Dan Szymborksi sat down with Southside Showdown to discuss the Chicago White Sox.
The Chicago White Sox have had a tremendous season. Today, they start a playoff series for the first time since 2008. The world has changed a lot since the last time they made it to the postseason but here we are. Earlier in the season, I interviewed Dan Szymborski of Fangraphs and ESPN to discuss some of the players on the White Sox and the state of the organization. He gave me some insight that should really excite all White Sox fans. These are some of the quotes that followed questions I asked him:
Q: Lucas Giolito, what is his ceiling, and is he an ace on a championship team?
“I would argue that at this point he is already an ace”
“He was a legitimate Cy Young contender last year”
“The White Sox were rewarded for their patience with him because it was hard to see this coming after 2018. When he was a prospect with the Nationals, yeah, this is kind of what you would have expected”
” He has three solid pitches that do well. I don’t think he needs to expand his repertoire at this point.”
Q: Do you believe Dylan Cease can be anything like Lucas Giolito?
“I think there is a chance. I don’t think his command is on the level of Giolito’s.”
“He is still in that category of a thrower more than a pitcher”
“He isn’t putting away batters as much as you’d expect from a guy like him”
“There is still ace potential, he’s not even 25 yet”
Q: Which catcher would you roll with?
“I’m still riding Grandal. James McCann has done as well as anyone can expect from him the last year and a half. He is a legitimate catcher on a team that already has a starting catcher.”
“There is enough playing time for everyone”
“A team will offer him (James McCann) a starting job and it will be hard to turn it down, I think”.
“Grandal has that upside of (the potential) to be the best catcher in baseball in any given season”
Q: Andrew Vaughn?
“You don’t necessarily go into 2021 with him on the roster”
“You do need to give him some time in AA and AAA”
“I’m optimistic for him long-term”
Q: What can Luis Robert be?
“If you look at his upside, absolute ceiling, the most optimistic outlook, he could be Vladimir Guererro who plays gold glove centerfield defense. That is a pretty nice player.”
“They did give him time in the upper minors. They let him beat up some double A and triple A pitchers.”
Q: Do you think Tim Anderson can be one of the best shortstops in baseball?
“I’m still not convinced he is a .400 batting average on balls in play guy, simply because nobody is.”
“He hits a lot of bad pitches well, he has a chance at more batting titles”
Q: Free Agent outlook for the White Sox?
“I would like to see the White Sox take a run at someone like George Springer or Marcel Ozuna”
“They could use another outfielder, imagine an outfield of Jimenez, Robert, and either Springer/Ozuna.”
Q: Where are you at on Eloy Jimenez as a DH/outfielder?
“There is a lot of evidence that hitters will hit a little worse as a DH than they would playing the field”
“Jimenez is so weak defensively, I know he doesn’t want to DH, but I do think he is a better player as a DH.”
“It is probably best for the White Sox and his career as a designated hitter”
“Tell him that he can be David Ortiz for the White Sox, that’s a good thing to be”
Q: Do the White Sox have a playoff run in them this year?
As you can see here, Dan Szymborski truly believes in a lot of the players on the Chicago White Sox. He sees the fact that Yasmani Grandal is actually the best catcher on the roster. He sees that Lucas Giolito is a true Major League ace. Most importantly, he believes the White Sox have a chance at making a run in the playoffs. Thank you to Dan for joining me for some White Sox chatter and make sure you check out his work.