corner and help push the White Sox back into the playoff picture.
Jul 7, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie (15) hits a solo home run against the New York Yankees during the tenth inning at Yankee Stadium. The Athletics defeated the Yankees 4-3 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Two names I really like that would be upgrades are Brett Lawrie of the Oakland Athletics and Jake Lamb of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Both are young enough to end the revolving door of third basemen on the Sox and both are hitting well, and hitting well of late, which is really what the team needs. Lawrie, one of the key pieces the Toronto Blue Jays sent to Oakland for Josh Donaldson in the offseason in what was probably the most shocking trade this winter is proving what he can do when he stays healthy, his main problem north of the border.
With a slash line of .284/.321/.422 and eight long balls on the season and 37 RBIs, already nearing his career-high of 48, Lawrie is trending upward and would help stabilize this team and add another force to be reckoned with in manager Robin Ventura’s lineup. The 25-year old also is good with the glove, having won the Blue Jays’ defensive player of the year award in 2012, his first full-year in the majors.
Down in the desert, Jake Lamb has quietly put together a solid season, even if some of the power numbers are not there.
Both Lawrie and Lamb could help the surging Sox continue their hot-streak past the All-Star break and close in on that second wild-card spot (which is only 5.5 games out of reach) and their first playoff berth since 2008.
What do you think? Any other names that would be improvements? Should they buy for 2015 or sell for future years? Let us know what you think!
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