White Sox Manager Robin Ventura has been under fire this entire season. Most say he’s on his way out but can he be solely responsible for this team’s performance?
The Chicago White Sox are bad. It’s plain and simple. After starting the season as one of the best team’s in baseball but have completely hit rock bottom. With a 70-75 record they’re fourth in their division and have the fifth worse record in the American League. It’s clear this team has a lot of work to do. This team has it’s obvious flaws. But are these flaws enough to justify giving Ventura another shot?
There was a lot of excitement around the south side when Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn traded for Brett Lawrie and then Todd Frazier. Finally, we had a solid second baseman and a solid third baseman. This team hasn’t had a solid third baseman since Joe Crede. Lawre is a good teammate and has a great glove. Not to mention he’s not that bad at the plate either. It seemed like finally the White Sox may have something brewing.
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Then they just stopped. The thought of the front office pursuing Alex Gordon, Justin Upton or Yoenis Cespdes teased fans. But that never came to fruition as Upton landed with division rival Detroit, Gordon went back to Kansas City and Cespedes went back to New York.
I was not a fan of Gordon, so that was okay but I did think Upton or Cespedes would be a good fit but they struck out on both. What was even more egregious is they did nothing to fill this hole. I’m sorry, Austin Jackson was not the answer. They needed someone with some pop in their bat and could play left field. Now Melky Cabrera or Avisail Garcia have to play everyday in left field. Sometimes they have to play both guys and move Eaton to center.
Then there was the question of who would play short stop. Again, the White Sox were said be eyeing the market for a short stop and signed Jimmy Rollins. Rollins was way past his prime and just not an everyday player at this point in his career. I will give them sort of a pass on this, however, because Tim Anderson is showing that he will be a stud. But I bet if you ask Kenny who his everyday short stop would be in September back in spring training he probably would have said Rollins.
Ventura has been most criticized for his handling of the bullpen. In all honesty though, what bullpen does he truly have? David Robertson has blown seven saves and has a 3.68 ERA. Even when he does close out the game it keeps White Sox fans on the edge of their seats. Nate Jones and Dan Jennings have been the only consistent relief options for this team. The often used Matt Albers is terrible but is still third in appearances behind Jones and Jennings. Ventura never had a bullpen to work with.
Ventura is not the best manager but the front office left him with a lot of holes to plug himself. He doesn’t have an adequate bullpen and they have obvious flaws in their lineup and on defense. It just pains me to watch Garcia play defense. What really hurts him is this team was the second best team in baseball at one point.
However, the argument can be made after some injuries and other issues, he isn’t left with much of a team. Not to mention this team had obvious flaws and the front office did nothing to fix. Will that be enough to give him another season? We’ll just have to wait and find out.