White Sox haven’t been known as a franchise to hold people accountable. That needs to end soon as the team is headed towards another long season in 2019.
The White Sox have got to start holding some people accountable.
When the White Sox began blowing their team up in December 2016, the front office told us they would be good in two years. Well, it’s been well past two years, so it’s time to start winning. Unfortunately, the team has not been doing that this year, at 9-14 and having a 5-7 record against the Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, and Detroit Tigers. The White Sox are supposed to be further ahead in their rebuild than those teams, yet they are losing to them.
This isn’t to say there aren’t bright spots, as the White Sox have been forming a decent core with Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, and Carlos Rodon, but winning teams need more than just three good players.
If the team doesn’t start to play better than some changes have got to be made. You can’t just keep doing the same stuff over and over, running the same people out there and expect different results. With that said, here is a list of people the Sox need to put on the hot seat.
1.Manager Rick Renteria
During his whole two-plus years as manager, the White Sox have never been good. The only time they played well was September 2017, where the team’s hot performance at the end cost them the first overall draft pick, and they had to settle for the fourth overall pick instead. Whether that matters will depend on Nick Madrigal, but the fact is the team has not played at all well since then. The White Sox need a manager who knows how to win, and who can squeeze as much talent out of his budget-stricken team as possible. Renteria just isn’t that guy, and the record speaks for itself.
If the White Sox are well below .500 at the All-Star break, Renteria should be fired and replaced with Omar Vizquel, who should be given a chance to manage at the big league level. If he gets the team to start winning, or at least playing better than he should be the manager going forward. If the Sox aren’t better under Vizquel’s leadership, they should look into hiring Joe Girardi for the 2020 season. In any case, getting Renteria out of the way could help the Sox to see what they have with Vizquel.
However, knowing how the White Sox run things, I would expect them to hold onto Renteria for at least midway 2020, by which point Vizquel and Girardi will be hired away by other major-league teams. He likely won’t be gone until the Sox need a scapegoat for Rick Hahn’s bad decisions, which won’t be until at least a year from now.
The Cubs fired Renteria and won a World Series, so the best move might be for the Sox to follow suit and get someone who is good with in-game strategy. It’s true that a lot of the players seem to like Renteria, but maybe if they like him so much they should play better so he doesn’t lose his job.
2. Ervin Santana and the rotation
Santana has been absolutely terrible in his two starts with the White Sox. I’m not sure why the Sox paid him $4.3 million dollars when Gio Gonzalez was available, but perhaps they viewed him as a sign-and-flip candidate. The White Sox do realize that for teams to trade for someone they have to actually be good, right? No one wants to trade for subpar veteran garbage. Santana is symbolic of everything wrong with the White Sox, signing “veteran leadership” when what they actually need is good players.
Veteran leadership needs to come from the manager. The White Sox would do good to cut ties with him, and then Ivan Nova as well. Going forward the White Sox rotation should be Rodon, Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, Manny Banuelos, and Dylan Cease, who should be promoted sooner rather than later. The Sox should probably wait to see if they can get anything for him before cutting Nova, but Santana needs to be gone as soon as Giolito is ready to come back.
The trifecta of overpaid veteran garbage, these three players are a drag on the team and it will be better once they are all gone. At least one of them needs to be moved to make room for Zack Collins, who should make his debut his year, and the best choice to rid themselves of Castillo.
The White Sox don’t need steroid guys on their team, especially if they aren’t good. Castillo stinks offensively and defensively, and I guess they are playing him to see if they can get anything for him in a trade, but when Collins is ready to be promoted (and we should be getting close to that) he should be released.
Alonso isn’t very good, but he makes a good effort at first base defensively and with Jose Abreu’s future uncertain they might as well keep him around for now. Jay might as well not show up at all, and the White Sox ought to learn that nepotism doesn’t work in baseball. I’d rather give his at-bats to anyone else.