White Sox need to contemplate exit strategy

5 of 7

Incubator for Underperformance

If  Ventura’s premium environment was to “maximize”and squeeze marginal talent out of fringe players like Latos, Sands, and Rollins, then that strategy has failed miserably.

This illustrates how roster deficiencies can be hidden or deployed in higher leverage. Robin chose the latter.

The lesser names like Sands, Latos, and Rollins fall mostly on the front office. This is a symptom of an unwillingness to spend. That falls on ownership, which is the highest point of the totem pole.

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The vast underperformance is a confluence of multiple variables. Talent evaluation is a flaw of this organization. Much of the issue seems to be in advanced scouting. They have failed to identify major league targets or evaluating divisional opponents. This is the best way to explain perennial poor play against the AL Central.

It’s not all on Ventura by any means. To say he creates the “right environment” when there’s been the same script despite consistent roster turnover is the same as saying Yoenis Cespedes wouldn’t have been an upgrade over Jerry Sands.

Ventura’s tenure (2012-2016) has been an incubator for underperformance recent notable acquisitions:

Recent notable acquisitions:

Francisco Liriano (2012): 5.40 ERA over 11 GS. Liriano would go on to have excellent 2013-2015 seasons with the Pittsburg Pirates.

Jeff Keppinger (2013): .253/.283/.317 (.600 OPS). Keppinger would see his career die in Chicago at just 33 years-old.

Jeff Samardzija (2015): 4.96 ERA. 6.9 SO/9, led the league in hits allowed, home runs allowed, and earned runs allowed. Samardzija 8-4 with a 3.14 ERA since heading to the San Francisco Giants.

Adam LaRoche (2015): Coming off one of his strongest seasons, LaRoche hit .207/.293/.340 (.634) with just 12 home runs. He announced his retirement at spring training in March.

Melky Cabrera (2015): Cabrera is having a bounce back season. He had a .620 OPS in April and a .518 OPS in May of 2015, showing the most empty bat of his career. His rough start was a crucial contributor to a down Chicago offense.

Todd Frazier (2016): Also coming off a career year, Frazier is unrecognizable since donning a White Sox cap. The power has been there (19 home runs), but he has just 5 doubles through 66 games and an abysmal .198/.296/.449 line.

James Shields (2016): 4.28 ERA through 11 starts with the San Diego Padres. 21.81 ERA in 4 starts with Chicago.

Jerry Sands: .236/.276/.291 (.567 OPS). Robin often deployed Sands vs. his weaker RHP split and his line-up spot before his DFA was a cool 5th.

Mat Latos: 4.62 ERA over 11 starts. (3.7 BB/9 vs. 4.8 K/9). 5.52 FIP.

Next: Where to Go Next: An Exit Strategy

Jimmy Rollins: .221/.295/.329 (.624 OPS). Jimmy Rollins was regularly hitting in the 2-hole before his much applauded DFA.