White Sox: Blame the front office and manager, not the players
With a 1-3 start to the season, White Sox fans are already getting restless.
Now, I’m not one to defend bad baseball, and I’m not going to start now. And the White Sox have shown some really bad baseball to start this season.
However, it’s only four games. Not exactly a large enough sample size to base any generalizations yet. There have been some questionable decisions by White Sox manager Rick Renteria. Bad play offensively and defensively by Yolmer Sanchez. A less than average beginning of his career by Eloy Jimenez. Nate Jones getting rocked. Reynaldo Lopez being less than impressive. That’s a lot of bad. But, is it the player’s faults?
When you have a starting opening day lineup with Leury Garcia starting at center and Sanchez starting at second base, it doesn’t really say championship team now does it? The missed signing of Manny Machado (yes, I’m still not letting that go) is more relevant and noticeable than the actual bad play going on the field.
Sanchez is the White Sox starting second baseman. That sentence in itself should be dropped right at the feet of Rick Hahn, Ken Williams and the Sox cheap owner, Jerry Reinsdorf. If the Sox go “all in” on Machado then we aren’t discussing Sanchez’s bad play right now. This blame is totally on the front office.
Now on to the Sox manager. In Monday’s game, the Sox took the lead 3-1 in the eighth inning. So, in the bottom of the inning, Renteria calls in Jace Fry, Dylan Covey, and Caleb Frare. Those three walked four batters, including walking in two runs with the bases loaded to give the Cleveland Indians the lead. Correct me if I’m wrong, but, didn’t the Sox front office actually go out and get a couple solid, high leverage, late inning relief pitchers? I mean, it was the only thing they did right this offseason.
So, what does the Sox manager do in a high leverage, late inning situation? Does he call for these new shut down guys? Nope. Now Fry had a very solid season last year and should be a good piece in the Sox bullpen. But, he walked the first batter he faced. Time to bring in the horses, right? No, Renteria brings in a guy who only is in the bullpen because he failed to make it as a starter. Covey is not the guy I want to see in a tight game in the eighth inning.
Don’t tell me that Kelvin Herrera and Alex Colome pitched the last two games. First of all, they can pitch a third day. Secondly, they shouldn’t have been in the game on Saturday anyway. You don’t bring in your eighth and ninth inning guy when trailing 8-6. You especially don’t bring in your closer in the eighth inning when trailing. So, because Renteria decides to use Colome in the eighth inning of a game the Sox trailed, he was unavailable for Monday’s game when he was really needed. That is absolutely bad managing.
Sanchez starting for this team is still a slap in the face to all Sox fans. At the very least, he’s supposed to have a good glove. But in the first four games, he’s already committed two errors. Two errors that may have cost the Sox victories as well. Gee, if only there was a better free agent the Sox could have signed this offseason so this wouldn’t be happening.
As for Jimenz, let’s pump the brakes on calling him a bust (yes, there are some already saying that). He’s gonna be fine. Remember that he is learning how pitchers are going to pitch him. He’s learning his place in the lineup. And, it’s miserable weather. I’m not sure if Jimenez has ever had to play 30-degree weather before. It’s a tough thing to do for these younger players from the Latin American countries to get used to. That can’t be ignored.
So, aim your frustration at Hahn, Williams, Reinsdorf, and Renteria. Give the players a break…………..for now.